Helsinki Airport – Finavia

In Collaboration with


The Challenge:

Helsinki Airport is a popular transit airport with around 5 million transit passengers a year. Finavia, Finland’s airport operator, wanted to support Helsinki Airport in becoming the leading transfer airport of Northern Europe by creating a smooth and memorable transfer experience.

Our Approach:

Together with Finavia, we launched the globally unique Travellab project, which involved service concepts being tested during the transfer experience. We tested 12 different kinds of new service prototypes chosen from 200 improvement ideas gathered from passengers. They included pop up yoga classes ‘YogaGate’ and midsummer celebrations as well as technical services, such as information boards on the gate buses providing information on what to do at the airport. 900 passengers took part across 75 days. During the process, Travellab invited passengers to take an active part in designing better transfer experiences. What was really happening was an agile, human-centric process of service design and prototyping and a large corporation openly taking part in co-creation

The Outcome:

Not only did Finavia receive a prioritised and validated list of new service innovations that had a huge impact in improving the transfer experience. We also created a digital ranking model for Finavia to understand which service investments would best improve the overall customer experience. But the true impact of our work is shown by the tools we created for Finavia to implement a more active and trustworthy service prototyping culture. Our worked impacted their company culture.

Travellab received global media coverage and was featured in over 80 English publications such as Condé Nast Traveller, Forbes, New York Daily News and Business Traveller. Tweets about YogaGate reached over 5 million Twitter-users around world.

The project has won two awards: first prize in the prestigious Best of the Year (Vuoden Huiput) design award in Finland and the global Service Design Award in New York from the leading institution for expertise in service design.