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If You Want To Find Love, Book A Flight

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Love

It used to be that you’d head over to the local bar if you were looking to meet someone new. Then, it was dating apps and online matchmaking. Now, experts say that if you’re looking for love, you should book a flight.

Sounds crazy, right? Well, according to a study from HSBC and Travel + Leisure magazine, one in every 50 travelers has met the love of their life on a plane. That’s about four people per average-sized flight, for context. We’d say that those odds are pretty good!

Are you looking to snag a date? Keep reading for the down low on mile-high meet-ups (before you book your next trip).

Flying The Friendly Skies

In conjunction with Travel + Leisure, HSBC conducted a survey in July 2018. It included 2,150 interviews with recent flight bookers from 141 countries, and also surveyed 2,000 residents of the UK, 1,000 from the US, 1,000 from Hong Kong, and 1,000 from the United Arab Emirates who flew internationally in the past year.

Fifty-one percent of respondents reported that they’ve had a conversation with a stranger during a flight — and about one in 50 of those turned out to be a love match. Still, not every chat led to romance: 16 percent of travelers say they formed a business connection while on a flight, and another 14 percent made a long-lasting friendship.

Real-Life Romance

Feeling skeptical? In a story titled “Is This Seat Taken? And Will You Marry Me?”, New York Times reporter Judy Mandell profiled a real-life couple who met at 31,000 feet. Amanda Sidman and Max Mancuso were both heading from Austin to New York in 2015 when they were seated next to each other on Delta Flight 401.

Despite the fact that Ms. Sidman’s mother had repeatedly admonished her for her travel wear — once asking her, “What if you’re sitting next to your husband on your next flight?” — she was wearing ratty old sweats, last night’s makeup, and a messy bun. And Mr. Mancuso was soundly asleep for much of the flight.

Still, in the short time he was awake, the two managed to make a connection. Not only did they discover that they both lived in SoHo, but they also spent summer weekends in Montauk, and were both dying to try out the same new pizza place. They found each other on Facebook post-flight and later got married on Martha’s Vineyard.

Want To Make A Connection?

If the HSBC study shows us anything, it’s that Mr. Mancuso’s and Ms. Sidman’s story isn’t a fluke. It happens all the time. But rather than letting fate do the work, why not take some initiative to up your chances of finding mid-flight romance? There are now several apps that can help you connect with fellow fliers.

Many of them work like social media networks, allowing you to connect with travelers who have mutual interests so you can meet up in-flight or on the ground. Some of them allow you to connect in advance by inputting your airport and flight information, while others link you up with other passengers when you’re actually in the air.
Of course, the apps don’t have to be used just for dating purposes. Many of them provide flight updates, TSA wait times, gate changes, and more. And you can still connect with other passengers, even if you’re not interested in love: Why not grab a coffee while you wait for the plane or share a cab if you’re heading to the same conference?
Bottom line? If you want a break from swiping right, finding love mid-air offers a fun alternative. And even if it doesn’t work out, at least you’re still going on vacation! 

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