Globetrot free on Finnair and yet get to comment, critise

September 13th, 2011 - 3:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Facebook Helsinki, Sep 13 (IANS) It is, perhaps, the best job a globetrotter will aspire for: Go around the world with all expenses paid and in return just state how quality the of air travel and facilities at airports can be improved. This offer extends to Indians, too!

Nordic carrier Finnair and the authorities at Helsinki airport have once again launched their quality-hunter programme, where seven independent advisors will travel across the US, Europe and Asia to give frank opinions on improving service quality.

“As a part of renewing our entire service identity, we want to go even further to chart the black spots of travel and finding creative solutions to resolve them,” said Jarkko Konttinen, vice president of Finnair.

“We expect this initiative to result in more convenient travelling concepts and also to support Finnair’s constant aim of offering passengers peace of mind while they travel,” Konttinen told IANS during a visit to their facilities here.

This is the second year in succession this initiative has been announced by the company.

The chosen seven quality hunters will travel across Europe, Asia and the US to observe and provice inputs under seven different parameters an air passenger looks forward to, covering in-flight comfort, airports and the destinations offered by Finnair.

These advisers will then have to each publish a blog on and describe their various activities, observations and solutions — in what aviation experts say is rather unique invitation to self-criticism and improvement.

“Visitors to the site will be encouraged to set tasks for the quality hunters. They can make comments, share opinions,” said Konttinen, adding even the website visitors can participate and win intercontinental Finnair flights via Helsinki.

“We want offer passengers something more than just a transfer. It is in our interests to hear from them how to make their time at the airport enjoyable,” added Johanna Metsälä, customer experience manager at the Helsinki airport.

Earlier, the airline had said that its blog, started in 2009, has over half-a million viewer-readers, and its Facebook page that opened in the spring of 2010 has more than 23,000 friends.

Last year, Denmark’s Christina Lund Sorensen won the inaugural quality hunter title. The previous edition also saw the participation by a British-Indian teacher-journalist — Warren Singh-Bartlett — who resides in Beirut.

More than 5,200 applicants from across the world including 125 from India had responded to become the “quality hunter” for Finnair in 2010 and the carrier hopes the response to this year’s offer will be mani-fold higher.

(Rohit Vaid can be reached at and

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