Client – Deutsche Lufthansa AG

Markets – Germany (the app is available internationally)

Timing – March 2015 – ongoing

Agencies/Vendors – SapientNitro

Keywords – apple watch app, wearable, flight monitor, personalization, contextual data

Lufthansa developed an Apple Watch App that assists passengers throughout the different stages of their journey, launched on the same day as the Apple Watch.

BACKGROUND

Lufthansa’s customers are huge Apple product fans, with almost 80% of the mobile phone activity (both apps and mobile portal) on the Lufthansa network coming from Apple devices. With the huge increase in the adoption of wearables in the last several years, and the news that Apple was going to launch an Apple Watch, Lufthansa, renowned in Europe for their technological innovation, wanted to get on board.

THE IDEA

Lufthansa’s idea was to create a first-to-market app to be launched in tandem with the Apple Watch that would create the best practice for the airline industry, going well beyond a simple boarding pass, making their app the standard for travel in the long term. The key insight behind the app was recognizing that during the hectic tasks of traveling, the watch can be a hands-free way to access key travel information with a glance at the wrist. Most watch apps today simply allow passengers to scan bar codes as an alternative to a mobile boarding pass. Lufthansa Apple Watch App assists passengers throughout the different stages of their journey. Whether before travelling, at the airport, in-flight or at the destination, the app always displays up-to-date information based on the current state of the flight. No other airline provides this kind of integrated, personalized, contextual computed and user-friendly digital experience for travellers.

THE TECHNOLOGY

Lufthansa’s App has been designed to work together with a new feature of the mobile platform app called the “Travel Companion” — an ultra-personal, integrated toolset for Lufthansa customers, which conveniently displays all relevant travel data at one single dashboard view. The app constantly communicates with the flight monitor to provide highly contextual data to the passenger. As information about changes or updates to the itinerary is relayed to the flight monitor, the watch is informed in real-time and visual cues and other information are send to the passenger’s wrist.

THE PROCESS

Building on Lufthansa’s long history of innovations (First SMS-Check-In, first mobile boarding pass, first Apple Passbook integration, Push- and InApp-Notification etc.), SapientNitro’s launch of the Lufthansa Apple Watch App marks another milestone on using innovative technology platforms to fulfill Lufthansa’s brand promise of “Nonstop You.” Because the Apple Watch was not released to the market while they were building the app, it was extremely challenging to develop a new design language in line with brand guidelines for the device.

THE RESULTS

The new Lufthansa iOS / Apple Watch app with the “Mobile Travel Companion” was downloaded more than 2 million times in the first weekend it was available (an increase of 655% compared to the average daily download rate). The app won two Golds at the W3 Awards 2015 in the categories “mobile Apps/Sites Travel” and “Mobile Features – Best Visual Design – Aesthetic“ and was recognized as “Most Effective Smartwatch App” at the Effective Marketing Awards. It was also one of the few apps to launch in tandem with the Apple Watch in Germany and was selected and featured in the launch communication and PR for the Apple Watch Launch.