Redefining the end-to-end passenger experience | Independent news and events

On the Ground Conference

No industry event does more to inspire, engage and connect its participants

10-12 September 2018 Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas

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Strategic Partner

Strategic Partner panasonic

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FTE global Supporting Partner AAAE

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FTE global Supporting Partner ACC Airports Consultants Council

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FTE global Supporting Partner Airport Terminal Of The Future

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Jet blue partner fte global

Platinum Sponsor

FTE global platinum sponsor hamad international airport

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FTE global Platinum sponsor rockwell-collins

Gold Sponsor

FTE global gold sponsor Airport Lounge Development

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FTE global gold sponsor AOE

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FTE global gold sponsor inmarsat

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FTE global gold sponsor Mindtree

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FTE global gold sponsor ses-networks

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FTE global gold sponsor Volantio

On the Ground Conference

Reflecting our continued dedication to improving the ground-based passenger experience, Future Travel Experience Global 2018 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, including pre-travel, check-in, baggage, security, immigration, arrivals and post-travel.

The ‘On the Ground’ stream will also explore how stakeholders can leverage mobile advancements, wearable technology, robotics, artificial intelligence, big data, advanced analytics, single biometric tokens and personalisation to improve the customer experience and enhance operational efficiency.

Major speakers confirmed include:

Skuli Mogensen

Founder and CEO,
WOW air

Gil West

Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer,
Delta Air Lines

Ted Christie

Spirit Airlines

Steven Greenway


Sean Donohue

DFW International Airport

Dr. Jaiwon Shin

Associate Administrator for Aeronautics – Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate

The 2018 conference agendas are currently being developed. Meanwhile, please find below the 2017 conference programme, which provides insight into the quality of the speakers and the key areas of focus.

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2017 Agenda

Tuesday 5th September 17:30 - 21:00

Technovation Center Tours

Begin your FTE Global experience with Technovation, NEC, and Microsoft at their “Glimpse of the Future” event to see live demos around industry trends in the travel industry. Enjoy food and drink while you learn more about their “curb to gate” solutions, facial ID and security solutions, passenger experience solutions as well as a range of airline and airport management, operations and transport solutions including AI and VR. It will be an evening of fun, education and networking with leaders in these areas.

Wednesday 6th September - Day 1

09:15 - 10:15

Networking Ice Breaker & Coffee

Room 2

Wednesday 6th September 10:30 - 12:00

Opening Keynote Session

Room 1


Daniel Coleman
Future Travel Experience

Welcome from the host

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

Inspirational Keynotes

How will Hyperloop change travel forever, and will it replace or complement existing modes of travel?

Dirk Ahlborn
JumpStarter Inc & Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc

ANA’s endeavour to redefine its business to impact all 7 billion people on Earth

Kevin Kajitani
Digital Design Lab
ANA Holdings & ANA Avatar XPRIZE Visioneers Team
Akira Fukabori
Market Communication
All Nippon Airways & ANA Avatar XPRIZE Visioneers Team

12:00 - 13:30
Official exhibition opening, lunch break and networking on the exhibition floor
Wednesday 6th September 13:30 - 15:00

The future according to the disruptors

Second Working Session (Room 1)

 A holistic vision of the future of travel and the very real impacts that today’s seemingly “futuristic” concepts will have on the air transport industry

This session will bring together a panel of visionaries charged with defining the future of travel and transportation. Each member of the panel will explore how their organisation plans to redefine travel over the course of next decade. Following this, the speakers will participate in an interactive Q&A discussion in which they will explore what this means for the future of the air transport industry.


Garen Moreno
Director, Strategic Partnering
BMW Designworks & Host of Departure Unknown


Sandi Adam
Chief Marketer
Zunum Aero
Jason Chua
Project Executive
A³ by Airbus Group
Joshua Krall
CTO & Co-founder
Boom Supersonic
Amy Friedlander Hoffman
Head of Business Development & Experiential Marketing

Additional panelists

Samuel Ingalls
Assistant Director of Aviation, Information Systems
McCarran International Airport
Mohammad Gaber
Senior Director – Digital Strategy & Transformation
Air Canada

15:00 - 15:45
Coffee break
Wednesday 6th September 15:45 - 17:30

FTE Personalisation Symposium

Third Working Session (Room 1)

“Personalisation” has become a buzzword for airlines, airports and their partners, but how can they achieve real personalisation? This session will bring together the most forward-thinking organisations in this space to share insight into how ever-changing consumer habits and vast pools of data can be leveraged to deliver truly personalised customer experiences throughout the journey.


