Meet Poppi, the airline that wants to fix everything awful about air travel
By Les Shu, Travel Editor @ Digital Trends
Airlines are constantly reinventing themselves, but new paint jobs, logos, and ever-more perks for the 1-percent up front don’t address the headaches of air travel. What if there was a startup airline, modeled after the likes of Uber and Airbnb that truly disrupts the status quo of flying? There is, and it’s called Poppi.
Before you try to book a ticket, you should know Poppi doesn’t exist. It’s a concept developed by one of the world’s top design agencies, Teague, and introduced at the recent Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) Expo in Portland, Oregon. The firm looked at the annoyances passengers face and other things that are backward about the industry, and created an airline concept that addresses the needs of today’s flyers, rather than following established practices. But Poppi is also a wake-up call for many airlines, particularly the legacy carriers.
“We set out to create a concept for a cohesive, belief-driven startup airline that would inspire existing airlines to anticipate future innovations and start replicating those innovations today,” says Devin Liddell, Teague’s Principal Brand Strategist. “To be blunt, there are big parts of the airline business model and airline practices that deserve reinvention.”
Compared to the taxi and hotel industries that Uber and Airbnb disrupted, the airline business isn’t as easy to break into, so many airlines, perhaps, haven’t felt the need to revolutionize their “conventional thinking” practices. Even customer favorites like JetBlue and Virgin America, while highly innovative, still follow industry standards. But Teague says existing airlines are facing more and more dissatisfied passengers with the way things are evolving, and it’s time to implement “disruptive innovations” into their operations – before a real startup truly turns the business upside-down.
“What if the taxi cab industry could’ve seen Uber coming?” Liddell says. “Would they have changed the way they do dispatch and payment? I think they would have.”
Technology will play a big role. In fact, the name Poppi, which was chosen because it doesn’t fit with existing naming constructs, Liddell says, has a tech reference.
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