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Passenger comfort takes centre stage at World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo

Suppliers raise the bar for passenger comfort at World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo. Seat comfort is just one obvious measure of the passenger experience and many operators base their consumer marketing around it. As an example, seat width and the amount of legroom available to passengers are always hotly debated topics.

Comfort is set to be a key theme at The World Travel Catering & Onboard Services Expo (WTCE) – the world’s largest event dedicated to travel catering, the passenger experience and buy-on-board products. As the show returns to Hamburg on 14 – 16th April 2015, it brings together hundreds of specialist companies offering a wide variety of products and services from across the globe, enabling air and rail operators to experience the very best and innovative products improving passenger comfort.

Comfort is an essential element of the passenger experience, and as such, is a major consideration for air and rail operators, especially within business and first class areas. Seat comfort is just one obvious measure of the passenger experience and many operators base their consumer marketing around it. As an example, seat width and the amount of legroom available to passengers are always hotly debated topics.

However, the industry is increasingly taking its cues from hospitality brands to ensure the entire travel experience is comfortable – from check-in to arrival. This ranges from the new “turn-down service” on ultra-long haul Etihad flights, complete with new mattresses, cotton loungewear and slippers to the many celebrity chef menus being seen onboard a range of flights. Furthermore, suppliers have begun streaming in-flight entertainment direct to passenger laptops or smart phones, negating the need for bulky entertainment systems on the back of or under seats, creating extra leg room.

This wide range of offerings, along with the latest industry innovations will be brought together under one roof at WTCE, including the world’s first moisturising pyjamas, which are set to be showcased at the exhibition.

The pyjamas are exclusively designed to be worn inflight using patented micro-capsule technology to embed Aloe Vera into the fabric, which is continually released to keep skin hydrated and healthy during a long-haul flight. They are made by Hydra Active, the specialist company supplying bespoke sleepwear to the travel industry, retailers and brands, which will be exhibiting at WTCE for the first time.

Joining Hydra Active at WTCE for the first time include dental kit specialist Smilecare GMBH and Active Ally, a Finnish company specialising in comfort and health-related solutions for travellers. Active Ally will be showcasing its recently launched patent-pending Relax ALLY Restband, which fastens the head firmly to the seat, preventing it from nodding forward and interrupting sleep.

WTCE also welcomes back comfort experts in the form of global players Formia, Global Inflight Products and Kaelis, between them specialising in products ranging from amenity kits and glassware to blankets and headphones for first, business and economy classes. They join more than 290 exhibitors, including more than 70 new exhibitors gathering at the event to showcase the very latest innovations and insight powering the travel industry.

The Passenger Experience Conference – Europe’s premier conference and networking forum for travel sector professionals – also returns to explore strategic issues around airline cabin innovation, traveller experience & expectations, and strategies to maximise onboard revenue.

WTCE is co-located with Aircraft Interiors Expo, the world’s largest event dedicated to sourcing the latest innovations, technologies and products for the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and passenger comfort industries.

Photo caption: Gulf Air Business class on a Boeing 777.

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (traveldailynews.gr, traveldailynews.com and traveldailynews.asia). Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.

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