In the opening session, Aisling Hassell, Airbnb’s Head of Global Customer Experience, shared the company’s vision for the future of travel. Hassell spoke of Airbnb’s desire to “democratise travel” and described an ambition to reshape the travel industry by promoting the idea of “living like a local” while travelling. Later on day one, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary delivered his own keynote speech, before being interviewed on stage by CarTrawler Chief Technology Officer Bobby Healy. In typically frank style, O’Leary outlined his ambition for Ryanair to “own” the customer. He said that airlines are currently making a mistake by allowing third parties to overcharge passengers for flights, and even spoke of a desire to “eliminate” the likes of by selling hotel rooms through Ryanair’s digital channels for a 5% commission. This is all part of a strategy to “disrupt the disruptors”, he suggested. He also took aim at “monopoly airports”, and suggested that Ryanair could collaborate with airport retailers to allow passengers to purchase discounted travel retail/duty free products through the airline’s app. Immediately after Michael O’Leary’s Q&A, IAG Director of Strategy Robert Boyle took to the stage. In a fascinating presentation, Boyle touched upon a broad range of topics, from the top technology trends that are on IAG’s radar today and its plans to tap into the potential in the start-up scene, to the potential of autonomous vehicles in the air transport industry. Making sense of data and using it to enhance the customer experience is crucial, he said, and blockchain technology could have an important role to play in turning masses of data into one source of truth. Get the full story at Future Travel Experience