British Airways will now give First Class passengers VR headsets
From now until the end of 2019, First Class customers on British Airways (BA) flights have the opportunity to be handed VR headsets instead of those cheap plastic headphones we’re normally used to.
British Airways has now become the first UK airline to trail VR technology as part of its entertainment experience for First Class customers. The headsets are available exclusively on flights from London’s Heathrow to New York City’s JFK, giving you just shy of eight hours to try and kill.
Hailing from a company called Skylights, specialists in VR experiences for broad consumer use using travel, the headsets give customers “their own 3D cinema in the skies.” Customers can enjoy the latest films, documentaries, TV shows all in 2D, 3D or full on 360 VR formats.
BA has assured that a range of things are offered, including “therapeutic programmes, including guided meditation and sound therapy, specifically designed for customers who have a fear of flying.” While it’s reassuring to know that BA has thought of those with fears of flying, there seems to be an absence to acknowledge travel sickness.
According to a medical study, 0.5% of flight passengers experience vomiting, 8.4% feel sick and 16.2% feel ill in some way. Immersing yourself in a VR headset may well be jarring to people whom have not used it before, or worse still, experiencing some surprise turbulence as you’re quite literally immersed in a film.
For the majority of people not plagued by airsickness, this is an overwhelming cool concept.
Sajida Ismail, Head of Inflight Product at British Airways, said:
“We are always looking at the latest technology to enhance our customers’ experience on the ground and in the air. Virtual reality has the power to revolutionise 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”.
Airlines such as Alaska Airlines have previously also dabbled with this technology in its lux-end of flights. You can see the positive reception to the technology in the video below: