Virgin Australia's new aircraft interior includes an on board cocktail bar.

Virgin Australia’s new aircraft interior includes an onboard cocktail bar. Image via Virgin Australia

Here are the most-read stories from this week’s APEX Daily Experience newsletters. To receive breaking passenger experience industry news in your inbox on a daily basis, subscribe here


Virgin Australia Takes Off With Refreshed Cabins, Announces Fleet-Wide Wi-Fi

TRAVELLER | JULY 21, 2016

Virgin Australia launched its new international business, premium and economy classes yesterday at Los Angeles International Airport. Its business-class seat, created by London design agency tangerine, offers a width of 28 inches in lie-flat mode and an 18-inch in-flight entertainment display. The airline expects to complete refitting the cabin layouts on all five of its Boeing 777s by September. The Australian carrier also announced it will introduce fleet-wide in-flight Wi-Fi to international and domestic passengers starting next year.


Airlines and Airports Have a GO at Nintendo’s Latest Pokémon Venture

APEX MEDIA | JULY 20, 2016

As a seemingly never-ending stream of Pokémon GO devotees continues to flow out of the woodwork, the aviation industry is scrambling to tap into the international hype. Airlines and airports are engaging with the augmented reality game to cultivate relationships among the Pokémon-seeking public. “Recognizing the unique nature of our situation in the airport space and wanting to get in on the fun, we decided to help our guests locate and capture a few pre-flight by purchasing and installing ‘Lures’ in our spaces,” says Michael Marchese, manager of Marketing and Communications, OTG.


Cabin Fever: United Gives a Virtual Sneak Peek of Its Upcoming Polaris Interior

ADWEEK | JULY 21, 2016

United Airlines has partnered with digital production studio Thinkingbox to create a 360-degree, 3-D virtual tour of its Polaris business-class cabin. Narrated by Matt Damon, the tour uses the Unreal 3-D game engine and Oculus Rift’s latest headset and headphones to provide a sneak peek of the amenities on board its upcoming Boeing 777-300ER cabin and inside new terminal gate lounges. The airline will be showing the VR experience to the public at events including The Barclays PGA golf tournament on August 25-28 and the New York City Marathon in November.


Hidden Amenities: Emirates Introduces Augmented Reality In-Flight Kits

ARABIAN AEROSPACE | JULY 18, 2016

Emirates has launched what it claims is the world’s first interactive amenity kit. The in-flight bags, which will be available in economy class, use augmented reality technology to allow passengers to access immersive content on their mobile devices. The Dubai-based carrier partnered with Blippar, a visual discovery app, to unlock a range of hidden content by scanning the in-flight amenity kits. Once the items in the bag are scanned, passengers will be able to access pages on Emirates’ in-flight app containing activities, passenger health tips and music playlists. The bags are offered in six designs inspired by regions in Emirates’ global network, and will be available in August on select long-haul routes.


[PHOTOS] May the Fourth Be With You: ANA Unveils Images of Its Next Star Wars-Themed Livery

BUSINESS TRAVELLER | JULY 19, 2016

ANA has unveiled images of its latest Star Wars-themed aircraft as part of its ongoing agreement with Disney. The fourth aircraft in the series will feature a livery inspired by everyone’s favorite neurotic humanoid robot, C-3PO. The Boeing 777-200 will fly domestic routes starting March 2017 after the December release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. “The partnership with Star Wars, beloved by audiences in Japan and around the globe, is a perfect match as Japan’s largest airline seeks to connect travelers around the world through this project,” said an airline spokesperson, in a statement.


Air Canada Launches Crowdfunding Platform to Help Travelers Pay for Flights

CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER | JULY 22, 2016

Air Canada has launched a crowdfunding program called Embarq to help aspiring travelers attract donations to pay for trips. The platform functions similarly to GoFundMe, Indiegogo and Kickstarter, in that users can upload photos or videos to explain who they are and why they chose a specific trip. The airline says 800 people have already created funding campaigns on Embarq, but did not say how many were successfully funded. Funds raised are awarded in the form of an Air Canada gift card that can be used on the carrier’s network of flights.


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