May 5 2022  |  Events

WTCE sessions focus on passenger experience

By Rick Lundstrom

The organizers of the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo have announced details of sessions at this year’s Passenger Experience Conference in Hamburg.

Hosted at the newly renovated Congress Center Hamburg the Conference will explore ways that the passenger experience community is helping to rebuild the industry following the COVID-19 pandemic of the past two years.

Leading experts from TAP Portugal, Virgin Atlantic, Safran Cabin and Inmarsat are confirmed to speak, with interactive Q&As set to follow each session, allowing attendees to gain valuable insights into the current trends and challenges facing the industry.

Building Value and Values into the journey

Aimed specifically at audience members with an interest in WTCE, the session ‘Building Value and Values into the journey’ will look at how to bring delight into the passenger experience, and create onboard services that travelers will value because they are aligned to their needs and respond to their values. It will also examine what processes need rethinking and where the opportunities lie to make the passengers' onboard experience easier. Finally, the session will analyze how best airlines can establish connection, trust and meaningful engagement with passengers as well as the strategies that open up revenue opportunities for airlines and their partners. Panellists will include some of the industry’s most respected experts including Dr. Stathis Kefallonitis, Professor, Aviation Business & Passenger Intelligence at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Giorgino Macalino, Associate Director of R&D Corporate Makeup Innovation at Estée Lauder, Ron Verweij, Senior Manager, UX Design & Innovation Connectivity at Safran Cabin and Anne De Hauw, Founder at IN Air Travel Experience.

The Customer Experience Investment Dilemma

There are three elements to creating digital travel experiences, and a successful outcome requires meeting at the intersection of the current technology, business needs, and passenger experience. However, all too often, organisations focus on the first two factors, leaving out the passenger point of view. This session, featuring Seth Miller, Editor at PaxEx.Aero and Konsta Hansson, Managing Director at Reaktor Aero will look at ways for the industry to reach the ideal balance for better business outcomes.

Revitalising Air Travel

Featuring a panel made-up of some of the industry’s best-known airlines, ‘Revitalising Air Travel’ will delve into the critical passenger experience strategies that will transform travel and support airline renewal. Jennifer Newlands, Vice President, Head of Strategy, Brand, Content at Airbus, Silvia Mosquera, Chief Commercial and Revenue Officer at TAP Portugal and Anthony Woodman, Vice President – Customer Journeys & Reward at Virgin Atlantic will examine how innovative airlines are mapping out the routes to more seamless and efficient journeys with human values at their heart. This session will provide visitors with the opportunity to hear directly from airline experience chiefs on how they are responding to the needs of those passengers who will be in the vanguard of travel recovery and building sustainable businesses.

Carbon Budgets

Pressure for aviation to change is not only coming from individual travelers; businesses are also weighing up aviation's environmental impact when booking corporate travel. This session will be led by Andrew Doyle, Senior Director Market Development at Cirium, and will offer context to the challenges and opportunities ahead. It will centre around evaluating how corporate travel spending is being shaped by the carbon emissions of individual flights, discussing solutions to give travellers more agency and a better understanding of the carbon cost of their flight as well as evaluating the potential impacts on aircraft routes, fleet and, ultimately, cabin classes onboard.

Differentiating by Delight

How does the industry move beyond entertainment, beyond monetization to connecting with passengers' practical and emotional needs and delighting them with everything that is possible? Featuring experts including Joe Leader, CEO at the Airline Passenger Experience Association & International Flight Services Association, Guillaume Vivet, Vice President Digital Commerce & Experience at Inmarsat, Jonas von Kruechten, Head of Strategy & Business Development at AERQ and Christian Grou Co-Founder, Neutral Digital, the session will take a deep dive into the impact of creating more nuanced and targeted connections for new business opportunities and revenues. It will also detail the key strategic and practical requirements for airlines seeking to elevate their digital passenger engagement.

After a day of sessions at the conference, delegates are invited to the Passenger Experience Conference Industry Networking Party which is free for conference delegates. For those looking to attend AIX or WTCE but unable to attend the conference, tickets for the Industry Networking party can be purchased during registration.

“Complementing the innovation anticipated at this year’s WTCE, we are delighted to announce the line-up for this June’s Passenger Experience Conference. The pandemic has fundamentally shifted how the aviation sector does business, with an increased focus on building a new for the future and not simply repairing the past,” said Polly Magraw, Event Director, in today's announcement. “This year’s speaker line-up will help us answer how we should be responding to the different cohorts of passengers who will be in the vanguard of travel recovery while creating flying experiences that meet their needs and addresses their values.”

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