Creative Innovations - Technology
1st Place

SFO Flight Deck Interactive Experience

San Francisco International Airport’s Flight Deck is a one-of-a-kind customized interactive digital experience that encourages guests to explore and engage with content about SFO, its history, the SFO Museum program, and the City and County of San Francisco. Located at the entrance of the newly renovated Terminal 3E, the look, feel and content of the Flight Deck are designed to appeal to travelers of all ages and types. The Flight Deck is composed of three digital infotainment experiences:


  • An approximately 16’ wide and 8’ tall glass “attract” screen that displays visual representations of current and past (previous 24-hour period) flight paths to and from SFO, with facts about the Airport intermittently interspersed. The attract screen design also includes free-floating “particles” that, through Kinect technology, shift as guests approach the screen, promoting further interaction with the system. Situated below the projection screen, six 48” touchscreens are the heart of the digital experience. Using the touchscreens, travelers can access the following content categories:
    • Explore SFO – Shops, restaurants, services and things to do at the airport, and SFO’s Twitter feed.
    • Making History – Timeline and images of historical events at SFO
    • SFO Museum – Images and descriptions of SFO exhibits and public art, and the SFO Museum Twitter feed
    • Discover San Francisco – Information about the city’s neighborhoods and landmarks
    • A gaming element is also included in the content: “achievement” tokens are hidden throughout the four content categories. When guests collect a token in each category, a congratulatory message displays across the attract screen.
    • Flight Deck also includes a mobile element that helps the system extend beyond the terminal. Within the content, travelers can create a custom itinerary by selecting their favorite SFO and San Francisco destinations, and then scan a QR code to save the itinerary to their smartphone or tablet. The itineraries are reminders of the traveler’s experience and provide a takeaway of their exploration.
Project Goals: 

The goals of Flight Deck are to captivate users through a multi-screen experience, promote customer engagement, and showcase the breadth of services at SFO. Additionally, the experience seeks to extend the SFO experience beyond the physical boundaries of the Airport through a mobile takeaway component.


The Flight Deck was conceived and developed by the digital agency, Razorfish. Architecture firm Gensler worked with Razorfish to develop the casework and physical area for the system. Proof Integrated Communications, a marketing communications agency, provided technical assistance to enable the Flight Deck to pull information from the content management system. SFO staff members from Communications & Marketing and Design & Construction provided direction, including serving as the client-side managers for the project.


Analytics were integrated into the software to measure engagement and behavior.
Since it launched on January 25, 2014, Flight Deck has had:
• 181,992 pageviews
• 7,888 visits
• 1,802 digital itineraries created
• 605 achievement tokens collected


Below are the project costs for the Flight Deck:
• Programming and Development - $615,00
• Architecture and Design Support - $20,000
• Glass Procurement and Install - $10,000
• Millwork Manufacturing and Install- $285,000
• Hardware Procurement, Support, & Electrical Work - $300,000
These costs represent approximately 1% of the Boarding Area E Renovation Projects $138 million.