cAir: An Incredible New Air Travel Concept For Families To Make Flights Easier

The evil stares, the rolling of the eyes and the overall insensitivity of travelers who are forced to “tolerate” the horror of a screaming baby or crying child during a flight are not the most…shall we say understanding. My friend Casey wrote about her recent experience that still has me cringing at the insensitivity of others.

Luckily there is a company who is trying to make things a little easier on traveling parents.RKS Designs has come up with a new service deign concept called cAir. I happen to think it is particularly brilliant and hope it is put into effect ASAP.

The project is the result of a workshop that was conducted by the RKS during the 2010 IxDA Conference where designers were challenged to come up with a service design venture that would not only inspire air travel industry, but also chance the way services are delivered to traveling famlies.

They identified six main categories of on-board flight experience touchpoints where families encountered the most challenges and service experience fell short:

• Entertainment – Children easily get bored without distractions or an outlet for them to spend their energy.

• Ambiance – Crying babies can be embarrassing and disturbing to both parents and other travelers. There is no privacy to calm children, ensure a sound naptime, or breastfeed an infant.

• Food – The food lacks nutritional information and allergen-free choices while appearing unfamiliar to kids. No convenient food storage options are available on hand.
• Seats – Standard seating and arrangement do not accommodate flexibility needed by children and families, making restless children more frustrated.

• Lavatory – Restrooms are too small to comfortably hold parent and child while changing tables are difficult to use, often forcing parents to leave the restroom doors open.

• Storage – Luggage space and accessibility throughout the flight is limited.

The team then built service enhancements based on these six defined areas of on-board flight experience touchpoints.

This is what they came up with:

cAir – redefining air travel for families from RKS Design on Vimeo.

• 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.

See the above video for more info or check out their site.