I’m blessed to know some great people in the aviation and travel industry. Many are colleagues whom I’ve met over the years in my career, and some are new colleagues I’ve just recently met since I started Flight Chic.
One such person is Jeffrey Solomon who also writes on the Passenger Experience, with a focus on Cruise Lines.
Cruise Lines and Airlines go together like rich dark chocolate and fresh red strawberries. Jeffrey Solomon adds that much-needed glass of champagne. To our advantage, Jeffrey also has family ties to aviation, so he understands and appreciates what it takes to get #PaxEx right.
Jeffrey knew that I was going to be earth-bound in Denmark last week, so he kindly offered to share his trip report on CES Las Vegas, from an aviation standpoint. He gives us all a first-hand look at the best of what aviation had to offer at the show.
Here’s what he shared:
It’s all about the IFE. Panasonic monitors and sound systems received a lot of attention from appreciative CES attendees who, like Jeffrey, got to enjoy the American Airlines First Class and Business Class experience (if only for a little while) by sitting in the roomy new lie-flat seat.
High definition screens and rich sound featured on both American Airlines and Singapore Airlines.
You can watch a nice video taken by Jeffrey of a Panasonic screen showing flight path data for their demo airline called PanaAir. Will Panasonic venture into running their own airline next? Hmm..I don’t think so, but the imaginary airline’s flight-path does show the impressive dimension and clarity of their top-of-the-line IFE screens.
Tech features on seats got special attention at this show. We should mention that the airlines’ seats also had inputs for viewing content from your own PEDs on their 10-inch screens. Signs that airlines recognise the importance to passengers of being able to enjoy their own bring-on-board content? Definitely.
Singapore Airlines supplies their passengers with special-comfort over-the-ear headphones which is a nice extra. Both airlines featured all the expected bells and whistles on their seats: user-friendly seat adjustments, dedicated climate controls, lights, a nice table for dining and working and whatever else you please, and familiar controls for adjusting your seat as you like it, with roomy storage areas to keep travel items out of your way.
Jeffrey is 6’1” tall, 215 lbs and he had a nice eight inches to spare on the American Airlines lay out, and six inches on the Singapore Airlines lie-flat seats.
The Singapore lay-flat bed must have been a popular experience for show attendees, because it looks pretty slept-in. But don’t worry, the charming Singapore flight attendant was ready to make it neat for the next visitor.
And the most important of all #PaxEx enhancements, professional and service-oriented flight attendants, were on-site to greet visitors too.
Jeffrey also enjoyed:
A discussion entitled “Change is in the Air: New Policies for Using Consumer Electronics on Airplanes” with speakers Capt. Chuck Cook of JetBlue, Ian Dawkins of OnAir, Bill de Groh of Airline Pilots Association International, Julius Knapp of the FCC, Gautham Nagesh of the Wall Street Journal, Timothy Shaver of the FAA, and Kirk Thornburg of Delta Airlines.
They discussed the likelihoods of changes in marketing of products, safety concerns of PEDs distracting from attention during take-off and landing (sound familiar?), and the expected progress of bandwidth (Jeffrey informs me that Netflix streaming won’t be feasible any time soon). As to what is available immediately in the IFE and Connectivity areas: video on demand using personal devices, inflight communication on PEDs with other passengers.
Speakers reassured the audience that devices do not interfere with flight deck to tower communication. While to some who follow aviation tech developments this may be no surprise, we must remember that the “C” in “CES” stands for consumer. It’s good news for aviation that consumers know just how far airlines and the whole of the aviation industry are willing to go to ensure #PaxEx improvements.
Congratulations both to American Airlines and Singapore Airlines for featuring so prominently at CES 2014!
And note that CES is ready for 2015:
More about the incomparable Jeffrey Solomon:
Jeff was born in New York City, attended Hofstra University and graduated from Florida Atlantic University. He sits on the Advisory board (as Customer Experience expert) of a prominent maritime and aviation consulting firm and writes about Cruise Customer Experience on his own Cruise Line Shipping blog. He’s also a kind, friendly, generous guy, an all-around good egg, and a true mensch. You can follow him on Twitter @jeffsol. Check out his Facebook page for the latest Cruise Customer Experience Updates.
Thanks again, Jeff. I’m grateful to know you.