Following a series of presentations from personalisation pioneers, the session will open up to a panel discussion with industry figures to establish how travel protagonists can achieve more success with their personalisation efforts.

Topics to be covered

Digital personal assistants, chatbots, apps, big data, privacy, AI, Machine Learning


Jim Peters
Chief Technology Officer (CTO)


Towards a one to one experience

Brian Gross
VP Digital Innovation

To what extent will intelligent personal assistants impact the travel experience of the future?

Shane O'Flaherty
National Director of Hospitality and Travel

How is Sea-Tac exploring the use of voice recognition, beacons and game engine technology to drive unique personalised experiences through its terminals in the future?

David Wilson
Chief Aviation Technologist
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport – Port of Seattle

As a combination of tech-startup, e-commerce-platform and transportation company, FlixBus was able to establish Europe’s largest intercity bus network in 3 years. How central has digitization, and personalisation, been to its success?

Taimur H. Khan
GM Travel & Hospitality
Pierre Gourdain
GM Americas
Wednesday 6th September 17:30 - 19:00

FTE Global 2017 Networking Drinks on the Exhibition Floor

Sponsored by:
Rockwell Collins

Make the most of the vital networking opportunities provided at the FTE Global 2017 Welcome Drinks, where delegates can enjoy demonstrations in the exhibition and network with their peers over refreshments and bar snacks.

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

View the photos from the Networking Drinks →


Thursday 7th September - Day 2

08:00 - 09:00
Breakfast, networking and exhibition showcase on exhibition floor

08:00 - 08:45

US CBP Briefing

Room 1

Led by: John Wagner, Deputy Executive Assistant, Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Thursday 7th September 09:00 - 10:15

Keynote Addresses:

Joint session between “On the Ground” & “Terminal Design & Delivery” conferences (Room 1)

Welcome from our partner

T.J. Schulz
Airport Consultants Council

Session Chairman

Kiran Merchant
Chairman of Airport Fast Forward & CEO
Merchant Aviation


What is the United Airlines perspective on the “Airport of the Future”?

Eric Ensminger
Managing Director – IT Airport Operations and Management Systems
United Airlines

How is HKIA utilising pioneering design and a raft of new technologies, such as robotics and biometrics, to support growth, maximise customer experience and optimise operational efficiency despite its geographically constrained location?

Andy Bien
Chief Information Officer
Airport Authority Hong Kong

10:15 - 11:00
Coffee break on the exhibition floor
Thursday 7th September 11:00 - 12:30

Future Airport Technologies – identifying and exploring the technologies that will define the customer-centric digital airport of the future

Fourth Working Session (Room 1)

Topics include

IoT, blockchain, AR/VR/MR, big data, robotics.


Ryan Ghee
Future Travel Experience


Bringing customer-centric thinking to the forefront of aviation through data and technology that is purpose built to simplify people’s experiences.

Thomas Hoff Andersson
Director of Passenger and Terminal Services
Copenhagen Airport
Eliot Lees
Vice President

Robotics: the future role of robots at airports – lessons learned from the ‘Robot Experiment Project’

Junichi Shimizu
Junichi Shimizu
Project Leader of Haneda Airport Robotization Project
Japan Airport Terminal Co., Ltd.

Are apps and the Internet of Things (IoT) the foundations for the digital airport of the future, and how far will their impact be felt across the airport by stakeholders and passengers alike?

Maurice Jenkins
Director Information Systems and Telecommunications
Miami International Airport

Additional Panellists

Dheeraj Kohli
Vice President, Global Head - Travel & Transportation
Tony Chapman
Senior Director, Product Management and Strategic Programmes, Global Airports
Rockwell Collins

Questions to consider

  • How do we use tech to better inform passengers and keep them relaxed during their airport experience?
  • What is the role of staff in a digital airport?
  • How significant will blockchain and biometrics be to the airport of the future?
  • How do airlines and airports better leverage big data, and collaborate to create a single source of truth for passengers?

