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Simplifying the inflight Wi-Fi experience

Mar 30, 2020
2 MIN. READ
ICF helps Seamless Air Alliance develop the world’s first in-flight connectivity standard

What if the onboard internet just…worked, effortlessly?

Today, connecting to inflight Wi-Fi is a hassle. Airlines often don’t meet passengers’ expectation for connectivity in the skies, a driving factor in airline preference and loyalty. All of that is about to change.

Seamless Air Alliance—a consortium of airlines, manufacturers, and satellite carriers—will make this happen thanks, in large part, to ICF’s Spark Labs. Using our strategic design and prototyping services, they’ll create a the first ever standard for inflight connectivity, paving the way for a simplified, reliable inflight internet experience for airlines and their customers.

Spring to action

The Spark Labs process is both fast and thorough. Rooted in design thinking, it combines months of work into a few highly productive days, so clients can innovate and drive cultural change at record speed!

It’s effective anytime stakeholders need to rally around a common vision.

How does it work?

For Seamless Air Alliance, ICF’s Aviation team brought in Spark Labs facilitators to run a series of customized two-day Design Sprint workshops. These collaborative sessions brought together participants from airlines, aerospace manufacturers, and phone companies to build out the world’s only Modular Platform Architecture for inflight connectivity.

Over the course of three intense workshops, the team leveraged exercises from the Spark Labs toolkit to co-create technical documentation and develop consensus around the content by:

  • Mapping out a strategy: What is standing in the way between a customer and a seamless inflight connectivity?
  • Storyboarding it: What it will look like— simplified the communication of complex concepts by developing high-impact graphics.
  • Drafting standards: What airlines, aerospace manufacturers, and phone companies need to do to make this all work.

In the end, Seamless Air Alliance left with Seamless Release 1.0. It includes a comprehensive set of standards that manufacturers can choose to follow—and airlines can install (similar to the ENERGY STAR ® program, which ICF helps implement) to ensure customers enjoy seamless inflight connectivity.

"The design sprints made all the difference in the world.”

— Jack Mandala, CEO of Seamless Air Alliance

“The design sprints made all the difference in the world,” says Jack Mandala, CEO of Seamless Air Alliance. “Face to face, heads down, no excuses, no distractions, everyone in the room involved and communicating and knowing what the scope and deliverables were.”

And in five short months, a new inflight experience is on the horizon.

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