Wave Aloha

Product & System Solution
for Air Travel Safety during COVID-19

How is travel to Hawaii changing due to COVID-19?

Starting October 15, 2020, Hawaii issued an exception to the 14-day quarantine requirement that had been in effect since the beginning of pandemic travel restrictions in March. Tourists and returning residents could now arrive in Hawaii with proof of a negative test result and bypass the 14-day quarantine requirement.

As a product-system, Wave Aloha was designed to improve air travel safety during COVID-19.

Airport Arrivals Procedure

I wanted to redesign deplaning the aircraft. Overcrowding on the plane presents a serious problem because of close contact among passengers with COVID-19.

Current Boarding and Deplaning Systems

Hawaiian Airlines boards planes from the back rows to front rows, which helps seat passengers closer to their luggage. Upon arrival at the gate, flight attendants direct passengers to remain in their seats and call them by rows to get up and deplane the aircraft.

How could I create a product-system that would encourage passengers to remain in their seats and follow deplaning protocol?

A New Deplaning System

I wanted to offer a way to ensure that passengers would remain socially distanced or seated as rows were called to deplane the aircraft.

Concept Development

My final concepts focused on finding a way to reduce overcrowding among passengers who try to get their luggage immediately after the plane arrives at the gate.

An Overhead Compartment Lock

To support orderly social-distancing in the deplaning process, an overhead compartment lock-enabled handle is retrofitted to the overhead bins. The lock will only be active between landing and deplaning. The flight attendants will unlock the bins above the rows as the passengers are dismissed.

Visual Brand Language

I paid attention to the plane’s visual brand language to integrate my product’s appearance into the overall look of the plane’s interior.


The handle is equipped with an RFID lock that is activated by a key card and notified by an LED light display. A manual unlocking system exists in case of battery failure or emergencies.

Wave Aloha In-Flight Video

Show a wave of aloha as you deplane the aircraft and are welcomed to the beautiful islands of Hawaii.”

Some images complied and edited from the Hawaiian Airlines website for this educational case study: Hawaiian Airlines, 2020. https://www.hawaiianairlines.com/. Accessed December 2020. | Hawaiitech.com, Staff. 25 September 2020. https://www.hawaiitech.com/transportation/hawaii-travel-covid-testing/