Future Travel Experience Global 2016 – ‘On the Ground’ Conference

Enhancing the airport experience has been at the very heart of our efforts since Future Travel Experience was founded back in 2006. Reflecting our continued dedication to enhancing the ground-based passenger experience, FTE Global 2016 will once again include an ‘On the Ground’ conference stream focusing on the latest developments and future trends relating to each of the key passenger touch points and technologies.

In-depth conference sessions featuring a wide variety of industry experts will focus on a range of topics, from pre-travel and check-in to next-generation baggage advancements and the arrivals experience. The ‘On the Ground’ stream will also explore how stakeholders can leverage mobile, wearable technology, beacons, robotics, artificial intelligence, Big Data, advanced analytics and personalisation to improve the customer experience and enhance operational efficiency.

In keeping with FTE’s end-to-end focus, delegates will also have access to the ‘Up in the Air’ and ‘Terminal Design & Delivery’ conferences.

The full agenda will be released in the coming months

The 2016 ‘On the Ground’ conference agenda will be released shortly, but please view the 2015 agenda below, which provides a taste of what you can expect.

  • Workshops/Sessions
  • Social events/Networking

2015 Conference Programme

Transforming the passenger experience through customer-focused innovation and collaboration

* invited to conference

Wednesday 9th September

10:30 – 12:00
Dan Coleman

Opening Keynote Session

Welcome from the organiser and host:

Daniel Coleman,
Founder, Future Travel Experience

Future Travel Experience

Samuel Ingalls,
Assistant Director of Aviation, Information Systems, McCarran International Airport

McCarran International Airport

Welcome from Oscar Goodman – America's greatest Mob lawyer, Former Mayor of Las Vegas, and Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Host Committee Chairman

Oscar made his name as the Mafia's go-to criminal defence attorney, and he has tried an estimated 300 criminal cases, and won most of them. His roster of clients reads like a history of organised crime: Meyer Lansky, Nicky Scarfo, and "Lefty" Rosenthal, as well as Mike Tyson and boxing promoter Don King. After 35 years as a defender, he ran for Mayor of Las Vegas, and America's greatest Mob lawyer became the mayor of its sexiest city. He was so popular his image appeared on the $5, $25 and $100 chips. While Mayor of Vegas, he starred on the screen in Rush Hour 2 and CSI. He is as large a character in the history of organised crime as any of his clients and as legendary a figure in the history of Las Vegas as the entrepreneurs (his friends and clients) who built the city.

Oscar is now the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority Host Committee Chairman. In addition to his work as the No.1 ambassador for Las Vegas, he has taken up acting, playing himself in the movie Casino and most recently starring in an episode of the prime time hit series CSI: Las Vegas. Mr Goodman is the author of the highly acclaimed Being Oscar: From Mob Lawyer to Mayor of Las Vegas.

How technology will change the travel experience, and how industry stakeholders should adapt

Megan Danielson

Megan Danielson,
Head of Travel Industry, Google

Max Coppin

Max Coppin,
Partner Development Manager, Google


The future of travel is no longer about just getting passengers from A to B; it’s also about providing a personalised and memorable experience along the way. This can only be achieved through new forms of collaboration between the traditional industry players and tech giants such as Google, who passengers engage with every day, whether they are travelling or not.

In this fascinating joint keynote address, Megan and Max will open the audience’s eyes to the possibilities new technologies and a truly “customer focused” mentality could create in travel, and the likely repercussions of realising those possibilities both to passengers and industry stakeholders. After hearing this keynote, all of those present in Vegas will be able to better plan how to future proof their strategies, and improve their end-to-end passenger experiences.

12:00 – 13:30  |  Official exhibition opening, lunch break and networking on the exhibition floor
13:30 – 15:00

The FTE Collaboration Forum Part 1 – Briefing and Idea Sharing

Collabortion Forum 1

Session Chairman: Kiran Merchant,
CEO, DY Consultants & Chairman of Airport Terminal of the Future

DY Consultants Airport Terminal of Future

We want FTE to be an industry change catalyst and we are making more efforts to facilitate actual industry collaboration at the show, as opposed to just discussing the need for it, which is why we are introducing the FTE Collaboration Forum. The session will provide a discussion platform for various stakeholders to discuss how they can collaborate in key areas to enhance the end-to-end passenger experience. Delegates will be able to choose which topic they would like to discuss and then join the relevant table to exchange thoughts, ideas, frustrations and potential ways forward.

