Click for full-sized image!Click for full-sized image!
We've all been there. Strapped into your seat, readying yourself for a 12-hour marathon of determination to disembark on the other side of the world. And then it begins. The baby in the next aisle starts wailing. Before the evil side-eye starts boring holes of hate into the back of the seat of the offending parents, have you ever considered the trials a family with young children have to endure in order to get on the plane?
RKS recently released a service design concept, cAir, that hopes to ease the burden of air travel for families. The project is a derivative outcome from a workshop conducted by RKS at the 2010 IxDA Conference where interaction designers were challenged to conceptualize a service design venture that would inspire the air travel industry to change how services are delivered to traveling families. In a climate of increased fare costs, slashed amenities and general disastisfaction with the air travel experience, the team looked at the success of consumer-centric airlines like Southwest as a hint that investing in the user can be rewarding for both travelers and airlines.
cAir - redefining air travel for families from RKS Design on Vimeo.
Families, in particular, are an oft over-looked segment of the flying population. By redesigning their experience, perhaps the general quality of all travelers could be improved. After interviewing and shadowing passengers, RKS generated a service design blueprint based on six key touchpoints of the in-flight experience: entertainment, ambience, food, seats, lavatory and storage.
Checkin for adults and children with toy rental options and wayfinding services available.Checkin for adults and children with toy rental options and wayfinding services available. Click for full-sized image!Click for full-sized image!
- Rent-A-Toy is a toy rental service concept focused on providing hassle-free entertainment to children during the flight. The toy is returned at the end of the trip or upon arrival.
- Sound Curtains allow instant privacy at the passenger's seat, enabling parents to soothe or nurse a crying infant away from view.
- Nutrient cAir Service provides a variety of familiar, nutritious, allergen-free food choices for kids as well as USB bottle warmers and personal fridge within reach.
- Configurable Seats can adjust to accommodate children of all sizes while aisle partitions create a mini-play zone for toddlers and small kids.
- Diaper Friendly Lavatories are large enough to fit parent and multiple children for easy diaper change. A special sink is sized for a child's height and a waiting area outside the restroom lets kids play till their turn.
- Layered Storage offers easy-to-reach storage compartments overhead and underneath the seat that is accessible throughout the flight.
Along with changes during the inflight experience, the cAir concept also embodies a branding extension that highlights the core values of "relax, entertain, nurture." Wayfinding, easy flight checkin, family waiting rooms and cAir game apps to help deliver a 360-traveling experience from travel planning to arrival. See the above video for more info or check out the dedicated microsite.