GIVEN FLYING often involves hours of sitting in a metal tube wedged between the Barry Banter Boyz stag-do and cretinous children, it's unsurprising British Airways has turned to virtual reality to help passengers escape such hellish scenarios.
To help passengers pretend that the vibration of the back of their seat is the thrust of a rocket taking them to the moon, rather than some dunderhead failing to work a the sear tray, BA is testing the use of VR headsets on its flights.
VR headsets will now become an option on select flights from London to New York as part of a tech trial running to the end of 2019; great news for frequent business trip fliers from The Big Smoke to The Big Apple, but folks going to the hen and stag haven that is Las Vegas won't have such an escape option.
Oh, you'll also need to be a First Class BA traveller to get access to the VR headset, which is being provided by specialists SkyLights and will give posh passengers access to "a selection of award-winning films, documentaries and travel programmes in 2D, 3D or 360° formats". There are also guided meditation experiences and sound therapy for cowards those who fear flying.
This seems a bit of an odd move, as First Class is probably the only place you want to be aware you're on a BA flight, whereas Economy is very much the place you want to escape from, albeit virtually - trust us we've done more than our fair share of cattle-class BA flying, and the proletariat do so upset us.
However, unlike the world of UK economics, there is a trickle-down effect when it comes to tech, so if the trial is successful we can imagine BA perhaps offering the VR headsets, or at least cheaper versions of them, to those in Economy class.
That being said, such VR stuff required a bit of movement, and if you've flown Economy with BA before you'll likely have found that moving a mere 30 degrees is difficult enough when you have Chunky Charlie spilling into your seat and Eleanor Elbows seemingly unwittingly giving your ribs a near-constant dig, let alone having 360-degree moment.
Nevertheless, it's at least an interesting use of VR tech, which despite the pretty slick headsets popping up each year, hasn't really catapulted into the mainstream tech arena yet.
But perhaps BA should be concentrating on sorting put its bork-prone IT systems instead of dicking around with VR...just a thought... just a thought. µ
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