There will be four key groups in different working zones, each with their own captain who will brief and help guide the working groups with their discussions on each table. At the start of the session, each delegate will join one of the following 13 working groups. They will then play an important role in forming ideas and conclusions within that sub-group, before conclusions are shared collectively in the following session that closes the day.

Group 1 - “On the Ground”

Captain: David Bourgon,
Manager, Airport IT Services, Manager, Airline Systems, McCarran International Airport

On the Ground working groups

Working groups:

  • Moving passenger and baggage processes away from the airport
  • How do we transform customer experiences at airport security and immigration checkpoints?
  • How do we transform customer experiences at the gate and during boarding?
  • How do we transform customer experiences at arrivals and baggage reclaim?

Group 2 - “Up in the Air”

Captain: Rodrigo Llaguno,
Vice President – Customer Experience, Avianca

Up In The Air working groups

Working groups:

  • Cabin Design and Passenger comfort including seating, cultural identity of the airline into cabin, cabin ambience, luggage bins, facilities galleys and toilets), cabin integration efforts i.e. seating/IFE etc.
  • Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity including seatback IFE, wireless IFE, BYOD, most suitable connectivity platform i.e. KA, KU, 4G LTE, low-cost scalable wifi etc, wider e-enablement through the cabin, content, IFEC to drive ancillaries, wearable/Virtual reality, IFEC for different passenger groups including impaired travellers, kids, cultural differentiation, should it all be free to the passenger? etc
  • Crew and Passenger Empowerment - including concierge style service, empowerment through technology, new payment solutions, service of F&B by crew, self-service ordering and payment, passengers creating their own onboard itinerary, personalisation to passenger, crew driving ancillaries and assisting passengers with planning their destination visit.
  • Cabin classes and differentiation strategies including do we need first, business, premium economy, economy and budget economy – how are they each different from a passenger comfort, IFEC, service, F&B perspective?

Group 3 - “Data Sharing”

Captain: Matthew Streem,
Vice President, Aviation Services Roomstorm

Data Sharing

Working groups:

  • Multi-bookings journey scenario – A passenger is on a multi-leg journey with a connection involving three airports. They have booked flights and a hotel separately. What information and services does that passenger need to create a seamless experience, and how can the industry collaborate to deliver it?
  • Disruption scenario – A passenger travelling on business arrives at the airport for a multi-leg journey. Due to an incoming storm the initial flight is delayed for two hours, meaning he will miss his planned connection, and won’t make his meeting on time. How can the industry collaborate to reduce stress, and automatically inform all those affected, such as his business colleagues, hotel and pre-booked ground transport for him?
  • Personalised passenger engagements – How can the industry collaborate to ensure passengers get the right information at the right time to deliver a better, more personalised experience as they move through airport facilities?
15:00 – 15:30  |  Coffee break
15:30 – 17:30

The FTE Collaboration Forum Part 2 – Conclusion Gathering and Conclusion Sharing

Collabortion Forum 2

Following the opening discussion, all working groups will have 30 minutes to form their conclusions, before all groups (except “Up in the Air”) come together to provide feedback collectively to the room, to share the most pertinent issues and findings from their discussions.

Key points to consider when forming collective conclusions and recommendations:

  • What collaboration model(s) could help achieve these improvements?
  • What are the realistic timeframes for executing these plans?
  • Who should fund/lead the improvements?

Key questions for working groups to consider:

  • What are the biggest challenges to improving performance in this area from each stakeholder perspective?
  • Taking into consideration the challenges facing each party involved, what are the best ideas for improving these areas from each stakeholder perspective?

Following the conclusion sharing, group captains will collate grand conclusion documents from all of this feedback, which will be shared with all delegates after the event, and will also be passed to industry associations to help influence their next steps, so the good work can live beyond our time together in Vegas.

17:30 – 19:00

Take advantage of the vital networking opportunities provided at this Welcome Reception, where delegates can enjoy demonstrations in the exhibition, as well as drinks and Sin City inspired entertainment.

The Welcome Reception will begin early so participants have more scope to network outside of the official event proceedings.

End of day

Thursday 10th September

08:00 – 09:00
09:00 – 10:15

Day 2 Opening Keynote for all conference participants

How will Virgin Galactic deliver the ultimate travel experience through Spaceport America and beyond the atmosphere?

