New Tech

Virtual reality takes flight in British Airways trial

Virtual reality


Virtual reality is taking to the skies as part of a trial on select British Airways flights.

Customers will be able to enjoy a selection of films, documentaries and travel programmes available in 2D, 3D or 360-degree formats through virtual reality headsets, which the airline says is a UK first.

This includes therapeutic programmes, with guided meditation and sound therapy designed to help travellers who suffer with a fear of flying.

It will work whether the passenger is sat upright or lying flat during their flight, British Airways explained.

The technology will be available to first-class flyers on select flights from London Heathrow to New York JFK until the end of 2019.

“We are always looking at the latest technology to enhance our customers’ experience on the ground and in the air,” said Sajida Ismail, head of inflight product at British Airways.

British Airways

Nick Morrish/British Airways


“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.”

British Airways has enlisted VR eyewear firm SkyLights to carry out the test using its AlloSky headsets.

The airline has committed to investing £6.5 billion for its customers over five years, which will go towards improvements such as installing more wi-fi services and power to aircraft seats.

The system allows passengers to experience Virtual Reality while travelling at 36,000ft. Questions were raised about whether the VR experience would be affected by the movement of the aircraft, however, we were assured that it only reacts to the passenger’s head.

Content on the new VR system is unfortunately fairly limited for the time being. However, it could be expanded if the trial is successful. For August, the system has seven fully immersive VR experiences. The content will be refreshed every month, so frequent flyers won’t get bored!

Most Popular

To Top