Interview spotlight: Borry Vrieling
Borry Vrieling, Founder and Managing Director of Eezeetags, answers quick fire questions over the future of the air travel sector and the trends he foresees emerging.
The check-in process is still a sticking point for travellers, what needs to be done to solve this?
Airlines could promote on-line check-in even more than they already do, There is a big difference in approach; some are bold enough to even put a price on printing paper boarding cards etc, other consider this not as a service. In general, the process needs to be made as simple as possible, and use all the technology of suppliers that are out there including new biometric options etc. We need to take it out of the terminal.
What travel trends do you foresee emerging post-COVID?
The summer of 2021 which showed a somewhat more relaxed COVID-19 regime, made it clear that there is still a big demand for travel. However, I can imagine that health and safety plays a big role in the decision making process of the traveller. Should I go to that overcrowded beach just because it is cheap, or will I rather choose a somewhat more rural yet less expensive location? Also, the newer generation are more informed of current global affairs will make choices based upon sustainability of the destination and transport provider such as plane, rail, car, boat, bike, foot?
How do you think passenger expectations of what an airport is will change in the future?
Nobody is fond of standing in line for an hour also not pre-COVID, however my assumption is that post-COVID passengers simply do not accept it anymore and make their choice to travel and where to travel from having airport operations in mind, which is an easy airport to travel through? They may even make their decision of where to go based on the destinations reached via that particular approved airport, rather than choosing the destination first and flying from the corresponding airport. Not in all the cases perhaps, but it is a feasible theory.
And in many cases, if the situation will still be that of an overcrowded airport, they may choose to opt for a completely different type of transportation.
How do you see the recovery of aviation?
Demand will remain; however the recovery will be volatile, due to spikes of the COVID virus coming and going and more or less governmental restrictions. The challenge for the air transport industry is to become more flexible to respond to fluctuating demand. Driving the industry towards an unprecedented automation level of passenger processes, making the operations less depending on staff availability.
What do airports need to do to secure their place in the future?
They need to be a sustainable and fun place to be, where passengers want to spend time and therefore become customers. Overall we need to make the end-to-end process as hassle-free as possible.
At the age of 21 Vrieling was lucky enough to be employed by the worldwide market leader in self-adhesive labels as a trainee sales rep. After making a career for himself within this multi-national, his drive to be an entrepreneur made him start Varilabel Europe. The company specialises in niche label applications where craftmanship and experience makes the difference. Now, some, 36 years later, Vrieling still has the drive to do things differently. So when self-service bag drop came to the aviation industry he realised that there was a need for a more passenger friendly tagging solution. And with the same enthusiasm he started Varilabel, he raised the brand eezeetags® empowering passengers to a truly unstaffed bag-drop experience. Becoming the world market leader in self-service tagging, the new scale up adventure has a new name “the eezeetags® family” consisting of selected bag-tag converting companies, producing under licence and strict quality requirements eezeetags® for the world.