Podcast 044: Laptop bans, Cathay pans, AIX plans

Welcome to Episode 044 of the #PaxEx Podcast. Our guest this episode is aircraft interiors and travel expert John Walton. A global nomad, John pens the hugely popular Up Front column on Runway Girl Network, as well as articles covering passenger safety, comfort, connectivity and services. He is also a regular contributor to Australian Aviation and other titles. And he has been interviewed by myriad news agencies and publications.

First, passengers on foreign airlines headed to the United States from 10 airports in eight Majority-Muslim countries have been prevented from carrying laptops and tablets under a new directive by the Trump administration. The UK later issued a similar ban. John has been tracking this story ever since news emerged; he brings us up to speed on the details of these bans and what they mean for passengers. And he joins co-hosts Max Flight and Mary Kirby in considering the safety implications, as well as broader implications for the aviation industry.

Next, Cathay Pacific is grappling with some very real problems with the business class seats on its new Airbus A350-900s. The fit and finish of the product is nothing shy of shocking, and John Walton highlighted the issues in a recent piece for RGN. He shares the details of his personal experience with Max and Mary, and reveals the feedback received by Cathay and what measures the carrier is now taking. We also discuss the problems in the context of seatmaker Zodiac Aerospace’s long-running delivery woes, and in the face of a planned acquisition by Safran.

And last but not least, the big Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg is coming up soon. And we’re expecting a torrent of #PaxEx content to emerge from the show. John breaks out his crystal ball to share his predictions about the products and trends that will emerge. And Mary reveals what #PaxEx innovation tops her wishlist for economy class.

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