Experience Virtual Reality On Your Next Flight

Airlines, these days, have their detractors. Increasingly, more and more travelers are beginning to complain about their flight experience; in some cases, these concerns are highly valid and related to what their dollars get them. Now, different airline companies are making attempts to rectify subtractions of amenities they’ve made over the past few years. The national carrier of Australia, Qantas, is taking a bolder step in that area.

In a partnership with electronics giant Samsung, Qantas Airways has launched a new amenity for travelers that seeks to heighten the sensory experience while flying. They’ve teamed up to give passengers a first-look at virtual reality on flights. This program is being offered for three months, beginning at the midway point of March of this year. It will be available for those travelers flying select A380 planes from Melbourne & Sydney to Los Angeles, in addition to those who partake of the airline’s International First passenger lounges. Samsung Electronics Australia will provide their Gear VR headsets as the centerpiece of the experience.

The entire setup, which involves Oculus VR (the company responsible for the headset’s physical design), is unique because it operates without cable attachments. Instead, all one has to do is take a Galaxy Note 4 smartphone and slide it into the forward facing slot of the headset. The Gear VR headsets will work in concert with a dedicated Qantas app that will give a user multiple entertainment options to indulge in. To that end, Qantas has enlisted a production company to help create this content, starting with adventure travel footage courtesy of Tourism NT. Tourism NT’s first offering features a 3D experience set in Kakadu National Park, regarded as one of Australia’s ‘can’t miss’ destinations.

The Gear VR headsets will also give users a chance to immerse themselves in a total 360 degree view of the passenger lounges. In addition, premium major motion picture releases are slated to be offered, as well as live-action content. Plans to expand the Gear VR program to all Qantas flights is dependent on customer feedback at the end of the three month trial period.