Future Travel Experience Global 2015 – ‘Up in the Air’ Conference

FTE Global 2015 Theme

The ‘Up in the Air’ conference stream, which was first introduced in 2013, completes our focus on the “end-to-end” travel experience, and is now firmly established as the industry’s leading conference where airlines, OEMs, cabin designers and suppliers share their latest onboard innovations and define which direction the in-flight passenger experience will take in the future. FTE’s independent and passenger-focused mentality helps to create discussion and progress that cannot be matched by any other event in the marketplace. The 2015 ‘Up in the Air’ agenda will be our most progressive and future-focused yet, and will focus on future developments relating to next-generation IFE, connectivity, cabin design, passenger comfort, crew empowerment and personalisation.

hat-trick-120x120THE FTE GLOBAL 2015 KEYNOTE HAT-TRICK

Las Vegas is the home of magic, and we have lined up a trio of truly outstanding household name keynotes, each of which is playing a crucial role in our changing world today, and will continue to drive positive change in the future, directly impacting the end-to-end travel experience. These keynotes will open each day of the show, and we are delighted to announce that the first two keynotes will come from:



Facebook keynote


hat-trick final announcement


What to expect from the FTE “Up in the Air” conference in 2015:

Here at FTE, driving positive change in the passenger experience space is a priority, which is why we are bringing together a Think Tank of leading industry experts to define the onboard experience of 2025 and answer the question: “What could the passenger experience onboard narrow-body aircraft look like by 2025, and what is needed to increase the speed at which industry progress in improving the passenger experience up in the air is achieved?”

FTE-Think-Tank-2015We are delighted to announce that Mike Crump, Product & Innovation Director at Honour Branding, will be the Captain of this FTE Up in the Air Think Tank, and Ingo Gäthje, Head of Cabin Design Office, Airbus; Bjorn Erik Barman-Jenssen, Senior Vice President Ground Operations, In-flight Services & Cargo, Norwegian Air Shuttle; and Neil James, Executive Director of Corporate Sales & Product Management, Panasonic Avionics Corporation are also confirmed as Think Tank members. The Think Tank’s vision and recommendations for the industry will be exclusively revealed as one of the keynote presentation of the “Up in the Air” conference.

cabin-connectivity-unleashed-logoThe ‘Up in the Air’ conference will also include a “Connectivity Unleashed” session ­– a no-holds-barred, spin-free discussion in which Mary Kirby, Founder and Editor of Runway Girl Network and one of the world’s foremost experts in IFEC business models, will grill industry leaders from the likes of Panasonic Avionics, Gogo, Thales, ViaSat and Global Eagle Entertainment on how nose-to-tail connectivity will change airlines and aviation forever, and how it will reinvent the passenger experience onboard.


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. At the end of the session, each group will provide feedback to the room to share the most pertinent issues and findings from their discussion, and these ideas will also be passed back to industry associations to help influence their next steps, so the good work can live beyond our time in Vegas together.

Other “Up in the Air” sessions will focus on:

  • How new technology, collaboration and innovation can redefine the end-to-end travel experience
  • Empowering the cabin crew of tomorrow and exploring how the industry can create a more personalised and enhanced onboard customer experience
  • Onboard Futures
  • How to approach new technology and evaluate the potential value and negative impact ¬of new technologies on your business.

Reflecting our “end-to-end” focus, delegates will also have access to the ‘On the Ground’ conference stream.

The full agenda will be released in the coming weeks, but if you are looking to get an even better flavour of what you can expect from an FTE “Up In the Air” conference please see last year’s agenda below:
  • Workshops/Sessions
  • Social events/Networking

2014 Conference Programme

Event Theme - "Reinventing the passenger experience through innovation, personalization and connectivity"

* invited to conference

Wednesday 24th September

‘Cabin Integration Symposium: A deep dive exploration into the future of IFEC and aircraft interiors’

09.30 – 12:30
Cabin Integration Symposium, delivered in partnership by FTE and Runway Girl Network Cabin Integration Symposium - Book now

This intense symposium will cut through the marketing jargon and news hype to discover exactly how airframers, airlines, interiors firms, IFE specialists and connectivity players are exploring ways to more efficiently work together and drive innovation in the cabin. Attendees will walk away from this event assured that they are up-to-speed on where the market stands, how it is evolving, and what they need to consider as they endeavour to create a future travel experience for passengers onboard, while driving operational benefits for airlines.

