Qantas Introduces Ridiculous First Class Inflight Entertainment

I can appreciate when airlines innovate their inflight entertainment.

For example, last August British Airways announced the introduction of a “Paws and Relax” TV channel, whereby you could watch nothing but cute pets. Brilliant!

Well Qantas just announced that they’ll be introducing virtual reality inflight entertainment. I can’t decide whether this is ridiculously awesome, or just ridiculous.

Qantas-Samsung

Here’s how Qantas describes the new offering:

Qantas together with Samsung Electronics Australia has launched a new trial entertainment service that uses Samsung virtual reality (VR) technology to give customers a spectacular three dimensional experience in a 360 degree style interactive format.

Qantas’ VR headsets will transport customers to an immersive virtual world at the click of a button and showcase the sights and delights of network destinations, new Qantas products and the latest inflight blockbuster movies.

As part of the trial, a number of Samsung Gear VR headsets will be made available to customers in Sydney and Melbourne International First Lounges as well as in the First Class cabins on select A380 services. Qantas will be the only airline to offer a virtual reality entertainment experience inflight.

The trial will run for three months to assess customer feedback on how this kind of VR offering might add to their overall travel experience on long-haul flights.

The Samsung headsets should be available in the Melbourne and Sydney Qantas First Lounges from mid-February, and in first class on select A380 flights between Australia and Los Angeles from mid-March.

The irony in all this, though?

Qantas is committed to being at the forefront of innovation to give our passengers the very best and latest in-flight experiences, like accessing the virtual worlds of their favourite Hollywood blockbusters from the comfort of their seat 40,000 feet above the ground.

While it’s nice to be at the “forefront of innovation” by giving passengers access to virtual worlds, it would be even nicer to have inflight wifi. But I guess at this point having inflight wifi wouldn’t be innovating but rather just doing what most others have already done, and I guess that’s not worthwhile to Qantas. 😉

Here’s a short video about the new feature:

Ultimately this doesn’t harm anyone and perhaps it’ll be amusing to some, but to me it seems like more trouble than it’s worth. I realize I don’t have much of an attention span, but I feel like I’d play around with it for two minutes and then get bored.

What do you think of Qantas’ virtual reality entertainment?

(Tip of the hat to Australian Business Traveller)

Comments

  1. I actually think it’s awesome. 3D in a plane, just wonder why they don’t put a new camera in the tail or on the belly, so you can look around in real time. Especially during take off and landing, that would be amazing.

  2. Great to see that they’re spending on entertainment and not on ways to be tethered to the office (WiFi). Job well done Qantas!

  3. I hope they continue this past the three month trial window. I’d love to give it a try in October! I mean, I’ve got plenty of time on a 17-hour flight…

  4. Sounds awesome as well but surprised they chose to only have them in the LAX routes. Given the amount of competition they have for the kangaroo route, I would have thought they’d prioritize that route first. After all, between the Emirates A380 and Qantas A380, I’d hands down pick the Emirates A380 for the bar & shower.

  5. The ones needing a new virtual environment on a 14 hr flight are the poor guys in economy. Trial on them instead..:)

  6. @Joey.
    Probably a lot more tech/Silicon Valley types on the Lax flight than on the kangaroo route, much easier people to deal with if you are beta testing.

    What JMR said, being able to really look around especially on take off and landing would be cool.

    But as Jesse says nauseous passengers could be a problem.

  7. Not sure what they offer with this virtual reality, but I sure hope it doesn’t mean the guy across the aisle from me will be having sex with his pillow.

  8. Like Patrick said – wheel out a whole bunch of those into the economy for a “virtual premium class” environment – you could refit the whole aircraft with brown velour or corduroy fabrics and no-one would know the difference…!

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