Getaway Gaming

Air travel-Based games reward players

Rather than simply granting passengers upgrades based on frequent flyer status, airlines and airports are getting into the (adver)game. Indeed, they are creating digital challenges that not only entertain idle passengers but also reward top players with free flights and better seats. Moreover, these activities stand to entice potential travelers, as they accurately evoke the pleasures of flying, from staring out the window to capturing vacation photos.

021115-1Clouds Slicer: Air France’s take on Fruit Ninja, Cloud Slicer has passengers trying to slash the most clouds floating across the screen. Launched at two airports in Singapore and Japan, travelers waiting for their flights were able to compete in the upgrade challenge. The players who racked up the most points were given seats in new business class cabins rather than the economy tickets they had booked. Following the success of the game, the airline extended the contest to five countries—Singapore, Japan, China, Hong Kong, and Indonesia. Every month, the top scorers in each country are granted an upgrade on their next flight to Paris.

021115-2Cloudgazer: This past November, Delta’s Cloudgazer challenged players to rack up points by navigating around a digital sky while spotting clouds, earning bonus points for those that looked like real-life objects, such as a bunny. If the player was inactive for more than 30 seconds, the game ended automatically. Positioned as a contest to find the most bored person in the world, the game was paired with the airline’s campaign to highlight its extensive entertainment options to “#unbored” travelers. The player who earned the most points over the length of the contest won a round-trip flight to the destination of their choice.

021115-3Destination Unknown: To highlight the destinations it serves, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport leverages travelers’ own Instagram photos to create Destination Unknown. Pulling pictures from each locale tagged with keywords such as #sights, #national, and #activities, this game challenges players to identify where the photos were taken. During four-minute sessions, players earn 1,000 points for each city they name correctly, but they can also sacrifice points for hints such as the local time. When the game launched in mid-2014, a randomly selected top player earned tickets to a destination of their choice. The addictive game remains active for players who want to challenge themselves while exploring exotic destinations.