Client-centric design for Internet OnAir – Michel Dulery, DigitasLBi

...any innovation must start from a consumer issue, it must build on real observation and experimentation, and it must include space for both process failure and resolution.

Michel Dulery, Client Service Director, DigitasLBi

An aircraft was once the only space in the world where we’re still not connected, so our brief from SITAONAIR was to create the best-in-class experience for passengers adjusting to the new reality of a connected air journey.

Business awareness and usage was our primary target – we know that free access to Wi-Fi is now a key driver. But we also wanted to deliver a more general awareness, since many passengers are still unsure how in-flight mobile works and are unaware of the added value it can provide.

And we needed to be able to respond to high user expectations through services that are as efficient in the air as on the ground.

Three typologies

To address these elements, we identified three customer typologies – Marc, Eva and Yan – and then worked through who they are, what they do, how they travel, what their expectations are and how a solution can be developed to suit those expectations. We described in detail their customer journeys.

So Marc is CEO EMEA of a big corporation living in Paris. He’s a frequent traveler, including long haul, and probably flies business class. During the flight he’ll want to review documents and have exchanges with other senior execs. Any internet service has to be enterprise-level, so he can move almost seamlessly from office to plane to office.

Eva is an industrial designer from Berlin. She travels several times a year around the world, discovering new people and cultures. On long-haul, she’ll be updating her work and personal blogs, sharing photos and videos with colleagues and friends, and preparing for her work on arrival or return.

Both Marc and Eva fit the typology of the frequent flyer.

Yan lives with his family in London, working as editor-in-chief for a well-known lifestyle magazine. He’s more likely to be travelling economy with his family.

Since they each have a tablet or smartphone, they’ll want Wi-Fi connections, both to prepare for the trip and relax during the flight, and to have the option of chatting with friends back home.

Business model

By ranking those typologies against criteria including expectations, usage, requirements, accessibility and budget, we can prepare a business model that can accommodate the various typologies.

And so we have today’s Internet OnAir solution, offering a complete range of services to satisfy multiple users, with free, freemium or paid access according to passenger status and accessible in five easy steps.


We all know that our future is going to be digital and we are constantly thinking ahead, but always according to three principles: any innovation must start from a consumer issue, it must build on real observation and experimentation, and it must include space for both process failure and resolution.

We must never be afraid to fail, because that’s how we find the answer.

See also

Enjoy the in-flight experience

How can technology make the onboard experience enjoyable for passengers and personalized to their wants and needs?

Read the article
IATA predicts a 6.7% growth in passenger traffic this year. At the same time, people are traveling more frequently and across more time zones. How can we make that experience better, providing relevant and timely information and insights back to the passenger?
Tim Grosser, Head of Digital Transformation, IATA
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