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March 15, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


Monarch Airlines Gives Free Upgrades to “Nice” Customers

Monarch Airlines says it will give free seat upgrades to “nice” people. The UK low-cost carrier is promising extra legroom and priority check-in to travelers who are friendly when they book flights over the phone. Monarch will give 10 upgrades per week for its customer service staff to hand out at their discretion as part of a year-long initiative “to promote traditional values of chivalry, courtesy and respect.” “Everyone benefits from niceness,” says Nils Christy, Monarch’s chief operating officer. “Planes depart more punctually, staff and customers are happier and it improves the traveling experience for everyone.” The move mirrors a similar scheme by British café chain Pret a Manger, which encourages staff to give away a certain number of free food items or beverages to customers they like each week.

The Telegraph | Related Pret staff's free coffee for people they like: discrimination or a nice gesture? – The Guardian



American to Offer Complimentary Food on Select Flights

American Airlines has announced it will begin offering free meals in economy class on its fleet of Airbus A321s flying between New York and Los Angeles, and New York and San Francisco as of May 1. Depending on the time of day, passengers will be served either a continental breakfast, a boxed meal with sandwich wrap, kettle chips and dessert, or a fruit and cheese platter. The move follows a similar announcement by Delta Air Lines, which began offering free meals to all passengers on some transcontinental flights on March 1. "Some of our best customers fly our transcontinental routes, and we want to give them a top-notch onboard experience," says Fernand Fernandez, American Airlines’ VP of Global Marketing.

Travel Pulse | Related Delta has again deemed coach passengers worthy of a free meal – Quartz



Embraer Becomes the Latest Aviation Player to Land in Silicon Valley

Embraer has announced it is forming innovation teams in the US to explore new business models and technologies. The Brazilian airframer is seeking partnerships with startups, investors, academia and corporations. Operations are expected to begin in Silicon Valley and Boston later this month. “A major transformation is unfolding worldwide, and it has been accelerated by the evolution of artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality and autonomous vehicles,” says Antonio Campello, director of Corporate Innovation, Embraer. “This is yet another step that Embraer takes as a key player in transforming global air transportation.”

Aircraft Interiors International | Related Think Like a Startup: Market-Ready Launch – APEX Media



Passenger’s Face Burned After Battery-Operated Headphones Explode Mid-Flight

A passenger’s battery-operated headphones exploded two hours into a flight from Beijing to Melbourne on February 19. The Australian passenger was asleep when she awoke to a loud explosion that left her face blackened and her hair singed. “[The headphones] were sparking and had small amounts of fire,” she said in a statement through the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). The passenger reacted by stamping her foot on the headphones while flight attendants were prepared to douse them with a bucket of water. The ATSB says it is likely the batteries caught fire and advises passengers to not keep batteries in their stowed luggage.

The Guardian | Related US push to avert passenger plane battery fires stalls – CTV



Delta Brings Italian Design to Its Premium Tableware

Delta Air Lines has been working with Italian design company Alessi to create new in-flight service products and tableware for its premium cabins. The Alessi for Delta products are the result of a partnership formed between the two companies in November 2015. The latest range includes flatware, crystal glassware, bone china, stainless steel serving pieces and tabletop accessories, including napkin rings, salt and pepper shakers and trays. “At Delta, we know that every aspect and detail of the travel experience matters, and partnering with Alessi allows us to bring an uncompromising level of elegance and service to the onboard experience,” says Allison Ausband, Delta’s SVP for In-Flight Service.

Delta Air Lines | Related Updated Fly Delta App Launches With LocusLabs’ Wayfinding Technology – APEX Media



New South Korean LCC Confirms Order for Eight Airbus A320s

South Korean startup carrier Kair Airlines has announced a firm order for eight Airbus A320s. The new airline will be based in Cheongju, focusing on offering flights to destinations in northeast Asia, such as China, Taiwan and Japan. “Kair Airlines will focus on point-to-point services at low fares while offering passengers a modern and fun product,” said Byung Ho Kang, representative director and chairman for Kair Airlines. “Brand new A320 aircraft will be perfect for our business model and customers, combining the lowest operating costs with the widest cabin in the single-aisle segment.”

Breaking Travel News | Related Boeing, CDB Aviation to Ink 737 MAX 8 Deal – Airways Magazine



Maho Beach, St. Maarten: A Planespotter’s Paradise

The second annual SXM Festival kicks off today in St. Maarten, bringing thousands of music aficionados to the tiny Caribbean country, which has long been a dream vacation destination for AvGeeks. Maho Beach is meters from Princess Juliana International Airport’s runway, making it an ideal location for planespotting – even nearby restaurants and bars display airline timetables. While KLM discontinued its Boeing 747 service to St. Maarten late last year, vacationers can watch the Airbus A330 and other aircraft pass right over their heads as they approach for landing.

APEX Media | Related WestJet Denies Close Call Caught on Camera at St. Maarten – Christine Negroni




Photo of the Day

Howdy neighbor. Captured by @althani350 via  (Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

That is the emptiest that I have ever seen #NYC airspace! Be patient and stay safe! #airline #stellastorm #stella2017

Joe Leader @joepleader


Association News

APEX MMM: "Content is the Lifeblood of All Entertainment Systems"

APEX MultiMedia Market 2017, the only global industry event focused specifically on bringing together IFE buyers with the leading worldwide content vendors, will take place in Berlin from April 24 to 26. "It's important that APEX holds a content focused event; there's a huge emphasis on hardware and technology in our industry but the importance of sourcing quality movie, TV and audio content should not be forgotten," said Andy Grant, manager Passenger Entertainment and Communications, Emirates. "Content is the lifeblood of all entertainment systems and a key part of the passenger experience." Register now and reserve your hotel room to attend the industry’s most comprehensive in-flight content conference.


Sponsorship Opportunities at APEX Events

Are you looking to gain extra exposure for your company at APEX events like APEX MultiMedia Market, APEX TECH and APEX EXPO? APEX has the right marketing opportunity for your company. Contact Desiray Young,, to discuss the best ways to raise your company’s profile. For more information, see the 2017 Sponsorship and Advertising Kit.


> Quote of the Day

"I sometimes think that the desire to fly after the fashion of the birds is an ideal handed down to us by our ancestors who in their gruelling travels across trackless lands in prehistoric times, looked enviously on the birds soaring freely through space, at full speed, above all obstacles, on the infinite highway of the air.”

Glenn Curtiss, pioneering aviator and founder of the US aircraft industry


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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