June 2015

June was every bit as busy as May. While I covered various hot topics in aviation and the passenger experience, SITA’s Air Transport Information Summit taking place in Brussels gave me a chance to catch up on the latest developments in aviation technology.

Perhaps the most amusing part of June, though, was the hullabaloo over IATA’s short-lived Cabin OK bag proposal. Really, passengers should pack light–if for no other reason than it makes travelling more fun. But no one wants to be told what to do, and while the program was voluntary it was not communicated in an effective way. IATA should probably take a close look at this event and refine its presentation. It might not save the Cabin OK program for the future, but it could help IATA present other projects in a way passengers will embrace.

I think the real failure of this proposal, though, was IATA’s failure to understand that no one wants to hear the word “less” from airlines any more–unless that less relates to lower fares.

With a tedious travel process, uncomfortable travel conditions, delays, in-flight perks like meals and beverages only a distant memory, unbundled fees–and all that jazz–passengers just need to hear that airlines will give them a little more of something.

That’s where technology comes in.

Developments of helpful apps, improvements to the passenger process through automation, personalised travel through the Internet of Things, investments in In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity–that’s the next focus of passenger experience improvements.

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Giving Passengers Choice is Key to SIA’S New Premium Economy IFE Strategy, APEX Digital 

U.S. Customs Add 10 New Foreign Airports to Its Pre-Clearance Program, Skift

Japan Airlines Installs the One Thing at Airport Gates That Every Flyer Needs, Skift

Spanish Millennials Are Loving Iberia’s Last-Minute Ticket Auctions, Skift

The Etihad Twitter Feed You Can’t Follow Unless You’re Super Special, Skift

The Subtle New Alitalia Look Has Small Risks, Big Rewards, Skift

Alitalia Shows Restraint in Its New Cabin Renovations, Skift

Athens Airport Is Leading Greece’s Tourism Rebound, But It May Not Be Enough, Skift

Say what you will about the many ways airlines wrong passengers, but if you want to understand the challenges aviation faces in meeting passengers’ highest expectations, these are facts to keep in mind:

Apple Made More in the Last Quarter Than All the World’s Airlines Together Will Make All Year, Skift

Spotlight on Iceland: Cool Airlines Keep the Land of Fire and Ice Hot, APEX Digital

IATA Cabin OK Bag, IATA Flickr
IATA Cabin OK Bag, IATA Flickr

Can a Universal Luggage Size Make the Carry-on Process Better? Skift

Plans for Global Passenger Bill of Rights Gains Small Audience at IATA Conference, Skift

Ryanair’s O’Leary Calls UK Regulator Demands ‘Bogus’ and ‘Ridiculous’, Skift

The 15 Most Awkward Moments of IATA’s Annual Meeting Captured in Tweets, Skift

New Carry-On Proposal: FAQ on IATA’s Cabin OK Baggage Idea, Skift

This is the next big thing in cabin design: super functional suites which can cross-over as airlines move away from traditional three class cabins to two-class cabins. Keep in mind that First class, Business class category is only a marketing construct. The ambitious B/E Aerospace Breakout suite concept proves it.

This Is the Corner Office at 30,000 ft That Could Kill First Class, Skift

Gogo’s Goal to Reach South American In-Flight Wi-Fi is a Go with GOL, Skift

Québec Airport Becomes World’s First to Use Apple Watch to Help Planes Take-Off, Skift

IATA Pauses Cabin OK Carry-On Baggage Proposal After Consumer Confusion, Skift

Star Alliance CEO Says There Too Many Airline and Airport Apps, Skift

3 Ways the Internet of Things Will Make Flying Less of a Hassle, Skift


Sense of Belonging: The Pleasure of Local at the Airport, APEX Digital

The Always-On Appetite: How Can Aviation Satisfy Digital Omnivores? APEX Digital

EasyJet, Ryanair and S7 on Tech and the Profits of Happiness, APEX Digital

The Era of Personalized Air Travel is Dawning, Thanks to Data, Skift

We’re Not Designing Airports for People, Dubai Airports CEO Suggests, Skift

Virgin Australia Escalates the Battle for Better Premium Economy, Skift

United Tries to Sharpen Tech Strategy to Improve Bond with Passengers, Skift

European Airports and Tourism Boards Side With Gulf Carriers in Open Skies Spat, Skift

Airlines Select Tracking Solution After Disappearance of MH370, Skift

You Will Have to Wait a Little Longer to Fly the World’s Most Crowded A380, Skift

Two of my in-depth looks at aviation matters were published this month by UKIP Media, London–who were kind enough to give me my start in 2013 and have keep me busy–and learning more–every day ever since.

Fit to Fly, Aircraft Interiors International Magazine/UKIP Media
Fit to Fly, Aircraft Interiors International Magazine/UKIP Media

Fit to Fly, Aircraft Interiors International Magazine

There are changes coming to the regulations that govern the testing of aircraft seats. As a result, we might expect some program delays and complications, seat manufacturers are actively engaged in the process and share insights.


Stay on Track, Passenger Terminal World

IATA airlines have resolved to keep better track of our luggage. Under Resolution 753 calls for better baggage tracking data integration between airlines and with airports. It goes into effect starting 2018, but everyone is getting ready for it.

And to end the month on a great note, I visited Airbus in Toulouse for the reveal of Vietnam Airlines’ new A350.

Vietnam Airlines Opens More Doors to Tourism in Europe With New Aircraft, Skift



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