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#PaxEx Podcast: Airline content trends and new lav concepts revealed


Welcome to episode 57 of the #PaxEx Podcast. Our guest is Maryann Simson, who has been active in the #PaxEx media world for nearly a decade. Before joining the Airline Passenger Experience Association as APEX Media director, she served in a variety of editorial and PR positions, including as creative editor and then managing editor at PAX International magazine. She also oversaw the conversion and update of the Jetliner Cabins book into an interactive e-book app. And she was one of the original contributors to Runway Girl Network, later serving as director of partnerships.

First, APEX Media has published a number of interviews from the APEX MultiMedia Market, an annual event where the world’s leading airlines choose the content line-up for their inflight entertainment systems, and ergo, their passengers. A number of airline content trends emerged at the show, and accessible entertainment – for the deaf, hard of hearing and visually impaired – was one of those hot topics. Maryann, who attended this sold-out event in Paris, delivers her biggest takeaways.

Next, APEX was once again prominently featured at the record-breaking Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg. The association helped to launch a new event, called Passenger Technology Solutions, and hosted a variety of sessions about transforming passenger data into personalized experiences. Maryann was on the show floor, interviewing #PaxEx industry stakeholders. She shares her thoughts on the most exciting IFEC news from the Expo, highlighting the rapid growth of the portable wifi sector.

Last but not least, aircraft lavs are having a moment. New lavatory innovations are being brought forward by aircraft interiors specialists and even university students. One idea from Jamco calls for a sort of communal bathroom on board. It would feature a row of closed toilet stalls and a central sink area. Maryann explains some of the new lav concepts to co-hosts Max Flight and Mary Kirby, and this leads the group into a broader discussion about new modular lavatories on narrowbodies, how they’ve been received by passengers, accessibility concerns, and how their rollout is occurring in parallel with airlines’ adoption of high-density seating configurations.

Mary Kirby also delivers the latest news on the aircraft seat crunch, and explains why the House of Representatives’ FAA reauthorization legislation could turn the tide on shrinking aircraft seats if language contained in the bill is adopted by the Senate.