New airport-based dating apps take off

There’s no shortage of dating services that aim to connect singles based on their shared interests, whether that’s fitness, politics, food, or music. Now, young people’s love for travel is being addressed in the dating world as numerous digital tools help them meet potential matches at airports and easily migrate to offline encounters.


Billed as the Tinder for air travelAirDates seeks to help singles on the same flight connect and chat digitally without needing Internet connection. Currently in beta, the app encourages travelers to first upload their itinerary so they can find others who will be on the plane and potentially meet up before boarding. Alternatively, they can “check in” at the airport and search for people nearby. Once in air, users can still match without relying on the airline’s WiFi and make plans for after they land. The creators recognized that the airport is often a missed opportunity for mingling and believe it’s one of the safest places for meeting strangers due to the number of people around.


To alleviate young people’s boredom at the airport and help them meet new people, app Btrfly connects those who have similar flight details. While the app isn’t designed solely for finding potential romantic partners or hookups, this has inevitably become a main focus. Users first create a brief profile and select their flight details within the app to find others traveling at similar times and gates, or even to the same destination. They can then request connections and strike up conversations through in-app messaging. Btrfly is currently available at more than 380 airports around the world.


Two frequent travelers noticed a common occurrence at airports: people eyeing each other but hesitant to start chatting, especially in front of others. This prompted them to create Lounger, another app seeking to make it possible for sparks to fly during flights—or leading up to them. Users first build a profile connected to their Facebook account and select their airport lounge. Then, they can check out who else is nearby using the service and connect. Unlike competitor services, Lounger, as its name suggests, is focused on the lounge area of airports, as travelers can invite others to access their lounge and meet IRL.