APEX in Profile: Grace Lau

Grace Lau
Acquisition and Distribution Director
Emphasis Video Entertainment

Grace started at Hong Kong-based Emphasis Video Entertainment, a supplier of Asian film and short feature programming for worldwide airlines, as a part-time receptionist, straight out of university, 17 years ago. Today, she establishes relationships with producers in the region to provide a gateway for access to premium content and services.

Location: HKG
Favorite aircraft: A380
Brand of suitcase: Samsonite
Passport stamp you wish you had: Finland
Favorite social network: Facebook

Did you choose the airline industry or did it choose you?
I joined Emphasis as a part-time receptionist right after I graduated from university. I had no long-term plans, until one day I was told by management that there was a new opening and they thought that I might be the right candidate.

If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you love to be doing?
I would love to be a full-time mother. My boy is one year old, and my daughter just turned three. I treasure spending time with them, as they are growing up very fast. I don’t want to miss any stage of their lives.

“I would love to have a mini-gym on board. What about mahjong rooms for fun?”

If you could change one thing about the architecture of aircraft, what would it be?
I would like to have a mini-gym on board for stretching. Keeping the blood circulating is essential for passengers on long-haul flights in economy.

What’s your crazy idea to improve the passenger experience?
How about having mahjong rooms for fun? This activity would surely make time pass faster – of course, the rooms would have to be sound-insulated.

How important is social media for an airline in the digital age?
Very important in the case of disruptions to flight schedules, in particular for announcing contingency plans to passengers in real time.

After you’ve settled in your airplane seat, what’s the first thing you do?
Check the entertainment guide. I can’t really sleep on a plane and the only entertainment to kill time is watching movies or TV content. (I am not one to read books or listen to music.) I can keep watching from takeoff to landing.

What’s the most memorable service experience you’ve received on a flight?
I was in business class on a Cathay Pacific flight from HKG to LAX. I needed to pump my breast milk on both outbound and inbound flights. There were two mothers among the flight crew who really understood my situation and concern. They attended to my needs and offered much assistance. It was a wonderful experience and I still remember it.

What did you do the first time you used in-flight Wi-Fi?
Replying to company e-mails was surely a major task. Being able to use WhatsApp really facilitated my work and helped me kill time. I also enjoyed using Facebook and browsing the Internet to the extent that I almost forgot to watch my favorite in-flight movies and TV programs.

Your top three films of all time?
Infernal Affairs, Cold War, Ghost.

What’s the one item you can’t travel without?
It’s unfortunate that I have to say my cell phone. It is not only important to my travel but also my daily life. Seems that it is more essential than money and credit cards.

“APEX in Profile: Grace Lau” was originally published in the 7.3 August/September issue of APEX Experience magazine.