Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Quality Hunters - Finnair Triumph or Farce?

Over the last few months, Finnair in conjunction with Helsinki Airport has employed - 'Quality Hunters' to come up with new ideas to improve the offerings of the airline and the airport.

In October, they hired 7 Quality Hunters to travel the world and seek out fresh ideas on quality and how to improve air travel and the airport experience.
They sent them around the world and tight and exhausting schedules, and had each one specialise in a different area like 'On the Move', Business Class', 'Shopping' and 'Services' . . .
“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”, says Johanna Metsälä, Customer Experience Manager at Helsinki Airport.
You might be thrilled Johanna - but I'm not.

Wished you had been selected as one of the quality hunters?

Don't be so sure. They all complained in the nicest possible way about the travel schedule, and although blogging enthusiastically, all the content and photos look strangely desparate as they search for something that is noteworthy.

I think that the overwhelming reaction is one of:  meeehhhh. Most of these suggestions are so white bread bland that you could have thought of them if you were mid-flight falling asleep, or spent a couple of hours researching online what other airlines/airports are doing.

Have a look at some of the things they came up with:

The Good:
  • an intermediary seating class between economy and business - premium economy for Finnair - such an innovation for the airline industry!
  • Asian fusion menu at airport and in-flight - like no other airline or food outlet has never discovered the delights of Asian cooking
  • A place for Art and Performance - the Art part of this is good, its static, and can occupy if you have a boring wait in the airport.  The performance aspect - see 'The Ridiculous' below
  • Fresh food mobile unit -  they had to send people round the world for that idea?
  • An airport app - such an innovation - like no other airport/airline has though of this?
The Bad:
  • Meat free Monday (yawn)
  • Continue having 'Quality Hunters' - this is not actually a bad idea - its just that it is soooooooo obvious
The Ridiculous:
  • Magazine and book swap - yeah, like the retailers in the airport are going to support that one!
  • Boarding bracelet with a chip -  just what passengers want to be wearing the whole flight - so they can pretend they are at a rock concert?
  • A place for Art and Performance, as one comment goes: " I don´t think I would ever go that far to plan my trip around the stage program. . ."
  • Bring Finnish nature to the airport - I thought this would mean small cute furry things at the check-in , but they actually mean putting up birch tree wallpaper, and having sounds of the forrest, and maybe even make the airport look like a sauna!
This is a selection from the top 10 or so suggestions.  I don't know what this whole exercise cost Finnair and Helsinki Airport, but I'd say they have 'done' their money.

Here are my suggestions for the airport and the airline, and I have never been on/to either:
  • more leg room
  • more comfortable seats (airport and airline)
  • better service
  • more value for money
One thing I do really like about the Helsinki airport website is their guide for what to do if you have 1, 2, 3 or 4 hours for your flight at the airport

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