12:30 - 13:45
Lunch break on the exhibition floor
Thursday 7th September 13:45 - 14:10

Post-lunch Keynote for all conference delegates

Room 1


Disruption is imminent – how your organisation must adapt to survive and thrive in tomorrow’s new travel eco-system

Nawal K. Taneja
Nawal K. Taneja
Airline Business Strategist
Published Airline Business Author

Nawal Taneja, whose experience in the aviation industry spans almost five decades, has worked for and advised major airlines and related businesses worldwide. His experience also includes the presidency of a small airline and an air transportation consultancy.

He advises senior executives in airlines, airports and related businesses as well as senior government policy makers.

Thursday 7th September 14:10 - 15:30

Future Airport Processes - biometrics, standards and new approaches to create the seamless journey of tomorrow

Fifth Working Session (Room 1)

Self-service is already widely in place for passengers, and biometrics looks set to play a key role too in departures and arrivals too. Automation is set to increase further through single token travel and new baggage & security initiatives, but is this what the passenger truly wants, and if so how can the industry quickly get the standards it needs to effectively integrate such approaches?


Following a scene-setting presentation from the Chairman, the session will open up to a panel discussion with progressive industry figures to exchange visions, and views.


Michael Tan
Scarabee Aviation Group


Liliana Petrova
Director Customer Experience Programs
JetBlue Airways
Toshiya Shimada
Director Passenger Quality Management & Passenger Service
Jesus Saenz
Chief Operating Officer
Houston Airport System
Melody Andersen
Director, Customer Experience Delivery
American Airlines
Mark Laustra
VP Global Business Development and Government Relations, Analogic & Chair
Security Manufacturers Coalition
Jose Bonilla
Director, Innovation Task Force
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)

Questions to be tackled

  • What are your challenges today (e.g. queuing but not moving?) How are you addressing the challenges and what are your recent learnings? What is holding you back?
  • Is the technology drive really solving airport challenges today? (integration, processes, collaboration, space)
  • Personalisation – where does it start, but also – where does it end? The passenger wants to be in control, but what about ethnicity and legal constraints?
  • What role does biometrics play for you? What is your experience, learning and lookout?
  • What is the influence of government and authorities? What role does passenger experience play vs citizen safety?
  • Threat and reaction –  What are and what should be the standards (design principles, etc)?  Who is setting the standards? Will the airport get too complex? New ways of thinking?
  • What is the influence of staff in the passenger journey?

15:30 - 16:15
Coffee break on the exhibition floor
Thursday 7th September 16:15 - 17:30

Radical ideas from both inside and outside of the industry to inspire future airport experiences

Sixth Working Session (Room 1)


Kiran Merchant
Chairman of Airport Fast Forward & CEO
Merchant Aviation


Recommendations from the Fentress Global Challenge: Airport of the Future

Curtis Fentress
FAIA, RIBA Principal-in-Charge of Design
Fentress Architects

The Fentress Global Challenge is an annual international competition created to engage students worldwide in the exploration of future design possibilities in public architecture.

Connecting the physical and digital for a seamless travel experience

Max Oglesbee
Head of Client Strategy, Design & Technologies

With the complexities of traveling through an airport, a small community, or a large city, what are the opportunities to improve a user journey for a frictionless, delightful experience? Intersection, an urban experience company backed by Alphabet, known for deploying the largest and fastest free public Wi-Fi network in the world with LinkNYC, will discuss what it takes to enhance the travel experience across multiple environments through personalized, tailored, and real-time information.

What inspiration can we take from the hotel redevelopment of the iconic TWA Flight Center at JFK?

Kaunteya Chitnis
Director, Acquisitions & Development

Special Closing Presentation

How is design, collaboration and technology being leveraged to create the airport customer experience of tomorrow at Denver International Airport? 

Kim Day
Chief Executive Officer
Denver International Airport
Thursday 7th September 19:30 - 22:30

Gala Evening and FTE Awards Ceremony


Hosted by:

Sponsored by:
Rockwell Collins

Hosted by McCarran International Airport and sponsored by Rockwell Collins, we can guarantee you a memorable evening with the finest food, drink and entertainment that Las Vegas has to offer at the FTE Global 2017 Gala Party.

