LONG BEACH, Calif. – Air travel passengers from around the world voiced their opinions in recognition of airlines offering the best in passenger experience. The winners of the 2012 Passenger Choice Awards were announced the evening of 17 September at the Airline Passenger Experience Association’s annual APEX EXPO, the industry’s leading event for air travel experience professionals, held 17 through 20 September at the Long Beach Convention & Entertainment Center in California.
The Passenger Choice Awards program, created by APEX, was designed to invite open feedback from every member of the traveling public in order to recognize airline services, innovations and products.
“The awards this year are the result of an impressive turnout on the passenger side, as well as the continued efforts of airlines to stand out as the leaders in passenger experience,” said Dominic Green, APEX Events & EXPO Chair and Senior Director for Client Services at Spafax. “We congratulate our winners and look forward to the continued success of this program.”
The 14 categories of awards ranged from best entertainment options and inflight publication to best overall. In its third year, the Passenger Choice Awards are already recognized as a leading way to measure industry excellence and to garner direct passenger feedback.
The awards ceremony was hosted by Joel Connable, an Emmy Award-winning travel journalist and news anchor hailed for his in-depth reporting in Los Angeles, Miami and New York.
The winners of the 2012 Passenger Choice Awards are:
Best Overall Passenger Experience (Over 50 IFE EQUIPPED IN FLEET) – Emirates
Best Overall Passenger Experience (Up to 50 IFE EQUIPPED IN FLEET) – Virgin America
Best in Region: Africa – South African Airways
Best in Region: Americas – Virgin America
Best in Region: Asia and Australasia – SriLankan Airlines
Best in Region: Europe – Virgin Atlantic
Best in Region: Middle East – Emirates
Best Inflight Publication – Southwest Airlines
Best IFE User Interface – Virgin America
Best Inflight Connectivity & Communications – Norwegian
Best Inflight Video – Kingfisher Airlines
Best Cabin Ambiance – Virgin America
Best Food & Beverage, in conjunction with IFSA – Singapore Airlines
Best Ground Experience – Kingfisher Airlines
Receiving the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Awards was Leigh Mantle, Chief Operating Officer at IFP. Also recognized was Linda Palmer, former Senior Vice President for Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Non-Theatrical, who was honored with a Special Volunteerism Tribute.
APEX also handed out four Avion Awards to member companies that have enjoyed tremendous success in their field and projects. These awards – presented to both airlines and vendors – were judged by industry peers and members of the media.
Avion Award: Best Single Achievement in Passenger Experience
Airline – Brussels Airlines: The New Long Haul Cabin
Vendor – Lufthansa Systems: BoardConnect
Avion Award: Best Achievement in Technology
Airline – Delta Air Lines for Demystifying the Checked Baggage Experience
Vendor – Panasonic for the eXTV
Voting is currently underway for the 2013 awards campaign. Become a fan of the Passenger Choice Awards on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. To learn more about APEX, please visit www.apex.aero.