App in the Air Meetup: New York City (June 27, 2019)

What do you get when you combine one of the coolest new event spaces in NYC, serious flight enthusiasts and a bunch of competitive NYers? The latest App in the Air event, of course. We hosted our NYC meet-up on June 27 at the TWA Lounge in downtown Manhattan (the next best thing without having to venture to the new hotel at JFK!) with more than 80 of our most frequent app users in the area. The latest in our ongoing series to get to know our users around the world, we met with lots of New Yorkers who shared, in their famously candid way, what we were getting right and what we could do better.

The TWA Lounge is retro cool

In true 1960s mod-style, guests were greeted by an air hostess at the traditional 1 TWA ticket counter, where they received a boarding pass with mileage count and special token; it’s meaning to be revealed a bit later in the evening. At least we didn’t ‘board’ guests by zone… Guests — made up of financial planners, engineers, creatives, lawyers and more — mingled throughout the diverse crowd checking out the space’s amazing view from the 86th floor of One World Trade, and the lounge’s artifacts — from old travel posters to a line-up of vintage TWA uniforms and of course, the iconic TWA split-flap analog display showing ‘flight arrivals.’

Some serious bragging rights for the top-flying users

By far the two most popular spots in the space: the bar, naturally; and the area around a massive screen scrolling through App in the Air users’ flight paths, total mileage and stats. We’re pretty sure the most commonly heard sentence of the entire event was — “So, how many hours did you fly this year?” Nothing like a little friendly competition.

Our CEO Bayram Annakov then unveiled new app features, including the booking functions that will allow travelers to purchase flights in the app based on time, points and past preferences — some users at the event were already beta testing this, much to the envy of everyone else in the room! Then we opened up the floor to questions, and that’s when things got really interesting, with insightful comments about the ownership of data and how the App in the Air team might be able to improve current functions, such as making flight alerts more in-sync with last-minute. We love getting real feedback from users, so this was definitely a highlight for us and gave us a lot to consider.

Bayram speaks about past user events around the world

We then divided everyone into teams based on the App in the Air badge they received when they arrived — Red Eye Flight, Paris, Sydney and more. We played a fast-paced aviation quiz to test true #AVgeek knowledge, like, “What was JFK Airport officially called when it first opened in 1948?” “What was the first jet to fly commercially?” “Who was the first-ever female commercial pilot in the US?” (Do you know the answers? No Googling!)

Some friendly competition

After a heated competition and lots of frenzied button-clicking, the grand prize winners were awarded a branded App in the Air backpack from the new App in the Air store. Second place took home a $100 gift card for the airline of their choice, a prize that made everyone else a bit jealous! And third place won App in the Air phone chargers, always useful and something we always seem to forget.

First place winners & their new backpacks

As guests left the event, they each received a special branded goodie bag. Gifts included a personalized t-shirt with the stats with user’s stats, branded eye mask, ‘remove before flight’ keychain, pin, travel adapter and thermos water bottle.

No matter what their preferred departure point — JFK, EWR or LGA, all area app users were welcome and in true NY fashion, represented the vibrant melting pot of the people and professions that make this city endlessly fascinating, and all with one shared passion: flight!

Thank you to all our NYC fliers for attending our event! Our next meet up will take place in London in September, so our top UK users can keep an eye out for an invite… Safe travels!

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