The event will be this year’s premiere networking event, providing a perfect opportunity to unwind and network with fellow attendees in a relaxed environment. The evening will take place on the terrace of one of Vegas’ hottest nightspots – Omnia at Ceasars Palace, and will also play host to the Future Travel Experience Awards 2017 ceremony. This incredible outdoor venue, with unrivalled views, is at the center of one of the world’s most famous streets, overlooking the action of the famed Las Vegas Strip.

The social and networking events are open to all FTE Global delegates.

View the photos from the Gala Evening and Awards →


Friday 8th September - Day 3

08:00 - 09:00
Breakfast, networking and exhibition showcase on exhibition floor
Friday 8th September 08:30 - 09:00

McCarran International Airport Briefing

(Room 1)

Samuel Ingalls
Assistant Director of Aviation, Information Systems
McCarran International Airport
Friday 8th September 09:00 - 10:00

Day 3 Keynote

Room 1


The Trends Driving the Future of Transportation: The Start-up Perspective

François Chopard
CEO and Founder
Starburst Accelerator

What can air transport stakeholders learn from MGM Resorts International about delivering a guest experience to remember, and what more could be done between hospitality and air transport stakeholders to create more seamless and innovative end-to-end travel experiences?

Joyen Vakil
SVP of Design & Development
MGM Resorts International

10:00 - 10:30
Coffee break on the exhibition floor
Friday 8th September 10:30 - 12:00

The FTE Co-creation Forum

Seventh Working Session


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 continuing to build the FTE Co-creation Forum three years after its successful introduction. 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 groups in different working zones, each with their own captain working in a parallel sector who will lead discussions on each table and help inspire outside-the-box thinking. At the start of the session, each delegate will join one of the discussion groups. They will then play an important role in forming ideas and conclusions within that group, which will be shared by the captains through the post-event report. The conclusions 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.

Working Groups

Enabling Seamless Airport Security and Facilitation

Interactive session with DHS leadership and industry experts on key elements of the seamless passenger security experience including the checkpoint of the future, international processing, and the data sharing between airlines, airports, and government that makes it possible.


Chris Runde
Director, Airport Innovation Accelerator
T.J. Schulz
Airport Consultants Council

Subject Matter Experts:

John Wagner
Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner
U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Jose Bonilla
Director, Innovation Task Force
Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
Arun Vemury
Director, Apex Air Entry Exit Re-engineering
Pierre Charbonneau
Director, Passenger
International Air Transport Association (IATA)

Session Overview:

This will be a facilitated, interactive session where participants will be asked to engage and provide suggestions on strategies to improve passenger facilitation and security at airports. The session will start with a 5-minute overview provided by the four government and international experts that will cover various programs and initiatives underway to improve security. After the briefings, the bulk of the session will consist of attendees breaking out into four stations in the room. Each station will cover various points in the passenger’s journey through the airport:

  • Curbside: (effects of TNCs; public area security vulnerabilities and considerations)
  • Check In: (how to improve security and push the checkpoint further out into the terminal)
  • Checkpoint: (technologies/capabilities/data needed to improve checkpoint performance)
  • Post-Security/Gate: (securing the secure side; communication and emergency plans; automatic gates)

Each station will have a facilitator to ask leading questions and capture notes regarding suggestions. The aim is to have 10 minutes of discussion at each station, then 2 minutes to rotate over to the next station. Each participant will provide input on the four topics. At the end of the hour, each station will report out on common themes/recommendations.

Understanding Blockchain – what exactly can it do, and not do, for travel?

Maksim Izmaylov
Travel Tech Con & Winding Tree

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?

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?
Friday 8th September 12:00
Conference close
Friday 8th September 12:45 - 14:00

McCarran International Airport tours

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

View the photos from the tour →


Travel & Accommodation

The Mandalay Bay Resort

10-12 September 2018, Las Vegas, United States

The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas is the venue for FTE Global 2018, and offers unmatched luxury, fine dining, renowned entertainment, personal service and gaming excitement.

Full Travel & Accommodation Details

Why attend FTE Global 2018?

Don’t just take our word for it – read what FTE Global 2017 attendees had to say about the show.

“FTE Global was fantastic! It’s very inspirational and it opens the stage for a lot of collaboration and building the future of travel. I was very impressed by the exhibition this year. The diversity of the products and what could be built with the technology that was featured is really a new world.”

