Air Canada Altitude Community Launch: Q&A With Altitude Media Editor Jean-Francois Legare

By November 28th, 2014


Jean-Francois-Legare-Altitude-Media-EditorWhat is the Altitude Community? Elevator pitch please!

The Altitude Community is a brand new platform where Air Canada Altitude members – the airline’s frequent flyers – can share insider travel intelligence with each other. Members can make lists of their favourite spots anywhere in the world (for example: “Best restaurants to host clients in Hong Kong” or “Best business hotels in Chicago”) or browse recommendations written by other Air Canada Altitude members.

How is the Altitude Community different from other travel-related crowd-sourced review sites like TripAdvisor or Foursquare?

Access to our site is exclusive to Air Canada Altitude members. Users are more likely to find recommendations tailored to their needs because they’re written by other experienced travelers. Members can create their own network of travel experts by following each other and receiving updates when someone in their network posts something new. Influencers, celebrities and prominent Altitude members will also be invited to share their own lists on a regular basis.

Gamification is an important component of the Altitude Community. Members earn badges, privileges and even tangible rewards (like travel-inspired gifts) as they interact with the site.

How will the Altitude Community fit in amongst existing social networks?

I think our platform will complement other social media – in fact, we strongly encourage Altitude members to share their lists with their other networks, like Facebook or Twitter. (Non-Altitude members can read up to 5 lists per month, but can’t interact with the Community.)

What has been the most challenging and/or exciting part of creating this tool?

Building a social site from scratch was really exciting. My role was to make sure everything was on-brand with Air Canada Altitude: copy, user experience, brand integration and more.

Where do you see the Altitude Community in a year from now?

I think there’s a lot of potential for brand alliances, native advertising and other forms of user-generated content. I’d love to aggregate member recommendations and turn them into real destination guides. How’s that for branded content?