The Top 5 Takeaways From FTE Global

Geoff Aucoin Tech

Future Travel Experience (FTE) Global wrapped up on September 12th, once again bringing together airlines, government agencies, airports, and various other travel industry stakeholders in a global forum to define the future of the end-to-end passenger experience. Lixar’s very own Jonny Stevens and Andrew Duke were on the ground in Las Vegas – participating in panels about the latest tech and helping to shed light on the upcoming disruptions that could redefine the traveler’s experience. Let’s take a look at the change on the horizon – here are their top five takeaways from this year’s conference:

1. Disrupt or be Disrupted

FTE’s 2018 theme was built around industry disruption, and it’s no wonder why: everything from AI and Blockchain to electric and self-driving aircraft is poised to transform the aviation industry. But, the focus this year wasn’t on the technology itself – it was how the industry should respond to rapid technological developments that took centre stage. Making the leap into the latest tech can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Even something like leveraging your company’s data to achieve data-driven decision making can be accomplished in small steps. At Lixar, we’ve found that you can set yourself up for success by starting small and experimenting with tech and data on a micro-scale. Here’s Jonny to tell you how to leverage your data. 

2. Biometrics Will Transform the Passenger Experience

Delta is set to launch America’s first ‘Biometric Terminal’, using facial recognition to create a seamless flow from check-in to boarding. Orlando airport will become the first to use biometric scanning for all of its international flights by the end of 2018, saving passengers up to nine minutes during the boarding process. Experts predict that in five years time, boarding a flight will be as simple as posing for a photo, eliminating the need for passports and boarding passes.

3. Data Has Arrived

Nearly everyone talked about leveraging data in the transformational quest for data-driven decision making. We’re thrilled to see companies realizing the tectonic shift their data can bring – even small to medium-sized businesses are sitting on massive amounts of data. Company data is growing at such a rate that up to 73% goes unused, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Check out this article to learn how to take the first steps to becoming data-driven, and why your data plumbing is essential to success.

4. Sometimes, The Solution Can Be Simple

Japan Airlines Corporation have improved the passenger experience using a simple material we’ve been building with for centuries. Boarding an airplane can be challenging for passengers in wheelchairs – metal detectors are set off even if the passenger isn’t wearing any metal items, requiring a body search after each checkpoint. JAL’s new bamboo wheelchairs are an elegant solution to this problem, allowing passengers with mobility challenges to flow through security with ease and dignity.

5. Change is on the Horizon

New forms of travel are set to shake up the aviation industry: electric aircraft could be poised to take over short-distance domestic flights, reducing aviation emissions by 40% by 2040. Hyperloops continue to garner attention both in Europe and the American Midwest, and could reduce travel between metropolitan hubs to a fraction of their original time. The possible return of supersonic flight could speed up international flights significantly: a flight from New York to London could take about three and a half hours compared to the current seven. But, perhaps the most out-of-this-world development that captured imaginations at FTE was the concept of Hotels in Space – orbiting 200 miles above the earth and costing tourists up to ten million dollars a month, the first of these extraterrestrial getaways could be open to visitors as soon as 2020.