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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

Notice something a little different about Upper Class Virgin Atlantic staff? They’re wearing gizmos that resemble something out of a Star Trek episode. With Google Glass and Sony Smartwatches, the airline hopes to harness new tech to improve the customer service experience. Is it working?

A 90-day pilot program for the airline launched last week which sees Virgin Atlantic concierge staff at London’s Heathrow Airport wearing Google Glass and other wearable technology to deliver “the industry’s most high tech and personalised customer service.”

The airline launched the test after receiving the results of a survey showing that while the number of people travelling by plane has skyrocketed, their experience has significantly lessened. Check-in staff wearing the technology will be able to check passengers in for their flights from London while simultaneously updating them on the latest flight information, weather and local events at their destination. The glasses are also able to translate any foreign language information.

The technology could also inform airline staff of any dietary and even drink preferences. What Virgin Atlantic is after is finding the best and most up-to-date way to collect information about their passengers and provide the most personalised service possible. But what’s wrong with asking a passenger what they’d like to drink?


Less glamorous than it used to be

The study also revealed that 53% of UK travellers think flying is less glamorous than it used to be and when asked what could make the experience better the answers are far from surprising.

  • 60% said bigger windows and more legroom
  • 55% said onboard Wi-Fi would be a real improvement
  • 30% said more personalised menus that could be ordered in advance and not having to print a paper boarding pass for every flight

The airline’s Direct of IT, Dave Bulman commented,

“We are upholding Virgin Atlantic’s long tradition of shaking things up and putting innovation at the heart of the flying experience.”

Shaking it up indeed! What do you think of the idea? What would you like to change about the air travel experience?


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