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.
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.
Melanie Molek and Ali Mahboubi
Customer Service Representatives
When Jim Bowles suffered a heart attack at Washington Dulles International Airport, United customer service representative Melanie Molek grabbed the automated external defibrillator, which she had just learnt about in a training session a day earlier. A supervisor at the airport called Ali Mahboubi, a customer service representative and volunteer medic, who joined shortly after to offer his assistance. Jim was eventually transferred to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where he was stabilized after two weeks.
Kren Choong Shi Qi
Kren Choong Shi Qi, a Singapore Airlines flight attendant, assisted a 92-year-old diabetic woman on a 12-hour flight from Singapore to Frankfurt. When the passenger accidentally injected too much insulin, Kren offered to cut up an apple for her in an effort to stabilize her blood sugar.
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.