Led by Mary Kirby,
Founder and Editor, Runway Girl Network

Runway Girl Network
09.30 – 10:55

Interiors Panel

This session will address both the successes and challenges of the latest IFE/seat programmes, and ask what lessons are being learned as industry relationships and products evolve to accommodate new levels of integration (which requires new levels of IP sharing). It will look at how stakeholders are working to try and avoid severe bottlenecks in the interiors/IFE space, and whether ‘complete cabin’ solutions might ultimately prove attractive to airlines, especially as further aircraft production ramp ups are planned.


Ingo Gäthje,
Head of Cabin Design Office, Airbus


Rich Salter,
Chief Technology Officer, Lumexis


Neil James,
Executive Director, Corporate Sales & Product Management, Panasonic Avionics

Panasonic Avionics

Lori Salazar,
VP Product Management, Thales Avionics


Chris Brady,
Managing Director, Acro Aircraft Seating


Dr. Jörg Liebe,
CIO, Lufthansa Systems

Lufthansa Systems
11.05 – 12:30

Connectivity Panel

This session will look at what can be done – from an operational, passenger and safety standpoint ¬– when airlines view connected aircraft as a node on their networks. And it will paint a clear picture of what the connectivity linefit/retrofit market looks like so that airlines understand their options now and in the coming years.


Ingo Gäthje,
Head of Cabin Design Office, Airbus


Miranda Mills,
President, Aviation, Inmarsat


David Bruner,
VP of Global Communications Services, Panasonic Avionics

Panasonic Avionics

Jack Jacobs,
VP Marketing and Product Management, Honeywell


Mike Moeller,
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Thales/Live TV

Thales/Live TV

Stephan Egli,
Chief Commercial Officer, OnAir


Tarek Abdel-Halim,
Managing Director of Cabin Systems, United


Anand Chari,
Chief Technology Officer, Gogo


Aditya Chatterjee,
Chief Technology Officer & Senior Vice President of Engineering, Global Eagle Entertainment

Global Eagle Entertainment
12:30 – 13:30  |  Lunch break
13:30 – 15:00

Premium Passenger Experiences Forum Part 1 - Case studies

Premium Passenger Experiences Forum Part 1 - Case studies

Questions to consider:

  • What's behind the current flux of premium cabin upgrades?
  • How can airlines differentiate their passenger experience to attract premium passengers?
  • What's next in the premium passenger experience, now flat beds in Business are the standard today?
  • What are the most effective onboard facilities to create a unique onboard experience for high-value customers? What do these customers value most?
  • How can airlines from Europe and North America keep up with the 'upgrade battle' from Gulf-based and Asian carriers?
  • What role can big data play in the development of a more personal in-flight experience for premium passengers? How can airlines strike the right balance between personalisation and intrusion?
  • How do you maintain a consistent premium passenger experience within an alliance?

Enhancing the onboard experience for premium passengers to maintain loyalty and attract new customers

Chairman’s presentation: An overview of the latest trends and innovations in the premium passenger experience space
Raymond Kollau, Founder, AirlineTrends.com



How Finnair is working to create a "special customer experience" for its premium passengers.

Jarkko Konttinen,
Vice President of Product and Marketing, Finnair


A focus on American's 777-300 and A321T's premium cabins

Alice Liu,
Managing Director of Onboard Products, American Airlines

American Airlines
15:00 – 15:30  |  Coffee break
15:30 – 17:00

Premium Passenger Experiences Forum Part 2 - Unconference Session

Premium Passenger Experiences Forum Part 2 - Unconference Session

Unconference is a facilitated, participant-driven approach, where delegates (who will be led by specialist facilitators) can share experiences and ideas, with the aim of drawing conclusions on key issues where the sector is still assessing the most effective ways to move forward:

Topics to be discussed:

  • What do premium passengers value most when flying?
  • How can airlines differentiate their onboard passenger experience now that flat beds in Business Class are the standard?
  • Can cabin crew leveraging technology and big data to truly deliver a personalized, concierge style, service in premium cabins?
  • What's next for IFEC in premium cabins? Are new concepts such as gesture control and surround sound audio viable?
  • What can airlines learn from other industries, and are co-making partnerships with other major brands the way to truly differentiate the premium passenger experience?


Cameron Campbell,
Principle Communications Strategist, Teague


Raymond Kollau,
Founder, AirlineTrends.com

17:00 – 17:30
Opening and welcome reception
17:30 – 18:30

Opening Keynote Session

Welcome Addresses

Daniel Coleman,
Founder, Future Travel Experience

Future Travel Experience

Rob Elliott,
Senior Vice President of Public Affairs, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

What can the travel industry learn from Disney’s guest experience principles and latest initiatives, such as MyMagic+, to help create the most seamless and personalised end-to-end travel experience possible?

