News from PEC 2018

What’s in store for Passenger Experience Conference 2018?

January 10, 2018

This year’s Passenger Experience Conference in Hamburg is set to look into the future of the travel sector, with headline speakers from Boeing, TAP and Thomas Cook examining new frontiers in transport and passenger comfort.

This year’s Passenger Experience Conference brings together senior airline strategists, digital analysts and design organisations to discuss their vision for the future and challenge industry thinking.

Those in attendance this year include Virgin Galactic’s Adam Well who will be discussing creating the world’s first spaceline on Monday, April 9, from 9:40am. Black Swan CEO, Steve King is talking about data-driven technology and delivering a more personalised experience onboard from 14:45 on Monday, April 9; and Rosalyn Gouch from the Thomas Cook Group will be talking about risk mitigation and offering rewards at midday on April 9.

It is predicted that in the 2020s the first iterations of next generation transport options and passenger innovations could be introduced. Driverless cars, hyperloops, optionally-piloted air taxis, electric planes and space flights seem far off now but they could be around the corner!

The PEC’s Plenary Session will see Boeing’s director of differentiation strategy, Blake Emery, moderate New Frontiers for Transport and the Passenger Experience, aiming to define the vision and strategy for the future passenger experience, consider some of the challenges of implementing next-generation transport solutions and, in particular, look at how addressing those challenges will also help drive onboard and passenger experience innovations across mainstream aviation and rail operations.

It will also talk about other disruptive and exciting forces, like The Internet of Things (meaning the way physical or virtual objects or devices join up and communicate via the internet – your fridge ordering milk for you when you run out, for instance), and how they will affect the aviation industry. Richard Chung, vp of innovation and design for seating at Adient will share his thoughts on these scenarios and what will happen next.

Following this, the conference programme will divide into three breakout sessions that will run in parallel for the remainder of the day:

Convergence and Mobility

How can cross-pollination of ideas across travel modes enrich today’s passenger experiences and create new business opportunities? As mobility becomes more seamless, how will it impact cabin interiors, supporting travel services and ancillary products? How will opportunities for new brand partnerships innovate fresh solutions?

These questions and more will be posed and discussed in a number of sessions led by some of the industry’s foremost travel experts, including Kaj Pyyhtiä, customer experience officer and co-founder at MaaS Global. MaaS Global created The Whim mobility service – an app which brings together every kind of urban transport into a single service and is set to revolutionise the way people get about. Pyyhtiä will share this vision for seamless urban mobility and consider how our expectations about our travel experience will evolve in response.

Seamless mobility will also feature in Designing the Full Travel Experience, which will see senior executives from TAP Portugal, Embraer and Almadesign look at how to create a coherent, smooth experience at each part of the transportation system.

There will be presentations on onboard catering, looking at how, when and where people will eat on the move in the near and distant future, and what travel operators can do to ensure that it is a positive dining experience.

Christiane Bausback of N+P Industrial Design and Helmut Ramsauer of SPINPARTNERS will showcase an innovative and holistic vision of a high-quality eating experience that enables travellers to access their food throughout the whole travel chain, thanks to the collaboration of food and mobility as well as design and business.

Raymond Kollau, founder of AirlineTrends will continue with a presentation on how today’s on-demand economy is shaping customer expectations of their inflight F&B, and how the industry can address the challenges of on-demand catering. Experts joining the debate will include Madeleine Braun, KLM’s inflight services manager responsible for long-haul business and Martin Buchholtz, head of global product & service innovation and research at LSG Group.

Personalising the Journey

This stream will examine how air and rail companies are addressing the challenge of offering just the right experience to every passenger. It will also focus on how connectivity and data-driven technologies can help personalise the journey and enable deeper relationships between an airline and its service partners.

Steve King, ceo at Black Swan Data will be joined by senior executives from IAG and Gate Group to examine How Data-driven Technology is Delivering Personalised Experiences Onboard.

Robin Hopper, senior vp product and marketing at GuestLogix, will then go on to explore the possibilities for growing onboard retail into a commercial enterprise, looking particularly at the latest enabling technologies. Taking personalisation cues from other successful businesses such as Starbucks and Amazon, he will examine how air and rail operators can use mobile devices to engage with passengers before, during and after travel as well as exploring the concept of retail analytics, currently uncharted territory in the airline industry.

Flexible and Sustainable Thinking

How can these two concepts be designed into products and services to afford more options for air and rail operators?

Speakers for this stream include James Lee, director at Paperclip Design, Rosalyn Gough, cabin product quality manager at Thomas Cook Group Airlines and Dan Aronov, president at Napaway Coach (an American start-up providing overnight intercity coach transportation), and they will look at flexible thinking, including how to mitigate risks and offer rewards.

The stream will continue with presentations on the practicalities of introducing greater flexibility in Flexible Cabins and Services – Opportunities to Innovate, and will conclude with a session on Sustainability in the DNA, particularly focusing on whether the concept can be designed into cabin interiors, products and services in a way that is either cost neutral or makes a positive economic impact on operations.

The Passenger Experience Conference takes place on April 9 in the Hamburg Messe, prior to World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo, Passenger Technology Solutions and Aircraft Interiors Expo.

For further information, or to register for the event visit Register early for the Early Bird rate, saving you over €70 on the full conference price, which includes entry to the industry networking party.