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January 9, 2017



Today's Top Stories



Industry News | Comfort & Ambience | Entertainment & Connectivity | Catering & Services


Fort Lauderdale Airport Shooting Suspect Appears in Federal Court

The 26-year-old Iraq war veteran accused of killing five people at Fort Lauderdale Airport last Friday appeared in federal court today, facing charges that could include the death penalty. Esteban Santiago admitted to investigators that the attack, which involved buying a one-way ticket from Alaska to carry out the shooting, was premeditated. Authorities have yet to rule out terrorism as a possible motive, and are exploring whether mental illness was partly responsible. Officials say Santiago arrived in Florida on a connecting flight from Alaska and retrieved his 9mm semi-automatic handgun from checked luggage, before loading it in a bathroom located in the baggage claim area.




Alaska Airlines Offers Free In-Flight Chat on Gogo-Equipped Airplanes

Shortly after completing its acquisition of Virgin America, Alaska Airlines is attempting to show that “different works” with the launch of Free Chat, which gives passengers free in-flight access to some of the most popular chat apps. Passengers flying aboard Alaska flights that offer access to Gogo’s in-flight Wi-Fi can use WhatsApp, iMessage and Facebook Messenger free of charge. At the moment, Free Chat is available on Alaska Airlines’ Gogo-enabled fleet; rollout to sister airlines Virgin America and Horizon Air will be contingent upon passenger feedback. In addition to chatting the flight away, during the month of March, passengers can use their mobile devices to access Alaska’s entire catalog of entertainment for free.

APEX Media | Related Will Different Work? Alaska Airlines and Virgin America Merger Finalized – APEX Media



SIA to Unveil Updated Airbus A380 First-Class Suites by Mid-2017

Singapore Airlines says it will unveil new Airbus A380 first-class suites by the middle of the year, before it takes delivery of its upcoming superjumbo fleet in late 2017. According to Australian Business Traveller, the airline is launching the suites in hopes of becoming more appealing to first-class flyers, amid competition from Emirates and Etihad Airways. Passengers may be able to fly in the redesigned suites as early as October, when SIA takes delivery of its first of five new A380s. The suites’ design details remain secret, but the airline’s CEO, Goh Choon Phong Goh, has confirmed that the new A380 aircraft will have fewer suites, compared to the 12 on its current fleet.

Australian Business Traveller | Related A380 still has role within Singapore Airlines – Flight Global



Posh Sandwiches: BA Releases Images of Its Upcoming M&S Menu

British Airways’ decision to charge for food on short-haul flights comes into effect on Wednesday, and the airline has released images of the new Marks & Spencer menu. Options include a smoked British bacon roll, a harissa chicken and couscous salad and an Aberdeen Angus beef and red onion chutney bloomer sandwich. The drinks menu includes Java Republic coffee and a wine selection, consisting of three red, white and rosé options, in addition to an Australian Shiraz, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, prosecco and champagne.

Business Traveller | Related BA partners with Marks & Spencer to charge for in-flight meals – The Independent



Railway to Runway: Taipei’s Main Train Station to Allow Passengers to Check In for Flights

Passengers departing from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport will be able to check in and leave their baggage at Taipei’s main train station. China Airlines and EVA Air, plus their respective subsidiaries, Mandarin Airlines and UNI Air, will have check-in counters at Taipei Main Station. Scheduled to open at the end of January, the new 32-mile-long mass rapid transit line will connect the city center and 14 other stations to the airport. The service will enable outbound travelers to check their luggage and print boarding passes before taking the 35-minute journey to the airport.

Focus Taiwan | Related ADAC rolls out offsite check-in as Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal opens – Future Travel Experience



Rage Against the Seatback Screen: Angry Flyer Tries to Sue Qantas for Broken IFE System

A disgruntled Qantas passenger who demanded $73 in compensation for a broken in-flight entertainment screen has been told to take the claim to a higher court. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal rejected the action by Zoran Ivanovic, telling him that it could not rule on the matter because it involved an international flight. The flight, which took place in May 2016, was delayed because of problems with the IFE system, but took off after passengers were told it had been fixed. Ivanovic was not satisfied with an apology from Qantas or the airline’s offer of 3,000 frequent-flyer points. He calculated that he could have watched five movies during the 10-hour flight between Hong Kong and Sydney, which he estimated would have cost him $14.70 each on the ground.

The Age | Related Qantas reveals its most-watched movies of 2016 –



Norwegian Celebrates Pioneering Female Aviator Amy Johnson

Norwegian Air Shuttle has unveiled the second design in its series of British tail fin heroes. Pioneering pilot Amy Johnson will appear on two of the airline’s aircraft, a Boeing 737 and 787, later this year. Johnson was the first female pilot to fly alone from Britain to Australia in 1930. The low-cost carrier currently features tail fin heroes on more than 80 aircraft, showcasing personalities that it says symbolize the spirit of Norwegian. “As Norwegian continues its rapid expansion in the UK, our tail fin heroes offer us a perfect chance to pay tribute to some of the greatest Britons of all time,” said Norwegian’s COO, Thomas Ramdahl.

Business Traveller | Related Women in Aviation Series – APEX Media




Photo of the Day

Spotted landing at LAX from Sepulveda Boulevard. Captured by @duanephansen (via Instagram).

Use #APEXPOTD for the chance to be featured in the APEX Daily Experience newsletter!


> Tweet of the Day

? ✈️ The Internet Movie Plane Database, aka @IMDb for #AvGeeks! Imagine #GoldenGlobes for airplanes, what would win? …



Association News

#APEXEXPO 2017: Join us in Long Beach

APEX EXPO 2017 will take place in Long Beach, California, from September 25 to 28. Join thousands of aviation professionals from around the world, all committed to improving the airline passenger experience, and reunite with the peers you connected with this year in Singapore!


> Quote of the Day

“People say there’s delays on flights. Delays, really? New York to California in five hours, that used to take 30 years."

Louis CK


Until tomorrow



The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) encompasses a network of airlines, businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. Every day, APEX members are improving every aspect of the airline experience, from designing, building and installing seating, entertainment and communications systems on commercial aircraft, to airport lounges and in-flight dining. Visit for more information. APEX is professionally managed by Kellen Company, the premier global association management firm with offices and representation in the United States, Europe, China, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia.


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