Finnair and Helsinki Airport employ ‘Quality Hunters’ to come up with new ideas | December 13, 2011

In a follow-up to last year’s campaign, Finnair in September 2011 launched a new public search for so-called ‘Quality Hunters’, this year in partnership with Helsinki Airport. Seven Quality Hunters, chosen from hundreds of applicants, travelled around the world for 48 days throughout October and November 2011, collecting ideas and insights on how Finnair and Helsinki Airport could improve the flight and airport experience. An eighth “Bonus Hunter” joined the group in November on the basis of his social media activities.

Seven categories
Each Quality Hunter was given a theme to focus on: food & beverages, entertainment, socialising, travel in business class, services, shopping and “on the move”. Their task was to collect product and service ideas and present them to Finnair and Helsinki Airport at the end of the project in early December. Finnair and Helsinki Airport in turn would commit to the best ideas for implementation. Says Finnair “We don’t need a list of flaws (we’re painfully aware of most of them already!) but we want to know how to fix things and go even beyond that.” […] ”As a part of renewing our entire service identity, we want to go further in charting the black spots of travel and finding creative solutions to resolve them.”

The Quality Hunters blogged and tweeted daily about their observations and ideas, made videos and acted as community managers. Visitors to the Quality Hunters website could set tasks for them, make comments and share their opinions, while passengers at Helsinki Airport could drop by at the Hunter’s Lounge, located between gates 32-38.

Over 250 ideas submitted
Ideas could be submitted, rated and commented on at until 29 November, after which Finnair and Helsinki Airport narrowed the list down to the suggestions they felt had the most potential. The public then had until 11 December to choose a winner. Some of the more than 250 ideas that have been submitted include in-flight karaoke, virtual chess games, airport speed dating, exit doors on aircraft for tall people, ‘hush hush’ noise-free seating areas and onboard showers.

The two most popular ideas turned out to be “meat-free Mondays” (meant to decrease the carbon footprint of inflight meals) and an “airport book swap,” so passengers can trade second-hand books. The book swap will be introduced at Helsinki Vantaa in early 2012 and another Quality Hunters idea, an art gallery, will also open at the airport next year. Finnair says it will investigate the practical implications of the “meat free Monday” concept, as well as some other food-related suggestions such as Finnish-Asian fusion kitchen. Other ideas, such as family travel services for business class passengers and improving luggage claim areas, have been selected to undergo internal development.

Says Johanna Metsälä, Customer Experience Manager at Helsinki Airport, “We are thrilled with the quality of ideas we have received, and our intention is to relay the benefits of the project to our passengers by putting into practice as many ideas as possible as soon as we can”. A video of the Quality Hunters campaign can be found here.