It's creative genius some would say — if you ever find yourself stranded at an airport, there is now an app that will connect you with other passengers on the same flight, who are either delayed or waiting for the gates to open.
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Cenk Gurz is the co-founder and CEO of a Canadian company that has developed the app called "brtfly".
Cenk came up with the idea as he is a frequent flyer and has often found himself surrounded by so many others — in similar situations — at different airports across the world.
"The connections that are made [in airports] are made on a random basis. There could be so much opportunity with all these people traveling — most of the times to similar destinations, going to similar events, having similar backgrounds. But I wanted to take the randomness out of it and create a social network for frequent flyers, so that they can spend their down time in airports or on flights by meeting like-minded people, working in similar industries," Gurz told Sputnik.
So How Does It Work?
Well, users sign in, insert their flight information, then a connection can be made with other passengers who are online. You can request the connection to a person and start a personal chat with them.
There is also functionality — a newsfeed which gathers content about the airport. A lot of people use the newsfeed to talk about their journey and share tips.
The difference with this app and Facebook for example, is that "btrfly" specifically caters for people who are frequent flyers, who often take the same journey, who spend a lot of time in airports.
This app can also prove useful for travelers, who need to communicate with one another in case of terror attacks, sieges and other highly dangerous situations.
"When something terrible happens in airports, travelers look out for possible communication, help, other people who are in the same situation, and one thing that was very unfortunate and happened in Istanbul was [lack of] transportation. Because the explosions happened partly outside the airport — that completely destroyed access to transportation for a certain period of time.
"I can see 'btrfly' helping to reach out to other passengers. At the end of the day, for people to be able to connect with other people at the same airport but not in vicinity of eyesight, they can, for example, post messages saying 'I can help transport 2 people' from the airport," Gurz told Sputnik.
The app also allows people to post messages once the incident has ended and to communicate that there is now a period of calm.
"I noticed that after the recent attacks in Istanbul people posted pictures of the airport, saying that now it is back to normal. Because there is also a normalization period after something like that happens. You need to communicate to people because nobody knows, what the airport looks like now, if people are back to business, if the flights are resuming… People were posting pictures of the Istanbul Ataturk Airport to show what it looked like," Mr Gurz told Sputnik.