In 2017, a major airline made some big changes to its brand. They rolled out some shiny new planes. They outfitted their people in stylish new uniforms and revamped their cabins. Their in-flight game was tight, but when customers walked through the door of the airport, their experience wasn’t quite up to the same level.
While the airline was known for delivering best-in-class hospitality on their airplanes, they sought to improve the in-airport customer experience, so travelers could get to their destination confidently while spending less time worrying about the journey.
We began by talking with customers, frontline employees, and the airline’s operations teams to understand the broader context and the operational constraints. Based on these conversations, we identified three challenges that needed to be solved:
- LACK OF CLEAR AND ACCURATE INFORMATION
We saw an urgent need to provide accurate information about flight status, departure gates, and departure times. We needed to stream contextually relevant information to customers and employees, in order to build their trust and improve their airport experience.
- EXCESSIVE GATE CROWDING
Because of the airline’s unique boarding process, it’s
important to keep the gate area organized. Passengers aren’t
assigned seats, but board in small groups. The process is both
empowering—you get to choose your seat—and it creates
more anxiety (is my group lining up?) I don’t want to lose my
spot!) which creates a unique tension for the airline. Building
on the brand’s penchant for doing things a little differently, we
needed a unique way to address this issue that would serve
- NEED FOR MORE MEANINGFUL CUSTOMER SERVICE
Different types of customers are often looking for similar
information at each point in their travel. We needed to
deliver answers to common questions (Is this the gate for
Boston? How full is the plane?) so that repetitive employee
interactions could be reduced while improving