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

Up in the Air Conference

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

6-8 September 2017 Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas

Headline Partner:

Headline Partner:



FTE global Supporting Partner ACC Airports Consultants Council
FTE global Supporting Partner AAAE
FTE global Supporting Partner Airport Terminal Of The Future

FTE global Supporting Partner Rockwell Collins
FTE global Silver Sponsor Gemalto

FTE global Gold Sponsor Airbus
Sales Force
FTE global Silver Sponsor Gemalto

Up in the Air Conference

The ‘Up in the Air’ conference stream at FTE Global, which will be delivered in partnership with the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), is widely regarded as an industry-leading conference for airlines, OEMs, cabin designers and vendors to share their latest in-flight innovations and define which direction the in-flight passenger experience will take in the future. FTE’s independent and passenger-focused mentality is renowned for creating high-quality discussion and progress that cannot be matched by any other event in the marketplace.

Great care is taken to ensure delegates hear from the most forward thinking and pioneering air transport and travel industry leaders. The 2017 ‘Up in the Air’ agenda will focus on future opportunities and challenges in areas including next generation in-flight entertainment, connectivity, cabin design, passenger comfort, crew empowerment and personalisation.

All delegates will also have access to the ‘Terminal Design & Delivery’, ‘Labs and Start-up Symposium’ and ‘On the Ground’ conference streams.

Day 1 is a joint day of sessions for all participants.

Wednesday 6th September - Day 1

09:15 - 10:15

Speed Networking Ice Breaker

Speaker Invited

Wednesday 6th September 10:30 - 12:00

Opening Keynote Session


Daniel Coleman
Future Travel Experience

Welcome from the host

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

Inspirational Keynotes

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

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

Dirk Ahlborn
JumpStarter Inc & Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc

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

Speaker Invited

Wednesday 6th September 13:30 - 15:00

The future according to the disruptors

Second Working Session

 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


Dirk Ahlborn
JumpStarter Inc & Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Inc
Ashish Kumar
Zunum Aero
David Lackner
VP of Business Development
A³ by Airbus Group
Joshua Krall
CTO & Co-founder
Boom Supersonic

Additional panelists

Stewart Steeves
Chief Executive Officer
LaGuardia Gateway Partners
Mohammad Gaber
Senior Director – Digital Strategy & Transformation
Air Canada

15:00 - 15:45
Coffee break

Speaker Invited

Wednesday 6th September 15:45 - 17:30

FTE Personalisation Symposium

Third Working Session

“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)


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

Greg Jones
Managing Director - WW Hospitality & 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

Brussels Airlines’ mission is “to be the most personal airline”. How is it going about achieving this in the digital age, when always-connected passengers often know more about what is happening with their flight and luggage than an airline does?

Simon Lamkin
Chief Information Officer
Brussels Airlines

More speakers to be announced

Speaker Invited

Wednesday 6th September 17:30 - 19:00

Las Vegas themed FTE Global 2017 Welcome Reception

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

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

Thursday 7th September - Day 2

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

Speaker Invited

Thursday 7th September 09:00 - 10:15

FTE "Up in the Air" Keynote Addresses

Boom is bringing back supersonic travel, but can passengers expect a game changing experience within the cabin also?

Joshua Krall
CTO & Co-founder
Boom Supersonic

What level of cabin innovation can we expect from WestJet’s new Boeing MAX aircraft with elevated Plus service, and its recently announced Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner fleet?

Rossen Dimitrov
Senior Vice President Customer Experience

Followed by Fireside chat with Conference Chairman, Joe Leader

Joe Leader
Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)

10:15 - 11:00
Coffee break on the exhibition floor

Speaker Invited

Thursday 7th September 11:00 - 00:30

Inflight #PaxEx Leaders Debate - A debate exploring the major opportunities, and challenges, relating to future inflight experiences.

Fourth Working Session


An interactive, quick-fire, Q&A-driven session exploring how a variety of passenger experience leaders plan to enhance the onboard experience. This fast-paced session will cover a range of topics, including: the impacts of new regulations; the business cases for different cabin classes; the impact of new technology on the inflight experience; crew and passenger empowerment opportunities; opportunities to differentiate the passenger experience; inventive approaches to inflight customer service; how cabin design can be used to increase passenger comfort; and how airlines can leverage digital channels to redefine their inflight ancillary revenue generation strategies.


