There are certain things that air passengers have come to expect on long-haul flights nowadays – no matter what class of travel they happen to be sitting in. Inflight entertainment with a personal TV to watch the latest blockbusters and boxsets is a must. And of course, there’s got to be a moving map so you can see where in the world you are.
Then there’s the onboard Duty-Free magazine to flick through (and maybe even make a purchase from) and you might even donate some foreign coins to the airline’s official charity. Oh, and before you leave, have you signed up as a member of the Frequent Flyer Club?
But while these seem like standard things you’d expect during any flight, there’s one airline which promotes them better than the rest. That airline, is the Dubai-based carrier, Emirates and it just picked up a top award to prove it.
The great and the good of the aviation industry were in Long Beach, California last week for the APEX Expo and Passenger Experience Awards. It’s one of the industry’s biggest annual events and celebrates the latest innovations that will (hopefully) improve the passenger experience.
And it’s at this event that Emirates picked up the rather obscure award for ‘Best Original Video’. The video in question is played on every single Emirates flight and is watched by thousands of passengers every day. If you’ve ever flown with Emirates you might know it as the ‘Welcome to ICE’ video. Never seen the video before, or maybe you just want to relive the moment? Watch the full video below:
So what’s the point of the video? Well, it not only informs passengers about all the features they can enjoy during the flight but it also minimises the number of announcements cabin crew have to make (never Emirate’s strongest skill). The catchy theme tune by DJ duo Hollaphonic and eye-catching visuals reinforce the Emirates brand even further.
ICE by the way, is the name for Emirates’ inflight entertainment system – widely regarded as the best in the world. The system features over 2,500 channels of entertainment – with films shown in over 30 different languages. There’s also television boxsets to binge on and over a hundred games to play.
Emirates has consistently won awards for how good the ICE system is and this year was no different. The airline picked up yet another trophy at the APEX Passenger Experience Awards for Best Entertainment – decided from the ratings of real passengers on over 500,000 flights in the last year.
And it’s set to get even better. Emirates recently added 10% more entertainment to the system and 138 aircraft in the airline’s fleet even feature Live TV – including the latest news and sports. Of course, connectivity is increasingly important for the passenger experience so it’s little surprise that the over 90% of the Emirates fleet has wifi installed. Okay, it’s not the fastest system available but Emirates gives their passengers 20MB of free data to work through.
The adoration for Emirates didn’t stop there either. The airline’s longtime President, Sir Tim Clark was also honoured with the CEO Lifetime Achievement Award with judges noting that he “epitomizes the spirit of this award.”
Having worked in the aviation industry for 45 years, Sir Tim was one of the founding team that created Emirates in 1985 and is credited with turning the airline into the power brand it is today.
“Sir Tim Clark is a visionary who not only advanced aviation in the Middle East, but has changed the landscape of travel for the world,” said Joe Leader, APEX chief executive. He continued:
“As President of Emirates, Sir Tim Clark has helped to usher in a new golden age of air travel at the dawn of the 21st century, changing the global airline industry by raising the passenger experience bar to an entirely new level.”
Clark said several years ago that he would retire by 2025 but more recently signalled that his time might be coming to an end, saying in March “business doesn’t stop when I go.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.