HappyOrNot terminal

Image via HappyOrNot

HappyOrNot’s kiosk allow travelers to provide real-time feedback on their experience at various touchpoints at more than 250 airports.

Although crowded airport restrooms are probably the last place one expects to find state-of-the-art feedback kiosks with smiley face buttons on them, that’s just one of the many unusual places HappyOrNot’s Smiley Terminals are popping up these days.

The brainchild of CEO and co-founder Heikki Väänänen, the initial idea behind HappyOrNot was born out of Väänänen‘s desire to leave meaningful, real-time feedback to video game developers while gaming as a teen. The concept of collecting immediate feedback from users at the point of interaction and, perhaps most importantly, sharing that information with decision-makers in real time, is still at the heart of everything HappyOrNot does today.

Six fun facts based on HappyOrNot data from around the globe:

11:00PM is the unhappiest travel time
7:00AM is consistently the happiest time to travel
November is the happiest month for air travelers
Flyers in July are unhappiest, followed by those flying in August
Check-in and baggage claim leave travelers the most highly agitated
Wednesday is the most pleasant travel day

Currently in use at more than 250 airports, with close to 300 million insights collected to date, HappyOrNot kiosks are most commonly found at check-in counters, in-terminal retail outlets, food and beverage areas, immigration check points, airport lounges, washrooms and baggage claim.

Kirsti Laasio, HappyOrNot’s chief customer experience officer.

Kirsti Laasio, HappyOrNot’s chief customer experience officer. Image via HappyOrNote

“Airports today are interested in an overview of the travelers’s end-to-end journey,” says Kirsti Laasio, HappyOrNot’s chief customer experience officer. “By collecting feedback throughout all points of experience, real-time data and insights help the airports to optimize and improve their operations along that journey.”

Aside from measuring satisfaction across all key touchpoints, Laasio says HappyOrNot’s offerings, which include push button Smiley Terminal and tablet-based Smiley Touch solutions, also allow airport management the opportunity to compare different areas over time to better understand how travelers feel throughout their airport experience.

“The travel journey starts and ends at airports so there’s a lot of emotion and feelings attached to that. Therefore airport operators want to ensure that it’s a seamless experience from the very first touch-point onwards,” adds Laasio. “Not only does real-time feedback allow for fast-actioning on location, but it also shows travelers that their voice matters, which strengthens their trust in your brand.”

“Real-time data and insights help the airports to optimize and improve their operations along that journey.” – Kirsti Laasio, HappyOrNot

Laasio says that Smiley Terminals are also used behind the scenes to offer airport employees the opportunity to regularly (and anonymously) weigh-in on their work experience as well. Aside from offering airport operators real-time, long-term trend insights that serve as a sort of early-warning system about ongoing issues, the data has also helped many airports change their operation from one that is reactive to one that is proactive at the touch of a button.


Image via HappyOrNot

“A lot of companies carry out yearly employee satisfaction surveys, which offer a picture of a specific moment, but you don’t get that everyday pulse that our terminals can offer the airports,” says Laasio. “So, they might seem simple, the Smileys, but the information they gather is really revelatory.