Where it all started
On 20th May 2020 the government of India announced that airlines could restart operations from the 25th. There was a lot of uncertainty around the information available, anxiety around flights operating, safety protocols, routes that would be open etc. The only certainty was that flying wasn’t going to be the same again.
We decided to build tools that would help travellers navigate travel uncertainties. Read an in-depth account of what we did.
A key intervention, as part of these larger set of tools, was to give users access to relevant and contextual information while booking a flight. This would help users make better, more informed choices without leaving the flights booking flow.
Problems we knew had to be solved
- Address anxiety
Which routes are open? How many people are flying? Are there any restrictions or conditions that would determine eligibility for travel? Questions like these could cause a lot of anxiety at the time of booking a flight. The absence of such information would possibly deter travellers from booking their next flight.
- Make it easy to access and consume information
Finding this information could very quickly become painful if it were scattered across different channels. It would also be tedious to consume and act on. As a result, travellers could potentially miss out on critical information needed before they booked their next flight.
- Provide reliable, updated information
We knew that guidelines and protocols would change very frequently. Therefore it became important for travellers to stay updated, have access to reliable, up to date information which would help them make better, more informed decisions.
What we did
We brought our TravelSafe brand to bear on how we help customers make informed booking choices in these uncertain times. We provided relevant, contextual and up to date information in our flights booking flow. This made it very easy for travellers to make better, informed decisions. We identified 2 critical areas of interventions — our home page and our flights search-results page.
We introduced air travel statistics on our home page
A dashboard on our homepage provided up to date information about air travel in the post COVID world. This was meant to serve as an honest proxy for “should i travel now’ and help travellers decide whether to initiate a search or not. This allowed us to paint an honest picture, and build confidence in potential travellers.
We incorporated route level information in our book flow
We introduced information about routes and restrictions, contextually, based on what route travellers wanted to fly. This granular, contextual route level information was meant to be a confidence-building measure on the search results page. This made it easy for them to know which routes are open, which are closed and which ones had restricted travel, thus enabling quicker decision making without leaving the booking flow.
To sum it up
We started by launching simple, but genuinely useful features in our book flow. This became our first step towards solving a larger and relatively unknown problem and it paved the way for how the TravelSafe integration would evolve over time.
The air travel landscape is changing constantly, at breakneck speed, but the last few months have taught us how to deal with uncertainty and made us a lot more empathetic. We continue to learn more about air travel in the post COVID world, identity opportunities to help travellers and build upon what we started. A deeper, inherently more useful TravelSafe integration into our book flow is how this can potentially evolve.