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Celebrating Aviation Excellence: 2024 APEX/IFSA Awards

The aviation industry is a realm of constant evolution and innovation. The APEX/IFSA Awards Ceremony recognizes contributions to improved air travel. Hosted by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) and the International Flight Services Association (IFSA), this event shines a spotlight on the airlines and suppliers contributing significantly to the passenger experience. Who were the standout awardees this year? What airlines earned the coveted five star and world class ratings? Let’s delve into the highlights of the September 21, 2023 ceremony, held during the APEX/IFSA Global EXPO in Long Beach, California.

Setting the Stage: What are the APEX/IFSA Awards?

APEX and IFSA are renowned organizations aiming to elevate the airline industry’s standards and practices. Their annual awards ceremony honors the industry’s finest. They are “titans and trailblazers,” in the words of APEX/IFSA CEO Dr. Joe Leader. These pioneers have revolutionized air travel through groundbreaking sustainable practices, innovative technologies, and exceptional services, all validated by passenger feedback.

The Pinnacle of Success: Award Categories and Winners

APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award

Qatar Airways Group CEO H.E. Akbar Al Baker received the APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award, a testament to his leadership and commitment to passenger experience excellence. His endeavors have set industry-wide standards, making Qatar Airways a paragon for airlines globally. Learn more about H.E. Akbar Al Baker’s contribution here.

2024 APEX World Class

Emirates, Japan Airlines, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Qatar Airways, SAUDIA, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines were honored with the 2024 APEX World Class awards. These airlines are committed to exceptional customer service, safety, and health control measures. Check out the APEX World Class airlines here.

APEX Star Awards

The APEX Five Star and Four Star Airline Awards were special as they were based entirely on verified passenger feedback from over one million air travelers who placed their votes using TripIt. Rigorous standards and audits ensured that only the best airlines earned these honors.

Here’s the list of the winners:

2024 APEX FOUR STAR AND FIVE STAR RECIPIENTS
(All Listed in Alphabetical Order)

GLOBAL FIVE STAR
  • Aeromexico
  • Air Canada
  • Air France
  • Air New Zealand
  • American Airlines
  • ANA
  • Austrian
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Delta Air Lines
  • EL AL
  • Etihad
  • Eva Air
  • Finnair
  • LATAM Airlines
  • Lufthansa
  • Korean Air
  • SAS
  • Swiss
  • United Airlines
  • Vietnam Airlines
  • Virgin Atlantic
MAJOR AIRLINES FIVE STAR
  • Aer Lingus
  • Air Astana
  • Air Tahiti Nui
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Copa Airlines
  • Fiji Airways
  • Hawaiian Airlines
  • Icelandair
  • Oman Air
  • Royal Brunei Airlines
REGIONAL AIRLINE FIVE STAR*
  • JSX 
GLOBAL AIRLINES FOUR STAR
  • British Airways
  • Ethiopian
  • Polish Airlines
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Pakistan International Airlines
  • South African Airways
  • Thai Airways International
MAJOR ‎AIRLINES FOUR STAR
  • Aegean Airlines
  • AirEuropa
  • Avianca
  • flydubai
  • Royal Jordanian
  • SriLankan Airlines
LOW-COST CARRIERS FOUR STAR
  • Allegiant
  • Breeze
  • GOL
  • Southwest
  • Spirit
  • Sun Country Airlines
  • WestJet

APEX Best In Airline Awards

Awards were given for Best Cabin Service (EVA Air), Best Entertainment (Singapore Airlines), Best Food & Beverage (Qatar Airways), Best Seat Comfort (Cathay Pacific), and Best Wi-Fi (Delta Air Lines).

Special Innovation Awards

Delta Air Lines bagged two Innovation Awards, one for Best Inflight Connectivity and another for Best Cabin. FlightPath3D earned the Innovation Award for Best Inflight Entertainment.

IFSA Awards

SriLankan Airlines won Best Inflight Food or Beverage, while Emirates received Best Onboard Amenity accolades.

A Night to Remember

The presence of industry leaders graced the event which was generously sponsored by eminent companies including Boeing, CineSend, gategroup, Smize Cream, Spafax, Thales, and Warner Brothers Discovery.

The Big Picture

The APEX/IFSA Awards Ceremony isn’t just an event; it’s a celebration of human ingenuity in the aviation sector. The awards recognize and inspire the entire industry to aim for unprecedented heights in passenger experience. For more information, visit the APEX website.

To stay abreast of the ever-evolving landscape of the airline industry, the APEX/IFSA Awards serve as an excellent point of reference. Here’s to higher flights and better experiences!

FlightChic Take:

FlightChic gives credence to the APEX ratings over other airline ratings systems because these awards are more transparent about measuring quality. However, this isn’t an endorsement. All airline rating systems and all reviews have an inherent flaw: due to the multiple factors that affect any single flight, your personal in-flight experience may vary.

*It is notable that JSX, which is not an airline, earned the APEX rating of a 5-star regional airline. Again, JSX is not an airline. It’s not even regional. JSX flies internationally. The company goes out of its way to clarify it is not an airline because its current operating license depends on it. JSX is a jet charter service offering scheduled flights of up to 30 passengers. It’s still a pretty cool way to get around, though, and deserves 5 stars for its unique passenger experience. While the recognition is deserved, the category may prove problematic for JSX. American Airlines is pushing regulators to restrict JSX-like operations with all the zeal the airline invested in trying to squash Southwest Airlines early on. It’s a development worth watching with all the drama one might expect from an episode of Dallas.

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