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Pursuit of excellence


We provide a picture review of some of highlights of the recent ACI World Customer Experience Global Summit in Incheon.

Over 600 participants from across the world attended the ACI World Customer Experience Global Summit – the premier global event dedicated to the airport customer experience – in Incheon, South Korea, in early September.

The theme of this year’s event was ‘Empowering the Airport Community for a Customer-Centric Culture’, and it proved a popular one as it provided the perfect opportunity to share ideas, experiences and best practices on how to take customer service to the next level.

The Summit aimed to explore innovative strategies and solutions to elevate the airport passenger experience, raising the bar for the aviation community.

Hag-jae Lee, president and CEO of host Incheon International Airport – the first airport in the world to achieve the highest level (Level 5) of ACI’s Airport Customer Experience Accreditation programme – opened the Summit, with delegates also being officially welcomed by Won Kug Baek, South Korea’s Vice Minister of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT).

Opening addresses were the given by Luis Felipe de Oliveira, director general of ACI World and Stefano Baronci, director general of ACI Asia-Pacific and Middle East.

Highlights of the event included insights from Luc Mayrand, the vice president and creative portfolio executive at Walt Disney Imagineering, on how to harness the magic of entertainment and apply it to the airport experience, and of course, the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards ceremony. ACI World’s annual ASQ Awards recognise airport excellence in customer experience worldwide based on data from ASQ’s renowned Departures and Arrivals Surveys.

In total there were 14 Summit sessions with over 45 C-suite speakers covering timely topics such as leadership, the role of IT, the human experience, airport groups, revenue generation and travel retail.

Among the Summit panel speakers was Mikael Charpin, general manager and producer at Moment Factory, whose company is known for designing immersive light and sound environments that transport audiences to different worlds through a combination of interactive elements.

There was also an insightful fireside chat between Elena Avila, executive vice president of airport information technology and airline operations at Amadeus, and Damon Wong, senior vice president of Changi Airport Group.

One of Summit sessions glimpsed into the future where mobility isn’t just about getting from point A to B, and aircraft are not the only transport options. Together with Chul Bae Lee, executive vice president, and head of LG Electronics’ Corporate Customer eXperience Center, participants were shown a version of the world where airports transform into dynamic intercity transportation hubs, and the airport experience becomes so finely tailored that it adjusts and advances in harmony with individual preferences.

At the Summit’s Closing and Handover Ceremony, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) was announced as the host of the 2024 ACI Customer Experience Global Summit.

The event will take place in Atlanta from September 24-26, 2024, and is set to welcome global and regional airport CEOs, industry leaders, regulators, and dignitaries.

ACI World director general, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, enthused: “As the curtains fall on yet another successful ACI Customer Experience Global Summit, it is clear that airports are prioritising the passenger experience, and in turn, a more sustainable future for the industry, travellers and communities worldwide.

“We gained valuable insights and strengthened connections with a like-minded airport community committed to cultivating a customer-centric culture through strategy and action.

“We are thrilled that next year’s Summit will be hosted by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL). As the world’s busiest airport for total passenger traffic in 2022 – welcoming over 93 million passengers that year – their unique perspectives on customer and employee experience promises to be a learning experience for all in attendance.”

ATL’s general manager, Balram Bheodari (pictured above with ACI World chair and CEO of Cincinatti/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Candace McGraw), said: “We are honoured to have been chosen as the host for the 2024 ACI Customer Experience Global Summit.

“This is a significant moment for Atlanta and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and we are thrilled to welcome global leaders in the aviation industry to Atlanta.

“This summit is a testament to our commitment to enhancing passenger and employee experiences, and we look forward to sharing our unique perspectives while learning from our colleagues.”

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