On 26 March, Finnair, one of the world’s longest-running airlines, and Finavia, the operator of Helsinki Airport, launch Quality Hunters 2013 in order to identify the key moments that can either make or break a journey, and seek out practical ways of improving the travel experience. This time, they will look to the extremely active and inventive online community that formed around the previous Quality Hunters initiative and whose keen interest in improving the quality of air travel has kept the discussion going ever since. Together, Finnair and Helsinki Airport offer the fastest and shortest connections between Asia and Europe, and both companies seek to expand their business in the East. For Helsinki Airport, the quality of service and the extra value offered to passengers becomes more significant as transit airports play an increasingly important role in travel decisions. “By inviting our passengers to take part in our product development, we hope to come up with practical ways of adding that little bit of extra to make travelling via Helsinki even smoother and more enjoyable, while strengthening our position as the leading long-haul airport in Northern Europe,” says Johanna Metsälä, Customer Experience Manager at Finavia.
New approach to service development
Quality Hunters 2013 is a model for community-driven service development where the most promising ideas provided by the community are selected to be developed further with the professionals at Finnair and Finavia. The community will be invited to share their views of what makes a travel experience great and identify points of improvement along the passenger’s journey. The companies are calling for ideas that can really be put to use, which is why product development professionals at Finnair and Finavia will engage with the community through the entire project. Working with an airport and an airline presents many considerations and restrictions for potential ideas, as they must adhere to strict security guidelines and in-flight weight limits, for instance. Where the previous initiatives mapped the passengers’ notions of quality in air travel, Quality Hunters 2013 takes a more practical approach in making the passengers’ visions a reality. The initiative aims for ideas that are easy to put to use and support the business goals of the two companies as well as improve the passenger experience in a tangible way. The Quality Hunters Twitter channel, blog and Facebook page will be the main hubs for discussion. Although the majority of work will be done through these channels, active and involved community members will also be handpicked to test and develop Finnair and Helsinki Airport’s services in person.
Innovative ideas and international acclaim
Quality Hunters 2013 follows two award-winning crowdsourcing initiatives run by the companies. The 2010 Rethink Quality initiative inspired Finnair and Finavia to find new ways of looking at quality, and in 2011, Quality Hunters, season 2 proved the power of a great community in creating innovative ideas to improve air travel. The Helsinki Airport Book Swap, which opened in summer 2012 and the vegetarian meals introduced on long-haul flights later in the autumn are both great examples of successful ideas co-developed by the Quality Hunters community, Finnair and Finavia.
Be a Quality Hunter!
Anyone can join the conversation by following @qualityhunters on Twitter. The blog at qualityhunters.com will discuss the ideas suggested by community members and follow their development process while sharing news about the initiative’s progress. The initiative can also be followed on Facebook at facebook.com/qualityhunters.
Notes to the editors
Quality Hunters 2013 follows two successful crowdsourcing initiatives carried out by Finnair and Finavia: Finnair’s 2010 Rethink Quality Campaign and Quality Hunters, Season 2, launched by Finnair and Helsinki Airport in 2011. The previous initiatives employed Quality Hunters to travel the world and seek out ideas and to engage with the public in discussion on quality on their website and on Twitter, along with YouTube and Flickr. In 2011, Quality Hunters, Season 2 reached over ten million people through Twitter. Recognising the power of a great community, the companies decided to give social media a more significant role in 2013. Both initiatives went on to receive a European Excellence Award in the Travel & Tourism category, with Quality Hunters, Season 2 also winning the IPRA Golden World Award for the best international PR campaign in 2012.