Recognising customer-focused innovation in the air transport industry
Launched in 2011, the Future Travel Experience (FTE) Global Awards celebrate the outstanding efforts of organisations that have gone the extra mile to improve the passenger experience both on the ground and in-flight.
Future Travel Experience Global Innovation Awards 2019
Best Innovation Initiative – Airport
The “Best Innovation Initiative – Airport” award will recognise a single airport initiative or project that has used technology to improve the customer experience and/or enhance operational efficiency. The judges will be looking for unique solutions that display true industry leadership. The initiative may have improved one part of the travel experience (for example, the baggage, security or border control experience) or, preferably, it may have delivered improvements at multiple touchpoints. If your airport has implemented a project that has used technology to deliver significant improvements over the past 12 months (from July 2018 onwards).
- Bangalore International Airport Limited – Digi Yatra programme
- Changi Airport Group – Jewel Changi Airport
- Gatwick Airport – Machine learning for operational efficiency
- Haneda Airport – Haneda Robotics Lab
- Heathrow Airport – Biometrics rollout
Best Innovation Initiative – Airline
The “Best Innovation Initiative – Airline” award will recognise a single airline initiative or project that has tapped into technology to improve the customer experience and/or enhance operational efficiency. The judges will be looking for unique solutions that display true industry leadership. The initiative may have improved one part of the travel experience (for example, the check-in process or the inflight entertainment experience) or, preferably, it may have delivered improvements at multiple touchpoints. If your airline has implemented a project that has used technology to deliver significant improvements over the past 12 months (from July 2018 onwards).
- Delta Air Lines – Biometric terminal – Maynard H. Jackson International Terminal and Concourse F, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
- Eurowings – Digital travel companion initiatives
- Qatar Airways – Mobility solutions to enhance customer experience and operational efficiency
- Virgin Atlantic Airways – Airbus A350 passenger experience
- Vistara – Robotics, big data and blockchain deployments
FTE Accessibility Leadership Award
The FTE Accessibility Leadership Award will recognise the airline or airport that has displayed the greatest leadership in making air travel more accessible for travellers with additional needs. This award is open to airlines and airports around the world.
If your airline or airport has taken steps throughout the end-to-end passenger journey to improve and simplify the travel experience for those with additional needs, you should apply for this award. Airlines and airports that have delivered significant improvements at multiple passenger experience touchpoints (pre-travel, check-in, security, departure gate, in-flight, arrival, etc) will be given additional consideration.
- Edinburgh Airport
- Japan Airlines
- Pittsburgh International Airport
- United Airlines
- Virgin Atlantic Airways
Airport Performance Awards
The Airport Performance Awards (sponsored by Cirium) will recognise the airports that have achieved overall development growth while maintaining a focus on reducing friction to deliver a positive passenger experience. Using Cirium data, each award will consider year-on-year available seat km (ASK) growth and on-time performance (OTP) rating improvement change. Those airports with above average growth in both of these areas will qualify for the awards. In each category, the airport with a stand-out performance across these two criteria will be recognised.
Category: 4-20 million passengers:
- Alfonso B. Aragón Airport
- Bob Hope Airport
- José María Córdova International Airport
- Kahului Airport
- Kota Kinabalu International Airport
Category: 20-50 million passengers:
- Arturo Merino Benítez Airport
- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
- El Dorado International Airport
- Jorge Chávez International Airport
- Kansai International Airport
Category: 50 million+ passengers:
- Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport
- Barcelona-El Prat Airport
- Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport
- Incheon International Airport
- Kuala Lumpur International Airport
2018 Awards Winners
Best On the Ground Initiative:
Lufthansa won the Gold Award in the ‘Best On the Ground Initiative’ category for its deployment of self-service disruption management solutions via digital channels. The airline has developed an artificial intelligence powered chatbot and a powerful re-accommodation tool, empowered passengers with self-service tools if their bags are misrouted, and is developing digital food & beverage vouchers, all of which are designed to improve the customer experience if services are affected by disruption.
