The Flying App was an international startup founded in 2012. Flying used to be an amazing experience, and our mission was to bring some of the jet-set back by building the ultimate flight companion for all your air travel needs. In April 2014, we decided to close the app and go out of business. Read more below about what the Flying App was, how it looked, and what our goals were for the app.
Going out of Business
22. April 2014,
Unfortunately, The Flying App has run out of fuel and will need to make a final landing. For us, this startup-flight with Flying has been an amazing experience over the last 2 years. We had big dreams, worked hard and had a lot of fun in the process. We launched the app in May 2013 after months of intense work. Since then, we were able to attract a lot of positive attention from media, and thousands of users from all over the world signed up with Flying. Together we flew more than 383,802,114 miles, spending 980,638 hours on 303,825 flights to 1,833 airports around the globe! We knew from the beginning that a consumer application for the air travel market is a risky undertaking.
Many people believed that we could become “the one app” on your homescreen for everything related to air travel. Unfortunately, two promising Series-A investment did not happen which left us with the decision to close down. We decided that after 2 years of investing time, money & energy, we are at a point where we have to move on. Life is too short! Many many thanks to our friends, families, fans and co-pilots during our journey! Keep Flying!
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org if you want your list of flights be exported as CSV file. We will send it to you! Also drop us an email if you still have unused Flight Updates, we will find a way to compensate you for that.
We released our very last & most amazing update ever to the App Store, adding flights is not possible anymore, but please enjoy your infographics and stamps one last time, before we will turn off our Server on May 31 2014.
The Flying App
Our goal was for Flying to be the ultimate flight companion for all your air travel needs. From the moment you have booked your flight to the time you land, the app is a trusted partner. Flying brings together all the important elements of air travel to create something that feels right, works well and mostly importantly, is useful and indispensable to you.
To become the ultimate companion for air travel, we aimed at combining three elements: useful, insightful, and social.
The Useful side supplying real-time information about your flights, an airline independent boarding pass, and providing a marketplace for flight-related services at your fingertips. The Insightful side translating flight history and flight patterns into beautiful interactive data visualizations, providing spontaneity by earning stamps with fun facts as you fly. The Social side connecting with friends/colleagues about your travels, competing with others to see who has flown the most.
Although at many points during the concepting phase, we tried to narrow down and cut one of these areas out for the initial phase of the app, we decided in the end that each area is dependant on the other, and necessary for a successful user experience. Our initial feedback told us that people favorited all three elements.
Alongside of the app, we experimented with two physical prototypes that built off of the data from the app: Flying.display builds off the social side, connecting data to your home/office for friends/colleagues to see. Loci builds off the insightful side—showing a 3D mapping of your flights.
The Flying.display was a hardware product prototype unveiled in March 2014, a wall-mountable display that connects with your Flying account and displays your flights along with those of colleagues or friends from your network. Also featured on Techcrunch.
The Flying Story
Flying started as an idea in a notebook in November 2011 and was brought to life at The Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design in May 2012 as a UI/UX concept for an iPhone app to log flights. We founded a company in September 2012 to bring our baby up in the air, and shortly after started developing the backend system along with the actual iPhone App.
What connected us as a team was a sense of nostalgia for the way flying used to be. Being on a flight used to be a momentous experience; sadly today it has become an impersonal commodity. Our goal was to make the act of flying feel special again and, along the way, to bring some of the elegance and panache back.
From day to day, we worked together remotely from Stanford, Chicago, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Vienna. We met for intensive sprint weeks in Hamburg and Berlin, and after months of long days & nights, we let the Flying App out for its first test flight in private beta, inviting the first 53 users to join us in April 2013.
In May 2013, after 9,000+ work hours, 18,527 emails, 7681 layers in Photoshop and 32,328 lines of code, we proudly launched the public beta of Flying onto the runway and into the air.
People started tweeting about us, SwissMiss even broke our Website-Server for one night :-) and online-media started writing about us:
We also pitched Flying on every occasion and won Awards like VIR “Startup of the Year 2013”, LovieAwards 2013, were nominated for the German Design Award and were even featured by Apple in the App Store.
We worked hard on extending the features of Flying together with our partners: With Flightright, we notified users if they had the right to claim money from airlines for flight delays and cancellations. And we were very proud to integrate a CO2 calculation of the user’s environmental impact with our partnership with ARKTIK.
6 months after launch, we had very promising numbers. We had thousands of users, who had flown millions of miles with our app. ~6% of our users paid for our In-App purchases (which is a very good number in the industry) and we were very hopeful to start talks with new investors in early 2014, as our startup with 8 team members needed a good amount of money to further grow and expand. We even acquired the “flying.com” domain, pitched at SXSW, and worked double shifts to keep our startup alive. But unfortunately, two promising Series-A investment did not happen which left us with the decision to close down, as we did not see any further options at that time. We decided that after 2 years of investing time, money & energy, we are at a point where we have to move on.Also feel free to check out our blog to learn more what happened in the past.
The Flying Crew
Panos as Managing Director, took care about the financial & legal things, constantly flying across Europe to meet press, potential-investors & made deals with our business partners. He pitched our app on countless occasions and worked double-shifts in order to keep the company running. Markus put the team together and drafted the concept, roadmap and user experience of the app. He worked heavily on the User Interface Design and frontend development, while trying to bring some order into the startup chaos as product manager. Andrew was our creative head. He worked on the app's concept and took care of creating content (much of it physical) that people care about and want to share. He beautifully shot and cut our videos, made infographics, wrote the concepts for the visualizations and created the lasercut stamps. Katie wore the chief-visual-design-hat and designed + developed our beautiful interactive infographics, did all our brand and print design, while working hard on the stressful day to day startup operations, sitting in snowy Chicago. Sebastian sitting at sunny Stanford, wrote the very first line of Flying code in October 2012, and with many months of nightshifts he developed the major parts of the iOS App, managing to study for his master in parallel. Johannes single handedly developed our reliable backend-server-system in Python on Django and also became our customer support captain on Twitter & Zendesk, sitting in Vienna next to Markus. Georg, also sitting in Vienna, joined the team in June 2013 as our iOS developer and improved plus extended the app with multiple feature-releases, worked pixel-perfect on additional infographics and became the women’s sensation with his duck-face performances at our tradeshow-booth-gigs.Some favorite moments with the Flying team:
- Panos Meyer: Co-Founder, Managing Director
- Markus Schmeiduch: Co-Founder, Product Managment, UX/UI Design
- Andrew Spitz: Co-Founder, Marketing, Creative Direction,
- Katie Kindinger: Co-Founder, Interaction Design, Visual Design
- Sebastian Schuster: iOS Development
- Georg Molzer: iOS Development, UX/UI Design
- Johannes Lerch: Backend Development, Customer Support
And special thanks to all our friends who helped us along the way: Klemens Mantzos (iOS Development), Martin Reichart (iOS Development), CIID (for the kick that got this going), Vinay Venkatraman (priceless advice), Raureif (for setting us on the right track), @HendricRuesch (the grand networker and beta tester), @misc_at (hardcore beta-testing), Karin Botta (copy ninja), Michael Uffenbeck (iOS code help on the moon visualization), @smi (startup consulting), Benjamin Fritsch (Backend Development) and of course our families and friends for being so understanding :-)
Tell us on Twitter / Facebook about your Flying App experience!
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