Passenger Experience in the Time of COVID-19

March 5, 2021
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Airport Business magazine and Mass Transit magazine are hosting a virtual learning and networking event on March 23 and 24. “Passenger Experience: The Future of Travel” will focus on how the passenger experience has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and offer solutions for the future of travel.

Joe Petrie, editor-in-chief of Airport Business, said airports need to determine how they will approach the passenger experience once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides.

“We saw a need for this in the market because there has been a lot of demand before the pandemic and even today to handle the passenger experience,” Petrie said. “Basically, this is one of the core needs inside the airport that people want to make sure that their travelers are safe, they’re secure, they’re happy and that they want to be able to use these facilities. We felt it was important to get the leading minds together in the industry to talk about these topics and share their best practices in order to help everyone involved in the industry and across North America to improve their operations overall.”

The virtual event will feature educational sessions on travel after COVID-19, moderated roundtables and time for attendees to visit sponsor booths. Attendees can expect to leave the conference armed with best practices from some of the leading passenger experience companies.

Icomera, Rohde & Schwarz and SICK will showcase their ideas on how to keep passengers safe in the COVID-19 era.

“While we continue to battle the lasting effects of the pandemic, we have begun to look ahead, asking our customers what it means to be a transit operator in 2021,” Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal, vice president of sales and marketing for Icomera, said. He cited studies have shown transit use is a low-risk activity and the new passenger experience will rely on passenger’s perception of reduced risk.

“By focusing on the customer and their needs we create an environment that will positively impact the confidence to travel, loyalty, retention and deliver increased satisfaction,” Lopez-Bernal continued. He added that technology implementation and personalization of the passenger journey will play a huge role in the transit industry’s recovery.

Rohde & Schwarz will be participating in the event, sharing their new, TSA-certified people screening and advanced technology solutions. Social distancing is an important step to keeping passengers safe during the travel experience, but when TSA officials have to conduct pat-downs, it can compromise the health of both the passenger and the TSA official, not to mention the health of anyone they might come into contact with. Airports must introduce technology that will cut down on intrusive pat-down protocols while still keeping passengers secure.

“We’re excited to share our new, TSA-certified people screening and advanced technology solutions that support TSA’s security mission and improve the passenger security experience,” Luke Olsen, business development manager, emerging technologies for Rohde & Schwarz, said. “While the current pandemic has reduced demands on security queues and temporarily reduced the need for high throughput solutions, the QPS201 is a value add in today’s environment by helping to reduce invasive pat-down procedures during security checks that work against the goal of social distancing. We are eager to speak with anyone interested in learning more about how our solutions can help address some of the challenges around screening during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Keeping passengers socially distanced during their journey is important to keep them safe. SICK serves both the airports and transit industries, making their expertise on how to socially distance passengers valuable to both industries.

“There are a number of things that we’re going to be talking about relating to passenger distancing and basically monitoring distance between people and counting people in specific areas,” John Ashodian, segment marketing manager, logistics automation for SICK, said.

There will be educational sessions put on by both Airport Business and Mass Transit simultaneously. Attendees are free to choose to attend just Airport Business or Mass Transit seminars or attend some of each.

“It’s all available to everyone,” Petrie said. “They work in tandem. A lot of them are part of the same organizations and we want to make sure that they have a chance to learn from both sides of this and even give them an opportunity to collaborate with one another in their community whenever possible to help make their goals align when it comes to traveler experience.”

The registration cost per attendee is $25. This includes airports, transit agencies, airlines, consultants and government entities. Non-sponsor vendors, manufacturers, distributors and suppliers can attend for $500 per person.

Registration is now open for “Passenger Experience: The Future of Travel.” To learn more about or register for the event, visit 


This article originally appeared on and is written by Assistant Editor Jessica Purgett.