Topic of the Week: APEX Show Next Week

Next week is the annual Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) conference. All the big passenger experience providers from inflight entertainment vendors to seat manufacturers and caterers will be there and I’m planning on meeting with several. Does anyone have any particular pieces of the passenger experience that interest you? I’ll be happy to try to seek out certain vendors to get more info if I can.


20 Responses to Topic of the Week: APEX Show Next Week

  1. Maarten says:

    I have no specific recommendation but I am interested to learn more about the trend of economy/economy plus/business/first, and how it is going to evolve. It seems to me that we used to have three classes, then many opted for two and now we seem to be going back to three albeit in a new offering. Is it fair to say that there is more and more effort on a bigger divide between expensive/full-service and basic/bare with paid options? Is econ-plus going to evolve into the new biz class? Is biz the new first? Will the few that are still offering first become even fewer with an evolved biz class product?

    • CF says:

      Maarten – I didn’t really get much into seating strategies this time around, unfortunately. But I think what you say is absolutely correct.

  2. BarryATL says:

    Talk to some of the internet providers. What is the future of connectivity? Will we every be able to stream video from the ground?

    • CF says:

      BarryATL – I’ll be talking to Gogo, Row44, and I should be stopping by with LiveTV as well. So there should be plenty of time for that!

    • CF says:

      BarryATL – My connectivity post goes live in the morning. Specifically on streaming, you should be able to stream short YouTube clips on some of the newer services, but still nothing for streaming Netflix or the like. It’ll happen eventually.

  3. Jim says:

    Are the TSA or private screening companies going to be there? If so, picking their brains about the future of security regulations might be fun.

  4. Old Dad says:

    No international flight should have a seat pitch less than 33″. I flew an AA 767 flight from London to Dallas on which I could not get reading material far enough from my face to focus my eyes! My seat tray would not come all the way down – there was no room.

    Folks, we are not cattle!

  5. If you hear anything about allowing people to make/receive phone calls in flight, let me know so I can smite them.

    • CF says:

      T. Coronado – No real talk about phone calls being made legal here. There was a panel talking about regulatory changes on devices on airplanes, but the one thing that isn’t in the scope is phone calls. That’s because that falls under the FCC instead of the FAA.

  6. How close are we to inexpensive satellite based Wi-Fi?

  7. Pilotaaron1 says:

    For me, I’m curious about how seat manufacturers are going to increase personal space in the world of shrinking seat pitch in coach. Or if they have found new ways to make the flight more bearable for those of us taller travelers.

    • CF says:

      Pilotaaron1 – Good questions. I’ll let you know if I get an answer.

    • CF says:

      Pilotaaron1 – I am surprised how little came about seats during this event, but there was a long talk by the CEO of Recaro about what they’re doing. The slimline seats are supposed to be more ergonomic and give more personal space. (Apparently the optimal angle for the body is 130 to 135 degrees.) And little things like moving the seatback pocket up can make a big difference as well.

  8. Mike Primo says:

    What are the manufacturers (Panasonic Avionics, etc )of In-Flight-Entertainment-IFE equipment doing with respect to incorporating user-selectable closed captions into their products? Will such caption support ever become a standard feature and not an optional equipment upgrade?

    Will the various international players in the IFE industry (airlines, IFE equipment providers, content creators and distributors) move forward on their own in providing user-selected closed captions of feature films as a standard feature of the inflight entertainment? Or does government need to intervene to compel compliance as in the recently proposed Air Carrier Access Amendments Act S.556?

    FYI, on certain aircraft and routes, Emirates and Cathay Pacific have IFE systems which offer passengers in all service compartments the ability to choose closed captions in a variety of regional languages (Mandarin, Japanese, English, etc.)

    Apx. 15-20% of the US population has some degree of hearing loss, so this issue affects millions of people. Land-based movie theaters chains are providing closed captioning equipment. The noise prone environment of an aircraft really makes a compelling case for captions to increase the enjoyment level of IFE for a double digit percentage of passengers.

    Please poke around and let us know what you find out. Thank you!

    • CF says:

      Mike Primo – I’m sorry I didn’t see this one until Monday afternoon because there was a panel on this topic earlier in the day. There was a rulemaking that was going to require closed captioning, but it was deemed to be too difficult to implement so it was delayed. But new systems are getting much better, not only at closed captioning but also at offering more languages. I would assume at some point it will be available everywhere.

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