Ubiquitous connectivity, seamlessness, personalization and permanent unbundling are all part of the vision of the future cited by participants in the Young Executives panel at the AGM.
Discussing connectivity, the panel of Fadimatou Noutchemo Simo, President of the Young African Aviation Professionals Assn; Kinto Chan, GM, Corporate Affairs, Cathay Pacific; Ghim-Lay Yeo, Business Journalist, Flightglobal, and Kris Van Cleave, Correspondent, CBS News, agreed that future travelers will want to be connected throughout their journey. They see no reason why they should not have wi-fi at 35,000 feet, just as they have it at sea level. With connectivity comes the need for any service provider to offer customer service through social channels.
Personalization also featured high on the agenda. Paying for individualized service options will become part of the normal travel experience. Along with this, the panelists agreed that seamlessness (frictionless) is essential. Showing boarding passes, passports, etc. should be replaced by digital technology, whereby data privacy concerns will be overridden by convenience, as long as it is very clear why an airline needs to collect data and how it will be stored.
All panelists agreed that despite the increased use of digital technology, the traveler of the future would still be looking for a positive experience when flying. The personal touch will continue to be valued. At the same time, environmental considerations will be playing an increasingly important role, although it will not keep all young people from flying by air. Here, regional differences will be a deciding factor.