ARRIVAL DESTINATION: EMIRATES AVIATION EXPERIENCE LONDON
DATE & TIME: 5th SEPTEMBER, ZULU TIME
How do you excite an AV Geek on a September evening in Central London? Obviously by inviting them to fly an A380 superjumbo and experience a £4million aviation theme park while sipping champagne, courtesy of App in the Air!
The venue, Emirates Aviation Experience in Greenwich, offered the perfect space for 45 of App in the Air’s top users to mingle for the fourth highly-acclaimed meetup of the year — a chance to share the good, the bad and the everything on the app, with the App in the Air team on hand to listen and share.
A space described as a “fantastic feat of British engineering” by then-mayor and now current Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the venue excited the guests on arrival, ranging from app developers to lawyers, journalists and creatives — who got to see their name and boarding pass on the ‘check-in’ area screen.
The interactive venue also allowed users to play aviation-themed games, as well as explore a 3D hologram of the internal mechanisms of an aircraft, a high definition HD video-wall, and a full-size nosecone and flight deck of an A380.
One of the highlights for many of the users was seeing their profiles in all their HD glory, featuring their flight paths, total mileage and stats, many waiting patiently with their phones, ready to snap their moment of fame!
After arrivals, the event literally took off with small groups being given the opportunity to take to the air on the simulator flight deck, usually reserved for training pilots — an exclusive for App in the Air users. We call this an AV Geek dream. Standing outside the cockpit we were able to hear the excitement of the newbie pilots and their relief at not having “a mayday moment”!
Of course, this wouldn’t be an App in the Air event without some healthy competition! Pilots and co-pilots were in the running for first, second and third place, with some nice prizes to boot, including App in the Air branded backpacks, Tumi Split Toiletry Bag and $50 vouchers for an airline of choice.
Our CEO Bayram Annakov then took to the deck to unveil new app features, including the booking functions that will allow travelers to purchase flights and hotels in the app based on time, points and past preferences. Guests joined in on the conversation, taking the opportunity to delve into the booking process, why booking flights with the app differs from the likes of Expedia, how the App in the Air team might be able to improve current functions, such as making the importing of flights more sophisticated. Getting feedback from our users is so critical to our learnings and development so it was a big highlight of the evening and gave us a lot of food for thought… and functionality.
As the night drew to a close, after many conversations over newfound pilot ambitions, the prizes were given to those who had shown their wing worthiness, as well as additional spot prizes, well, just for the fun of it!
An App in the Air gathering wouldn’t be the same without a goodie bag to take home for each user. Gifts included a personalized t-shirt with the stats with user’s stats, branded eye mask, ‘remove before flight’ keychain, pin, travel adapter, thermos water bottle and a 10% off voucher for our branded shop, shop.aita.travel.
Amidst Brexit, pilot strikes and parliamentary chaos, it was great to welcome the positivity, passion and love of travel, and most importantly App in the Air, from some of Britain’s most frequent fliers. We hope to fly, fly away with you again sometime soon!
Our next Meetup location is set for Moscow, Russia. Ahead of the next meeting we would love to get feedback from our users on recommendations for cool #avgeek locations for future Meetups — comment below where you want us to go next! You can also read about our previous meetup in New York City, here.