Multi-channel Ecommerce campaign guidance for a squadron of flying WWII era warplanes.

The award-winning website we built for the Arizona Commemorative Air Force Museum has been hailed as a “game-changer” for their organization, helping elevate them to a nationally recognized historic destination.

But the part of the site that has had the most impact on the organization’s reach is the custom flight booking tool. With it, the flight coordination team can manage ticket sales for hundreds of flights across four different decommissioned World War II era planes. In fact, the improvements that we’ve implemented to these tools have increased museum revenues by over 300%, allowing them to make capital improvements and service the planes in a way that had long been only a dream.

Backend booking management

This system allows a team of one full-time employee and five volunteers to manage every aspect of advertising flights, accepting payment and completing refunds, and managing passengers across hundreds of flights, all within the same content management system that powers the rest of their website. Up until this system was implemented, the team relied on an outdated shared spreadsheet to coordinate flights, which often left the volunteer pilots who fly the historic planes uninformed about when they would be in the air.

The new system was carefully designed from the perspective of both the ticket purchaser and flight manager, to ensure a seamless experience that feels more like booking a flight on a modern airline than a ride in a 70-year-old warbird. We designed the system, watched unmoderated user tests of it in action, and optimized the experience to make sure customers were finding the info they needed.

User facing flight selector

When the planes aren’t on their summer tour, flights out of the “Airbase” only occur four days a week. The flight rhythm isn’t clear when it’s explained, and the previous way to pick a preferred flight was from a drop-down list of dates. Not only is this interface nonstandard, but it also left customers scratching their heads when exactly the proposed dates fell, and if they were for the plane they wanted to fly on. To manage this concern, we designed a new set of flight selection tools in a calendar view, filtered by what planes are available to fly on any given day. The improvements saw significant improvement in task completion and conversion rate.

International Summer Tour

Summertime is the off-season for tourism in Arizona, and the AZCAF take off around North America in a flying tour. When the tour is on, our flight system includes an interactive map including multiple tour stops and a unique tour plan for three planes. Each stop has it’s own locally-optimized landing pages amplified by paid and social media advertising, and integrated into the booking engine so customers can buy tickets online, or in-person through the same secure gateway.

We optimized these local pages with location-specific information, photography, plane details, and flight scheduler. We watched several hundred unmoderated remote users test the site and gleaned new insight about customer behavior. For example, we learned that it wasn’t clear to users how to select their seating on the flight for larger groups, so we improved the visibility of a tool to book multiple individuals onto the same flight in a single step, simplifying the task for our customers.