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September 2, 2020



Today's Top Stories


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


Airlines Globally Mixed on Change Fees

Alaska Airlines followed United, Delta and American Airlines this week in eliminating change fees on most of its tickets. Chief commercial officer Andrew Harrison said the move is part of more than 100 changes the company has implemented as it “evolves [its] approach to travel” in the new normal. But other airlines are less convinced. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said his company’s change fees will return as the market recovers, though they are currently suspended. Low-cost carrier Frontier Airlines split the difference, announcing a one-time waiver in the short term but no plans to fundamentally alter the fees going forward.

Travel Weekly | Related Qantas CEO rules out dropping all change fees, tips fare increases – Executive Traveller



Op-Ed: Cabin Cleaning Is an Opportunity for Differentiation, Says VX Consulting Founder

In this instalment of Expert Opinions, APEX Media’s Op-Ed series, Yen-Pu Paul Chen, founder of VX Consulting Chicago, argues that effective cabin cleaning must take passenger perception into account. “Regardless of the disinfection efforts airlines make, it's the sight of a cabin’s visibly inadequate cleaning that can harm passenger trust, particularly during- and post-pandemic,” Chen says. The silver lining, he notes, is that cabin cleanliness presents a perfect opportunity to set an airline apart from the competition.

APEX Media | Related Expert Opinions, APEX Media’s Op-Ed series



TSA Tests Updated Facial Recognition Tech at DCA

The TSA is testing an updated version of a facial recognition system for ID verification at its checkpoints. It operates on a voluntary basis in the PreCheck lanes at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA). Passengers insert their ID into the machine rather than handing it to an agent and the cameras match their live appearance to the ID. The system also performs a lookup against flight manifest data to ensure that the traveler holds a valid ticket to pass through the checkpoint. “In light of COVID-19, advanced health and safety precautions have become a top priority. As a result, we are exploring rapid testing and deployment of this touchless, self-service technology,” said TSA administrator David Pekoske.

TSA | Related TSA Is Testing Facial Recognition Checkpoints – CN Traveler



Boeing Grounds Some 787s Due to Manufacturing Defect

At least eight Boeing 787s are out of service while the company investigates a manufacturing defect impacting the structural integrity of the fuselage. The carbon fiber interior skin in the affected aircraft is not as smooth as the design calls for, potentially leading to troubles with a second process that fills the expected gaps between components with shims. In an extreme case this could lead to the aircraft not meeting maximum stress load limits. The company reviewed manufacturing details and believes that only these eight aircraft are affected by the combination of issues.

The Air Current | Related Boeing grounds eight 787 Dreamliners over manufacturing flaw – CNN



Indian Regulators Issue Draft In-Flight Wi-Fi Guidelines

The slog of establishing a legal and regulatory framework for in-flight Wi-Fi services within India continues to drag on. Two years after the government first approved the technology, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued draft rules permitting the use of Wi-Fi on personal electronic devices above 10,000 feet. These rules are the same as those discussed since the initial approval and remain to be finalized, theoretically by the end of the year. SpiceJet, Vistara and AirAsia India all have aircraft equipped with the necessary hardware for delivering in-flight connectivity to passengers once the rules are set.

Tech Circle | Related Get ready for WiFi in flights in India, but you may have to pay for it – New Indian Express



KLM, TU Delft Flying-V Scale Model Makes First Flight

A scale model of a new aircraft design concept took flight for the first time in August, opening the door to far more efficient operations. Designed by researchers at TU Delft university and supported by KLM, the “Flying-V” design moves passengers, cargo and fuel into the wing structures, a significant departure from the traditional fuselage layout known today. KLM CEO Pieter Elbers highlighted the many partners involved, noting "You can't make the aviation sector more sustainable on your own, but you have to do it together.” Transitioning to sustainable aviation fuel is the next step for the team.

KLM | Related TU Delft Reveals Cabin Design For Flying-V Concept Aircraft – APEX Media



Virgin Atlantic Gains Court Approval for $1.6-Billion Rescue

Virgin Atlantic should be able to complete its financial restructuring this week after a UK court approved the plans. The move comes after debtors and new investors accepted the deal. The influx of new funds gives the carrier a strong footing from which it will regrow its international route network as it seeks to overcome the challenges of diminished demand in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. A US Bankruptcy Court is expected to endorse the deal on Thursday, though that is not a requirement for the effort to move forward.

BNN Bloomberg | Related Virgin Atlantic Is Giving Away COVID-19 Insurance to Get Passengers Flying Again – Travel And Leisure





“The thousands of faces passing by every day were a treasure for a photographer, so I wanted these people to be in my project.” – Mustafa Çankaya

This image was featured in a photo essay in a previous issue of APEX Experience magazine. 

> Tweet of the Day

Pride, joy and satisfaction, one flight that gave us mixed emotions as we continue to support the country in its fight against the pandemic. We created the first ever blood plasma corridor to save the life of a patient suffering from COVID-19. #LetsIndiGo #aviation

IndiGo @IndiGo6E


Association News

Secure Your Spot at FTE APEX Virtual Expo!

FTE APEX Virtual Expo registration is open! Sign up now to take advantage of early bird rates. Premium passes provide access to the full virtual exhibition and all live sessions. Participants can also network with exhibitors and fellow attendees via text, voice and video calls, as well as maximize their learning with 30 days of on-demand access to conference content. Attendees committing to visit and engage with three or more exhibiting companies may qualify for complimentary premium attendance. Register now!


> Quote of the Day

“Publishers who collect and own their own data will be in an incredibly strong position and become far more enticing partners for advertisers going forward.”

Tim Letheren, Inadvia
Read the article


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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