19 December 2014

ANA app to help passengers relax, take minds off takeoff

Source: App Store.

Japan’s largest airline, All Nippon Airways (ANA), has created an app for the most stressful part of the flight journey. Its survey of US airline passengers found that the most uptight of flyers particularly hate takeoff  (68%), leading to the development of ANA Takeoff Mode, a mobile app designed to help passengers relax and take their minds off the takeoff portion of the flight. 

The app takes the form of a simple puzzle with relaxing music playing in the background. What really makes the app truly unique is that it measures** the amplitude and frequency response of the ambient noise inside the aircraft cabin. When the aircraft’s engines are at full throttle during takeoff, the audio profile triggers an animation and message for the user. 

In the ANA survey, puzzle games ranked second only to listening to music when it came to ways that passengers relaxed while flying (61% of people relax by listening to music; 56% by playing puzzle games). Reading, watching TV and falling asleep came in not far behind (54%, 48% and 46% respectively).

ANA Takeoff Mode is one of the first smartphones apps to take advantage of the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)’s announcement on October 31, 2013 that airlines can safely expand passenger use of portable electronic devices (PEDs) during all phases of flight.

“It is important to ANA that we pay attention to every single detail to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable flight for all our passengers. We’ve put in much thought and consideration into each stage of the passenger journey, from our flagship lounges in Tokyo to our award-winning in-flight dining programmes, The Connoisseurs," said Mitsuo Tomita, General Manager of ANA’s Singapore office and Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Asia at ANA. 

“Our latest offering, the ANA Takeoff Mode is another example of how we are always trying to improve the customer’s flying experience. We hope that it will help to ease and relax flyers, allowing them to enjoy their flight with ANA from the very beginning.”

Additional findings from the ANA survey:

· Women are about twice as likely to be concerned about flying with 63% of women and 37% of men reporting that they worry about flying.

· Older people (45 years old or more) are much calmer about flying than younger people (18 to 44 years). Of the always-apprehensive group 66% are under 45. On the other hand, 47% of the calm group are under 45.

· Nervous flyers are most concerned about takeoff (68%), whereas people who get stressed about flying less frequently find the thought of turbulence more anxiety-inducing (60%).

· Eight in 10 respondents surveyed play puzzle games. Nearly all (97%) find such games to be relaxing.

· Nearly half (46%) of respondents say they find flying during peak festive periods more stressful than other times of the year. Top reasons for this extra stress are crowded airports (69%) and delayed flights (63%).

The free app can be downloaded at the App store here. Watch the associated video here.

*ANA commissioned an online survey of 1,000 air travellers from across the US that was conducted from October 29 to November 2, 2014.

**The surrounding environment may affect how the app detects takeoff.