Tag Archives: travel

2014 Seating Innovations

Expliseat’s titanium slim-line model.

2014 has been a big year for the topic of airline seating: We’ve seen fights break loose at 35,000 feet over the right to recline, innovative seat design using new materials, lofty ideas regarding reconfigurations, and of course the continual tweaking of pitch and width figures as airlines try to strike that delicate balance between the bottom line and their passenger’s comfort.

Aside from the multitude of new slimline seating options, with the Expliseat leading (or is it tailing?) the pack at a lightweight 4 kg – which we’ve featured in the latest issue of APEX Experience Magazine - we’ve seen new concepts emerge that could redefine how we collect ourselves within airline cabins in the future.

Thomson Airways proposed some novel ideas with an announcement today that outlines their plans to revolutionize leisure travel within the next five years. These ambitions include a variety of initiatives, but pertaining to seats they will be offering family booth seating and duo-seat options.

thomson Image courtesy of Thomson Airways.

Family booth seating concept: Located at the rear of the aircraft, this configuration is designed for families of 4-6.

DuoSeat Image courtesy of Thomson Airways.

Duo-seating concept: Three seats are transformed into a comfortable cocoon for two, where the middle seat becomes a table and mood lighting can be adjusted to suit the sentiment. We predict a high request rate to move that table off to one side or another so couples can canoodle during their flight.

The latest Embraer E2 cabin design by PriestmanGoode will adopt a staggered seating configuration in the first class cabin, although it will follow the economy track system to eliminate the need for bin change configuration between classes. This allows for maximum seating flexibility, but without the initial customization most airlines would require to differentiate their premium cabin environments.

Embraer E2 cabin from PriestmanGoode. on Vimeo.

Economy Plus seating sections are also becoming increasingly popular on airlines, as the need for premium class options diminishes with the shrinking budgets of the common business traveler, which we covered in June’s “The Economy of Class” article in Experience: The Content Issue.

While many are tolling the alarmist bell when it comes to the future of economy aircraft seating – especially with patents like the Airbus stand-up bicycle seating circulating the web – the continual emphasis by manufacturers on sourcing new materials and reimagining seating design and configurations indicates that the delicate balance between passenger density and comfort will be maintained for the foreseeable future.

Sleep Dreams

Photo: kPluto, Flickr

Photo: kPluto, Flickr

In the October Journey issue, we explored the initiatives airlines and airports are taking to help weary travelers get some rest, but incase that’s not enough (they say you can’t have too much sleep!) the APEX Experience editorial team has assembled a few more tips. 

Terri’s Sleep Tips


I always carry a sleep kit with me: eye mask, inflatable neck pillow, and ear plugs. It’s a compact little case that can fit in any purse so it’s easy to stash in my carry-on. It was a free thank-you gift from a hotel that’s served me well for years, but nearing time for an upgrade – next sleep kit must include a compact blanket as well! Once I board and settle in it’s contacts out, glasses on, and I’m out like a light.


I drink lots of water before I board so that I don’t dehydrate while I’m snoozing, and if I’m feeling especially tired or prone to catch a cold I’ll load my water up with electrolytes or rehydration salts for an extra boost. 

Photo: no_typographic_man, Flickr


Spafax president of Content, Raymond Girard, gave me the best tip my first day on the job: Avoid alcohol and food in-flight. I always stick to water and tomato juice now, and will avoid food for as long as possible! It’s made a huge difference in how rested I feel when I land.

Katie’s Sleep Tips


Depending on where you’re going and how finicky you are about your personal style, a simple pashmina or wooly-knit winter scarf comes in super handy in-flight, functioning as a make-shift pillow or blanket as needed.

Tegan and Sarah know what's up with this scarf used in their "Alligator" music video

Tegan and Sarah know what’s up with this scarf used in their “Alligator” music video


As necessary as that coffee seems to keep you up to catch your red-eye, or get you up to catch an early flight, drinking one will not only give you the shakes and keep you awake, it will also make you have to get up to use the restroom.

Photo: Anmol Bhalla, Flickr

Photo: Anmol Bhalla, Flickr

Jessica’s Sleep Tips


As someone who is sensitive to noise, I always have a playlist lined up on my phone to listen to when the lull from the cabin isn’t enough to block out that crying baby or chatty passenger behind you. Piano-themed music always does the trick since I can listen to it on full blast and still fall asleep.


