Klout will get you inside the velvet ropes at SFO

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The masses can now travel in first-class style without dropping cash on a first-class airplane ticket, but only if they’re influential.

Influence-scoring startup Klout has partnered with Cathay Pacific Airways to provide members with stellar social-reputation access to the airline’s lounge at San Francisco International Airport, an area normally restricted to first and business class passengers.

Klout is the now heavily-funded San Francisco-based company that hooks into Facebook, Twitter, and other social sites to quantify a person’s online reach and spit out a score between 1 and 100. The startup uses its scoring algorithms to offer rewards, in the form of “perks,” from brand partners.

Starting Wednesday, Klout members with a score of 40 or higher who have the newly released iPhone app installed can show their score to the Cathay Pacific Airways‘ lounge receptionist for access to the VIP area. The perk is available to all sojourners passing through the “A” boarding area at SFO, not just those flying on the airline.

The lounge features ample seating, workstations, a TV room, comfy chairs, shower suites, and complimentary food and beverages. The private area even includes a noodle bar offering made-to-order wonton noodle soup and dan dan mien.

“This is just two weeks after we rolled out the mobile app,” a Klout spokesperson told VentureBeat. “It’s a great example of how the app will help users benefit from having their Klout wherever they go.”

The promotion should offer some healthy social exposure for the airline, which primarily flies to Hong Kong. The perk will likely encourage influentials to check-in, Instagram, and tweet about the airline’s cushy airport amenities.

“By partnering with Klout, we have the opportunity to invite travelers who typically may not fly with us to experience our ground products and services, in hopes that they may one day choose to visit us again,” Cathay Pacific’s VP of marketing Dennis Owen said.


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