A debate exploring the major opportunities, and challenges, relating to future inflight experiences.

Joe Leader
Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)


Rossen Dimitrov
Senior Vice President Customer Experience
Rowan Chalmers
Executive General Manager - Operations, Airports & Inflight Services and Freight
Fiji Airways
Guillermo Laguna
Manager of Customer Solutions
Steve Murtoff
Senior Director, Onboard Experience & Policy
Southwest Airlines
Tarek Abdel-Halim
Managing Director Onboard Products
United Airlines

Questions to Consider:

  • What will aircraft cabin classes look like in the future? Is there a long-term business case for first, business, premium economy, economy and basic economy?
  • How can we motivate airlines to move faster in terms of adopting new technologies?
  • How can airlines ensure a consistent customer experience across their entire fleet, including on old and new aircraft?
  • Long lead times are an issue in the industry, whereas Google, Facebook, etc. think six months is a long time. As the relationships between airlines, suppliers and technology companies continue to evolve, how can we address this imbalance?
  • Using wearables, sensors, PEDs, etc. raises a number of security-related questions. How can the industry work together to tackle these challenges?
  • A lot of these opportunities require airlines to change their service profile/philosophy. How can we encourage airlines to do so?
  • Cost is still an issue. How can me move all of these opportunities from being a cost for the airline, to a revenue-generating tool for them?
  • How can airlines create a personalised in-flight e-commerce platform to drive ancillary sales?
  • Suppliers must also help to lead the way by creating concepts that capture the airlines’ excitement. How can we get airlines more involved in the development process from an earlier stage?
  • How can you make IFE more accessible to all passenger groups, including passengers with disabilities?
  • How can you empower crew to deliver more memorable in-flight experiences?
  • How can technology be used to dramatically improve the economy class experience?
  • How can airlines leverage the full potential of the connected cabin?
  • Just how reconfigurable will airline cabins, and cabin interiors be in the future?

12:30 - 13:45
Lunch break on the exhibition floor

Speaker Invited

Thursday 7th September 13:45 - 14:10

Post-lunch Keynote for all conference delegates

Thoughts on reinventing travel from Google’s creative think tank – The Zoo

Ignacio Zuccarino
Head of Creative @ The Zoo

The ZOO is Google’s creative think tank for brands and agencies. Their mission is to push the limits of creativity through platforms and technologies.

Speaker Invited

Thursday 7th September 14:10 - 15:30

Inflight customer experience case studies – global examples of best practice, brand excellence and innovation

Fifth Working Session


Joe Leader
Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)

‘Good to Great’ – how Aer Lingus has raised the standards of product and service delivery, put a big focus on its people, provided award-winning training and embedded new service values and behaviours into the company culture

Marc Giles
Guest Engagement Manager
Aer Lingus

How is Hawaiian Airlines using its new A321 neo fleet to revitalise and future proof its premium leisure experience?

Avi Mannis
Senior Vice President Marketing
Hawaiian Airlines
Ben Orson
Managing Director
JPA Design

The story behind the game-changing business class Qsuite

A Qatar Airways representative to be announced

15:30 - 16:15
Coffee break on the exhibition floor

Speaker Invited

Thursday 7th September 16:15 - 17:30

Leveraging technology and design to create unique, memorable and personalised experiences that can also boost ancillary revenues

Sixth Working Session


VR, AR, wearables, the connected cabin, IoT, digital ancillaries, personalisation, etc.


Joe Leader
Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)


What have been the lessons learned from Air New Zealand’s trials exploring if technologies like Microsoft’s HoloLens can enhance in-flight service?

Greg Jones
Managing Director - WW Hospitality & Travel

How Finnair has leveraged connectivity to improve the customer experience and boost ancillary revenues on board its A350s

Piia Karhu
SVP Customer Experience

How is Delta Air Lines crew using big data in-flight to empower crew to quickly identify the customer, and further personalise their interactions with them?

Chris Buckner
Director, Onboard Product and Customer Experience
Delta Air Lines

Plus, special contribution

Conclusions from the Co-creation working group on leveraging connectivity to increase ancillary revenues inflight.

Speaker Invited

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.

