Corporate Traveller

Virgin Atlantic first to trial Google Glass on air travel

Virgin Atlantic passengers will be among the first to get in-flight customer service using Google Glass technology with concierge staff in the Upper Class Wing set to trial its use during check-in.

The carrier has partnered with air transport specialist SITA to launch a new pilot scheme designed to incorporate wearable technology to improve customer experience and overall efficiency.

Under the new scheme, Virgin Atlantic staff will be wearing Google Glass as they go through the check-in process.

The technology will enable staff members to relay important, up-to-date flight information to passengers, such as weather warnings at their destination and any local events of relevance.

Google Glass will also give staff the ability to translate any foreign language information as needed and incorporate reminders about passengers' dietary preferences.

The wearable technology will be tested over a period of six weeks and if successful, could be extended to encompass a wider range of passengers in the future.

The addition of Google Glass is the latest in a series of moves by the airline to bring technology into the air travel experience. Virgin Atlantic has also been testing iBeacon, a Bluetooth transmitter that notifies iOS Apple devices within range of nearby services, discounts and updates.

"While it's fantastic that more people can now fly than ever before, the fact that air travel has become so accessible has led to some of the sheen being lost for many passengers," said Virgin Atlantic Director of IT Dave Bulman.

"By being the first in the industry to test how Google Glass and other wearable technology can improve customer experience, we are upholding Virgin Atlantic's long tradition of shaking things up and putting innovation at the heart of the flying experience."