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Helsinki Airport takes another leap in customer experience development

Press release
Article published
18.12.2017 at 21:21
Ryan rates Helsinki Airport the best in the world
In #LIFEINHEL campaign, a Chinese man Ryan Zhu lived in Helsinki Airport in Finland for 30 days. So far, close to 2.2 billion people might have come across his adventure through social media postings and hundreds of media coverages. Now, based on Ryan’s feedback, the airport will develop the smooth travelling its passengers’ even further.

“We at Helsinki Airport have an impressive track record in the continuous development of the customer experience. This time we wanted to have a comprehensive insight of how an international transit passenger sees us”, explains Katja Siberg, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Finavia, the operator of Helsinki Airport.

The #LIFEINHEL initiative highlighted the fact that Helsinki Airport is the leading airport in Northern Europe. “We are a top hub for connecting Asia and Europe. At the same time, we are also preparing to serve 30 million annual passengers, while also maintaining our position as a preferred airport”, Siberg tells. Finavia reported last week that Helsinki Airport's passenger numbers are growing at a double-digit growth rate and that the record-breaking number hit 18 million passengers.

More terminal space, new services to overcome language barriers and perhaps some Chinese food

In the final report, Ryan gives Helsinki Airport an overall rating of 4.5 out of 5. For example, Security and Safety and Transfer times receive full marks.

"We are very pleased with Ryan’s ratings, of course, but the most valuable insight lies where there are still room for improvements. For example, we share his opinions concerning the lack of space and Chinese food. I'm delighted to tell that with our extensive 900 million euro development program, the terminal space will enlarge by 45%, due to which we will expand our food offer –especially to the Asian kitchen”, Siberg tells.

Ryan also suggests that even more service staff with proficient language skills could be hired. With their help, tourists could learn more about the food they eat and the products they buy at the airport. Siberg promises that Finavia will look into this matter as well. She reminds us that Helsinki Airport has already set up e.g. Chinese customer service personnel. Furthermore, e-Translators in several languages are available, not to mention hot water dispensers installed especially with Asian passengers in mind, as well as AliPay and UnionPay payment systems.

The campaign was a great investment

“When we decided to cover Ryan’s experiences with short daily videos, we took a risk. Naturally, we had no control of what he and other key opinion leaders would post on social media. But honest and open communication is our core policy and company value. Moreover, if Ryan had not liked it here, he would have taken the next flight back to China. But it all paid off!”, tells Siberg.

Siberg refers to the unforeseen #LIFEINHEL results. So far, over 450 media hits all over the world have covered Ryan’s adventure. The overall media reach shows an impressive number of 2.2 billion with around 10 million video views around the world.

“We are very happy that #LIFEINHEL have engaged people globally, including in China, USA, Japan, UK, Australia, Philippines, Russia, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden and of course in Finland. Inspired by all these enthusiasts, we are now planning to issue a compilation on all the episodes of Ryan’s life in Helsinki Airport”, tells Siberg.

Ryan’s final report:
All #LIFEINHEL episodes:

#LIFEINHEL, a disruptive content marketing campaign mixing reality TV, game shows and Social Media, took place between 10 October to 8 November 2017 at the Helsinki Airport and on social media. During the #LIFEINHEL, a Chinese man Ryan Zhu lived in a small cabin for 30 days in terminal 2.

Helsinki Airport is the leading Northern European transit airport for long-haul traffic and serves over 18.5 million passengers in 2017. The Helsinki Airport operator Finavia provides and develops airport services in Finland with the focus on safety, customer-orientation and cost efficiency. Finavia’s comprehensive network of 21 airports enables international connections to different parts of Finland.