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THE CHALLENGE:

Business passengers need a good night’s sleep. That simple truth is what led British Airways (BA) to develop the industry’s first flat bed.

Global carrier British Airways needed an answer to their question, “How do we differentiate BA’s premium offerings?” Unfortunately the first consulting company BA hired, a firm that relied on traditional methodology, was unable to provide a satisfactory answer. British Airways, long a company known for its bold innovation, then turned to Synecticsworld.

THE PROCESS

The petrol-rich country of Dubai was the backdrop for a major event organized by Synecticsworld for BA, which brought together a range of business and first-class customers. The meeting revealed that the customer’s desires included ‘re-energization’, ‘comfort’, and ‘well-being’. But one of the key things BA’s customers wanted when on long-haul flights was the ability to have a good night’s sleep.

BA listened, but was concerned that more comfortable seats would mean significantly fewer seats and fewer seats would impact both costs and revenue. It was Synecticsworld’s community of creative catalysts working with British Airway’s most valuable resource – their own staff – who provided the answer to balancing customers’ desires and continued profitability and a solution that was… sardine cans!

THE RESULTS:

Using the small fish’s afterlife sleeping arrangement for inspiration, British Airway’s research and development experts were able to design a seat configuration that resulted in no loss of seating capacity. That design solution, arrived at with the help of the Synecticsworld-led insight session, changed the face of business travel and launched an in-flight improvement revolution.

Although British Airway’s innovative seating configuration was soon copied by Pacific Airlines, Virgin, Singapore and a host of other carriers, it was their unique new armchair style seat, which transforms into a 6-foot, fully flat bed, that ensured British Airway’s continued leadership and success in providing their passengers with the level of comfort they have come to expect from the UK’s national airline. British Airways continued to build on that Synecticsworld-led success story by recently introducing sophisticated entertainment options, personal lockers, 10-inch flat screens and personal privacy to their customers.

Flying a fleet of 147 planes to 147 destinations, British Airways remains an industry leader in passenger comfort.

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