Jonathan Firth

Jonathan Firth,
Senior Vice President of Spaceport and Program Development, Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic

In the coming years, commercial travel will be revolutionised when Virgin Galactic launches the first ever space tourism flight. While it is initially only available to those rich enough to afford a $250,000 ticket, the company is keen to bring space travel to the masses and aims to offer a passenger experience far exceeding anything that has been offered before. Ranging from the flight preparations that all passengers – or astronauts – must undertake, to the geography lesson they receive to allow them to fully appreciate the spectacular sights, to the design of the spaceship interior and Spaceport America, every aspect of the customer journey has been intricately planned to ensure it exceeds all expectations.

Our keynote speaker, Jonathan Firth, has been a member of Virgin Galactic’s leadership team since its inception in 2004 and has been Project Director, Director of Operations and Projects, and now Senior Vice President of Spaceport & Program Development. His unparalled CV also includes stints with Virgin Rail Group and Virgin Atlantic Airways, and at FTE Global 2015 he will outline how Virgin Galactic will truly revolutionise the travel experience on the ground and up in the air.

Virgin Galactic’s Senior Vice President of Spaceport and Program Development, Jonathan Firth, will deliver a keynote address at FTE Global 2015, 9th-11th September, Las Vegas.
10:15 – 11:00  |  Coffee break on the exhibition floor
11:00 – 12:30

First Working Session - FTE “On the Ground” Keynote Addresses

How Air France-KLM is leveraging biometrics, robotics, beacons, wearables and e-tags to create a seamless airport experience. What has the airline learned so far and what does it have planned next?

Tina Bergsma

Tina Bergsma,
Vice President International Stations, Air France-KLM

Air France KLM

Envisioning tomorrow’s airport experience in the US and beyond


Mazhar Butt,
SVP Customer Experience, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

Dallas/Fort Worth International
12:30 – 13:45  |  Lunch break on the exhibition floor
13:45 – 14:15

Post-lunch Keynote for all conference delegates

Defining new customer experiences with IBM Watson

Keith Mercier

Keith Mercier
Watson Global Retail Leader, IBM

IBM Watson
IBM Watson

Watson is an artificially intelligent computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language. Named after IBM's first CEO and industrialist, Thomas J. Watson, the computer system competed on Jeopardy! and beat former winners to receive the first place prize of $1 million.

Cognitive computing can have multiple applications across multiple industries. Watson is now working side-by-side with industry leaders to help them discover smarter ways to use their Big Data to access knowledge and insights with proven capabilities in industries like finance, retail, service and travel.

Keith brings more than 27 years of specialty apparel retail experience including functional expertise in strategy, marketing, stores, operations, ecommerce, wholesale, and business development at Gap Inc. As Vice President/GM of gap.com and Gap 1969 Jeans, Keith has practical P&L experience and has built long-term strategies that drive financial growth and deliver customer value. Additionally, Keith has experience optimizing business processes and organizations to drive the overall strategy. His strong communication and influencing skills enable him to lead organizations through change and foster genuine relationships with C-level executives.

14:15 – 15:45

Second Working Session – Airport Futures

Third working session

Looking at the best of today and tomorrow – auto check-in, single token, Smart Security, robotics, biometrics, cloud, mobility, interactive FIDS, virtual interactions, Internet of Things, auto translation apps and more.

Following scene-setting from the Chairman, and an extensive opening presentation, the panel will share their thoughts in an interactive Q&A discussion.

Chairman: William Flowers,
Director of North American Sales, Rockwell Collins

Rockwell Collins

FTE Exclusive – A vision from Swedavia on the passenger and data processing techniques of the Future Airport, building on the work of the FTE Airports 2025 Think Tank

Lena Rökaas
Head of Operations, Stockholm Arlanda, Swedavia


Mike Crump
Product & Innovation Director, Honour Branding & Captain of the FTE “Up in the Air” Onboard 2025 Think Tank


Kevin Lupowitz
Chief Information Officer, CLEAR


Alison FitzGerald
CIO, London City Airport

London City Airport

Thom Lang
General Manager, Corporate Real Estate, Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines

Daniel Tanciar
Director - Travel and Tourism Initiatives, Office of Field Operations, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

U.S. Customs and Border Protection
15:45 – 16:15  |  Coffee break on the exhibition floor
16:15 – 17:30

Third Working Session – Beacons & Wearable Technology Symposium

Third working session

Chairman: Renaud Irminger,
Director, SITA Lab


Mobile, Beacons and Wearables: United's vision of new technologies and how they drive the end to end customer experience

Jeff Ulrich,
Senior Manager eCommerce Digital Innovation, United Airlines

United Airlines

Massport’s latest efforts to leverage technology to enhance customer experiences and airport operations

Tim Laughlin
Principal, Art of Context

Art of Context

Manik Arora
President and CEO, Arora Engineers, Inc

Arora Engineers, Inc

Virgin Atlantic was the first mover leveraging wearable technology to enhance customer experiences, and has also been involved in trialling beacons. Does it believe mobile and wearable technologies will converge, and does it believe beacons are an essential new technology for airports, or just an added extra?

