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.
When Southwest Airlines flight attendant Bobby realized that Dustin and Caren Moore were flying home from Colorado to Southern California with their newly adopted baby girl, he made an announcement welcoming her as a special guest. He then passed napkins and pens around the cabin, so passengers could write supportive messages to the Moores, like, “Enjoy every minute. It goes by sooo very fast.” The couple ended up with about 60 napkins and a set of pilot wings for their new daughter.
Grayson lost his favorite teddy bear while he was flying with Southwest Airlines over Thanksgiving. When they were unable to locate the bear, Southwest asked if Grayson wanted a new bear, named Jack. Before making his way to his new owner, Jack the Bear made a tour of Southwest’s aviation facilities and documented his adventures before chronicling his flight in a customized storybook for Grayson.
British Airways and Heathrow
British Airways customer Phil Reynolds spent a lot of time at Heathrow Airport during the first year of his relationship with Bethan, who was living in China at the time. Upon learning that Phil was planning to propose at Heathrow, the airport worked with BA to display “Will you marry me?” across screens in Terminal 5. After Bethan said yes, the couple was taken to the Concorde Room lounge to toast their engagement.
A United Airlines captain took his own birthday as an opportunity to recognize others. On a flight from Houston to Phoenix, he thanked the veterans on board over the intercom and shook their hands. “It’s the real moments like this that truly engage customers and create loyalty,” said one of the passengers who posted about the captain on LinkedIn.
When American Airlines pilot Joseph Weis found out his last flight was the first flight for a two-year old passenger with Down syndrome, he decided to pass along his wings to a future generation.
Delta Air Lines
Ashely Ober, a 16-year-old deaf Maryland native, was flying to Rochester to attend a conference for deaf and hard-of-hearing college-bound students. She had only flown alone once before. When she boarded the aircraft, a flight attendant named Janna gave her a handwritten note, including some safety instructions, to make her feel at ease.
Delta Air Lines
One of the crew members on a delayed Delta Air Lines flight decided to play some jazz on his trumpet while passengers disembarked. Passenger Aly del Vee was so touched, she shared a video on Twitter with the hashtag #DeltasMusicMan.
Courtney, a flight attendant working for United, decided to learn American Sign Language so she could connect with a wider range of the airline’s customers. On a flight from London to Los Angeles, she noticed a sticker on a passenger’s laptop case that said “Deaf but Loud.” When she started signing with him she discovered he was deaf comedian John Maucere, who was so moved, he shared his experience on social media. United produced a video about Courtney and John, which received thousands of reactions and shares on Facebook.
Silver #APEXHeartAward goes to @united flight attendant who learned American Sign Language to be able to connect with more passengers. Deaf comedian @JohnMaucere was so moved, he shared his experience on social media >>> https://t.co/S3AeeH2qvo #PaxEx pic.twitter.com/7UY2z3Idny— APEX (@theAPEXassoc) May 14, 2019
Stuart Duncan was on his way to Berlin to spend Christmas with his pregnant wife when his heart stopped. Two minutes after Heathrow’s operations centre received a call, Passenger Experience Managers were on the scene reviving Stuart using a defibrillator. By the time one of the cycle paramedics arrived four minutes later, Stuart had a pulse.
Jahmaul Allen, a ramp agent for American Airlines at Toronto Pearson International Airport, stepped in to cheer up a child who was crying on board by breaking out in dance on the tarmac. A video of his dance was posted on Twitter by @blogTO and watched more than a million times. “I dance and move around to keep myself warm and … I wanted to go above and beyond to make the passengers happy,” said Allen in a news clip.
Delta Air Lines
Melynda Wright, Karen Silva and Crew
When the crew on a Delta flight discovered that one of the passengers was en route to Kuwait, where he would spend a year away from his wife and child serving in the armed forces, they handed out Delta-branded thank you cards to passengers inviting them to write him a note. At the end of the flight, the crew presented the soldier with more than 100 cards.
Air New Zealand
Crew and Social Media Team
When the crew on an Air New Zealand flight discovered a drawing of a couple on their wedding day that was accidentally left behind, they were determined to find its owners. The airline’s social media team shared it on their social channels and, when the owners were identified, a customer service agent named Olivia delivered it to them at their home.
The Air New Zealand crew & social media team who tracked down the owners of an irreplaceable drawing that was accidentally left on a flight are the deserving recipients of a silver #APEXHeartAward! Watch the video here >>> https://t.co/NMXWaDXeeI pic.twitter.com/e2AyU4dHGW— APEX (@theAPEXassoc) August 3, 2018