Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

“I never think of the future. It comes soon enough.” As we enter 2019, it’s easy to be caught up in a game of predictions, focusing on what may come to pass. But as Einstein quipped, doing so risks overlooking what is happening now, and for airlines this means improving the passenger experience of today.

For Ed Bastian, chief executive of Delta Air Lines, this means making travel ‘magical’.

Participating in this week’s CES in Las Vegas, which draws to a close today, Bastian told the assembled crowd, Delta’s goal is to make travel something customers don’t have to endure, but a magical experience.

Sharing some of the ways the airline is making this happen, Bastian said data is helping Delta to build relationships with its nearly 200 million annual customers by giving the airline’s 80,000 employees more meaningful information at their fingertips about any customer.

“We have a culture of service that’s in our DNA, and our people love to serve people,” he said.

Offering personalised service to customers is core to Delta’s brand, he added.

This week’s newsletter certainly reflects the ways airlines are concentrating upon enhancing onboard products and services in all their guises, from IFE to food and beverages.

Such investments will be honoured at next month’s 2019 Inflight Middle East Awards in Dubai. The nomination deadline is Tuesday 15 January 2019 – so don’t delay.

The Inflight team would like to extend our condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Herb Kelleher who recently passed away.

Kelleher was the founder and chairman Emeritus of Southwest Airlines and was a pioneer and innovator, revolutionising commercial aviation and democratising the skies.
As Gary Kelly, Southwest chairman and CEO, said: “His stamp on the airline industry and all those he touched has been profound. His vision for making air travel affordable for all revolutionised the industry, and you can still see that transformation taking place today. But his legacy extends far beyond our industry and far beyond the world of entrepreneurship. He inspired people; he motivated people; he challenged people—and, he kept us laughing all the way.”

Our thoughts also go out to the family and friends of GearUp TV’s editor/designer Liam Seager.

Despite the competitive nature of the aviation industry, its heart-warming to see the widespread kindness expressed during this time.

The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the Inflight e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

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