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April 11, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


United CEO Defends Staff After Passenger Forcibly Removed From Flight

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz has defended the actions of staff after a man who refused to give up his seat voluntarily was forcibly removed by law enforcement from an overbooked flight on Sunday. The airline was heavily criticized on social media after video footage of the passenger being dragged down the aisle went viral. “Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this,” said Munoz in a letter to United employees. He also described the passenger's behavior as “disruptive and belligerent.” The Chicago Department of Aviation said that one of the officers involved in the incident did not follow protocol and has been placed on leave, pending further review.

Chicago Tribune | Related United Airlines in Twitter trouble over leggings rule – CNN



FCC Chairman Wants to Abandon Proposal to Allow In-Flight Phone Calls

The chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to end a regulatory proceeding seeking to lift a ban on in-flight cellphone calls on US airlines. In 2013, the FCC, under then-chairman Tom Wheeler, said it would consider allowing passengers to make phone calls, but the proposal was never finalized. "I stand with airline pilots, flight attendants and America’s flying public against the FCC’s ill-conceived 2013 plan to allow people to make cellphone calls on planes,” said Akit Pai, chairman of the FCC, in a statement released yesterday. Pai will need the support of two commissioners for the 2013 proposal to be formally abandoned.

Reuters | Related In-flight calls? The American people are overwhelmingly opposed – Los Angeles Times



Kontron Launches Software to Protect In-Flight Wi-Fi Security

Kontron has partnered with Extreme Networks to launch a new wireless software security package for the in-flight connectivity market. With cybersecurity now an increasing priority among airlines, the Extreme AirDefense software is designed to work in conjunction with Kontron’s Cab-n-Connect A100 cabin wireless access point hardware to deliver a multilayered security package complete with proactive monitoring and threat prevention. Its features include rogue detection, intrusion prevention, active countermeasures and forensic analysis. “Kontron is offering a service package that provides ongoing updates to counter the evolving set of threats that can be anticipated,” said RJ McLaren, Kontron’s manager of Product Marketing.

Get Connected | Related Intruder Alert: Industry Experts Weigh In on Cybersecurity Risks – APEX Media



TAP Portugal Launches Carry-On-Only Long-Haul Fares

TAP Portugal has introduced a new hand-baggage-only fare for long-haul flights to Brazil, Venezuela, Africa, Canada and the US. The “Discount” fare will be available as of September 1, and is one of six revamped fare options for intercontinental flights. The airline’s “Basic” fare offers one piece of checked luggage of up to 51 pounds, while the “Classic” option includes two pieces of luggage and pre-assigned seating. TAP Portugal said the new fares are aimed “at providing a more tailored and convenient experience,” adding that customers “can now choose and pay only for the services required.”

Business Traveller | Related First TAP Portugal A330 with renewed cabin and fully flat seats is flying – Aviation Tribune



AirBaltic Studies the Role of Local Culture in In-flight Menu Personalization

Last Friday, airline foodies gathered in Riga to learn how airBaltic infuses its customizable menus with fresh, wild flavors. The airline, which offers a host of in-flight meal options prepared at a local LSG SkyChefs kitchen, used the event as an opportunity to study the role local culture plays in in-flight menu personalization. “For us, it’s important to show our food culture,” said Janis Vanags, vice-president of Corporate Communications, airBaltic. “We've been named a European region of gastronomy, the first in Central and Eastern Europe, because we are religious about food.”

APEX Media | Related AIX: Air Baltic visits Hamburg with latest CS300 – Flight Global



Vistara Serves Starbucks Coffee to Premium Economy and Business-Class Pax

Vistara is now serving Starbucks coffee to premium economy and business-class passengers. The Indian carrier will offer a medium-roast brew from the multinational coffee chain, in what it claims is a first-of-its-kind service. “Coffee is not just a beverage; it is a way of life for many people. Vistara aims to transform the flying experience in India forever,” said the airline in a statement. “Our partnership with Starbucks is a step in that direction, reflecting our focus on the evolving preferences of our customers.”

Z Business | Related McDonald's and WestJet sign exclusive deal for coffee on flights – CBC News



JAL Raises the Price of Upgrading to Premium Economy at the Airport

Japan Airlines has increased fees for passengers upgrading to premium economy before departure at the airport. The change means travelers will now pay $45 to $90 more than they previously did for such upgrades, depending on flight and seating availability. According to Nikkei Asian Review, purchasing an upgrade at the airport is still significantly cheaper than booking a premium economy seat in advance. JAL’s premium economy seats on international routes offer an additional eight inches of legroom, compared to in economy class. JAL has also lowered the prices for advanced premium economy fares.

Nikkei Asian Review | Related JAL Launch New Amenity Kits And Loungewear In Partnership With Porsche Design – The Designair




Photo of the Day

A spectacular airport. Guess where? Captured by @thom_astro (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

Guess how many eggs fit into the A350 cargo compartment! You can win a #A350 Finnair scale model #Easter #LuckyDraw

Finnair @Finnair


Association News

APEX MMM Education Day: TiVo’s Charles Dawes Shares Insights on Engaging Millennials

Studies show that the tech-savvy millennial generation consumes a considerable amount of video content, but any disruption to their experience causes frustration and prompt disengagement. Charles Dawes, TiVo’s senior director for International Marketing, will share his insights on US millennials’ interaction with video content at APEX MultiMedia Market’s Education Day. What is being done to overcome obstacles and best engage these viewers? What can be done in flight? Register for APEX MMM, taking place in Berlin from April 24 to 26, to learn how the media consumption of this coveted demographic contrasts with that of other generations.


Registration Is Open for APEX TECH!

APEX TECH delivers information, guidance, analysis and trend reporting on technology issues critical to the aviation industry, including connectivity, cybersecurity, closed captioning and accessibility. This year’s APEX TECH will take place on June 13–14 at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel. The two-day event will provide a forum for the industry’s technical experts to review and discuss the APEX Technology Committee’s ongoing projects that set the specifications and standards for new passenger experience technologies. Click here to register.


> Quote of the Day

“A map does not just chart, it unlocks and formulates meaning; it forms bridges between here and there, between disparate ideas that we did not know were previously connected.”

Reif Larsen


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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