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October 31, 2023



Today's Top Stories


Senators Ask US Regulators To Address Frequent Flyer Programs

US Senators Dick Durbin and Roger Marshall have queried the Transportation Department and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau about reports of deceitful practices in airline loyalty programs. They highlighted airlines altering point systems unfairly, resulting in devalued points and making it harder for consumers to redeem promised rewards. Earlier, Durbin had sought explanations from the CEOs of United and American about increasing grievances and rising ticket costs.

Reuters | Related US seeks to block JetBlue’s Spirit Airlines deal at trial – Reuters



Southwest Launches Baggage Tracking Tool Via Website & App

Southwest Airlines is introducing a baggage tracking tool, enabling travelers to monitor their checked baggage in real time via its website and app. The tracking tool provides updates on three milestones: bag tag printing, and baggage loading and unloading. Accessible through “Track your checked baggage” on the app and website, the baggage tracking initiative offers peace of mind, especially after last year’s turmoil when Southwest canceled around 20,000 flights during the Christmas season.

The Points Guy | Related Southwest Airlines Adds Baggage Tracking Feature To App And Website – Simple Flying



Vodafone Launches Airline Roaming For Inflight Calls, Text, Streaming

Vodafone has launched a satellite-powered inflight roaming service at $5/day, mirroring its popular international roaming offer. This service, available on select international airlines like Lufthansa, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines, promises 3G-like speeds and allows for talk, text, and streaming. Vodafone aims to end inflight Wi-Fi overpricing. If users activate inflight roaming and then land in a $5 global roaming country within 24 hours, they can use the service without additional costs. Vodafone’s international roaming covers 100+ destinations, offering free calls, texts, and plan-based data usage.

Executive Traveller | Related In-flight mobile roaming takes off with Vodafone, but popular airlines like Qantas not included in deal – Travel Weekly



NEBOair Pushes To Make Sustainable Flight Training Take Off In The UK

Kerry Wilmot, co-director of NEBOair, is championing the Pipistrel Velis Electro, the world’s first certified all-electric aircraft, urging UK flying schools to use it for sustainable pilot training. NEBOair, associated with UK-based Pipistrel distributor Fly About Aviation, was formed to emphasize sustainable aviation. The Velis Electro, approved by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), boasts an engine powered by a dual-battery system, with a flight endurance of 45 minutes. Trainees can accomplish most of their pilot license training on the Velis. NEBOair emphasizes the environmental benefits of the aircraft and is exploring an electric aircraft charging network across the UK.

Runway Girl Network | Related Eyeing hydrogen power iconic Islander returns to UK production – Runway Girl Network



SWISS “Crew Surprise” Concept: Airline Tells Employees Not To Go Overboard

SWISS airlines has a “Crew Surprise” initiative where captains or lead flight attendants can treat their crew to a drink or meal during a layover, later seeking reimbursement from the company. This gesture aims to boost morale after commendable performance or challenging days. While meant to be an occasional treat, some crews have overspent, causing the company to re-evaluate the concept. A notable incident involved a captain and his crew spending over $2,000 at a US steakhouse, prompting the airline to request moderation in expenses.

One Mile At A Time | Related Swiss Airline Is Now Offering Free Internet Use For Chat Services Like WhatsApp With No Data Limit – Curly Tales



British Airways Completes Heathrow T5B Lounge Refresh

British Airways has revamped its lounge at Heathrow T5B, featuring a new servery with a live food preparation area, an expanded deli section, a quiet zone, and updated furniture and decor. This follows the introduction of a Whispering Angel rosé wine bar earlier this summer. Additionally, the airline opened new bars in its T3 and T5 First lounges and has plans to enhance its lounges in Seattle and Edinburgh. They’ve also introduced new snack boxes for long-haul flights.

Business Traveller | Related British Airways trials digital wayfinding tool at Heathrow – Business Traveller



Newcastle International Unveils Plans For £1.7m Executive Lounge Investment

Newcastle International Airport and Aspire will invest £1.7m (US$2m) to upgrade the airport’s executive lounge, set to complete in early 2024. This expanded facility, designed by DV8 Designs, will cater to over 100 extra passengers, offering three tiers: Aspire, Aspire Premium, and Aspire Business. Amenities across tiers include food, drinks, charging ports, high-speed internet, and HD TVs. Aspire Business offers exclusive services tailored for business travelers, while Aspire Premium provides a luxury dining experience.

Passenger Terminal Today | Related Vinci Airports to invest £100m in Belfast International Airport – Airport Technology




Today’s picture comes from @spottin_planes, featuring a United Airlines 737-800 aircraft.

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

> Tweet of the Day

To boost the patience of passengers, Beijing Daxing International Airport (PKX) has enabled a system, where the passengers at the baggage claim area can see the baggages being offloaded from the containers. #paxex #airport #flight #aviation

FL360aero @fl360aero


Association News

Call for APEX TECH Panelist & Moderator Nominations

The Technology Committee is seeking speakers and ‎facilitators for the APEX TECH taking place 28-29 February ‎‎2024 in Los Angeles, California, USA.‎ Speaker, panelist, and moderator nominations are being accepted now and will be curated by the ‎Technology Committee. Self-nominations are also welcome.‎ The deadline for nominations is Wednesday 1 November 2023.‎ Click here to learn more and submit your nomination.


Register for FTE APEX Asia Expo – Preparing for Tomorrow’s World

FTE APEX Asia Expo, 8-9 November 2023, at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre in Singapore, is the largest free-to-attend passenger experience and business performance expo for the air transport industry. It will provide a unique platform for the industry's most innovative suppliers from across Asia and further afield to come together to showcase their latest products, services and solutions designed to help airlines improve end-to-end customer experiences, reduce costs, increase revenues, and enhance sustainability and operational efficiency. The networking and business development opportunities are immense, and our AI matchmaking app, powered by Swapcard, provides incredible access to the most progressive companies in the industry, with whom you can connect to help redefine your organization’s passenger experience and business performance strategies. Learn more and register.


> Quote of the Day

“In our ongoing commitment to provide a comfortable, seamless and convenient customer experience while traveling with us, Southwest Airlines has introduced the ability for Customers to track checked bags throughout their journey — from takeoff to landing.”

Southwest spokesperson
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The next newsletter will be out 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 apex.aero 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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