Back in 2014 Vice President Joe Biden, in a speech on American Infrastructure, compared LaGuardia airport to a third world country. Fast forward 2 years the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo was joined by Joe Biden at the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the complete rebuild of the airport. This is a 4 Billion dollar undertaking and is the US’s largest public private partnership in history. The redevelopment project will completely reconstruct terminal B and transform LaGuardia Airport into a single unified main terminal with expanded transportation access, increased taxiway space and best-in class passenger amenities.
In September of this year I had the opportunity to sit on a Future Travel Experience Think tank with Ed Baklor, who is now the Chief Commercial Officer at The LaGuardia Gateway Partners, the privately owned company who is managing the redevelopment and servicing of the LaGuardia airport.
When I met Ed he was Senior Vice President of Guest Experience at West Jet and I was very impressed by his ability to see through the noise and complexity of mass transportation and bring to the surface the most important and often thrown aside passenger experience. After speaking with Shashank Nigam on how some airlines make travel special I was interested to hear what Ed had to say on the same topic. Now, Ed began his foray into Customer or Guest Experience with his many years at Disney among their many properties. I have a feeling that the Disney guest focused culture has imbedded a profound level of user centricity to how he imagines products and services for travel.
The LaGuardia project is in high gear and Ed let’s us in on some of the thinking that will be driving much of the change you can already feel at the airport
As per usual all links and show notes can be found at http://www.departureunknown.com
How to get in touch with Ed Baklor:
Ed’s customer focused learning from Disney [16:42]
Hot topics on guest experience [29:00]
Guest experience basics [35:57]
Digital vs. Human Interaction [40:27]
How important is digital interaction [44:23]
Key externalities for airports to explore [48:08]
Additional Externalities [50:51]
Why Ed is passionate about travel [55:27]