British Airways invites first class flyers to trial VR headsets
Long-haul flights can be pretty boring, and though in-flight movies are available on many airlines, sometimes you just want to escape the confines of a packed cabin. British Airways has started a trial where first class passengers on select flights will be able to completely immerse themselves in movies, documentaries and travel shows by popping on a VR headset.
The VR entertainment trial is being offered until the end of this year on certain flights from London Heathrow to New York JFK, and will make use of headsets from SkyLights. Content will be fed to the VR headsets in 2D, 3D or 360° formats, and will offer an all-around immersive experience whether the passenger is upright or lying down.
The AlloSky headset offers Full HD resolution for each eye, offers dioptric correction, tips the scales at 250 g (8.8 oz) and is ready for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. As well as entertainment packages, passengers will be offered the chance to relax by opting for VR therapeutic programs such as guided meditation and sound therapy, which could prove beneficial for nervous flyers.
British Airways (BA) and SkyLights began testing the technology at the check-in desks at London Heathrow's Terminal 5 late last year, where passengers were offered a virtual tour of the Club World cabin.
"We are always looking at the latest technology to enhance our customers' experience on the ground and in the air," said BA's Sajida Ismail. "Virtual reality has the power to revolutionize in-flight entertainment and we're really excited to trial these new glasses as they should create a unique and memorable journey for our First customers."
BA is not the first airline to trial VR entertainment for first class passengers, Qantas teamed up with Samsung back in 2015 to offer a virtual reality experience in its lounges and aircraft. But the airline is claiming the trial as a UK first.