During the trial, first-class passengers onboard 10 flights will have the opportunity to try a new virtual reality headset from French in-flight entertainment company SkyLights and provide feedback about the experience.
Hate making small talk when you’re on an airplane? Alaska Airlines is trialing a new perk that can help you shut out the real world: virtual reality.
First-class passengers onboard 10 flights between Boston and Seattle and Boston and San Diego will have the opportunity to try a new virtual reality headset from French in-flight entertainment company SkyLights and provide feedback about the experience, Alaska Airlines announced Monday.
The trial kicked off on Sunday, Sept. 23 and runs through Thursday, Sept. 27.
Forget trying to pay attention to that small seatback monitor as jet engines and crying babies blare in the background. “Wearing the headset is comparable to having a personal movie screen in front of you,” the airline said. “When paired with noise-cancelling headphones, it’s easy to feel like you’re at the movie theater instead of flying.”
Passengers participating in the trial can choose from a selection of 2D and 3D movies, including Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Ready Player One in 3D, and Ferdinand. There’s also several “360-degree immersive experiences that let guests explore different worlds by just slowly moving their head around,” Alaska Airlines said.
Alaska said it’s now the first airline in North America to pilot virtual reality technology.
David Scotland, manager of Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity, called SkyLights’ Allosky device the “smallest, lightest, and most stylish VR headset in the inflight entertainment market.”
“These trials will help us understand how comfortable our guests are using the technology, if they prefer it to our current offerings, and let our flight attendants share feedback about its impact to our inflight service flow,” Scotland said in a statement. “We’ve made no official commitments to pursuing VR long-term but this trial will help us shape our future strategy.”