Liliana Petrova, Customer Experience Director, JetBlue Airways

“FTE is one of my favourite conferences to go to. I like the fact that you bring in both airlines and airports, and the content is really different. I also enjoy that you bring in different speakers from other industries. I’m a “future” guy and this is a really good place to be. It’s fun because we’re all on the same page – we’re all looking for future technology.”

David Wilson, Director, Airport Innovation, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Port of Seattle

“The thing that’s really cool about this conference is most industry conferences just focus on tomorrow. With this one, people take a step back, are willing to consider new ideas, and think about the next 5, 10, 15 years.”

Jason Chua, Project Executive, A³ by Airbus Group

“I’ve been quite amazed by the quality of people that I was able to meet from the airline and airport communities, and also from the different innovative suppliers that were showcasing their latest innovations. For start-ups it’s a great event.”

François Chopard, CEO and Founder, Starburst Accelerator

“The networking opportunities are always fantastic at FTE Global. There has been a high level of interaction and engagement between delegates.”

Rick Belliotti, Director Innovation & Small Business Development, San Diego International Airport

“It is excellent to have the ‘Up in the Air’ stream. The conferences are definitely addressing the right issues. You hear about ideas, visions and aspirations – there is big value to attending FTE Global.”

Dr. Joachim Schneider, Vice President Product Management, Lufthansa

“FTE Global is a wonderful event. I have met representatives from many different modes of travel, and heard what people need to think about in the next decades. In terms of networking, the right players are here to have conversations with.”

Zachary Matthews, Senior Regional Manager, Business Development and Operations, US and Canada, Uber

“I have particularly liked that the event helps from a strategic standpoint. FTE Global really allows for a holistic strategic mind-set. The conference sessions have been very relevant in terms of customer experience.”

Michael Morford, Airport Concessions Manager, Dallas Fort Worth International Airport

“It’s great that we’re hearing about disruption. Blurring the lines between industries is very important, and this event does that very effectively.”

Rachel Walker, Director – Tools & Technology Global Ops, Strategy, Planning & Design, United Airlines

“I have been very happy with the conference sessions, which have been projecting us into the future. It’s my first time here at FTE Global and it has exceeded my expectations. I have met lots of different contacts – the event is very good for networking.”

Aymeric Dussart, IT Director, Aéroports de Montréal

“The panel sessions have been excellent, with good interaction with the audience. It’s a very forward-thinking event and people here are not afraid to talk about the future.”

Joshua Krall, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder, Boom Supersonic

“I’d heard a lot about FTE Global from industry colleagues and it has certainly met my expectations. The conference sessions have been very interesting, and it has been my pleasure to take part.”

Christoph Rufenacht, Director Capital Facilities Development, Vancouver Airport Authority

“FTE Global was definitely a great opportunity for us to network and to learn from all the players that are changing the airline industry and the travel industry. During three days we were exposed to lots of insights and we were exposed to a broader way of approaching our business.”

Alessandro Fusaro, Coordinator Digital Marketing & Innovation, SkyTeam

“It has been great attending FTE Global. The conference sessions have really informed our thinking and the Co-creation Forums were particularly good in generating a high level of interaction. FTE Global is highly recommended – I will definitely attend again.”

Max Coppin, Partner Development Manager, Google

“The event has been very insightful. I’ve been to a lot of conferences, and the knowledge gained at FTE Global is unique and innovative. It’s very good that the event is all about collaboration. I will take some nice concepts home with me.”

Maria Rosario C. Jocson, Assistant Vice President, Centre for Customer Management, Marketing Department, Philippine Airlines

“There are very few events where airlines can get together and talk about what they’re doing. Here at FTE Global, we are able to hear in detail the experiences of others.”

Tim Graham, Senior Manager – Integration, Development & Innovation, Virgin Atlantic Airways

Vital Event Information

Future Travel Experience Global 2018 is an independent global forum that brings together airlines, airports, government agencies, vendors, start-ups, terminal designers, architects, ground handlers, destination partners and various other travel industry stakeholders to define tomorrow’s end-to-end passenger experience.

Future Travel Experience Global 2018
- September 2018
Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas, United States

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