An initiative by

An initiative by

01 Apr 2014
Quality Hunters On the hunt for better travel! Looking for the best practical ideas to make air travel smoother for you, me and everybody else.

How Quality Hunters proved the power of open innovation

Quality Hunters is a long-running initiative that first saw daylight back in 2010. Its first incarnation, Rethink Quality, was launched to raise discussion on quality in air travel. Out of a whopping 5,200 applications, four quality-conscious travellers were hired to travel the world while blogging about experiences. While Rethink quality was enthusiastically received and gave us valuable insight on different perceptions of quality, we felt that there was potential for more.

In 2011, in an effort to rethink the entire service chain at Finnair and Helsinki Airport, Quality Hunters started off in its second season. Seven quality hunters were hired to explore the world and write about their travel experiences. Quality Hunters, Season 2 came to be a defining moment in the initiative’s history. It gained amazing momentum in social media. The response it got on Twitter was astoundingly positive and the role of social media only continued to increase throughout the initiative.

During Season 2, the online community of quality hunters grew to be so active and valuable, that we decided to reward our twittering friends by hiring the most active community member to be the eight quality hunter. In the end, Quality Hunters, Season 2 was successful in a number of ways. Not only did the discussions go on to create great ideas (go check out the Book Swap at Helsinki Airport, for instance), it created a fantastically active online community of travel enthusiasts that is still with us today.

We certainly had something unique in our hands. The discussions on quality and air travel continued online even after our hunters had returned home after the second season of Quality Hunters. Eventually, we began to have even more ambitious plans for both the initiative and the community. We wanted to integrate Quality Hunters into the service development processes of Finnair and Helsinki Airport.

Quality Hunters 2013 was launched a year ago as an open innovation process, where we broke down the passengers’ journey into four stages and invited our online friends to innovate solutions to make it better. Different themes were introduced in online discussions that explored the travel experience from making a booking at home to catching a taxi to your destination from the airport. At this point, our Twitter community was reaching 30,000,000 travel enthusiasts.

Over the course of Quality Hunters 2013, we have invited 33 community members to join us and top product development experts from Finnair and Helsinki Airport in exclusive workshops in Helsinki. These workshops have produced 144 well-documented ideas that have all been reviewed by experts for their development potential.

Now we are moving into the fifth stage of our journey with Quality Hunters 2013. We are going through a heap of high-quality ideas and choosing the ones to go on for further development. It is an exciting task and one where we are sure to involve our fantastic community of quality hunters.

From four travellers blogging about quality to a global network reaching millions it has been an amazing journey for Quality Hunters. We continue to be impressed and inspired by our hunters and cannot wait to see the results our latest shared effort will bring to the world of air travel.

4 comments
  • Susanne Metzger
    03 Apr 2014 at 10:25 am

    It’s really amazing to learn about the history of the Quality Hunters and the growth of it. As I have participated since 2011 I’m really looking forward to hear about the outcome of the last 144 ideas we came up with. I’m sure that if will further enhance the quality of Finnair and Helsinki Airport.

  • 04 Apr 2014 at 5:41 am

    Ooooh! This is very exciting to read! I can’t wait to see what’s in store. And I’m looking forward to more discussions that will inspire new ideas to help innovate travel.

  • Katharine Yeung
    16 Apr 2014 at 11:40 am

    It is definitely a very special and unique journey. So proud of what Finnair, Helsinki airport and the community together have come up with so far. Looking forward to greater things to come along!

  • 09 May 2014 at 1:16 pm

    I think the best part is that the growth felt so organic, exactly how a community should be.

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