APEX/IFSA award winners announced in Los Angeles

Winners at the year's APEX/IFSA awards in Los Angeles.

APEX/IFSA award winners announced in Los Angeles

Innovations across the airline passenger experience industry were recognised at the first-ever combined awards ceremony celebrating the achievements of both APEX and IFSA members. Over 40 professionals from both associations determined the top three finalists in each category and a separate panel of media voted on the winners.

APEX Awards

Best Inflight Connectivity Innovation

VT Miltope – Securing wireless cabin networks for the future

Incorporating technologies from RazorSecure and Galgus, VT Miltope has developed wireless cabin networks that keep up with evolving cyber threats. Using machine learning, the software-based solution detects anomalies in network behavior patterns, and becomes smarter with every iteration.

Best Inflight Entertainment Innovation

American Airlines – Calm app on American Airlines

In partnership with Calm, a leading app for meditation and sleep, American Airlines has provided passengers with an exclusive lineup of guided meditations, sleep stories and nature scenes that encourage health and relaxation in flight.

Best Lounge Innovation

Fiji Airways – Fully qualified nannies at Fiji Airways Premier Lounge

To evoke the “bula spirit” that’s at the heart of Fijian hospitality, Fiji Airways has introduced nannies to the kids’ area of its Premier Lounge. The nannies engage children in storytelling, boardgames and educational activities, enabling their parents to rest at ease.

Best Marketing Innovation

SriLankan Airlines – The Spirit of SriLankan Airlines and magic of Vesak

To bring positivity back to travel in Sri Lanka following a terrorist attack in April 2019, SriLankan Airlines celebrated Vesak, a Buddhist festival, at Bandaranaike International Airport, with food and entertainment. About 9,000 passers-by shared in the experience, some of whom were interviewed for a video shared on social media thereafter.


Best Cabin Innovation

Astronics – Intelligent Bin Solution/Smart Aircraft System

The Intelligent Bin Solution/Smart Aircraft System from Astronics provides real-time bin capacity reporting and early detection of outgassing from lithium-ion batteries. It delivers actionable digital information directly to flight and gate crews to make it easy to improve boarding operations, increase cabin safety and enhance the overall passenger experience.

Best Product or Service: Air New Zealand – Skycouch improvements

Following feedback from customers, Air New Zealand has further enhanced its Economy Skycouch experience with improvements, including a harness, belt and pod dedicated to offering extra comfort and protection to infants and children.

IFSA Awards

Best Onboard Amenity: Clip Limited – JetBlue Mint kits

Best Inflight Food or Beverage: American Airlines – Zoës Kitchen Partnership

APEX/Crystal Cabin Award

Best Customer Journey Experience: Airbus – Connected Experience

Lifetime Achievement Award: Brinder Bhatia, Panasonic Avionics

For spearheading IFEC developments and making them integral to the airline passenger experience.

Newcomer of the Year: Flight Center – VR in Flight Attendant T&D

Shooting for the Stars

Feedback gleaned from the TripIt from Concur app have determined the results of the Passenger Choice Awards and the Official Airline Ratings. Here are this year’s winners.

Passenger Choice Awards

Best Seat Comfort – Qatar Airways

Best Entertainment – Emirates

Best Wi-Fi – Delta Air Lines

Best Cabin Service – Qatar Airways

Best Food and Beverage – Qatar Airways

Official Airline Ratings


Aeroflot – 5

Aeroméxico – 5

Air France – 4

Air New Zealand – 5

Air Italy – 4

American Airlines – 5

All Nippon Airways – 5

Asiana Airlines – 5

British Airways – 4

Cathay Pacific – 5

China Airlines – 5

China Southern Airlines – 4

Delta Air Lines – 5

El Al – 4

Emirates – 5

Etihad Airways – 4

EVA Air – 5

Finnair – 4

Iberia – 4

Japan Airlines – 5

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – 5

Korean Air – 5

LATAM Group – 4

LOT Polish Airlines – 4

Lufthansa – 5

Malaysia Airlines – 4

Qantas – 5

Qatar Airways – 5

Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) – 4

Singapore Airlines – 5

SWISS International Air Lines – 5

Thai Airways International – 4

Turkish Airlines – 5

United Airlines – 4

Vietnam Airlines – 4

Virgin Atlantic – 5

Vistara – 5


Aer Lingus – 4

Aerolíneas Argentinas – 4

Air Astana – 5

Air Europa – 4

Air Tahiti Nui – 5

Alaska Airlines – 5

Austrian Airlines – 4

Avianca – 5

Bangkok Airways – 5

Caribbean Airlines – 4

Copa Airlines – 5

Fiji Airways – 4

Hainan Airlines – 5

Hawaiian Airlines – 5

Hong Kong Airlines – 4

Icelandair – 4

JetBlue Airways – 5

Kuwait Airways – 5

Malindo Air – 4

Middle East Airlines – 5

Oman Air – 4

Philippine Airlines – 4

Royal Brunei Airlines – 5

SriLankan Airlines – 4

Virgin Australia – 5


Allegiant Air – 4

Atlantic Airways – 4

Interjet – 4

Norwegian – 4

Southwest Airlines – 4

Spirit Airlines – 4

WestJet – 4


JSX – 5

Aeroméxico Connect – 5

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.


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