For FAQs Sake
‘For FAQs sake’ is an investigation into the digitalisation of the travel agency through the lense of Ryanair’s customer service. The company’s computerised help centre presents itself as an instrument for smooth user experience and speedy troubleshooting. Yet what lies beneath this friendly front is an intricate design for minimised human interaction, in contrast to the old-school, high-street travel agency in which a human face or voice was the primary figure of reference for a customer’s questions and complaints.
Taking a mistakenly booked flight as a starting point, the research is developed by manoeuvring vis-à-vis the Ryanair help centre. The engagement is tactically outlined: every channel of communication available will be tested, every approach —from the most orthodox to the most eccentric— will be considered. What follows is a prolonged series of unanswered calls, endless form-writing, opaque phone menus and desperate FAQ reading. Out of these fruitless exchanges unfolds a sense of frustration fittingly designed for today’s digitalised, and dehumanised, travel agency.