The best way to enjoy a British Airways flight is to pretend you are somewhere else entirely. Even British Airways has realized that you would probably rather be on the moon or hot-air ballooning or on Emirates or something, so it has come up with the next best option to actually improving the flying experience: virtual reality.
British Airways is adding virtual reality to its entertainment options on select London-to-New York flights from now until the end of 2019. First-class flyers will be able to enjoy a selection of award-winning films, documentaries, and travel programs in 2D, 3D or 360 formats. Sadly, they aren’t testing VR in economy class, even though those are exactly the customers who need to escape their barefoot seatmates scrolling through the Cursed Tik Toks Twitter feed and eating Cheetos.
Thanks to VR headsets from SkyLights, first-class flyers can lay back in their seats, prop up their feet, and fully immerse themselves in 3D view regardless of the position they are sitting in. The experience even works when they are lying fully flat (something few in coach can accomplish). The choice in headsets is no accident: The AlloSky virtual reality headsets designed by SkyLights are from a former alumni of British Airways parent company IAG’s Hangar 51 startup accelerator program, proving that accelerator programs can be useful.
British Airways, which is celebrating its 100th year of escorting people around the skies, is the first U.K. airline to give the new technology a test run. “We are always looking at the latest technology to enhance our customers’ experience on the ground and in the air,” Sajida Ismail, the airline’s head of in-flight product, said in a statement.
In addition to movies, customers can also use virtual reality to help them get through the flight with a range of therapeutic programs, including guided meditation and sound therapy to help combat fear of flying. No word on whether it will also include VR to help combat a fear of flying in economy.