Air Pet is an inspirational project with the goal to imagine how would the ideal airline be, with a focus on traveling with pets.

SKILLS/TOOLS
User Research
(Generative and Evaluative Research); UX; UI (Sketch); Prototyping (Invision)
MY TEAM
Saloni Dandavate, Timo Grossman, Wenqiao Deng, and myself, with the guidance of Chris Risdon.

Research + Challenge

 

Traveling with pets can be a very stressful situation, for both pets and owners. Based on interviews and a survey about traveling with pets, we highlighted three main pain points for users, and formulated challenge statements for each of them (in the form of “how might we” questions):

I was super worried about him being well during the flight,
I couldn’t relax
until meeting with
him again.

Robert, talking about her
Golden Retriever, Bob

Air travels are stressful situations
by themselves. Having a pet makes
it even worse. Usually, having pets makes experiences more fun
for their owners, but not when
traveling by plane.

How might we comfort travelers by reassuring them about their pets’ well being during the air travel experience?

There is an absurd amount of bureaucracy involved and totally unclear procedures and nonmatching information.

Martha, owner of Thor,
a mid-sized dog

It is really difficult to find all the information and get prepared for flying with pets. There are a lot of different rules and requirements that are not clear for passengers.

How might we make information clear and easily available so travelers can prepare themselves and their pets for the trip?

Bianca, talking about
her Malteser, Theo

How might we create a service where pets are treated as valuable family members, by bringing the fun of being with them to the air travel experience?

My dog is my child. I take him with me to everything I do.

Pet owners treat their pets as family members and wish the airlines would do the same.

To better understand the current scenario, we developed two Journey Maps, one for the Cabin experience, and the second for situations when the pet is flying in the cargo compartment.

 
 

Concept

We brainstormed ideas to answer each one of the three ‘how might we’ statements. We were not too concerned about the feasibility of the concepts, the goal was to envision how the ideal pet airline would be, with (almost) no constraints. Here are the main features of this project:

Redesign of the aircraft space

 

In this ideal scenario, no pet would flight in the cargo compartment. There would be two options for flying with your dog inside the cabin:

The Family Cabin Space would be a more premium option, where pets and humans can stay together during the whole flight;​

The Pet Zone would be an area at the back of the aircraft, where each pet would have their kennel. Humans can visit them whenever is safe, and they can even get out of their kennels to play in the playground area.

AirPet App

 

The app is not only about booking flights, but also works as a personal concierge that would help each passenger have everything (including all the paperwork and vet appointments) ready for the flight.

Collar ID

 

It is basically the pet’s passport, with all information updated and easily verified. No need to show paperwork at the check-in, just scan the Collar ID, and the pet is good to go.

CONCEPT VIDEO

 

To better illustrate the proposed User Journey, highlighting every relevant part of the experience of flying AirPet, we developed a short video:

Next Steps

As an academic project, we purposely decided to create an inspirational service. There are aspects of it that are not exactly feasible or would be too expensive to implement. Our goal was to imagine how the ideal airline could be.

From this point, the next steps would be to understand what parts of this project could actually be developed by an airline interested in catering their business to pet owners.

Most of the app features could be developed and it actually addresses most of the pre-flight stress regarding understanding policies, laws, and filling all necessary paperwork;

The Collar ID is something that could really help speed up the check-in process;

Redesigning the aircraft would mean having less available seats, which would increase significantly the cost of operation. Keeping the aircraft and policies as they are today, one thing that could help address the stress related to the unknown conditions of pets flying in the cargo compartment would be to install cameras and give passengers access to their footage on their mobile devices (or on the built-in seat screens).