Bob Simmonds VP Domestic Travel Operations, Disney Destinations

Bob is responsible for helping to create the most magical experience possible for guests planning to visit any Disney destination worldwide. Whether through a phone call, an email, a web chat or even a letter, Disney helps its guests create "magical memories that last a lifetime”. Bob’s responsibilities include driving sales and guest satisfaction using advanced people, process, technology and strategies, “while sprinkling a little pixie dust”. He is also responsible for product development and the P&L for the Walt Disney Travel Company, one of the world's leading travel wholesalers providing Disney products to world-class travel industry partners and consumers. In this keynote address, he will help travel industry stakeholders identify how they can learn from Disney’s approach to help improve their own guest experience.

18:30 – 20:00

Take advantage of the vital networking opportunities provided at this Welcome Reception, where delegates can enjoy demonstrations in the exhibition for the first time during the event, as well as drinks and entertainment inspired by this year’s FIFA World Cup in Brazil, which like FTE Global brings together nationalities from all over the world in one place to showcase the best of the best.

Entertainment will include a penalty shoot-out, where a nominated representative from each country in attendance at the show will participate in a ‘sudden death knockout’ competition. The winning penalty taker, and their fellow country representatives, will be immortalised in a trophy lifting ceremony at the end of the evening!

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

Thursday 25th September

08:00 – 09:00
09:00 – 09:30
FTE Global, Up in the Air Conference

FTE “Up in the Air” Keynote Address

How JetBlue is using new technology and innovation to create the best possible travel experience and deliver on its commitment of 'inspiring humanity'

Eash Sundaram

Eash Sundaram Executive Vice President & Chief Information Officer
JetBlue Airways

Etihad Airways
09:30 – 10:30

Opening Session

Opening keynote

Questions to consider:

  • How can airlines look beyond the obvious (e.g. flat beds, paid-for Wi-Fi) to create a unique onboard experience?
  • How can airlines redefine the role of cabin crew to create concierges in the air?
  • How can airlines effectively communicate their brand values through the in-flight experience?
  • How can the onboard experience be significantly enhanced for economy passengers?
  • What does the perfect IFE offering entail – embedded IFE, BYOD, wireless IFE, a combination of all?
  • Providing a great in-flight experience for long-haul passengers is often prioritised, but how can the short-haul passenger experience be improved?

Today’s cutting edge case studies of in-flight customer experience excellence achieved through technology and bold thinking

Passenger perspectives on today's inflight experience, and how the "connected" generation are shaping public perceptions of airlines

Chairman: Mary Kirby,
Founder and Editor, Runway Girl Network

Runway Girl Network

British Airways is investing £5 billion in new products, aircraft and technology to provide the best possible flying experience for its customers. In which specific areas has it invested, and what real difference do its passengers believe it has made to their experience?

Kate Thornton,
Head of Product and Service, British Airways

British Airways

How the new American Airlines cabin designs for the 777-200 will deliver a “life uninterrupted” experience in the skies

Alice Liu,
Managing Director of Onboard Products, American Airlines

American Airlines
10:30 - 11:15  |  Coffee break on the exhibition floor
11:15 - 12:45

Second Working Session

Second Working Session

Questions to consider:

  • What impact will the launch of next-generation satellites, such as the GX constellation network, have on in-flight connectivity in both the short- and long-term?
  • Do low-cost portable Wi-Fi networks work, and do they present a new business model that will facilitate free connectivity for all passengers?
  • How can airlines leverage big data to create a more personalised passenger experience? What are the key privacy concerns and how can they be addressed?
  • To what extent do aircraft manufacturers, airlines and suppliers need to work more closely together to ensure aircraft are connectivity-flexible and to remove the need to retrofit products in the future?
  • Following the rise of self-service on the ground, is there now an increased appetite for self-service onboard (e.g. ordering and paying for F&B via IFE systems, bringing your own content onboard, etc)?
  • How can airlines exploit connectivity to drive ancillary revenue generation?

What are the long-term future possibilities that can be leveraged onboard through connectivity and other new technologies?

Connectivity is already changing the landscape for airline operations and passenger experiences through crew empowerment and in-flight Wi-Fi, but we’re only scratching the surface of the possibilities it offers. How far can we go with leveraging its capabilities to reinvent the passenger experience onboard?

The Chairman will set the scene, and then without using slides each speaker will talk for three minutes from their seat to share their thoughts on the question set. After all have voiced their opinion, the panel will debate what they have heard and the questions to be considered.

