Virgin Atlantic launches Google Glass scheme for travellers

Virgin Atlantic has launched a new Google Glass pilot scheme for passengers at London Heathrow today (12 February).

Virgin Atlantic staff in the airline's upper class wing will be using Google Glass and other wearable technology during the six-week pilot scheme to test how new technologies can be used to enhance customers’ travel experiences and improve efficiency.

The technology will be used to start the check-in process, to update passengers on their latest flight information, weather and local events at their destination, and translate any foreign language information.

In the future, the technology could also tell Virgin Atlantic staff their passengers’ dietary and refreshment preferences.

During the scheme, the benefits for travellers and the business will be evaluated ahead of a potential wider roll-out in the future.

The scheme is being introduced today as the airline publishes the results of a major study of 10,000 airline passengers from across the world on the future of air travel. Key points from the survey included:

  • 42% of travellers worldwide – rising to 53% in the UK – said flying is less glamorous than it used to be
  • 55% saying that wi-fi on board would be the most appealing aspect of future travel, second only to bigger windows and more space on board (60%).
  • 30% of UK passengers say they would like to see personalised menus that you can order in advance

Virgin Atlantic is also testing iBeacon with its Upper Class passengers at Heathrow, a new low-powered Bluetooth transmitter that can notify local iOS Apple devices of nearby services, discounts and updates on their flight boarding schedules.

More: Virgin Atlantic conference lands in Edinburgh

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