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KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Builds "Hologram Bar" for Customers to Chat in 3-D

Passengers can exchange travel tips with someone traveling to their destination

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Kindra Cooper

KLM customer intimacy

The value proposition for ‘Take-Off Tips,’ a so-called “hologram bar” by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, sounds novel yet obvious: “While you’re waiting to fly to another country, someone is about to fly to yours. What if you could sit face to face and exchange travel tips?”

In its latest bid to become “the leading airline in customer intimacy,” KLM has installed kiosks at airports in the Netherlands, Norway and Brazil, where travelers can step into the booth and connect virtually with a fellow passenger at their destination airport who is scheduled to travel to their country. The hologram bar is equipped with a 3-D facial scanner and a hologram beamer that projects the image onto a transparent hologram fabric so travelers can see each other in 3-D.

According to the campaign page on the KLM website, you can glean cultural insights from locals, like: “When you greet someone in Holland, you kiss three times,” or “Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art form in which they fight with their feet.”

“In our industry, it is such a joy to be able to bring people together time and time again. We rejoice this in our latest campaign themes and ‘Take-Off Tips’ is no exception,” said Natascha van Roode, head of marketing communications at KLM. “We continuously strive to find means to enable contact between customers, including using new technology to create memorable experiences.”

KLM filmed conversations of travelers headed in opposite directions and created a short film of the warmest moments, on which AdAge writer Alexandra Jardine remarked: “...maybe it’s just us, but there seems to be a suggestion that it could also act as a dating service.” 

The campaign is being launched in the US, UK, Brazil, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.

Conceived by creative agency DDB Unlimited together with production partner Circus Family, an audiovisual design studio, the technology took three months to develop, test and perfect.

The hologram bar is part of a broader CX differentiation strategy; currently, the Dutch airline is investing heavily in a connected CRM system to ensure all frontline staff have an accurate real-time view of their customers. This means that if you request a vegetarian meal on a multi-city flight and the airline makes a booking mistake resulting in the meal not being available, the cabin crew can rectify the issue in real time.

“What we will be able to do soon is that the cabin crew will put a message on their device asking the ground staff to pick you up at the gate, take you to the airline lounge and offer you a vegetarian meal,” Michel Pozas Lucic, Air France-KLM’s VP of customer innovation and care told Future Travel Experience. “A message, probably an automated message, will also be sent to adjust your booking details so that it doesn’t happen on connecting flights and on the return flight.”