Manuela Pichler,
IT Solution Delivery Specialist, Virgin Atlantic

Virgin Atlantic
19:30 – 22:30
Gala evening

Taking place at the notoriously cool Daylight Beach Club at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, McCarran International Airport, with the support of Rockwell Collins, will host a memorable evening with the finest food, drink and entertainment that Las Vegas has to offer. Run by the Hakkasan Group, the venue is the ultimate sophisticated poolside retreat that will provide our guests with a modern tropical oasis where they can network and relax, before letting their hair down and enjoying a night they will never forget.

The evening will culminate with the Future Travel Experience Awards 2015 ceremony, and a headline performance from one of Las Vegas' most popular live acts, the Peter Monroy Band, who will take us on a musical journey through the '70s, '80s, '90s and 2000s.

End of day

Friday 11th September

09:30 – 10:30

Day 3 Opening keynote for all delegates

Navigating travel in a connected world

Lee McCabe

Lee McCabe,
Head of Travel, Facebook


Lee works closely with the travel industry to set the course for how marketers can best leverage the world’s largest digital network in the mobile era, and he can offer unique insight on what this means for the travel sector as a whole, and the air transport industry in particular. Prior to joining Facebook, he held various senior positions at Expedia. During his five years at Expedia, he was responsible for managing supply strategy and operations across several regions including North America and Asia Pacific. He has also held Sales and Marketing roles with eBay, Telstra and Warner Music.

In this enlightening keynote Lee will outline how the proliferation of mobile devices and the emergence of the always-connected traveller have created huge opportunities for consumer technology giants to help reshape the passenger experience, and how airlines and airports can take advantage of this major global trend.

Exclusive - The future has already arrived: the airline experience of you

Joe Leader,


This presentation from the new CEO of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), Joe Leader, will demonstrate how the airline passenger experience will centre on the individual far beyond the aircraft. Your near-future flight curation follows your preferences from your booking to your pricing, from your home to your ride, and from your airport walk to your inflight experience. Surprisingly, the technology for the flight of your dreams already exists today. Leader will illustrate how industry visionaries are working to integrate this technology so that your future travel experience lands much sooner than you ever thought possible.

10:30 – 11:15  |  Coffee break on the exhibition floor
11:15 – 12:45

Fourth Working Session – E-tags and connected bags: Preparing for the next generation of baggage advancements

Fourth working session
The Chairman will deliver a presentation to set the scene, and then the panel will discuss their experiences and challenges in this subject area recommending how progress can be made by individual organisations, and by the industry as a whole.

Chairman: Stephanie Taylor,
Manager, Passenger Services, Airlines for America

Airlines for America


Pedro Casimiro,
Manager Ground Product, Brussels Airlines

Brussels Airlines

David Bourgon,
Manager, Airport IT Services, McCarran International Airport

McCarran International Airport

Dr. Björn Becker,
Director Product Management Airport & Passenger Services Lufthansa Airlines

Lufthansa Airlines

Questions to consider:

  • How do you justify the business case for the transition to permanent and home printed bag tags?
  • Do we now urgently need an industry standard rather than recommended practice for the new models of tags to encourage the industry to embrace them quickly?
  • What impact will IATA’s new optimum size guideline for carry-on bags have on the passenger experience?
  • How extensive are the upgrades that airports need to make to meet the IATA baggage tracking resolution deadline of June 2018?
  • Do mobile-based tracking devices provide a more effective means of tracking luggage through the journey?
  • With most passenger’s having travel insurance, will they ever pay for a tracking device, and who really should be paying for these devices – the airline or the passenger?
  • Why is the industry not moving faster with common bag drop and auto drop off rollouts?
  • Baggage delivery activity is picking up – how much potential does it really have on a global basis?
  • To what extent is a cabin bag valet service, where passengers’ carry-on bags are pre-loaded onto the aircraft before passengers board, a viable option for airlines?
12:45  |  End of event
13:45 – 15:00
Las Vegas McCarran International Airport tour

A showcase of passenger experience excellence – guided tours of Las Vegas McCarran International Airport T3 will start kerbside and work through the terminal and onto the apron.

End of day
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