The Crystal Cabin Awards – Examining the new at AIX 2018
- Other airports exist other than Heathrow
- Did I mention I hate suitcases? Off to Birmingham Airport
- FlyBe BE7109 Birmingham to Hamburg
- Into Hamburg
- The IBIS Budget St Pauli
- Aircraft Interiors Expo – A look back at the coverage
- The Crystal Cabin Awards 2018
- Back to Hamburg Airport
- FlyBe BE7110 Hamburg to Birmingham
- Home James
- Innovation is key. Also being prepared
So some of you are wondering why the hell I took a suitcase with me, when I normally make do with a little rucksack on a trip like this.
The wonderful Marisa of FlightChic kindly invited me to one of the highlights of the passenger experience week in Hamburg – The Crystal Cabin Awards. For this, there were requirements for me to be… umm… how can put this in a way that gets me out of trouble….
A lot of the time, I do “business functional” – i.e. Shirt, trousers, belt, socks and smart trainers. That would not wash this time. So I swapped out the smart trainers for actual shoes (and it was at this point I discovered I was a shoe insert short of a party… so I would be hobbling for days afterwards), and added a dinner jacket.
And a tie? Don’t. I don’t do ties. Well – more like I didn’t pack a tie. Nor did I pack a white shirt… so I was in a blue shirt.
I’m useless at this smart game aren’t I?
With me semi-smart (let’s call it that and move on), I used MyTaxi for the first time. And whilst it works, I got my first taste of Hamburg taxi drivers.
God, they’re nuts. Safety belts seem optional, and going at mad speeds is the norm, The MyTaxi worked after I had worked out how to use it on the fly.
With that, I made it to the Atlantic Kempinski and the venue of the Crystal Cabin Awards.
Now, do you go into hotels and places and sometimes think “this place is waaaaay out of my league?”
Well if you do, welcome to how I was feeling.
The Hotel is grand – make no mistake about it. Even though I was dressed up as best as I could be – let’s just say even then – I still felt under-dressed.
Eventually, 6:30 arrived – it was time to head to the venue for the dinner. And as usual – I followed the crowd.
I checked in, and wandered around, seeing some in their finery.. And thankfully some not in finery.
All of a sudden didn’t feel under-dressed at that point.
With a lot of new faces, I was pretty lost in the crowd. Thankfully, I found a few friendly ones from the organising teams and sponsors, and slowly warmed up to speaking to people.
For someone who is shy by nature.. It’s a useful thing to do.
I also took the time to work out where I would be sitting too – and I was near the front of the main stage.
I guessed what I would be doing during the Crystal Cabin awards – live blogging. And you know what… I didn’t mind that. Things like this tend to keep me focused on the subject.
— Jon Norris (@jonnorrisphotog) April 10, 2018
Crystal Cabin Awards to some of you might mean nothing – but for those who pay attention and those who fly regularly – products that make it here tend to make it out in the real world as commercial products that passengers will fly (in the case of this years awards, two products flown are flying today with commercial carriers). The represent the best the industry is coming up with to make the plane a much more bearable place – and that is to be commended.
So lets look at the winners of the Crystal Cabin Awards 2018 in some minor depth (with thanks to Hamburg Aviation).
Firstly in Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity, Bluebox Aviation Systems took the gong for its IFE system which can be used by the visually impaired. The product is currently flying with Virgin Atlantic.
In Materials and Components– an interesting technology between Airbus and Altran was the winner with its Printed Electrics, with wiring being able to be printed onto components, making cable rigs a thing of the past.
For the Greener Cabin, Health, Safety and Environment award, there was an interesting win for Villinger and it’s LiteHeat panel – that’s almost indestructible.
In Passenger Comfort Hardware, there was a big win for Rockwell Collins with their Valkyrie Bed, with a seat and a bed – with a roll up mattress that can be drawn across the seat from the wall panel when needed.
In the Universities Category, there was a win for Cranfield University with their E-tom Smart water tap concept, an idea that nebulisation to reduce up to 90% of water used when using a tap on the plane
In “Visionary Concepts” Renacen took the win with it’s “3D Seat Map VR” software. During the flight booking, the application offers a virtual 360-degree view of the cabin from the passenger perspective.
And finally – In Cabin Concepts, PriestmanGoode (working with Qatar Airways and Rockwell Collins), walked away with the award for the QSuites
Here’s the winners who lined up post event, looking happy with their wins.
Although I did make one comment about the line up. Maybe something the industry would want to consider for 2019…
Although.. rather male dominated. https://t.co/NSmgzBWbgs
— Kevin – Economy Class & Beyond (@EconomyBeyond) April 10, 2018
Whilst the dinner was lovely, and catching up with a lot of faces in the industry that I know (and some new ones to boot), one day at a conference, and one full day out had worn me down. That and wearing grown up shoes without decent insoles were hurting the hell out of me.
It was time to leave the glitz and glamour behind and walk back to the train station, and back on a U-Bahn back to the Ibis Budget.
I would again would like to thank Marisa of FlightChic who gave me the opportunity to attend the awards. The Crystal Cabin awards I’ve watched since I’ve been taking Aircraft Interiors Expo a lot more seriously, giving me a chance to learn a lot more about the industry – as well as attending a gala dinner.
Full Discloser: Economy Class and Beyond was a guest of FlightChic at the Crystal Cabin Awards 2018
Next: Back to Hamburg Airport.
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