Heathrow was presented with the Silver Award in the ‘Best On the Ground Initiative’ category in recognition of its ambitious automation programme, which is helping to deliver a seamless end-to-end journey and minimise passenger touch points. The solution is part of a long-term strategy, supported by airlines and UK government, to link capabilities to drive a fully automated passenger journey including risk-based security. This strategy has already seen self-boarding gates and self-service bag drop installed. Biometrics technology is also being used to support this seamless journey vision.
Air France & Groupe ADP
Air France and Groupe ADP were presented with the Bronze Award in the ‘Best On the Ground Initiative’ category for their development of the biometric boarding pass, which uses biometrics without deploying a central database. Unlike other smart boarding projects based on facial recognition using a central database, this innovation encrypts a passenger’s face from an ID document within the boarding pass barcode, whilst respecting IATA barcode standards.
Best Up in the Air Initiative:
Emirates won the Gold Award in the ‘Best Up in the Air Initiative’ category for its introduction of a new First Class private suite on board its Boeing 777s. The suites feature floor to ceiling sliding doors and design features inspired by the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Each suite offers up to 40 sq ft of personal space. Other impressive features include virtual windows; fully flat beds with a “zero-gravity” position inspired by NASA technology; a 32-inch full HD LCD TV screen; a video call function to communicate with crew; a service window through which drinks and canapés can be served; and an updated personal mini bar.
Singapore Airlines won the Silver Award in the ‘Best Up in the Air Initiative’ category for its rollout of new cabin products for its latest Airbus A380 aircraft. The enhancements – which benefit passengers in all classes of travel – range from personalised inflight entertainment and high-speed Wi-Fi to more luxurious amenities and dining services for premium passengers.
Qatar Airways won the Bronze Award in the ‘Best Up in the Air Initiative’ category for its inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) upgrades, including Near Field Communication (NFC) technology integration. The ORYX ONE platform now includes over 4,400 titles and is complemented by a dedicated app, enabling passengers to personalise their entertainment experience. NFC integration allows passengers to “tap and transfer” their playlist from their personal device, while high-speed Wi-Fi has also been introduced.
Best Airport Terminal Design Project:
Changi Airport Terminal 4
Changi Airport Group was presented with the ‘Best Airport Terminal Design Project’ award for the successful opening of the ground-breaking Terminal 4. The new facility, which opened in October 2017, makes extensive use of self-service and biometrics technology to support and secure a seamless passenger experience. A raft of unique features, including an immersive wall, a heritage zone, and art installations also help to create a sense of place and an unmistakable passenger experience.
FTE Accessibility Leadership Award:
Virgin Atlantic won FTE’s first ever ‘Accessibility Leadership Award’ for its introduction of a portable inflight entertainment (IFE) solution for passengers with visual impairments. The portable IFE platform was developed by Bluebox Aviation Systems with significant input from Virgin Atlantic and representatives from The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association. The result is an iPad-based IFE solution that includes controls and menus that are easy to detect and navigate, support in multiple languages, closed captions and audio-described content.
Best New Startup (in partnership with JetBlue Technology Ventures):
Redeam was voted winner of the ‘FTE Global 2018 Startup Competition’, delivered in partnership with JetBlue Technology Ventures. Redeam is a leading travel technology company solving a multi-billion dollar problem in travel: paper vouchers.
Best Supplier Innovation:
Molon Labe Seating
Molon Labe Seating was voted winner of the ‘Best Supplier Innovation’ Award. Molon Labe’s patented seating designs offer more lateral space through the use of a staggered layout. During the FTE Global show, the company exclusively announced that it has secured its first airline customer for the pioneering “S1” seat.
FTE/KLM/TU Delft Student Disruptor Global Design Challenge:
Ahead of FTE Global 2018, FTE teamed up with KLM and Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) to launch the Student Disruptor Global Design Challenge. Anna Drewitz was selected as the winner for her “FRED” concept – an artificial intelligence-powered robot that can assist passengers in the airport environment and simplify the travel process. Roxanne van Rijn, Sree Mahit Munakala and Iris Chung were also highly commended.