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08/08/2013 by

Is This The Future Of The Airline Website?

The guys at Fantasy Interactive really inspired me with their vision on the future of the airline website. OMG, you might also fall in love…

Is This The Future Of The Airline Website?

Passion and frustration can be strong drivers towards innovation, interactivity, responsive design, usability and relevancy.

The guys from Fi combined their skills to surprise you. Every city marketer and CMO in the airline, travel or tourism industry should watch this.

Explore the great video and website in project what if.

The Why at the guys from Fi?

According to J.D. Power, 87% of travelers used the Internet for the bulk of their travel planning in 2012, yet the online booking experience being offered by modern airlines is still stuck in the 90s.

Is This The Future Of The Airline Website?

Inspired by the opportunity to bring progressive disruption to this huge marketplace, Fi reviewed all major airline websites, and graded them against design and usability criteria including: information architecture, interaction design and visual design.

The results were disheartening. Fi believes that unless the airlines take drastic measures to improve their digital experiences, third-party sites like Kayak and Expedia will continue to eat into their profits.

So Fi launched an experiment to explore: “what if?” To get you warmed up, watch this video first:

If you are inspired by the video, just wait to you see the rest of the examples below.

Can We Make the Booking Process More Pleasant?

Airline bookings evolved from paper and fax machines to online website containers.

Is This The Future Of The Airline Website?

Unfortunately that is how they remain to this day – essentially clunky and disjointed design that never progressed beyond basic utility.

Make sure to see Fi’s whole what if website here.

My Opinion?

I fly a lot and to be honest: The booking processes and online check-ins frequently suck big-time at major airlines. Mostly very outdated old skool rubbish websites and mobile apps.

The true frustration that I have? Most airlines show us fancy campaigns, slick TVCs, stupid gimmicks, spammy ads, and not to forget: Very “funny” videos and other “cool” content on their social networks.

None of the airlines around the globe has ever launched an ongoing open innovation program like My Starbucks Idea. A program that has successfully implemented 277 consumer generated ideas in 5 years.

None of the airlines is really listening to its existing base of loyal customers and frequent flyers. Strange, since airlines have bronze, silver, gold and platinum members. So they should understand all about loyalty and Social CRM, right?

So CMOs in the airline industry, I’ve got some actionable insights for you:

1. ALF: Always Listen First. I have ideas to improve your brand and business. And so have millions of others. Ask them.

2. Behave like a Social Business. Involve us. We don’t care about your ego, funny ideas and number of Facebook fans.

3. Re-allocate your media Dollars. Spend more of it on your products and services, and our experience. Business flyers want Wi-Fi on board. If not, you are costing us money!

4. Social Media is about building mutual beneficial relationships. Not about spamming our social networks with your ads.

5. Make us loyal. We will do the advocacy part for you, by telling our peers to fly your airline.

Thank you guys from Fi, for your progressive disruption of the airline websites. And inspiring us that we are finally “getting” there fast.

Millions of business travelers and consumers will profit from your efforts, passion and frustration.

What About You?
How do you like the Fi airline ideas? What’s your biggest frustration at “your” airline?

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About the Author
Igor Beuker was CMO at 3 listed companies, chairman at the IAB, jury member at Webby, AMMA and Esprix awards, founder of 3 digital agencies (sold to WPP) and global chief social officer at Mindshare. Now he is freejack consultant and still a sought after keynote speaker.


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