The services were assessed in terms of overall experience, reliability, importance, cost-effectiveness, and contribution to the realisation of the Helsinki Airport strategy. It was the Midsummer festivities that were the most popular: non-Schengen-area gates were decorated with silver birch and a maypole, on the basis of regional traditions. Passengers even got to take part in a Midsummer dance.
These festivities were appreciated especially by Chinese, Japanese, and Finnish passengers. These groups, along with Koreans, enjoyed the Yoga Gate studio, where they could take part in guided yoga or pilates sessions or do the exercises on their own, following certain guidelines.
Among the other service prototypes tested was Gate Rostery, selling coffee and tea produced by a local roastery from a mini-café run from a bicycle. This service was appreciated especially during the busiest hours and by those who wanted to get to their gate in plenty of time.
Also tried out was Service Menu, giving suggestions to passengers on how to spend their time at the airport. The suggestions were based on their transfer times and individual interests. For example, families with children were advised to follow animal paw print stickers on the floor, which led them straight to play areas.
The Finland-themed photograph wall was found to be to the liking of Finnish and Chinese passengers in particular. They described it as fun and said that it cheered up the airport for them.
The most successful service concepts are going to be developed further, and the best ones will become standard Helsinki Airport services.
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Text: Tiia Soininen, Mediafocus Oy