Last month, aviation industry leaders gathered in Long Beach, CA for the 2017 APEX Expo to look at the latest and greatest in the passenger experience arena and what new products and services are going the extra mile to surprise and delight travelers.

With speakers from companies like JetBlue, Netflix and American Airlines, attendees were able to learn about what trends are driving change and innovation in air travel and how the passenger experience continues to  evolve

Here are some of Connected Aviation Today‘s favorite takeaways from  APEX Expo this year:

In-flight entertainment has become standard among airlines, so enabling better, more reliable entertainment options for passengers is a must to stay competitive. Some of the industry’s heavy hitters like Gogo and Panasonic shared what they’re bringing to the table for passenger entertainment.

With in-flight entertainment becoming an increasingly important feature for airlines to offer, the discussion on its ROI continues to heat up. A panel at the show focused on just that included executives from Google, Qatar Airways, Air Canada, and Spafax  and explored “why they [airlines] are investing more heavily than ever in engaging in-flight entertainment to drive passenger engagement to maximize their return on investment,” according to the conference agenda.

As passenger expectations become increasingly more sophisticated with regards to their ability to connect while in-flight, it’s no surprise that connectivity was a hot topic at APEX Expo as well. Connectivity offerings are sure to become an important differentiator for travel industry leaders.

Connectivity speeds as they related to streaming were discussed in an educational session with Spencer Wang, Vice President at Netflix. He explained “how airlines can offer their passengers an equally enjoyable and seamless experience taking rights, coverage, bandwidth, cost, technology and demographic variances all into consideration,” according to the APEX Expo schedule.

“Connectivity is only going to become more important moving forward, as passengers want to be able to do the same things in the air as they do on the ground,” says Joel Otto, VP of Strategy and Business Development at Rockwell Collins. “But there are aviation-specific factors – for example, the aircraft must dispatch on time – that must be considered as we make this transition to the connected aviation experience. The bottom line is that you can’t forget its an aircraft your connecting.”

If you’d like to learn more about the 2017 APEX Expo, you can follow the hashtag #APEXEXPO. To stay updated on the latest in aviation trends and best practices, subscribe to the Connected Aviation Today newsletter here.

Chelsea Barone

About Chelsea Barone

Chelsea is an editor for Connected Aviation Today, managing the day-to-day editorial activities. Chelsea writes for other federal government and technology industry publications. Her background lies in B2B and enterprise technology, specifically cloud computing, SaaS, travel IT, and mobile devices.