APEX Insight: Passenger Technology Solutions will take off for the first time next week. Colocated with AIX, WTCE and PEC, the event will showcase the technology that is shaping the airline passenger’s end-to-end journey.

Technology is becoming increasingly influential in shaping the future of the airline passenger experience, as evidenced by APEX Media’s coverage from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. A new event showcasing the technologies and innovations designed to optimize the interconnectivity of passengers’ end-to-end journey will be taking place during Passenger Experience Week in Hamburg next week, alongside the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX), World Travel  Catering and Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) and Passenger Experience Conference (PEC).

Passenger Technology Solutions will feature education sessions by speakers from Norwegian, Boeing, Airbus and JetBlue. Among the exhibitors will be Black Swan Data, a tech company that uses data science to predict consumer trends and connect passengers; airfree, a duty-free in-flight commerce platform dubbed ‘The Amazon of the Sky’; and Guestlogix, a retail platform that uses analytics to generate ancillary revenue for airlines.

“We launched Passenger Technology Solutions to inspire companies across the entire travel ecosystem to take a look at the bigger picture,” said Archana Sharma, exhibition director, Passenger Technology Solutions. “Technological advances have transformed every aspect of the industry beyond recognition, and now an exciting challenge lies ahead: how to combine these travel innovations to create the ultimate overall passenger experience. 

APEX Media caught up with Sharma, to get a sneak peek of the inaugural PTS.

What is the structure of the event? 

PTS will take place in Hamburg at the same time as AIX, WTCE and PEC. There will be a number of sessions linked to PTS on the Passenger Experience Conference agenda, and then there will be three days of educational sessions on the PTS show floor, curated by industry expert Gillian Jenner and including a pitching platform for start-ups.

Why colocate with AIX, WTCE and the PEC?

Together these events have become must-attends for people across both the rail and aviation industries, focusing on different aspects of the onboard experience and key trends in specific areas. We have designed PTS to be a complement to the three other events – which is why visitors with badges for any of the events will also have access to PTS. Our program, conference sessions and exhibition will draw people together from the full range of sectors to talk about how it all fits together.

“PTS is all about how technology can join the dots between different parts of the passenger journey … we plan to cover everything from Bitcoin payments to smart baggage.”

What topics will the sessions address? 

PTS is all about how technology can join the dots between different parts of the passenger journey, so whilst we plan to cover everything from Bitcoin payments to smart baggage, the real focus will be on how these different innovations can be brought together into a single, seamless and personalized experience. Smart use of data, automation and artificial intelligence all have a key role to play and will be a major focus at our inaugural show, as well as in the relevant sessions of PEC.

The three streams are: Convergence and Mobility, Sustainability and Flexibility and Personalizing the Journey. Why were these themes chosen?

The three streams provide a platform for wide-ranging discussions that aren’t limited by sector, geography or specialism – and all three raise thought-provoking questions around the role of technology. Convergence and personalization are particularly relevant to PTS, exploring how technology can bring together every part of the passenger journey into a single, integrated experience that is tailored to individuals at every touchpoint. However, technology will also be a major theme within the Sustainability and Flexibility stream, offering innovative ways to reduce the environmental impact of the passenger journey.

“New technologies and innovations are only useful to people if they can talk to other systems in an intelligent and beneficial way.”

How will the “bigger picture” influence the future of PaxEx?

The future of the passenger experience is the bigger picture. New technologies and innovations are only useful to people if they can talk to other systems in an intelligent and beneficial way. Passengers know that the travel industry is edging ever closer to a truly integrated experience, but in the meantime, they are frustrated with having to juggle multiple apps and negotiate a whole string of non-compatible systems to get from A to B. At PTS, we plan to inspire and educate attendees on how these challenges can be overcome.