The APEX Heart Awards are the first award in the industry to recognize everyday airline heroes who fly under the radar. With airlines and companies around the globe who improve passengers’ air travel experience at every step of the journey, APEX is proud to reward individuals on airline teams who go above and beyond the call of duty to elevate the passenger experience.
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Silver Heart Awards
Exemplary everyday actions, above-and-beyond courtesies and outstanding services that turn a mundane flight experience into one that passengers will never forget.
Gold Heart Awards
Gestures that require significant change in routine, powerful actions that evoke a strong emotional response from the general public and outright heroics that keep passengers safe.
WestJet and Canadian North
Many residents evacuating their homes during the Fort McMurray wildfires have been forced to flee without their pet carriers. Despite strict guidelines that animals traveling by air be contained or kept in cargo, WestJet and Canadian North are accommodating cats and dogs alongside their owners in main cabins, with no need for a carrier or kennel.
Steve Freitag, a Virgin America employee based at San Francisco International Airport, has spent years entertaining passengers waiting at his boarding gate by posting amusing messages on flight information boards.
Pilot, Cabin Crew and Staff
An Etihad pilot turned around an international flight, set to depart for Abu Dhabi, after being notified by cabin crew that a couple onboard had just found out their grandson was in the ICU. After disembarking, the two passengers were met by airline staff members, who had already retrieved the couple’s luggage and car. Thanks to the team effort, the couple was able to say goodbye to their grandson before he passed the following day.
Baggage Security Officer
Alphonse Lyoura, a baggage security officer at Brussels Airport, heroically remained on the scene to help seven injured people after two bombs detonated in the airport’s departures terminal on March 22, 2016.
British Airways staff reunited eight-month-old Woody Cranmer with his teddy bear Pooh, after he left it 4,600 miles behind in Buenos Aires. The Cranmer family is grateful for Pooh’s safe return to Leeds, England, and for the book of pictures documenting the bear’s journey home.
American Airlines flight attendant Taylor Tippett inspires passengers and #WordsFromtheWindowSeat followers with her motivational words.
Customer Service Representative and Gate Agents
Southwest employees helped Chris de Lorimier speedily travel from Sacramento to Burbank to witness the birth of his son, Carter. Thanks to a customer service representative and some friendly gate agents, Chris arrived at the hospital two hours and 15 minutes after his initial phone call to the airline.
An American Airlines pilot helped expecting mom Lisa Sadiwnyk surprise her husband, Eric Sadiwnyk, on a flight from Las Vegas to Philadelphia. To break the baby news, the pilot announced, “While you didn’t strike it rich here in Las Vegas, you did hit the jackpot. Congratulations, you’re about to be a dad.”
Delta Air Lines
A thoughtful Delta Air Lines pilot made an impromptu detour during a flight from JFK to LAX to give passengers an impressive view of the Grand Canyon.
A Thai Airways steward went beyond the call of duty when he spoon-fed an elderly passenger who had problems eating.
Pilot, Flight Attendants and Gate Agents
American Airlines staff went above and beyond to help a couple who were traveling on their 49th wedding anniversary.
When Shelley Baudoux’s 10-year-old autistic son was too nervous to board their flight to Tasmania, the Jetstar Airways crew went to great lengths to try to assuage his fears.