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:
• 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.