Bluebox aIFE is a 2018 Crystal Cabin Award Finalist!
1st March, 2018
Bluebox aIFE has reached the finals of the prestigious Crystal Cabin Awards
The 2018 Crystal Cabin Awards finalists were announced today and included Bluebox aIFE as one of three finalists in the IFEC category. Being named a finalist, in what is often called the ‘Oscars’ of the aircraft interiors industry, is incredible recognition for both the innovation and the value of the solution as a cost-effective way to rapidly deploy accessible IFE for passengers with visual impairment.
Bluebox worked closely with Virgin Atlantic and the charity Guide Dogs in the development of the platform which was launched in November 2017, to ensure both the airline’s and passengers’ needs were met. All partners are excited to reach the Crystal Cabin Award finals and are looking forward to the final judging and awards ceremony in Hamburg on the 9th and 10th of April respectively, during the Aircraft Interiors Expo.
The Crystal Cabin Awards recognise the best aircraft cabin innovations from aviation industry manufacturers, independent designers, and university students. Today’s announcement said: “this is not just a matter of technology, as finalist Bluebox Aviation Systems shows: the “Bluebox Accessible IFE” platform provides barrier-free access to in-flight entertainment for visually impaired passengers on long-haul routes. In partnership with Virgin Atlantic the product is already in use.” (see full press release here)
“It sounds far too clichéd, but reaching the finals of the Crystal Cabin Awards is already a big win for accessibility,” said David Brown, Business Development Director at Bluebox. “Since our launch last November and Virgin Atlantic taking to the air with it in December, we’ve had incredible feedback and interest in aIFE – from passengers, one of whom said she’d choose to fly with Virgin Atlantic again because of it; Virgin Atlantic crew who are delighted to offer it to their customers; airlines intrigued by the proposition; aviation and news media who have highlighted the importance of providing a high-quality passenger experience to every passenger on board; and from the public who have spread the news through social media. Reaching the finals of the Crystal Cabin Awards helps build on that momentum. Winning over our fellow finalists in the IFEC category? Well, wouldn’t that be something for everyone involved, as well as those flying the flag for accessibility in aviation.”
Just a few of the development team members (from left): Steve J. Pollard, Executive – Inflight Entertainment & Connectivity Performance, Virgin Atlantic; Geraldine Lundy, Passenger Accessibility Manager, Virgin Atlantic; David Brown, Business Development Director, Bluebox; Faye Bridle, Flight Service Manager, Virgin Atlantic; Paul Smith, Guide Dog Owner and Volunteer, Guide Dogs; Pedro, Paul’s guide dog; and, Simon Cope, My Guide Ambassador, Guide Dogs
Virgin Atlantic deployed Bluebox aIFE on 1 December 2017, and have been entertaining passengers with visual impairments aboard flights serving destinations across North America, the Caribbean, Africa, China, India and the Middle East. Doing so made Virgin Atlantic the first global airline to make IFE accessible for passengers with sight loss across its entire fleet. Feedback from Virgin Atlantic flight service crews includes:
“I’ve just landed from the Caribbean and we had a blind passenger in Upper Class use the Accessibility iPad we now carry and he loved it. He was over the moon to be able to use it.”
“I give this out on most flights and wanted you to know how well it has been received by our customers. Feedback from my last customer was amazing. So good in fact that she says she will now choose to fly with us in the future based on the availability of the tablet and the care and compassion she receives from all teams from booking to baggage reclaim!”
Video: Bluebox aIFE launched with Virgin Atlantic. Comments from Mark Anderson (Executive Vice President – Customer, Virgin Atlantic), Geraldine Lundy (Passenger Accessibility Manager, Virgin Atlantic), David Brown (Business Development Director, Bluebox) and Paul Smith (guide dog owner and Volunteer, Guide Dogs).
Bluebox will be demonstrating aIFE at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg from the 10th-12th of April. Come see it at Stand 2D70 in Hall B2 in the IFEC Zone and as part of the Crystal Cabin Awards Finalists Showcase at the Expo.