Friday 8th September - Day 3

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

Speaker Invited

Friday 8th September 09:00 - 10:00

Day 3 Keynote

What can air-transport stakeholders learn from MGM Resorts International about delivering a guest experience to remember, and what more could be done between the 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

Speaker Invited

Friday 8th September 10:30 - 12:00

Inflight delight: Designing passenger experience to set your airline apart

Seventh Working Session

From cabin design to connectivity, airlines are looking for ways to differentiate themselves to win the hearts, minds and miles of passengers. Artefact (which has worked with Panasonic Avionics, Thales, Alaska Air, and more) will demonstrate how to use design thinking to identify moments of “inflight delight” that your airline is doing well from a passenger perspective and strategies for amplifying client satisfaction throughout the inflight experience. By dialing up what delights your customers, you can set your airline apart by pulling ahead in passenger experience.

Through a mix of tactical activities and emerging industry trends, participants will gain experience in how to innovate and design to delight customers.  The workshop will help participants identify opportunities to delight customers along the end-to-end flight experience, generate innovative ideas that draw inspiration from emerging technology trends, and select the ideas that will most greatly benefit both customers and the business.


Friday 8th September 12:00
Conference close

Speaker Invited

Friday 8th September 12:45 - 14:00

Technovation Center Tours


Technovation Solutions operates the Technovation Center in Las Vegas, focused on bringing rich, unique customer experience and staff engagement strategies to the Hospitality, Travel, and retail verticals. They showcase the latest customer facing and staff facing technologies allowing creation of “connected” customer experience with all the supporting staff and technology platforms to execute against these experiences. Their ecosystem of partners, including Microsoft, Intel, and NEC, (among others) allow us to showcase market leading technologies in a full range of areas including guest experience, IoT and connected space capabilities, application development, digital menus, table side ordering, POS, location-based and mobile marketing, supply chain management, financial management, energy management, sophisticated data analytics, and technologies that provide increased operational efficiencies.

They have recently launched a collaborative solution called the “Connected Room” that is scalable and fits well into the travel and hospitality verticals providing tablet and BYOD-based space and guest room management services including dining, concierge/valet services, entertainment, and room management services (e.g.—lighting and temperature controls.) Their collaborative approach and focus on solutions sales to the market and our ability to provide live immersive experiences provide a differentiated sales capability for partners in their ecosystem. It provides them with the ability to engage with clients in a unique and highly productive manner, and provide thought leadership throughout the sales process. Technovation Solutions ability to translate products into solutions for clients across verticals has been the cornerstone of their success with clients and partners.

Other Conference Streams Include:

On The Ground

Terminal Design & Delivery

Labs & Start-Up

Travel & Accommodation

The Mandalay Bay Resort

6 - 8 September 2017, Las Vegas

The Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas is the venue for FTE Global 2017, and offers unmatched luxury, fine dining, renowned entertainment, personal service and gaming excitement.

Full Travel & Accomodation Details

Why attend FTE Global?

Read what others are saying about FTE Global...

“FTE Global gives us a lot of opportunities to explore products and services that we otherwise don’t have time to do. The exhibition has been very good, and the panellists in the conference sessions have been perfect. FTE Global is the reference event for the industry.”

Pedro Casimiro, Ground Product and Ground Processes Manager, Brussels Airlines

“It has been great attending FTE Global. The conference sessions have really informed our thinking and the FTE Collaboration 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

“In my position I’m looking at trends and early stage concept development, so for me this event is perfect.”

Jens Andreas Huseby, Senior IT Advisor IT Strategy, Architecture & Innovation, Avinor

“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

“I was very impressed with the quality of the keynote speakers. The conference sessions have been very relevant, with technology and connectivity being pertinent themes.”

Noel Schroder, Strategic Vendor Manager, Business Performance Group, Air New Zealand

“There have been some very interesting insights in the conference sessions about where technology in the industry is heading. The networking opportunities have been excellent, and the social events were very enjoyable.”

Naohiko Yuzawa, Manager Security Products Marketing Electronics Department, All Nippon Airways

“This event makes us think about the future. The speakers have all been excellent and have made us think about things from a different perspective.”

Doug Caines, Vice President Business Development, Customer Service & Operations, North America & Asia Pacific, British Airways

“FTE has had all of the major players here this year – the key industry leaders are here. The topics addressed in the conference sessions have been timely and interesting and I have certainly learned a lot.”

John Craig, Chief Engineer, Cabin & Network Systems, Commercial Airplanes, Boeing

“There are very few events where airlines can get together and talk about what they’re doing. Here at Future Travel Experience, 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 2017 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 2017
- September 2017
Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas, United States

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