Virtual Reality headsets for First Class customers. British Airways trialling a different form of IFE

In a slightly bizarre yet fascinating take on in-flight entertainment, BA passengers in First Class flying from Heathrow to New York will be able to try out a new virtual reality headset – “AlloSky” – made by SkyLights which is a product of IAG's Hangar 51 start-up accelerator programme.

First Class passenger wearing a virtual reality headset

The literal wording of the press release suggests the VR headset is being trialled in the westbound London -> New York direction only, and not the eastbound. This is significant as all the westbound flights are daytime flights, the latest departing close to 8pm London time and arriving around 10:30pm local time.

I'm genuinely interested in how this affects the passenger experience, whether it is an improvement, a deterioration, no change or just something completely different… I have no idea! There will be 2D, 3D and 360° formats, and because the screen is strapped to your head, you can even watch it lying flat…which might be helpful for some of the “guided meditation and sound therapy” programmes if it includes yoga. I'll be monitoring social media to see what passengers say!

About Tim

Tim Lai is a Chartered Engineer and a typical nerd who analyses every travel deal, travel hack and is one of the world's leading travel experts. He has travelled to around 90 countries and also speaks Spanish, Portuguese and Mandarin. He has been featured on the likes of CNN, BBC and also broader websites websites like Nomad Capitalist for his deep knowledge of EU travel laws. An accredited journalist, he is happy to speak to other journalists who need expertise on travel topics.

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