Members of the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) gathered Monday night in Portland, as part of APEX EXPO to honor the winners of the 2015 Passenger Choice and APEX Awards.The Awards recognize excellence in ground experience, cabin comfort, entertainment options, connectivity, overall experience and more.
Considered the airline industry’s most prestigious honors, the awards are based on one of the most impressive and comprehensive passenger surveys of their kind, with feedback from travelers from more than 200 countries. The APEX Awards Ceremony – hosted by Rajan Datar of BBC World News – kicked off the annual APEX EXPO, attended by nearly 3,000 industry professionals representing all major airlines and the companies they partner with to drive continuous improvement in the passenger experience, including advances in entertainment and connectivity, comfort and ambiance, catering and other services.
Emirates, which has a fleet of more than 230 aircraft and flies to over 140 destinations in more than 80 countries around the world, was the big winner of the evening, taking home seven awards. Awards included Best in Region: Middle East, Best IFE & User Interface; Best Inflight Connectivity & Communications; Best Cabin Ambiance; Best Food & Beverage (in conjunction with International Flight Services Association); Best Ground Experience, and Best Overall Passenger Experience, presented by APEX CEO Joe Leader.
Norwegian and Virgin America were also winners of multiple awards. Norwegian won Best in Region: Europe and the John White Publication Award. Virgin America won Best in Region: Americas and Best Inflight Video. Other airlines that took home awards included Ethiopian Airlines, which won Best in Region: Africa and Korean Air, which won Best in Region: Asia and Australasia.
“Each year APEX provides passengers from around the world the opportunity to rate every aspect of their passenger experience,” said Dominic Green, APEX Events & EXPO chair. “Nothing is more important or impactful than direct customer feedback, which is why airlines see the awards as a valuable tool to improve the experience they offer passengers.” Airline passengers rated their travel experience through an online survey at www.passengerchoiceawards.com.
The Nielsen Company, a globally recognized consumer measurement and information leader, tabulates the results. In its sixth year, the Passenger Choice Awards are recognized as a leading way to recognize industry excellence and to garner independently curated, direct passenger feedback.
The Passenger Choice Awards program does not accept advertising dollars, and is executed at no cost to airlines. During the ceremony APEX CEO Joe Leader also presented the CEO of SriLankan Airlines, Rakhita Jayawardena, with an award for the airline’s commitment to, and superior achievement in, the passenger experience in their region.
A previous recipient of the Passenger Choice Awards, SriLankan Airlines was a finalist this year in four different awards categories. APEX also honored Rick Warren, founder of Post Modern Group, LLC, who received the APEX 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award. Mary Kirby, Runway Girl Network, and Steve Harvey, Global Eagle Entertainment, also were honored with APEX’s Outstanding Contribution Awards. Two APEX member companies were recognized for innovation and contribution to the industry with the annual APEX Awards, formerly known as the Avion Awards.
These awards were judged by industry peers and members of the media. El Al was awarded the APEX Award for Best Achievement in Passenger Experience for their “Cockpit” High-Tech Innovation Hub. Gogo was given the APEX Award for Best Achievement in Technology for 2KU Technology voted on by attendees at the APEX EXPO and recognizing outstanding on display on the APEX exhibition.
APEX encompasses a network of businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. As a non-profit, APEX reinvests all of its resources to better serve its members. Every day, APEX members evaluate the passenger experience through an influential community and 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 inflight dining. APEX works to strengthen the industry and enable business opportunities through education, innovation, networking and recognition.