Airlines take home Passenger Choice Awards at APEX EXPO

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LONG BEACH, Calif. – Air travel passengers from around the world voiced their opinions in recognition of airlines offering the best in passenger experience.

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

About the author


Editor in chief for eTurboNew is Linda Hohnholz. She is based in the eTN HQ in Honolulu, Hawaii.