Lesson 04 — January 25 Presentation

The Family Centric Flyer

Archetype: Family Centric Flyer

The family centric flyer, is an airport visitor who is responsible for a group of dependants. They may be children, they may be elderly parents, or spouses but the key commonality is that they are not their alone and they are taking care of at least one other human being (not to be confused with the Pet Centric Flyer).

“Climb on.”

Interviews:

Commonalities

Every single person I talked to booked their ticket online. Everyone was spending at least 2 hours getting to their flight and waiting in the airport before boarding.

Highlights

Jussi — Very price conscious. He and Niina regularly take their family of 5 back home to Finland. He may spend more than a year searching for seat sales, so that he can afford to take everyone. Books limos to the airport to accommodate his big family. Goes way out of his way to make sure his wife and kids are not stressed or anxious about the flight. Is a pretty chill guy himself.

Niina — Jussi’s wife. Takes care of a ton of little details. Is very detail oriented and is on top of keeping everyone together and making sure their kids have what they need. Her and Jussi spend the most time in the airport itself to relax and hang out before the flight, so that they don’t feel rushed or anxious with the kids.

Ken — Was stuck in the airport for an extra day because of an Air India flight getting blown up. Still hates airport security. Just thought that was interesting.

“Mom? Dad? You forgot something.”

Surveys

Highlights

  1. 89% start looking for tickets at least 2 months in advance. With 55% booking three or more.
  2. Everyone I talked to is price consicous. 39% are extremely price conscious.
  3. 33% Traveled with their spouse and children. 27% Traveled with just their spouse.
  4. When traveling with family, more than 60% booked tickets for 3 or more people.
  5. 50% of family’s travel with children at least once a year.
  6. 88% arrive at the airport at least an hour and a half early. While 17% arrive at the airport more than 2 hours early.
  7. On average, most people had a moderate level of anxiety towards missing their flights and the airport in general.
  8. Waiting in lines was the number 1 most frustrating thing about going to the airport at 76% of respondents raising it as an issue, while checking bags was the second most frustrating thing at 41%, and checking in, finding a gate, and finding something to eat or drink were distand thirds with 17% each.
  9. Most people take special precautions while going to the airport: with highlights being:

Always extra time for checking in — for certain to mess up checking in by machine. Always have a airport outfit to prevent or being comfortable while getting flustered and panicked! (Comfy stretchy light clothing (not too many layers to get tangled up in!!) to not feel flustered carrying bags or overheating due to getting flustered and anxious very easily. Easy comfy shoes to slip out of for checking in bags/security. Always have a front pouch bag or deep pockets to put passport in for easy access.) Otherwise airport experiences are usually fun. — anon

For the love of God no milk — anon

Where’s your moustache?

Problem

Waiting and LINES!

The most common problem in both the interviews and the survey seemed to be lines, and dealing with lines is a bit more complicated when you have dependants. You need to keep everyone together, and you want to keep them happy.

Solution

Ideas

Skip the Que! — Having a premium line, something like the nexus, or a VIP line might work for those that can pay, but due to the expense of bringing your whole family, the family centric traveler might not be able to afford that luxury.

Special Ques! — Having a special family que at security and at check-in might help but it’s probably not feasable to staff and support it without charging a premium fee.

Winner

Many parents I talked to were hyper organized. They liked to book and check and be aware of things in advance. Knowing what to expect and what to prepare for is one of the most important facets in satisfaction. When our expectations are met, we’re generally satisfied. So if we have a low expectation for an experience we’re satisfyed even by a relatively unexciting experience.

So the best solution is to find a way to set expectations in real time. The problem with the airport is you’re never really sure what to expect. It could be an enormous line and even if you’re two hours early you could barely make the flight, or it could be an incredibly fast line and now you’ve got two hours to kill. What if there was a way to track how many people are in the airport and where they’re at in the airport?

I purpose that we use cell phone location data to give a real-time estimate of how many people are in the airport, and how fast they’re moving at certain points — like secruity. Much like google uses this data to predict how fast your commute home may be and which route to take. Knowing what’s going on at the airport before you ever leave home could be the best way to deal with the reality of waiting.

“Can we go now?”
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