Cuba Gooding Jnr. and Katie Holmes star in Air New Zealand’s latest in-flight safety video. Image: Air New Zealand

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

Norwegian Air to Offer Free Wi-Fi on Transatlantic Flights Within a Year


Norwegian Air says it will offer free in-flight Wi-Fi to all passengers on its transatlantic flights. The low-cost carrier hasn’t given a definite date for the service, but plans to equip its fleet of Boeing 787s and 737 MAXs with in-flight Wi-Fi within a year. Norwegian was the first airline to introduce free wireless connectivity on flights within Europe and also offers complimentary onboard Internet on flights between the US and the Caribbean. “We were the first to launch free Wi-Fi in Europe and the first to have it fleet-wide for short-haul,” said a spokesperson for Norwegian.

Air New Zealand Continues Tradition of Creative In-Flight Safety Videos


Since launching in April, Qantas says more than 40,000 people have used its domestic in-flight Wi-Fi service on its first ViaSat Ka-band-equipped aircraft. The Australian carrier registered an average of 32 percent of passengers logging onto the service at some stage during their flight, compared to an industry standard of 10 percent. Qantas says it expects usage rates between 30 to 50 percent once the service is rolled out to more of its Boeing 737s and Airbus A330s. The airline attributes the high uptake rate to the service being offered free of charge.

Thomas Cook Airlines Launches Wireless IFE System

FTN NEWS | JULY 10, 2017

Thomas Cook Airlines has launched a new wireless in-flight entertainment system offering movies, TV shows, music and magazines. Called Sunstream, the leisure carrier’s app-based wireless IFE system, provided by PaxLife, also includes destination-specific content such as the ability to book excursions, download personalized vacation itineraries and purchase duty-free items. Thomas Cook says it will add a chat feature later this summer, allowing passengers to keep in touch with friends and family on the ground.

How Do Post-Electronics Ban Security Measures Affect the Passenger Journey?


Now that several Middle Eastern carriers have been exempted from the US in-flight electronics ban, how do new security measures affect passengers? Writing for The Points Guy, JT Genter addressed this question, detailing the new process from a PaxEx viewpoint. He cited APEX CEO Joe Leader’s experience at Doha’s Hamad International Airport last Sunday, during which his electronics were swabbed for explosives and then placed into sealed plastic bags that could be opened upon clearing security. Genter noted that the new screening procedures “are strikingly similar to the process that was championed by the Airline Passenger Experience Association and endorsed by The Points Guy.”

Delta Celebrates IFE on 500 Aircraft


Delta Air Lines this month installed its 500th aircraft with seatback in-flight entertainment systems. The Atlanta-based carrier is working toward the goal of equipping more than 600 aircraft with seatback screens by the end of 2018, as part of a multibillion-dollar investment in upgrading its passenger experience. “Delta offers customers more aircraft with seatback entertainment than any airline in the world,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s SVP and CMO. “Customers tell us that investing in entertainment – whether it’s adding more seatback screens, offering free entertainment or expanding high-speed Wi-Fi – is important, so we will continue leading the industry in making these enhancements on board.”

[VIDEO] The Verge Takes an Exclusive Peek Inside Airbus’ Modular Cabin Concept

THE VERGE | JULY 14, 2017

Technology website the Verge launched a new online video series called “Next Level” with footage from a visit to Airbus’ Silicon Valley lab, A³, and a peek inside a mockup of the company’s Transpose modular cabin concept. The eight-minute video is the first in a series that will give a behind-the-scenes look at technologies in development at some of the world’s most innovative companies. “We want to make flying feel more human,” said Jason Chua, a project executive at A³, during the video. “This could be your office, or a co-working space. The restaurant could be any restaurant. And so we want people to feel more at home when they fly.”

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