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Something to look forward to: In a UK first, select passengers of British Airways travelling from London Heathrow to New York's JFK will get to enjoy a VR experience in the skies as the airline has recently announced an exclusive trial in partnership with SkyLights, a former alumni of British Airways' parent company International Airlines Group (IAG).
On the surface, VR technology is mostly associated with games but its real-world applications are much more widespread than that. From Audi's VR dealership experience, to benefits in healthcare and simulation in military scenarios, British Airways now looks to improve the travel experience of passengers by starting an exclusive trial of virtual reality headsets for its New York JFK-bound passengers from London's Heathrow airport.
Following similar efforts by airlines including Air France, Etihad, Lufthansa and Qantas, among others, the UK's first VR in the sky experience will have passengers enjoying a "selection of award-winning films, documentaries and travel programmes in 2D, 3D or 360° formats," and for those with a fear of flying, there will be "a range of therapeutic programmes, including guided meditation and sound therapy," notes the airline in its media statement.
Passengers who opt to lie fully flat won't miss out on the experience as the Allosky headsets from SkyLights will allow full 3D immersion regardless of their position. Earlier this year, the airline also used similar hardware at its Heathrow Terminal 5 to give customers a glimpse of its business class Club World Suites.
"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," said Sajida Ismail, BA's Head of Inflight Product.
It usually takes around 8 hours for the BA 117 flight to complete its journey from London Heathrow to New York JFK in which British Airways will be debuting this VR experience. Although virtual reality can greatly help to pass the time for many, those who suffer from motion sickness might beg to differ.