Data & the future of in-flight experiences

TBK: Episode 17

This episode features an interview with Dr. Rachelle Ornan, Director of Cabin Research and Passenger Experience at Boeing. In this episode, Rachelle talks about the advent of space tourism, the pent-up demand in leisure flight, and how passengers expect life in the air to be as connected as life on the ground.

Headshot of Dr. Rachelle Ornan, Director of Cabin Research and Passenger Experience at

About the guest

Dr. Rachelle N. Ornanis an Associate Technical Fellow for Boeing Commercial Airplanes specializing in the experience and design of commercial aircraft interiors. She directs passenger experience research and bridges communication to ensure a commercially viable, preferred product which maximizes revenue.


“Travel is the spice of life. I’m working in an industry that enables connection to other people. It’s the best weapon against xenophobia while also stimulating the global economy. That’s something I can contribute to through my work."

“The space tourism market is relatively unproven. We don’t know the exact value of it. So we’re trying to make a business case for why we want to go into it while lacking that important information."

“If you’re interested in trends and knowing how airlines are configuring their airplanes to support a need or trend, we have access to heaps of data. You can quite often show that a trend is on its way when you’re, for example, trying to convince an airline to add another cabin."

Time stamps

[0:03] Intro
[2:36] From human factors to aircraft interior design
[6:20] Traveling post pandemic
[8:25] The data of air and spacecraft design
[10:51] How the consumer market informs design
[12:56] Staying connected in flight
[16:23] The future of air and spacecraft design
[18:56] Accessible design
[22:52] Space camp dreams
[26:04] The next frontier in travel
[33:39] Rachelle’s favorite things about industry
[37:18] Quick decisions


Books mentioned:

A Life of Meaning, by James Hollis
The Golden World, by Robert Johnson
Your Brain on Love, by Stanley Tatkin


Connect with Rachelle on LinkedIn
Connect with Lauren on LinkedIn | Follow Lauren on Twitter

← Previous episode | Next episode →

Related articles