APEX EXPO for Summer 2017 is happening in Long Beach California, and I have the privilege to attend.
APEX is about the Passenger Experience. For us passenger types, how can the airline industry deliver a more pleasurable experience. For the Airline Industry, how can they make the passengers happy and still make a bundle of money doing so. And a big theme of this season’s EXPO is about Connectivity. How your Phones & devices and the Inflight Systems can all communicate seamlessly on the ground and in the air. For the next few days we will be seeing what they have to offer, and give a few key items here, with a more in-depth write-up on a few key topics, once the EXPO is finished. Here I have a few of the First Day “Educational Series” that Apex presented, to be followed by the APEX Awards at the end of the Day 1.
with Robin Hayes, President and CEO of JetBlue
This was a very good start for the Educational part of the Expo. Mr. Hayes explains the roll-out of Mint. But what I found of interest is JetBlue’s dedication to the “Core”, their Economy/Coach product which is still the backbone of Jet Blue. And the care to not dilute what made JetBlue a standout airline from the beginning. Also, a 2-week Hospitality Retraining for all the Cabin Crew in Mint. I am always pleased when an airline remembers they are part of the Hospitality Industry, and not merely a Human Cargo transport.
with Sir Tim Clark
A good discussion lead by BBC Business Live’s Ben Thompson. Sir Clark talked about the past and future of Emirates and travel. Easy to listen to, but nothing amazing from the session.
with Spencer Wang
Basically an extended advertisement to adopt Netflix into your live streaming IFEC.
with Mark Krolick
The launching of the Polaris Brand for United Airlines. How they built a new Business Class, and the branding to shift the perception of United Airlines. I don’t agree that we only want to sleep when flying Long Haul Business Class, there should be so much more to the experience, but United was wise to brand it almost as a separate entity. And many of the changes they brought to their Business Class were fairly good ideas. Hopefully some of the work done on Polaris will trickle down to the rest of the airline.
with Dennis Tierney
Dennis Tierney filled in for the last minute for CEO Rob Gurney, I believe. I think he did the best he could under the circumstances.
WHO WANTS TO BE MASTER OF REGULATORY COMPLIANCE
I was definitely in the wrong room for this one. But with all these endless regulations, no wonder it is so hard to make a good inflight meal.
4-member panel with Caroline Jatob, Air Austral; Stefan List, Airbus; Brian Richardson, American Airlines; Rachelle Ornan PhD., The Boeing Company.
I think the highlight for me was the strange denial by Rachelle Ornan of Boeing, that seat size and comfort doesn’t matter as much as giving the passenger the illusion of a bigger space. Boeing defending the Boeing 787 “Squeezliner” which ushered in the concept that passengers can endure a 17″ width for over 6 hours on a flight. Profits over Customer Comfort.
Moderated by Shashank Nigam of Simpliflying, he simplified Branding 101 concepts were annoying, but his guests were great.
Rossen Dimitrov, the creator of Qatar Q-suites, who is now back at WestJet heading up their new products. Yes, he over used the term “Guest” when referring to a Customer, but that is the WestJet thing. Can not wait to see what WestJet’s new “higher end” cabin will look like.
Juha Järvinen of Finnair… wow, had no idea how clever those Fins are, and how Finnair have really driven a lot of traffic through to the Asia and China markets.
Yes, Sir Tim Clark took the crown for the evening, and the host Brian Kelly @ThePointsGuy photobombed every winner.