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Finavia’s TravelLab reveals findings from passenger-focused prototype trials

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The TravelLab Quality Hunters

The TravelLab develops prototypes based on passenger feedback and the suggestions of the Quality Hunters, who meet on a regular basis to discuss the passenger experience.

Finavia’s TravelLab, which develops and trials prototypes to help improve the passenger experience based on customer feedback and the Quality Hunters crowdsourcing initiative, has released its first set of results based on the ideas that have been conceptualised and piloted at Helsinki Airport.

Among the prototypes that have been tested and analysed are a Midsummer festival at the departure gates, service menu info screens on airport buses, airport yoga, dedicated wayfinding for children and families, a coffee-vending bicycle and a Finnish-themed photo wall. The prototypes were evaluated based on experience, reliability, urgency, cost efficiency and their alignment with Helsinki Airport’s strategy.

The TravelLab has revealed that the most popular prototype was the Midsummer festival, which saw the non-Schengen gate area decorated with traditional Midsummer birch trees and a maypole. Passengers were invited to take part in flower garland workshops, Finnish food tasting and a traditional Midsummer dance. It was especially popular among Chinese, Japanese and European travellers spanning three of the four passenger groups identified by Finavia – ‘enjoyment seekers’, ‘safety seekers’ and ‘habitual travellers’. The only passenger group seemingly unimpressed was the ‘fast and efficient flyers’. Interestingly, even passengers whose flights were delayed said they enjoyed the initiative.

Prototypes trialled at Helsinki Airport

Among the prototypes trialled at Helsinki Airport was the Gate Roastery bicycle-mounted tea and coffee station, family-friendly wayfinding and yoga classes.

The Yoga Gate, where passengers could take part in instructed yoga classes, were especially popular among Korean, Chinese, Japanese and Finnish travellers, with ‘habitual travellers’ – those who normally like to minimise the time they spend at airports – ranking it highest.

The Gate Roastery – where passengers could buy tea and coffee from a vending station mounted on a bicycle – was popular with travellers from Europe, but not so much among those from Asia or passengers preparing for a long-haul flight.

Meanwhile, the Service Menu, which provided passengers with information on airport services on airport bus screens and in brochures, was well received among ‘habitual travellers’ with tight transfer times, while the Finnish-themed photo wall was most popular among Chinese and Finnish travellers, especially those that fall within the ‘habitual travellers’ and ‘safety seekers’ groups.  Finally, the family-friendly signage – animal footprints on the floor leading to the Reima Playroof area – received the best reviews from Finnish and Russian travellers.

TravelLab will start trialling its second round of prototypes on 21 July, with new concepts being tested alongside updated versions of the Yoga Gate, Service Menu screens and the Finnish photo wall.


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