British Airways to trial in-flight virtual reality

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VR entertainment will be available on flights between London Heathrow and New York JFK

Passengers on British Airways flights can experience a non-traditional way of staying entertained. The UK’s flag carrier has introduced a virtual reality headset featuring award-winning films, documentaries and travel programmes in 2D, 3D or 360° formats.

However, only a select few customers will have the opportunity to try it out as it will be available only on BA117 flights from London Heathrow airport to JFK in New York.

The special headset from SkyLights will allow customers to immerse themselves fully in 3D view. It’s designed to work in any position, even when the viewers are lying fully flat. 

“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 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, airline’s head of inflight product.


VR Headsets at T5 — Showing Club World Cabin for an attempt to get customers to upgrade — Stuart Bailey / BA Media CentreVR Headsets at T5 — Showing Club World Cabin for an attempt to get customers to upgrade — Stuart Bailey / BA Media Centre


The trial period will finish at the end of the year, which will allow the airline to evaluate the innovative system. Earlier in 2019, the carrier trialled the technology at Terminal 5 at London Heathrow, allowing the customers to take a glimpse at its Club World cabin through virtual reality.

System could help customers with a fear of flying

British Airways is UK’s first to give a try to this new technology and they have selected a range of therapeutic programmes, including guided meditation and sound therapy, specifically designed for customers who experience a fear of flying. Its content is planned to be refreshed every month so frequent flyers always have new videos to watch.  

The system works even at altitudes over 10 km (36,000 ft). Allegedly, it should work despite unexpected movements of the aircraft, responding only to the movements of the passenger’s head.