Chairman: Rohit Talwar,
CEO, Fast Future Research

Fast Future


Brett Proud,
President & CEO, GuestLogix


John Craig,
Chief Engineer, Cabin & Network Systems, The Boeing Company

The Boeing Company

Mike Moeller,
Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Thales/Live TV

12:45 - 14:00  |  Lunch on the exhibition floor
14:00 – 14:45
FTE Global, Up in the Air Conference FTE Global, Up in the Air Conference

Post-lunch Joint Keynote for all conference delegates

FTE Global 2014 Exclusive - Integrating the destination into every part of a passenger’s travel experience: the airplane, the airport, and the city.

A passenger’s destination is the most important element of every journey. Capturing the spatial, emotional, and cultural qualities of this destination throughout the passenger journey will be a key differentiator in the design of future experiences. In this session, a multi-disciplinary team, representing academia, technology, design and government, explain how they are pushing the boundaries of design thinking and technology to connect passengers to the places they experience. The panel will discuss the design processes, outcomes and partnerships that have started to turn this idea into reality, and present their goals for the future of passenger experiences around the globe.

Anijo Mathew
Associate Professor, IIT Institute of Design, Chicago Anijo Mathew

Muki Hansteen-Izora
Research Scientist & Senior Strategist, Intel Labs Muki Hansteen-Izora

Melissa Cherry
VP of Cultural Tourism & Neighborhoods, Choose Chicago Melissa Cherry

Cameron Campbell
Principle Communications Strategist, TEAGUE Cameron Campbell

14:45 – 15:45

Third Working Session - Today's most progressive cabin design and onboard innovation strategies

Third Working Session

The Chairman will set the scene, and then without using slides each speaker will talk for five to ten minutes from their seat to outline their latest progressive efforts to improve onboard experiences through inventive cabin design and service strategies. After all have voiced their opinions, the panel will debate what they have heard and the questions to be considered.

Questions to consider:

  • How can the onboard passenger experience be reshaped through inventive cabin design?
  • Which new products and technologies will play an important role in enhancing the in-flight experience for travellers?
  • How can airlines make significant improvements to cabin comfort in such a restricted environment?
  • How can aircraft manufacturers, airlines and design agencies work more closely together to achieve onboard passenger experience enhancement and differentiation?
  • What role can an effective onboard service strategy have on helping to improve the passenger experience going forward?
  • How does the onboard passenger experience strategy fit in with the overall airline brand experience both before and after the flight?
  • What are the innovation strategies that can redefine economy class?
  • From BYOD to wearables, from virtual reality to data – which areas are airlines, aircraft manufacturers and designers looking to in order to create next-generation onboard experiences?

Chairman's presentation: The role of creating a consistent customer experience strategy that permeates the physical as well as the digital and service design
Mike Lemmon,
Design Director, Artefact



Ingo Gäthje,
Head of Cabin Design Office, Airbus


Baden Smith,
Head of Airline Business, Altitude Aerospace Interiors

Altitude Aerospace

Marc Giles,
Guest Engagement Manager, Aer Lingus

Aer Lingus
15:45 - 16:15  |  Coffee break
16:15 – 17:15

Redefining end-to-end passenger experiences keynote session

Industry Keynotes:

Sam Ingalls

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

McCarran International Airport

Views from the world’s first LCC to operate both short-haul and long-haul on how airlines can take ownership of, and redefine, the end-to-end passenger experience


Bjorn Erik Barman-Jenssen,
Senior Vice President Ground Operations, In-flight Services & Cargo, Norwegian Air Shuttle

Norwegian Air Shuttle

Views from one of the world’s leading hospitality companies on how the end-to-end travel experience can be truly enhanced and redefined through technology and collaboration

Sam Ingalls

Josh Weiss,
VP Brand and Guest Technology, Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide
20:00 – 23:00
Gala evening

Location – House of Blues at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
Timing – 20:00 – 23:00
Dress code – Business casual

Taking place at the notoriously "cool" House of Blues at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, McCarran International Airport, with the support of Rockwell Collins, will be hosting a memorable evening with the finest food, drink and entertainment that Las Vegas has to offer. The venue provides a funky, folk-art atmosphere and Southern-inspired cuisine. Its music hall is the current home of resident artist Carlos Santana and the perfect venue for legendary events.

