On June 13, 2022, I had the pleasure of attending the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) 2022 in Hamburg, Germany. The long-awaited one-day event brought together experts and visionaries from airlines, airframers, OEMs, suppliers, and design organizations to discuss the future of passenger experience, onboard environments, and services.
Hosted at the newly renovated, state-of-the-art Congress Center Hamburg (CCH), attendees had the chance to explore the ways the passenger experience community is helping to rebuild the industry despite the ongoing challenges.
Leading experts were present from Air France, TAP Portugal, Virgin Atlantic, Finnair, Collins Aerospace, Boeing Commerical Airplanes, Safran Cabin, and Inmarsat, allowing attendees to gain valuable insights into the current trends and challenges facing the industry.
Renewal and Revolution: what does the future hold for passenger experience?
The first plenary session focused on the trends and ideas that will drive forward the passenger experience community in its quest for renewal. Inspiring attendees to envision the arc of sustainability, industry leaders representing TAP Portugal and Virgin Atlantic demonstrated just how airlines are responding to the needs of those passengers who will play key roles in travel recovery and building sustainable businesses.
Following a short networking break, we were split into two streams that ran in parallel throughout the afternoon: Rebellious Reconstruction and Integrity in Action.
Behaviours and values are ever-changing. In these sessions, attendees were able to explore how the passenger experience community should best respond to these drastic paradigm shifts; from redefining the cabin to taking action on climate change. Industry experts included representatives from Collins Aerospace, LIFT Aero Design, TEAGUE, Diehl Aviation, Unum Aircraft Seating, Cirium, PriestmanGoode, and Orson Associates.
Integrity in Action
During these sessions, representatives from Tangerine, Safran Cabin, Estée Lauder, Viasat, Anuvu, Omnevo, Inmarsat, and Reaktor Aero examined the power of experience and how to elevate that experience for consumers who want to place human values first. What I learned from participating was that people are seeking greater integrity and trustworthiness while expecting smooth digital processes to manage their lives in ways that suit their needs.
Airline leaders deliver candid insights
Closing the conference, Fabien Pelous, Senior Vice President, Customer Experience, Air France welcomed us back for the final session of the day offering candid insights into how the airline has dealt with the latest trends and passenger expectations. Focusing on personalization, he explained that Air France customers want more entertainment and better connectivity that includes; customized content based on passengers’ previous viewing preferences, a pre-selected menu display, the ability to use persona devices as a second screen, and an onboard shopping experience with the option for customers to pay using their personal devices.
Reflecting on the themes of the day, Fabian was then joined by a panel of industry experts for a roundtable discussion. It was conclusive that the way forward means a more sustainable in-flight experience, as well as one that is more connected and personalized to the customers’ desires.
Following the conference, I attended the Passenger Experience Conference Industry Networking Party. Free for all delegates, it was a great opportunity to reconnect while enjoying live music and international cuisine.
The PEC conference was proceeded by the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) and the World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTC) which took place at Hamburg Messe from June 14 – 16, 2022. For full coverage of both programs, including event and news highlights, please visit the official website.
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