This is key for long-haul flights. Not only does the window provide a spot for you to rest your head, you won’t be disturbed when your seatmates get up to use the washroom.

Photo: hannah huffman, Flickr

Photo: hannah huffman, Flickr


The electronic Remee sleep mask provides customizable lighting patterns that claim to increase the frequency of lucid dreaming, so that you can guide your imagination even while you sleep.

British design firm Seymourpowell proposes an adjustable seat that morphs to fit an individual’s needs: think less space for John Jr. and more space for Dad.

The compact Travel Halo features two stabilizing pillows attached to a headband and an eye mask. The pillows, which cradle the back of your head, help you to avoid those kinks and cramps associated with sleeping upright.

Modus Apparatus

In our Journey Issue we explored some of the zanier travel gizmos and gadgets out there for consumers. Here are a few more of the APEX media team’s favorites: 

Terri’s Favorites 


Photo courtesy of Magellans

Photo courtesy of Magellans

Had to include this one. These are so clinical-looking and swabby, I don’t think I’d want to pull them out in public…but anything for the sake of fresh breath, no water needed?


I want this chin-stick so that I can both relax while waiting in a queue and have a handy weapon on the ready to keep any budgers in line – pun intended!


Katie’s Favorites


Photo: Micro Scooter Shop

This is great for those of use whose bodies give them heck during the travel experience. Not only do the wheels take a load off of your back and arms, but the built-in scooter gives those tired feet a rest and also makes you look *super cool.*


Photo: Xscale touch

Photo: Xscale touch

My penchant for travelling with a mini-library’s worth of books tends to always put me in the danger zone as far as weight limits go, and this little gizmo helps me balance my baggage (and anxiety) much more easily than past attempts at using the bathroom scale went.


Jessica’s Favorites


Photo: Skymall

Photo: Skymall

I always dream of bringing my own pillow on a flight but not only is it the most inconvenient item to carry around, I also feel like a sever-year old child dragging around a teddy bear. Enter the SkyRest pillow since it inflates and deflates for convenient storage and you’re only really embarrassing yourself in front of a select few passengers.


Photo: VectorWerks

Photo: VectorWerks

Nothing makes me more nervous on a flight than the unpredictable occurrence of liquids being spilled on me or my belongings. Instead of chugging down my drink as soon as it’s handed to me, this handy cup holder can secure my beverage of choice for hours if needed, as I work away on laptop.

APEX’s Favorite #TravelHashtags

As Wi-Fi is increasingly enabled in-flight, we wonder if the potential for crowd-sourced content and advertising is being harnessed to its fullest. Instagram and Twitter users share regularly with air-travel hashtag memes and we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites. 


Terri, Editor
Ever since I read about this hashtag, I always make a note of the airport carpet when I’m traveling. It’s a reality that can’t be unseen. I’m not ashamed to admit that many of the carpets that people tag as ugly, I actually find oddly beautiful.

Portland’s carpet is so popular it has dedicated Instagram and Twitter accounts (@PDXCARPET), a Facebook page, and a rival Twitter account for the newer carpet (@newPDXcarpet). You can even buy PDX swag: coasters, bike helmetswater bottlescoffee mugsiPhone cases, and t-shirts.


Katie, Copy Editor
I  like #airportlife since it brings back oddly fond memories of that period in my life where I would take the late bus to Montréal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to sit at the bar and write my graduate dissertation all through the night. I guess that makes me an #avgeek too.


Jessica, Community Manager
I have to say my fav is #travelcat just because I can never get enough of cat photos on the Internet (I’m kind of addicted to the ‘Cat Saturday’ specials on theCHIVE app). Throw an international landmark in there and I’ll be your next loyal Instagram follower.


Al, Publisher 
I honestly don’t have a favorite travel hashtag but if I did it would probably be something like #airportbar because you’ll always see someone drinking there, even if it’s 6 a.m. I guess it’s #5oclocksomewhere right?

Read more about “The Digital Power of Crowdsourcing” on page 100 of the August Marketing Issue.