The PaxEx industry’s best innovations and initiatives were recognized this evening at the APEX Awards, hosted by Brian Kelly, aka The Points Guy, at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center.
Official Airline Ratings
Using the TripIt app from Concur, travelers rated more than 500,000 flights on a five-star scale, from October 2016 through July 2017. The ratings determined the winners of the Passenger Choice Awards, with four- and five-star-rated airlines further honored in the categories of Global, Major Regional and Low-Cost airlines.
|Air New Zealand||Southwest Airlines||Alaska Airlines|
|All Nippon Airways||Virgin America||Avianca|
|Asiana Airlines||WestJet||Bangkok Airways|
|Austrian Airlines||Caribbean Airlines|
|Cathay Pacific||Hawaiian Airlines|
|Delta Air Lines||Middle East Airlines|
|LATAM Airlines Group|
|Swiss International Airlines|
|Aeromexico||AirAsia||Air Tahiti Nui|
|Air Canada||Eurowings||Brussels Airlines|
|Air France||Interjet||Fiji Airways|
|American Airlines||Jeju Air||Hainan Airlines|
|British Airways||Norwegian Air International||Hong Kong Airlines|
|Scandinavian Airlines||Wizz Air||Malindo Air|
|Saudi Arabian Airlines||Oman Air|
|South African Airways||Royal Jordanian|
|TAP Portugal||S7 Airlines|
|Thai Airways||SriLankan Airlines|
Passenger Choice Awards
Best Seat Comfort
Best Cabin Service
Best Food and Beverage
Nearly 30 APEX members determined the top three finalists in each of the APEX Awards’ eight categories. A panel of industry media experts voted on the winner of each category in a final round of judging.
Best Video Curation
VA IFE: catering for big expectations and diverse appetites
Driven to stay competitive against the landscape of streaming services, Virgin Australia pushed the boundaries of traditional movie and TV show offerings by sourcing short films, educational content and music videos from reputable Australian schools, film festivals and competitions. Additionally, the carrier curated a collection of Marvel films and behind-the-scenes content to coincide with Gallery of Modern Art’s (QAGOMA) exhibition on the cinematic universe of Marvel comic book characters.
Best Original Audio
Air New Zealand Audio: enhancing the passenger experience
Air New Zealand
Kiwi superstar Lorde’s latest album, Melodrama, was available on board Air New Zealand’s fleet on the same day of its worldwide release – up to six weeks ahead of other airlines – an achievement made possible with the help of Universal Music Group, Panasonic and Global Eagle. Cabin crew celebrated the album launch by dancing down the aircraft aisles to the singer-songwriter’s biggest hit, “Green Light,” adding some social media buzz to the event.
Best Original Video
Emirates Product Video
Emirates presents a fresh take on the promotional airline videos used to inform passengers about the features of their flight, minimize cabin crew announcements and reinforce brand values. Created by Spitfire Productions, with music by DJ and production duo Hollaphonic, the video shows the Emirates experience in multiple parts, features a famous actor and uses CGI to create a world that blends abstract animations and the familiarity of a human face.
Best Cabin Innovation
To make recycling a simpler, swifter process on board, Airbus Operations has come up with a recycling trolley that enables flight crew to presort cabin waste in the aisle and reduce waste volume by 30 percent. The trolley has two compartments, one for recyclables and one for non-recyclables, both of which can be compressed by pushing on the trolley handle. Custom modules for stacking plastic cups, collecting liquid waste and crushing aluminum cans can also be added to the trolley.
Best Passenger Comfort Innovation
Airspace Single Aisle Interior
Following the four pillars of the Airspace cabin interior DNA, which was introduced on the Airbus A350 and extended to the A330, Airbus’ Airspace product for single-aisle aircraft will ensure a consistent experience for passengers flying on long- and short-haul flights. Cabin features include a state-of-the-art lighting system, increased cabin width and overhead bin space, an 18-inch wide economy seats and a new lavatory design.
Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation
For the launch of its new low-cost carrier, Level, IAG partnered with Black Swan and Massive to allow passengers to manage their in-flight entertainment experience by pairing their personal electronic devices with the seatback system. Highly secure handshaking mechanisms enable communication and integration for secure payment of food, drinks, amenity kits, duty-free goods and Wi-Fi packages. Through cryptography, purchases can still be made when connectivity is not available.
Best Personalization Innovation
SITAONAIR delivers exclusive in-flight e-commerce experience for Emirates
Emirates’ in-flight portal, developed by SITAONAIR, enables passengers to log into the Internet ONAIR portal with their Skywards credentials for a personalized passenger experience. The integration offers many services including a custom welcome message, Wi-Fi pricing and offerings tailored to the passenger’s tier level. Frequnt-flyer miles can also be used toward the payment of Wi-Fi sessions and more.
Best In-Flight Connectivity Innovation
European Aviation Network
Inmarsat Aviation and Deutsche Telekom
The European Aviation Network (EAN) is the first integrated satellite and LTE-based ground network to be used for passenger connectivity in Europe’s aviation industry. Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat’s new combined terrestrial and satellite network provides travelers in Europe with high-speed in-flight Internet access, and airlines with a cost-efficient, scalable connectivity solution.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Tim Clark, Emirates
APEX Media recently interviewed Tim Clark about digital trends and personalization in the airline passenger experience.
Outstanding Contribution Award
Pierre A. Schuberth, Thales Inflyt Experience
Pierre has been a major contributor to ARINC and APEX (formerly WAEA) since the early 1990s. He has participated on numerous APEX Working Groups and initiatives. In 2006, he coauthored the WAEA white paper to the US Department of Transportation, which detailed the state of closed captioning in in-flight entertainment.