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April 28, 2017



Today's Top Stories



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


Southwest to Stop Overbooking, United Settles Out of Court With Dao

Southwest Airlines says it has tentative plans to stop overbooking flights by May 8. “The company has made the decision that we’ll cease to overbook going forward,” said CEO Gary Kelly, during an interview with CNBC. “We’ve been taking steps over the last several years to prepare ourselves for this anyway.” Southwest’s decision comes weeks after United Airlines’ passenger-dragging incident drew widespread criticism. The Chicago-based carrier yesterday announced it had reached an “amicable settlement” with David Dao, the passenger involved, just hours after declaring a new $10,000 maximum payout to prevent similar conflicts.

Bloomberg | Related United reaches legal settlement with bumped passenger – Air Transport World



GEE Chief Says There Was No Wrongdoing Behind Recent Executive Departures

Global Eagle Entertainment has denied that its changes in executive leadership and its overdue financial statements are related to corporate misconduct on its part. In a conference call last week, GEE’s newly appointed chief executive, Jeff Leddy, denied the company had engaged in unlawful activity. “My replacement of the previous CEO and the CFO was not a result of any fraud or misconduct by my predecessors,” said Leddy. “[It was] rather belief by the board … that I am best qualified to lead the company going forward.” Paul Rainey, GEE’s new CFO, also said the company’s 2016 audit would be filed by June 30, explaining that it was taking longer than normal because of the number of acquisitions the company has made in recent years.

Space News | Related Global Eagle Entertainment Names Paul Rainey as CFO – Street Insider



Qantas Starts Selling Tickets for First-Ever Nonstop Flight Between Australia and UK

Tickets for the first-ever nonstop flight between Australia and the UK went on sale yesterday. Qantas’ daily Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner-operated route between Perth and London will take off on March 25, 2018, with two-way fares starting at $1,415. The new 9,000-mile so-called “kangaroo route” will be the third longest in the world, with a flight time of about 17 hours. “We’ve said the Qantas Dreamliner is a game changer, and that’s becoming real today,” said Alan Joyce, chief executive of Qantas. “The kangaroo route has kept changing with new technology. It used to take four days and seven stops but now we’re able to link Australia and UK in a single hop. It’s a level of convenience Australians have never had before.”

The Guardian | Related VIRGIN HOT ON QANTAS’ HEELS WITH IN-FLIGHT WI-FI – Travel Weekly



Norwegian Launches Points-Earning Online Shop in UK

Norwegian has launched an online shop in the UK that allows members of its frequent-flyers scheme to earn points from more than 1,000 retailers. Norwegian Reward members will be able to earn points redeemable for flights and ancillary services with the low-cost carrier at stores including Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Tesco. “Norwegian Reward is quickly growing its partner network in the UK to give more choices to our members,” said Brede Huser, SVP at Norwegian Reward. “Now Norwegian Reward members can convert CashPoints earned from their weekly grocery shop into high-quality, affordable flights to Europe and worldwide with Norwegian.”

Business Traveller | Related Norwegian has launched a new direct London Gatwick to Singapore flight route – City A.M.



Delta’s Noise-Canceling Headphone Partnership Helps Others Hear Too

Delta Air Lines has launched a partnership with the LSTN Sound Company, which will see it offering an exclusive line of wood-paneled noise-canceling headphones to its transcontinental business-class passengers. The Los Angeles-based headphone manufacturer has been working on this partnership with Delta for nearly two years, and plans to donate the entire proceeds from the partnership to the Starkey Hearing Foundation. LSTN says its philanthropic efforts have helped more than 22,000 hearing-impaired individuals across the world since launching four years ago.

Engadget | Related Orbis’ Third-Generation Flying Eye Hospital Completes Inaugural Mission to Shenyang – APEX Media



Alaska Airlines’ Drive to Retain Loyal Virgin America Customers

Alaska Airlines has been reaching out to customers who originally booked Virgin America flights with the hope of retaining as much of its loyal customer base as possible. The move comes after Alaska Airlines decided to swap the Airbus A320s on Virgin America’s loss-making routes from Dallas Love Field to New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles and San Francisco, to smaller 76-seat Embraer E175s operated by SkyWest Airlines. Passengers booked in first class on Virgin America received a refund, but were permitted to stay in first class on the Alaska-branded flights. “We actually called everyone personally,” said Shane Tackett, Alaska’s vice-president for Revenue Management and E-Commerce. He said most interactions were “super positive” and that passengers did not mind switching airlines.

Skift | Related Alaska Airlines is killing off the Virgin America brand – CNN



Antimicrobial Tech Prescribed for Prevention of Contagion in the Aircraft Cabin

Keeping cabins hygienic is not only passenger-friendly, it is essential to ensuring the continuity of air travel services. Past disease pandemics such as SARS and Ebola have forced airlines to cancel flights or limit service to certain regions when there is a pronounced risk of inadvertently transporting dangerous pathogens. While germ-zapping technology has improved over the past decade, there is still a lot of work ahead. Innovative technologies such as an antimicrobial surface treatment by Recaro and fabrics with antibacterial properties by Lantal, are helping to further reduce the spread of germs on airplanes.

APEX Media | Related This Robot Can Kill 99 PERCENT of Germs on a Plane in FIVE Minutes – Travel + Leisure




Photo of the Day

From the other side, there are new possibilities. Captured by @j.a.losi (via Instagram).

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


> Tweet of the Day

You voted #RapidRewards Program of the Year again in the @freddieawards? Well, we vote you Best Customers Ever. Thanks for helping us win!

Southwest Airlines @SouthwestAir


Association News

APEX Airline Members: Free Registration for FTE Europe and FTE Ancillary Ends Today

APEX airline members can attend FTE Europe and FTE Ancillary for free as long as they register by 11:59 p.m. PT today. Representatives of other organizations can receive a 10 percent APEX discount by using the following code at checkout before Friday, May 5: FTE3826353. The event program includes keynote speakers from Airbnb, Ryanair and IAG; multiple conference streams: Ancillary, On the Ground, Up in the Air and Baggage Innovation Summit; a major exhibition of progressive suppliers; co-creation forums; in-flight workshops; a one-to-one meeting platform; and a networking party and awards ceremony at the Guinness Storehouse.


Register Now 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 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

"You’ll never have a product or price advantage again. They can be easily duplicated, but a strong customer service culture can’t be copied."

Jerry Fritz, Director of Management Institute University of Wisconsin


Until next week



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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