Dear Santa. A Future Traveller’s Christmas Wish List

By:Lewis Allen, Director of Environments, Portland Design

Dear Santa,

As a fellow traveller, I hope and wish that you and the elves will do all you can to make the gift of better future travel for all come true. Please see my travel wish list below and help as much as you can to make these dreams come true.

Thank you Santa!

Yours Sincerely,

MY 2018 WISH LIST:

1: NO SNOW
I’m conflicted about snow. I know you’ve got millions of people wishing for the legal white stuff. It’s a lot of pressure I know. But here in the UK snow makes planes stop. In fact, it makes everything stop and it embarrasses lots of airports and airlines when we discover that they don’t know how to handle it. So, no snow please, ever.

2: TRAVEL LIKE SANTA
I know that you get the whole individuality thing. After all, you are a beardy bloke in a bright red suit who sneaks into stranger’s houses at night. That is certainly different and people respect you for that. They recognise and welcome you everywhere you go. Chimneys get cleared and cleaned for you. Folks write to you personally. They reward your efforts with savoury snacks and booze left on their doorsteps. Please make it so that travel brands make journeys that treat all travellers as individuals rather than anonymous data streams.

3: SERIOUS SECURITY, BUT LESS SERIOUS
Going through security is so serious. Instructions are shouted or more often barked. These security people get intimate with our bodies and our personal stuff in ways that strangers would normally be prosecuted for. But why the long faces from such touchy-feely people? It’s time to bring airport security under the influence of Wow! Experience. Why not a Comedy Lane where jokes are dispensed along with body searches? A Christmas Lane where officers dressed as elves impishly rummage hand luggage for contraband? The Hogwarts Lane 9 & ¾ hosted by wizards. The Gamified Lane where we have the chance to record the fastest screening process, sponsored by the Guinness Book of records. Or a Massage Lane where a full body search becomes a stress busting massage. Let’s lighten things up with some new experiential security lane options.

4: MORE FREE STUFF
Can we do something about duty free shopping to make it more interesting?
More free from generic experiences. Free from the same old products and brands. Free from weak storytelling. Free from indifferent service. Free from boredom. Free from yawns. Free from overpriced products. And some occasional free stuff for regular loyal customers would be divine.

5: A GAME CHANGER
This one’s a challenge Santa. Can you find a game changer to spice up the shopping and dining experience airside and landside in airports? And inflight too? A new retailer or a new operator maybe? Or a new category? Maybe a pure player going into airside brick and mortar? Christmas presents are all about surprises and the big happy smiles they bring. So, no more of the old familiar ‘bored’ games please Santa. Please smooth the way for some new game changer brands that will barn storm the channel and put the magic back into travel.

6: Democratic Travel
A sweet looking sleigh pulled by a posse of flying reindeer. Clearly, you’re a man who knows how to travel in style. I wonder if you’d tolerate the two-tier philosophy stoically endured by lesser mortals? A lucky few enjoy business lounges, luxury shopping precincts, exclusive fast lanes, chauffeur driven limo’ rides to the airport, fully reclining seats and priority boarding. For those of us turning right on the plane and sitting the wrong side of those flimsy curtains dividing business from economy the journey is not so sweet. So Santa, please make travel truly democratic! Let us all enjoy the comforts of a travelling lifestyle featuring permanent upgrades, affordable luxury and access all areas.

7: Proper Loyalty
I’ve travelled through Heathrow 26 times this year, Hong Kong 4 times, London Luton 8 times, Zurich 4, Nice 4 times, Oslo 6. I’ve had the sum total of a big fat ZERO Christmas cards or personal messages from any of them. Nor any of the airlines I flew with. Nor the stores and restaurants I regularly frequented. They have my name, mobile number and my email address. Was it something I said? Please show all travel brands the way to value and reward their loyal customers.