British Airways announced that from now until the end of 2019, the airline will offer virtual reality visors to first class customers travelling on select flights from London’s Heathrow airport to New York’s JFK as part of a trial program.

Passengers will be able to watch films, documentaries and travel programs in 2D, 3D or 360 degree formats via AlloSky virtual reality visors, designed by SkyLights, a former alumni of British Airways’ parent company IAG’s Hangar 51 start-up accelerator program.

The headsets allow customers to fully immerse themselves in 3D view regardless of how they are sitting. The experience even works when they are lying fully flat.

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

The airline has worked with experts to select a range of therapeutic programs, including guided meditation and sound therapy, specifically designed for customers who have a fear of flying.

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  1. This is interesting because the airlines need to find ways of keeping customers entertained/engaged on an otherwise boring, in the clouds and claustrophobic journey. The airlines have been looking into removing windows to improve costs. These costs are significant when you think about what goes into the structure of an an aircraft. The windows are a huge expense in how they are built and what it means to the overall construction of the aircraft. Windows on a plane are a huge compromise structurally and financially and only serve the purpose of us looking out. VR makes sense here as it does in many other opportune places to come. Lets face it, most of us want to just pull that little window shade down, lay back after a scotch and get some z’s while waiting to touch down in Newark.