The winners of Passenger Choice Awards and APEX/IFSA Awards have been announced at an awards ceremony at California’s Long Beach Convention Center.
İlker Aycı, Group CEO & Chairman, Turkish Airlines received the Lifetime Achievement Award APEX. Aycı became Chairman of Turkish Airlines in 2015 and has overseen the airline fly to the most countries and international destinations in the world: a total of 324 destinations as of the end of 2020, of which 52 are domestic and 272 are international.
Turkish Airlines increased the number of aircraft in its fleet by 8.7% in the last 5 years to 363 by the end of 2020, of which 338 are passenger aircraft including 104 widebody and 234 narrowbody and 25 are freighters. In 2020, despite the effect of the COVID pandemic, the airline flew 28 million passengers.
The APEX Passenger Choice Awards recognise excellence in seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment and Wi-Fi. Partnering with TripIt from Concur, anonymous passenger feedback is gathered based on neutral, third-party passenger feedback and insights. The 2021 winners are:
Best Cabin Service: EVA Air
Best Seat Comfort: Qatar Airways
Best Food & Beverage: Qatar Airways
Best Entertainment: Emirates
Best Wi-Fi: Delta Air Lines
Judged by a panel of industry media the APEX/IFSA Awards have been decided.
Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation: United Airlines
United Airlines was recognised for its United Next customer experience transformation program. This includes becoming the first airline in North America to offer an extensive suite of accessibility features, across its library of movies and TV shows that come with audio descriptions and/or close-captioning. Other features include exploration by touch which describes each item as your finger moves across the screen and text sizing which gives three different text sizes for easier visibility.
Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation: WestJet
Canadian carrier WestJet is the launch and largest customer of Panasonic Avionics’ ZeroTouch service, which it uses to reduce its monthly on-wing support typically required to support software, media, and content updates across its fleet of 100 aircraft. Over the six months to September 2021, WestJet transferred 34.6 terabytes of data using the new remote loading service.
Best Airport Innovation: Spirit Airlines
As part of its multi-year Invest in the Guest initiative, the airline unveiled an automated and expedited self-bag drop for processing checked luggage at its ticket counter at LaGuardia Airport. Partnering with Materna Intelligent Passenger Solutions (IPS) North America, the self-bag drop is also payment-enabled.
Best Product or Service: Purell by GOJO Industries
In September 2020, Delta Air Lines became the first US airline to add hand sanitiser stations on board. As part of its Delta CareStandard, the carrier signed a long-term partnership with GOJO Industries to supply a range of Purell sanitising products in-flight. Under the partnership, Purell introduced an FAA-compliant mounted bottle of hand sanitizer, specially-designed single-snap hand sanitising gel pouches and moisturising hand sanitiser wipes handed out by flight attendants upon boarding, included in our complimentary care kits and within our pre-packaged snack bags.
Best Marketing Innovation: Spafax
Spafax created Priority Digital, a digital magazine exclusively for Singapore Airlines PPS Club members. Priority Digital sits within the Singapore Airlines app and offers digital-exclusive mobile-friendly content covering topics from gourmet dining, culture, craftsmanship, sports and wellness, to interviews with successful personalities and trailblazers.
Best Onboard Amenity (IFSA): Buzz
Buzz is providing Singapore Airlines with children’s amenity kits featuring licensed Disney-movies themed products. The range includes Aladdin, Lion King, Captain Marvel and Dumbo and includes a magic kit, coding game, buildable disk game, wrist pouch, plush puppet, notebook, pencil case and character eye mask. SIA refreshes the range, predominantly made using paper activity items and paper packaging, eliminating the usage of plastics, every three months.
Best Cabin Innovation: Airbus
Airbus has bought its Airspace cabin to its single-aisle family, with JetBlue’s A321LR fleet the first to feature the interior. Cabin enhancements: unique welcome and customisable hero lighting (which helps reduce jet lag); new slimmer sidewall panels for extra personal space at shoulder level; better views through the windows with their redesigned bezels and completely integrated window shades; the latest full LED lighting technologies; the largest overhead bin in class; and new lavatories with hygienic touchless features and antimicrobial surface
Best Inflight Food or Beverage (IFSA): Malaysia Airlines
Cool Treats are chocolate-coated vanilla-flavoured ice cream, made especially by Malaysia Airlines. The exclusive in-flight sweet treats are also now available in grocers and supermarkets across Malaysia, in multi-packs of four.
Newcomer of the year: SpiceJet
SpiceJet created SG Docs, created by SpiceJet, is a mobile app for cabin crew that hosts digital versions of required forms including circulars, notifications and manuals. The app can be used both on and offline.
For the fourth year running, airline passengers were able to rate their flight experience on a five-star scale through the TripIt by Concur app for global, major, regional and low-cost carrier categories. A full list is available on the APEX website.