Music will be at the heart of the evening's proceedings and in addition to great, live professional music, we will be also be hosting "Rock Star Karaoke". So, as well as providing a forum for all delegates to have their say in the conference room, we will also be offering them the opportunity to share their voices with a live band behind them at the FTE Gala Party! The evening will culminate with the 2014 Future Travel Experience Awards ceremony, and a headline performance from Nevada's leading Stevie Wonder tribute.

End of day

Friday 26th September

09:15 – 10:15

Outside of the box thinking to show what will be possible by leveraging new technology throughout the travel continuum

Visionary Keynotes

Ryan Ghee

Chairman: Ryan Ghee,
Editor & Event Strategy Manager, Future Travel Experience

Future Travel Experience
Greg Jones

The future view on how technology and consumer needs will evolve, and how travel industry stakeholders should adapt to these changes

Greg Jones,
Industry Director, Worldwide Hospitality & Travel, Microsoft

Matt Muta

Using technology to leverage consistency across the entire journey

Matt Muta,
VP Innovation & Commercial Technologies, Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines
10:15 – 11:00  |  Coffee on the exhibition floor
11:00 – 12:30

The FTE Wearable Technology Forum

Wearable Technology

Is wearable a fad or, as recent evidence suggests, a powerful new tool in travel?

In recent months, interest around utilising wearable technology in a travel context has exploded. First Virgin Atlantic launched a groundbreaking trial using Google Glass and Sony Smartwatches to deliver a high-tech, personalised passenger experience in the Upper Class Wing at London Heathrow Airport, and since then we have heard publicly that London City Airport is exploring how it can leverage Google Glass from an airport operations perspective. We’ve also had further announcements from the likes of Iberia, Vueling and airberlin that their passengers will be able to download boarding passes directly to their wearable devices.

However, we are only scratching the surface of what is possible through wearable technology across the travel continuum and this Forum will provide an invaluable platform for first-movers to share what they are doing, and the lessons they have learned along the way. It will provide a unique platform for our speakers and audience to explore together where wearable technology is going next and how airlines, airports, service providers, concessionaires, immigration, security agencies and other travel industry stakeholders can take advantage of these technologies to improve future business performance and passenger experiences.

Format: Cutting-edge case study presentations to showcase how wearable technology is being leveraged today, before moving into a wider panel discussion on where the technology is going next and what opportunities it might present for the travel sector going forward.

Chairman’s Opening Presentation:

Thoughts on next-generation wearable devices, such as those that will allow you to unlock personal devices and pay bills using only your biometrics, and what these might mean for travel.

Julian Beltrán,
CEO, Droiders
julian beltran



Since February this year, Virgin Atlantic has been trialling smartwatches and Google Glass in its Upper Class Wing at Heathrow to provide next-generation customer service to passengers. What are the results and lessons learned from these first-mover efforts, and will wearable be a key technology leveraged by the airline going forward?

Joint presentation from:

Tim Graham,
IT Innovation and Development Manager, Virgin Atlantic Airways

Virgin Atlantic Airways

Jim Peters,
Chief Technology Officer, SITA


Experiences and lessons learned from Iberia – the airline that has gone furthest with leveraging wearable technology

Andrew Kenji Wang Fujiyama,
Manager Planning Group Web Sales, Japan Airlines*

Japan Airlines
12:30 – 13:45  |  Lunch on the exhibition floor
13:45 – 14:45
FTE Global, Up in the Air Conference FTE Global, Up in the Air Conference

Unconference Sessions


Unconference is a facilitated, participant-driven approach, which will see the conference room rearranged into a series of specific working areas where delegates (who will be led by a specialist facilitator) can share experiences and ideas across the following subjects:

Strategies to enhance the end-to-end travel experience

Facilitated by Duncan Abell,
VP of Creative, Global Eagle Entertainment

Global Eagle Entertainment

The future of airport common use

David Kershaw
Director, Kershaw & Associates Ltd

Questions to consider:

  • What role will the Cloud play in future common use solutions?
  • It's clear that a "one-size-fits-all" common use solution isn't feasible. But is common use still the best approach for all airline and airport types (e.g. LCCs and legacy carriers? Hub and regional airports)?
  • Would a "pay-as-you-go" pricing model and shorter contracts between airports and vendors help to increase common use and CUPPS uptake?
  • What impact will the increasing use of self-service in the airport environment have on future CUPPS uptake?

Leveraging technology onboard to personalise passenger experiences and drive spending

Facilitated by Raymond Kollau,
Founder, AirlineTrends.com


Leveraging technology at the airport to personalise passenger experiences and drive spending

Glenn Tinley,
President and Founder, MEXIA Interactive

15:30 – 17:00
Las Vegas McCarran International Airport tour End of day