Can something as simple as a hanger change the inflight passenger experience? KLM aims to find out as it deploys a new model, designed and build by Kaelis, in the closets of its World Business Class cabins.
Key to the new hangers is a patented design that puts two wheels under the hook. Crewmembers spin the pair to identify the seat number of the passenger before stowing the coat in the on-board closet. When it comes time to return the items the odds of a missing tag or note are drastically reduced.
Historically those seat number details have been scribbled on napkins or tags placed on the hanger. Some boarding passes even used to include a slit allowing it to be passed over the hook. That eased the process somewhat but required crew to also collect the pass, something passengers would not always have handy. And in the era of mobile boarding passes that option is not longer viable.
The new hangers are made from ABS plastic for strength and durability. The KLM version was delivered in the signature white and blue colors for the carrier and can be customized for any airline branding.
This is one of many things during a flight that passengers should never think about. It just happens and it works. But if the innovation can ease crew stress or reduce time focused on a behind-the-scenes effort that should lead to a better passenger-facing experience. At least that’s the goal.
The hangers are not the only interesting plastic designs Kaelis developed recently. The company also showed off a meal tray option that includes a cutout to function as a PED holder. As many airlines shift to streaming IFE and BYOD options the ability to keep watching while eating is a significant challenge. Having a safe place on the tray to secure the phone is an interesting potential solution for that problem.