Jette Koch
November 30, 2021

The 2022 season is running

Crystal Cabin Award 2022 submission period has ended // New and revised categories for prestigious industry award

For the 15th time, the Crystal Cabin Award Association is preparing to recognise and honour the best ideas for the aircraft cabin. There are once again eight categories for the upcoming edition of the award, although some of the categories have been refined. Gathering at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg (14 - 16 June 2022), the expert jury will, for example, be choosing a winner for the best innovation in the “Sustainable Cabin” category for the first time. The award, launched in Hamburg, provides an indicator of what we can expect to see on board when we fly in the near future. Winners in 2020 included Safran, winning in multiple categories, as well as Airbus and Eviation.

The Crystal Cabin Award is the world’s leading prize in the field of cabin innovations and on-board products. Winning ideas provide insights into a safe and comfortable future in the skies. In 2020, the two special categories of “Green and Safe Air Travel” and “Judges’ Choice” were awarded in response to the challenges of the coronavirus crisis. Moving forward, standalone categories for “Sustainable Cabin” and “Health & Safety” have now been established for the industry award. The Cabin Concepts category will now also incorporate visionary concepts for the aircraft cabin. “Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity” is being expanded to include “Digital Services”. In 2022, the Crystal Cabin Award will take place as an in-person event again for the first time since the pandemic began, with the awards being presented once again at the leading global trade fair, the Aircraft Interiors Expo (14 - 16 June 2022), in Hamburg.

An overview of the eight Crystal Cabin Award categories:

Cabin Concepts

This category addresses aircraft cabins showing significant innovation or an aircraft cabin of tomorrow. Cabins can be submitted entirely or in sections, i.e., first class, business class, economy etc.  Cabins that have already been implemented in the months before submission qualify as well. Cabin Concepts can be submitted by airlines, aircraft and cabin manufacturers, design companies and MROs alike. Applicants need to demonstrate why their product is innovative and what differentiates it from existing cabin concepts.

Cabin Systems

This category comprises all new products that mean a major benefit especially for the airline, e.g. new seat structures, galleys, lavatories, trolleys, air conditioning, electrical systems, waste & potable water systems, acoustics and many more. Aside from the level of innovation, the ease of implementation will be judged as well. This category does not comprise digital systems like the “smart cabin” (à see IFEC & Digital Services), or solutions specifically focusing on passenger comfort (à see Passenger Comfort)

Health & Safety

This category comprises all cabin related concepts and products that visibly demonstrate that they a) minimize security problems, b) safety hazards, c) onboard health and hygiene issues, and/or d) significantly improve physical well-being in the aircraft. Depending on the field of application, entries may focus on passengers, crew or cargo.

IFEC & Digital Services

This category comprises the fast-growing range of digital products and services in the aviation industry. Entries will need to prove their technological superiority against competing products and may include inflight entertainment solutions, connectivity elements such as antennas and wi-fi, customer-centered concepts like passenger apps, and even entire software solutions that create a smart & connected cabin.

Material & Components

Developing new materials, new material applications or a new combination of materials for cabin systems can cut production costs and maximize usability. This category embraces an enormous variety of different aircraft components. Entries can be an innovative, single technical component, or material, but not a fully developed product like a seat.

This category covers the development of new materials, new material applications or a new combination of materials for cabin systems which can cut production costs, and maximize usability and efficiency. This category embraces an enormous variety of different aircraft components. Entries should be innovative, can be single technical component, or material, but not a fully developed product like a seat.

Passenger Comfort

Travelling comfortably is an important business factor for airlines. Entries in this category must specifically demonstrate how they improve passenger comfort within the cabin. An innovation that is of general use to a large group of individuals may well achieve higher marks due to its increased effectiveness for the airline´s success. This category includes e.g. seats, lavatories, bins, partitions, lighting solutions, linings, premium, business, first class products, VIP products etc. For products with a benefit more towards improved operations and performance, please also see categories like à Cabin Systems.

Sustainable Cabin

Aviation has made a commitment to become a zero-emission industry within the next 30 years. This challenge will require a great amount of thought and innovation to be invested into every aspect of aviation, including the cabin and the passenger experience. Aside from the industry commitment, customers are becoming more sensitive for sustainability issues in travel as well, requiring operators to take action. The Crystal Cabin Award Association responds to this development with the Sustainable Cabin category, where we look for entries that can prove their significant impact on the ecological impact of aviation, and contribute to the ultimate transformation of air travel toward a zero-emission industry.


This category provides room for college and university students to present their visions for innovative products and concepts for aircraft interiors. It should reflect the idea of making flying more comfortable, smart or ecological. Blue-sky thinking is encouraged but focus must also be on certificability, practicality and economics. By submitting an application in this category students benefit from gaining important contacts within the industry regarding their professional future.

Watched the world over

Being chosen by the 27 expert members of the Judging Panel to be amongst the three finalists in each category means having the opportunity to present the concept to leading figures of the industry in person at the Final Viewing. A victory at the Crystal Cabin Award is unmistakeable recognition by the global community of specialists in the sector.

The rules, an overview of 2021’s winners, and a detailed explanation of all categories for the Crystal Cabin Award are available online: APPLICATION FAQs.

Please note that the submission period for 2022 has ended on February 16. The next submission period will open in autumn of 2022.

Submissions may be lodged until 16 February 2022. The awards ceremonies for the eight main categories and two special categories of the Crystal Cabin Award 2020/2021 can be found on the Hamburg Aviation YouTube channel.

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agnus baigent
Angus Baigent
Marketing & Communications
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