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.
Social Care Team Member
Xavier University alumnus Renée Stoeckle was planning to use the in-flight Wi-Fi to watch her alma matter’s March Madness game against Florida State. When the connection wasn’t powerful enough to live stream the game, she contacted the airline on Twitter and suggested they live tweet the game for her. Mike from the Social Care Team granted her wish, leaving Stoeckle singing the airline’s praises despite her disappointment over the Wi-Fi connection.
Gate agent & Captain Jim Mooney
Brit Morin, founder and CEO of Brit & Co, was devastated when she discovered she had lost her wedding and engagement rings en route to Jackson Hole from New York. After filling out a lost and found claim online, a United representative replied that they had found both rings on the jet bridge. Captain Jim Mooney delivered them to their owner, along with a handwritten note.
Customer Service Agent
When Denice Miracle, a customer service agent for American Airlines at Sacramento International Airport, encountered two young girls with one-way first-class tickets, traveling without parents or identification, she called the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Airport Bureau. Authorities discovered that a man the girls met on Instagram had bought the tickets, luring them with a promise of payment in return for performing in music videos. It’s believed that the girls narrowly avoided becoming victims of child trafficking, thanks to Miracle.
Customer Service Representative
When an infant was diagnosed with a life-threatening illness, Ann, a customer service representative for Delta, took it upon herself to rearrange the family’s flight at no extra charge, and to an airport which was closer to home for the family.
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.