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.
Southwest Airlines helped a father plan a special 18th birthday for his daughter, who has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. Since she loves taking off and landing, the day included eight stops; Southwest crew sang “Happy Birthday” and encouraged other passengers to join in the celebrations with high-fives, cards and gifts.
Delta Air Lines
Reservation Sales & Customer Care Team
When thunderstorms in the Atlanta area resulted in delays, diversions and cancellations at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport and other southeastern United States airports, Delta surprised travelers with pizza deliveries straight to the gate and on planes where they were stranded.
Sheila Frederick suspected that something was wrong when she noticed a disheveled teenage girl accompanied by a well-dressed man on a flight from Seattle to San Francisco. After communicating with the girl through notes left in the bathroom, Frederick notified the pilots, who arranged for the man to be arrested upon arrival in San Francisco.
Customer Service Representative
After hearing that his father was in intensive care, Yasir Haqqi rushed to Calgary International Airport where he explained his situation to a customer service representative named Madison. Yasir was fast-tracked through the airport, and, thanks to Madison, made it onto the earliest flight to Toronto.
The crew on a Southwest Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Orlando delivered exceptional customer service when a pregnant passenger went into labor. The woman gave birth with help from the crew and other passengers, as the flight was rerouted to Charleston where emergency personnel were waiting.
Shahirul Alim Aminudin
AirAsia’s Captain Shahirul Alim Aminudin delivers in-flight announcements in pantun, a Malay poetic form, which the pilot believes is a softer, more effective way of conveying messages.
Dean Hanson, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant, put together a care package with items found on board to gift to a passenger who was a victim of the devastating Louisiana floods.
Air New Zealand
Gate Agents and Flight Attendants
Air New Zealand gate agents and flight attendants ensured that passenger Nikki Griffith had privacy on board, enough food and water, and a shoulder to cry on after hearing that her father had unexpectedly passed away at the age of 57.
A Southwest Airlines flight attendant assisted a passenger in taking a photo of the 140 passengers on board as they all held up their hands in the shape of hearts. The photo was for the passenger’s four-year-old niece who was undergoing open-heart surgery.
Todd Traynor-Corey and Cabin Crew
Managing Director of Food and Beverage Planning and Design and Cabin Crew
United Airlines cabin crew and the carrier’s managing director of Food and Beverage Planning and Design, Todd Traynor-Corey, helped facilitate a passenger’s proposal to his girlfriend at 35,000 feet with a hidden GoPro camera, some play-acting and a fake promo video about in-flight catering.
Pilot, Cabin Crew and Passengers
On March 12, 2016, a pilot, four crewmembers and 121 passengers dedicated a Southwest Airlines flight to LouAnn Alexander, a flight attendant who had worked for the airline for 34 years before being unexpectedly diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer in February. Nearly 100 notes were created for LouAnn on the flight, which was dubbed “Leaving LUV for LouAnn.”
Following a mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, JetBlue announced that it would provide free airline tickets to the immediate family and domestic partners of the victims, of which 49 were killed and 53 injured. The airline has also partnered with the city of Orlando and local businesses in supporting OneOrlando Fund, a non-profit corporation created to provide financial support and services to the Orlando community in the wake of the tragedy.