With over 35 million travelers passing through each year, the San Francisco International Airport has worked hard to enhance travelers’ visits with artwork, exhibits and elegant public spaces geared towards a slower, more enjoyable travel experience. When a major renewal of Terminal 3 was underway, we were hired to attract and engage visitors through a large-scale interactive experience at the new Information Terrace that promotes SFO’s attractions, facilities and history of travel.

Our approach was to design and implement a rich media experience that connects, inspires, and informs passengers of all types. Together with the selected architect, Gensler, we set out to make this experience a unique destination, leveraging social, mobile extensions, gamification and a local Bay Area feel.

T3 Boarding Area E provides a unique innovative, passenger-focused experience that travelers from around the world will enjoy in the ‘Innovation Capital of the World.
— San Francisco Mayor, Ed Lee


Razorfish created “The Flight Deck”, an integrated large-format display and multi-touch digital experience, that tells the story of SFO’s aviation history; lets travelers discover the unique destinations and neighborhoods of San Francisco; and visualizes the inbound and outbound flights within the past 24 hours via a one-of-a-kind 16’ digital display. Through a Kinect-powered gesture interface and  touchscreens, visitors can explore and understand the complex world of travel in real-time. In addition, we layered in a gamification experience for younger audiences, to allow them to collect badges and “earn their wings.”

To extend the experience outside of the Flight Deck and throughout the airport, travelers create an itinerary based on what they have saved as favorites within the experience. A custom QR code delivers a personalized mobile extension that empowers today’s modern, mobile forward traveler and aids in further exploration at SFO.


  • Over 3 minutes dwell time per experience
  • 1,000 flights tracked and visualized daily
  • 99.99% experience uptime


The Flight Deck experience at SFO has further positioned the airport as an innovator in their marketplace:

  • 1st place Peggy G. Hereford award for Creative Innovations — Technology