North/South American and European Airlines Honored at APEX TECH With Passenger Choice Awards

Regional Airlines Recognized for Superior In-Flight Services, Including Seat Comfort, Cabin Service, Food & Beverage, Entertainment & Wi-Fi

Earlier this week at APEX TECH, the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX),  the leading international airline association focused on passenger experience, awarded regional Passenger Choice Awards (PCAs) to airlines in North America, South America, and Europe. The awards recognize airlines for excellence in seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment, and Wi-Fi.

The regional winners were selected based on neutral, third-party passenger feedback and insights gathered through APEX’s partnership with TripIt® from Concur®, the world’s highest-rated travel-organizing app. Using a five-star scale, nearly one million flights were rated by passengers across 428 airlines from around the world between 24 October 2016 and 31 July 2017. First, passengers rated their overall flight experience and then were given the opportunity to provide ratings in five subcategories: seat comfort, cabin service, food and beverage, entertainment, and Wi-Fi.

The overall ratings were certified by an external auditing service hired by APEX and used to establish the airline’s Official Airline Ratings™, with the ratings from the five subcategories being used to determine the Passenger Choice Awards. Airlines were evaluated using three categories to determine the Best in Region:

  • Global Airlines: Airlines with a large number of wide-body aircraft covering the globe
  • Major Regional: Airlines covering a significant region of the globe
  • Low-Cost Carriers: Airlines that self-identify as being low-cost carriers

“Regional airlines around the world constantly strive to set new standards of in-flight excellence for their passengers; from regional content selections to elevated meals, faster Wi-Fi, or service with a personal touch,” said APEX CEO, Joe Leader. “Airlines hold the feedback of their passengers in high regard, which is why they value receiving an honor like the APEX Passenger Choice Award, which represents the collective verified voice of their travelers.”

APEX honored the following airlines with regional Passenger Choice Awards at APEX TECH:


  • Best Seat Comfort: Virgin America
  • Best Cabin Service: Southwest
  • Best Food and Beverage: Alaska
  • Best Entertainment: Virgin America
  • Best Wi-Fi: JetBlue
  • Best Overall in Region: North America
    • Best Global: Delta
    • Best Major Regional: Alaska
    • Best LCC: Southwest
  • Best Overall in Region: South America
    • Best Global: LATAM
    • Best Major Regional: Avianca
    • Best LCC: Azul


  • Best Seat Comfort: Aeroflot Russian Airlines
  • Best Cabin Service: Virgin Atlantic
  • Best Food and Beverage: Virgin Atlantic
  • Best Entertainment: Icelandair
  • Best Wi-Fi: Norwegian Air
  • Best Overall in Region: Europe
    • Best Global: Aeroflot Russian Airlines
    • Best Major Regional: Olympic Air
    • Best LCC: Norwegian Air

The following airlines were also honored with Passenger Choice Awards at ceremonies earlier this year:


  • Best Seat Comfort: Virgin America
  • Best Cabin Service: Qatar Airways
  • Best Food & Beverage: Qatar Airways
  • Best Entertainment: Emirates
  • Best Wi-Fi: JetBlue


  • Best Seat Comfort: EVA Air
  • Best Cabin Service: Japan Airlines
  • Best Food & Beverage: EVA Air
  • Best Entertainment: Cathay Pacific
  • Best Wi-Fi: Japan Airlines
  • Best in Overall in Region: EVA Air


  • Best Seat Comfort: Qatar Airways
  • Best Cabin Service: Qatar Airways
  • Best Food & Beverage: Qatar Airways
  • Best Entertainment: Emirates
  • Best Wi-Fi: Emirates
  • Best in Overall in Region: Emirates & Qatar (tied to one-hundred of a percentage point; first tie in the history of PCA's)


  • Best Seat Comfort: South African Airways
  • Best Cabin Service: South African Airways
  • Best Food & Beverage: South African Airways
  • Best Entertainment: Ethiopian Airlines
  • Best in Overall in Region: South African Airways 

The recipients of the 2019 Global Passenger Choice Awards will be announced 24 September at APEX’s Award Ceremony during APEX EXPO. During the ceremony, which will be hosted by Brian Kelly, CEO and Founder of The Points Guy, APEX will also recognize four- and five-star-rated airlines with Official Airline Ratings, as well as award the APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award, APEX Outstanding Contribution Award, the APEX Cool Award, and the APEX Awards.

To learn more about all of the upcoming industry events for APEX, Click here. For more information about APEX, please visit, sign up for the APEX Daily Experience e-newsletter, or follow APEX on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

For all media inquiries regarding this press release, please contact: Robin Applebaum / / 1.678.303.2980

About The Airline Passenger Experience (APEX) 

APEX encompasses a network of businesses and professionals that are committed to providing a world-class airline experience for passengers around the globe. As a non-profit, APEX reinvests all of its resources to better serve its members. Every day, APEX members evaluate the passenger experience through an influential community and are improving every aspect of the airline experience: from designing, building and installing seating, entertainment and communications systems on commercial aircraft, to airport lounges and in-flight dining. For more than four decades, APEX has worked to strengthen the industry and enable business opportunities through education, innovation, networking and recognition.

Source: Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)

About APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association)

As a global non-profit and one of the world’s largest international airline associations, APEX advances ‎passenger experience with the backing of nearly every major airline and valued supplier for more than 40 years.‎

APEX (Airline Passenger Experience Association)
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