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.
Swiss International Air Lines
A Swiss International Air Lines captain decided to show passengers on a flight from Barcelona to Zurich “the best of Switzerland.” After obtaining permission from air traffic control, the captain circled the Alps, pointing out the Matterhorn, Zermatt, Aletsch Glacier, Eiger and Jungfrau.
After boarding an American Airlines flight at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, eight-year-old Ayla Johnson realized she had left her teddy bear, Tito, at the gate. The doors to the aircraft were already closed but one of the flight attendants was able to contact a gate agent who tossed Tito through the pilot’s window.
As Ajay Awtaney boarded a Jet Airways flight with his wife, Shipra Baranwal, on their anniversary, little did they know they were about to encounter a pleasant surprise. When the crew realized it was their anniversary, they presented the couple with a handwritten card and two pieces of cake.
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.