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My User Experience – KLM & Schiphol

July 9, 2015

This summer I am spending far away from Berlin. I wanted to be in a new environment for a while to get some new impulses. I chose Montreal and thought this city might be an interesting place to live at and do some outdoor trips from. So, one week ago the journey began and I stepped on the plane to explore some new territories.

I flew with KLM and had an intermediate stop in Amsterdam. Some of my experiences about KLM and the Schiphol airport I would like to share here with you.

KLM Online check-in

I checked in for my flight at home on my laptop. The whole process was easy and straightforward. I must confess that I am a big fan of Dutch design in general. The check-in process on the KLM website just confirmed my expectations of clear design and an easy to understand user flow. Well done!

Also, after I finished my check-in, there was no boring confirmation screen but a nice overview of some useful information in preparation of my flight. I like it when a well designed process not only fulfills your needs, but also gives you a little extra or a reason to smile.

screenshot_klm

Schiphol Self-Service Transfer

After arriving at Schiphol, I saw all over the airport so called Self-Service Transfer stations. I already had all my information for my connecting flight and also used the KLM app but wanted to check out the user experience at these information points.

self_service_01

They are very easy to handle. You identify yourself with a scan of your passport or your boarding pass. Then you receive all information about your flight and can even print out a new boarding pass.
self_service_03self_service_02

Schiphol Passport Control

Another process that seems to evolve more into the self-service direction is the passport control. I wasn’t sure whether it is allowed to take pictures of this area so I did it very quick with the result that the pictures do not have the best quality.

passport_control_01

You have to step on a marked position and scan your passport. Than you have to look in a monitor (the lit up frames in the picture above) and someone in a counter behind that section checks your scanned data and your face. After a positive signal you can step through and walk on.

passport_2

passport_3

passport_04

I am not sure how effective this process is, because at the boarding counter several people had to show their passport again. But this might also have had other reasons.

Conclusion

All in all, flying with KLM was a nice and interesting experience. I also really liked how the blue KLM color accompanied me throughout the whole journey from the online check-in, during my stay at Schiphol airport until the final step out of the airplane in Montreal.

I see a trend towards more and more self-service touchpoints at airports which help making necessary processes more efficient and let passengers access their information exactly when and where they need them.

Further links/readings

Something I would have loved to see and use is this awesome bike-powered phone charging station! I read an article about this after my flight and I am not sure whether they still exist, but the idea is just brilliant.

 

A while ago I also saw a very impressive project on the website of the design agency Edenspiekermann. It is the concept for an app that provides you seamlessly with all necessary information while traveling between European airports. Unfortunately it seems that this project has not been implemented so far, but if it works as planned, it will make air travel so much smoother. Read more about it here or watch the video:

 

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