3D Cinema in the Sky: British Airways launch VR entertainment on Flights

VR launched on British Airway flights

British Airways has launched virtual reality entertainment aboard selected flights.

The days of mindless entertainment aboard flights could be over, with the announcement that BA are creating a 3D cinema in the sky. 

The days of mindless entertainment aboard flights could be over, with the announcement that British Airways has launched virtual reality entertainment aboard selected flights, creating a 3D VR cinema in the sky. 

Customers travelling on selected flights in first class, from London Heathrow to New York JFK, will be treated to the new entertainment addition of Virtual Reality (VR) eyewear.

Designed by VR eyewear company SkyLights, the headsets are called “AlloSky,” and will feature award-winning films, documentaries and travel programmes.

VR launched on British Airway flights
LONDON, UK: British Airways will be bringing First customers a 3D cinema in the skies through virtual reality headsets on select flights, photographed at London Heathrow on 25 July 2019 (Picture by Nick Morrish/British Airways)

Strapping on the VR headpiece will allow users to enjoy either 2D, 3D or 360-degree videos, where they are completely immersed and shut off from the world around them.

And for people who have a fear of flying or get anxiety in the air, VR guided meditation and sound therapy will also be on offer. 

The technology will work in any position the user is in, including laying fully flat, and the unique technology means that wherever the head is positioned or moved, the screen will follow.

It’s a revolutionising feat for the airline, who are the first in the UK to implement the technology onboard. Saajida Ismal, Head of Inflight Product at British Airways, believes the move will change the way first-class entertainment is produced and valued.

“We are always looking at the latest technology to enhance our customers’ experience on the ground and in the air,” he said.

“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”

Other airlines who have previously launched into the VR world, in either their lounges or inflight, include XL Airways in France, Garuda Indonesia and Air France. From these, a 90 per cent satisfaction rate was recorded, with an average usage time of three to four hours.

Additionally, it seems adding VR to their repertoire is just the beginning for the British Airways. Over the next five years, the airline is set to invest £6.5 million on customer enhancements, which will include WiFi and power in every seat, new interiors, business class features and new aircrafts.

Luxury flying

Globally, VR entertainment is just the newest addition to the luxury of first-class flights. Now, the focus is on creating a flight environment that can be enjoyed, not dreaded, by a lack of space, sleep or comfort.

In 2016, inflight double beds were added to Qatar Airways first class service, the first airline in the world to do so.

Since then, other airlines have also increased their luxury market appeal, such as Etihad, who launched The Residence. A three-room private suite onboard the plane designed for two people, this is complete with a double bed and a living room with two dining tables. For refreshment, an ensuite with a shower is also available, as well as VIP concierge services.

luxury first class Etihad
A double bed is just one of the luxury additions that are included in Etihad’s The Residence

The cost? For a one-way ticket from Sydney to Abu Dhabi, $36,000 for two people highlights this as the most luxurious flight one will ever take.

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