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August 29, 2019updated May 12, 2020

British Airways First Introduces VR Headsets

By Alex Martin

British Airways brings First customers a 3D cinema in the skies through VR headsets | ©Nick Morrish

Customers traveling in British Airways First from London Heathrow to New York JFK will not only be transported across the Atlantic Ocean but to a whole new world completely following the introduction of virtual reality headsets.

The British aviation firm is trialing the headsets from now until the end of 2019 on select flights in First, allowing customers to enjoy a wide selection of movies, documentaries and popular TV programs in 2D, 3D or 360° formats.

VR eyewear specialists SkyLights are providing high-quality headsets, which allow users to fully immerse themselves in 3D view regardless of the position they are sat in. It even works when they are lying fully flat.

British Airways has also consulted experts to curate a select range of therapeutic programs, including guided meditation and sound therapy, specifically designed for customers who have a fear of flying.

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 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.”

The trial is part of British Airways’ five-year plan that will see $7.8bn invested in improving the customer experience onboard. This includes the installation of the best quality Wi-Fi and power in every aircraft seat as well as new interiors on 128-long-haul aircraft.

British Airways First was also given an upgrade earlier this year with the introduction of Club Suites, which come complete with a suite door and direct-aisle access. Not only do these Club Suites allow for more privacy and easier service interaction, but the seats also go flat in a 1-2-1 configuration.

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