New York, NY | January 9, 2014– 2013 was the year that the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) landed in Asia! With its highly successful regional conference November in Shanghai, China, APEX members hit the ground running in a region with growing influence in the passenger experience industry. The event marked the end of a year of successful global events for the association.

The two-day event saw record attendance for a regional conference – including a strong local showing. The program featured a wide variety of industry speakers, presentations and forum discussions, as well as exhibits and networking opportunities. Attendees learned how to increase ancillary revenue; discussed enhancements in connectivity, flight services, IFE and more; got a sneak peek at upcoming local and foreign content offerings; and enjoyed a scenic Pudong River cruise through Shanghai. Members packed educational sessions, including a popular panel of airline executives – Suguang Dong, executive vice president at China Southern Airlines; Yun Zhang, general manager for products and services at Air China; Gloria Chow, manager for entertainment and communications at Cathay Pacific (APEX Board member); and industry executive Dominic Green, senior director for content business at Thales Avionics, Inc. (APEX Board member). And speaker Ralf Cabos, managing director for Flight Focus Pte. Ltd. generated buzz among attendees with a session on bringing wireless Internet technology to Chinese aircraft and discussing tips for overcoming regional hurdles and restrictions for connecting inflight.

“Based on the overwhelming feedback from attendees and the membership at large, APEX intends to visit Asia each year,” said Lauren Beneri, APEX director of programs and services. “We’re already planning a second regional conference in Asia, this one to be held in Hong Kong this fall.”

According to a survey of attendees, nine in 10 rated their experience “good” or “excellent,” and every attendee who responded said they would be interested in attending another APEX event in Asia.

Earlier this year, APEX hosted a widely praised event at the Royal Geographic Society’s Historic Lowther Lodge and the Inmarsat Conference Center in London, with a focus on “geo-entertainment” and WiFi, respectively. And members met in Lisbon, Portugal for the yearly APEX TV Market Conference and in Anaheim, California, USA for the APEX/IFSA EXPO – both events seeing impressive turnout and enthusiastic praise from attendees.

Upcoming APEX events include regional conferences in Sydney, Australia (March) and in Hong Kong (November), as well as the yearly TV Market Conference in April in Dublin, Ireland, and September’s APEX/IFSA EXPO in Anaheim, California, USA. Two APEX TEC Conferences will take place in May and November.

– Make a Habit of taking the Passenger Choice Awards Survey Every Time You Fly!

New York, NY | March 20, 2013– Chances are good that you’ll be traveling sometime soon. And if so, chances are even better that you’ll have an opinion about your flight experience. Why not let the airlines know how you feel as soon as you step off of the plane?

This is your chance to tell the airline industry exactly what you think about the entire passenger experience – from ticketing to the flight itself to baggage claim. Fill out this easy online survey at www.passengerchoiceawards.com. The customized surveys cover every aspect of the flight, and airlines can use that information to make the travel experience that much better.

The Passenger Choice Awards were created by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) to recognize airline achievements in the passenger experience and to give airlines useful data on how flyers view specific services.

“The Passenger Choice Awards are hugely beneficial because they empower the passengers themselves to decide which airline is best in a number of categories,” said Dominic Green, chairman of the APEX Awards Committee. “This program gives passengers a direct way to communicate their changing expectations, and it helps airlines determine what’s working and what’s not.”

Travelers can complete the survey multiple times throughout the year, so every flight experience counts. The survey is open year-round. Winners are announced at the Awards Ceremony at the annual APEX EXPO in the fall. This year’s APEX EXPO will be held 9 through 12 Sept. Anaheim, Calif. USA.

Awards categories include inflight publications, connectivity and communications, food and beverage, informational videos and entertainment, cabin ambiance and pre-departure experience.

Join the conversation! Become a fan of the Passenger Choice Awards on Facebook and follow APEX on Twitter for air travel tips and information, and updates about the Passenger Choice Awards!

For more information about APEX, please visit www.apex.aero.

IFExpress contacted the Aircraft Interiors folks for an update and John Hyde, Exhibition Director sent us this note:

“This year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo promises to be its biggest event yet covering more than 16,000 sq m at the Hamburg Messe from 27 to 29 March. More than 500 exhibiting companies will be showcasing their latest innovations – taking in all aspects of the cabin interiors supply chain. IFE will once again be an important part of this mix with 120 exhibiting companies involved in inflight entertainment and connectivity – from headphone manufacturers up to all encompassing IFE systems.

New for 2012 is the Aircraft Interiors Expo Cabin Innovation & Strategies for the Future Conference. This takes place on Monday 26 March in the A Halls at the Hamburg Messe – the day before the exhibition doors open – and is already proving popular with more than 60 airlines from all around the world registered to attend. The conference begins with a plenary session where Jeremy White, Head of Transport, at design and innovation company Seymourpowell will be revealing some of the critical trends shaping passenger expectations in the future – particularly in terms of design and customer service. Raymond Kollau, Founder and Trend Analyst at Airlinetrends.com will be discussing topics such as what makes passengers feel good about flying today and what airlines can learn from other industry sectors.

In the afternoon the conference splits into two streams – one of which is dedicated to inflight entertainment and connectivity. This will be chaired by Michael Childers, Chief Consultant Content & Media Strategy at Lufthansa Systems. Sessions will cover areas such as how to create an engaging passenger experience as well as a panel discussion on how airlines can evolve their passenger entertainment strategies to maximise both cost-effectiveness as well as the all-important impact on the passengers themselves. Representatives from OnAir, Thales and IMDC will join in a debate on how airlines can evolve their IFEC strategies while Air Baltic’s
Vice President of Corporate Communications, Janis Vanags, will be talking about the airline’s pioneering delivery of IFE via the iPad.

Visitors to this year’s exhibition can also stop by the Passenger Ideas Wall, which will be located in Hall B1 to both add their thoughts on how to improve the onboard experience as well as to glean ideas from ideas already posted there.

“Aircraft Interiors Expo thrives on the exchange of new ideas and innovations for the sector,” says Exhibition Director, John Hyde. “This year we wanted to add the opportunity for visitors, as well as exhibitors, to share some of their cabin interiors ideas with airlines and the supply chain. In addition to working within the industry most of us are also airline passengers at some point during the year so I’m looking forward to reading the insights and ideas that will be generated in this feature area.”

Regarding exhibitor news related to IFE, here are a few IFExpress vendor previews:

Lufthansa Systems
First time exhibitor Lufthansa Systems will use Aircraft Interiors Expo to showcase its next generation in-flight entertainment solution, called BoardConnect. The system is based on a WiFi network which passengers can log on to through seat-back screens or their own laptops, tablet PCs, smart phones or other WiFi-enabled devices to access a wide range of content. While the installation of conventional IFE systems requires an extensive downtime of the aircraft, BoardConnect can be fitted during routine overnight layovers or maintenance checks; lengthy cables and some other components have been eliminated making the solution lighter. For an Airbus A340-600 with 380 seats, this would be a weight-saving of around 900 kilograms, equivalent to the weight of nine passengers; this corresponds to fuel savings of 47 tons per aircraft per year.

 Intelligent Avionics
Intelligent Avionics will be presenting the latest addition to its seat-centric IFE system, AURA Works, which was launched at the exhibition last year. New for this year’s event is AURA One, a lightweight, fast and inexpensive way to replace an aircraft’s analogue (tape drive) systems with cutting edge digital IFE. AURA One promises airlines better-quality video and audio for passengers as well as a broader range of content and services without the need to change existing overhead screens or wiring. Content can be refreshed quickly and easily with secure MPAA-approved processes via a hard-drive swap with daily updates via a USB stick or 3G/4G modem. Later this year Intelligent Avionics will also introduce AURA Connected.  This is a lightweight, wireless intranet system that offers passengers an extensive range of content, advertising and digital products and services streamed direct to their smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.

Thales
Thales will be presenting new features to its award winning TopSeries AVANT System in Hamburg this year. This seat-centric IFE system includes the Smart Video Display Unit (SVDU Gen 4) which will be displayed with two new features. Hand gesture control technology provides an easy way to control and navigate through entertainment options with simply the wave of a hand; there’s no need to reach for a handset or to lean forward and touch a screen, passengers can just sit back and wave their hand in front of the seat display. The system will also demonstrate Smart Passenger Interface Modules (SmartPIMs) which enable passengers to connect a wide variety of portable devices – such as tablets and netbooks – allowing them to listen or to view their personal content on their own mobile device.

Lest we forget, APEX, the Airline Passenger Experience Association, is hosting an Educational Event on Monday 26 March 2012 at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg, Germany. This event will cover topics relative to the passenger experience industry, including: Cabin Trends, Consumer Devices, the Future of Aviation, Seat Power, Mood Lighting, Seat & IFE integration and much more! For a full agenda, please click here. The event is open to APEX members and nonmembers at a special discounted rate. To register for the event, click here. (Editors Note: Not to worry, it is walking distance from the Messe.) See you there!

APEX Partners With Nielsen For Passenger Choice Awards

New York, NY – July 16, 2010 – The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), formerly the World Airline Entertainment Association, is pleased to introduce its expanded recognition program, the Passenger Choice Awards.

The Passenger Choice Awards constitute the premiere peer-to-peer and consumer recognized accolades of the inflight entertainment and communications (IFEC) industry. The Passenger Choice Awards competition has been created to encompass the entire passenger experience.

Awards voting is open to consumers who can weigh in on their favorite rewards programs through an online survey, comment on a recent travel experience and join the Passenger Choice Awards Facebook fan page.

Well-established categories will return, including Best Overall IFE and Best IFE in Region. Industry peers and thought leaders will continue to judge the honor of Best Single Achievement in IFE and Best Achievement in Technology as Avion Awards.

Carriers are encouraged to invite their customers to cast their votes online through 31 July 2010 at www.passengerchoiceawards.com.

New categories to be featured in the Passenger Choice Awards include:

o Best Collateral
o Best User Interface/Interactivity
o Best Internet
o Best Video
o Best Cabin Ambiance
o Best Ground Experience

“APEX is committed to providing the best possible inflight entertainment and communications for passengers around the world,” said Patrick Brannelly, WAEA/APEX president. “With the Passenger Choice Awards, we are making ourselves more accountable to the passenger with the ultimate goal of elevating the industry standard.”

For the survey, APEX has partnered with Nielsen, a global leader in measurement and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and business publications. The company is active in approximately 100 countries worldwide.

Winners will be announced at the Passenger Choice Awards ceremony on Monday 13 September, during the WAEA/APEX 31st Annual Conference & Exhibition at the Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center in Long beach, CA; the meeting place for the world’s leading airlines and vendors responsible for the airline passenger experience.

Click here for more information about the Passenger Choice Awards