First-class Qantas flyers to enjoy Samsung Gear VR entertainment
Qantas has partnered with Samsung to trial an onboard VR entertainment service. Passengers in Qantas’ long-haul first-class seats will be supplied with a Samsung Gear VR headset, powered by a Galaxy Note 4 to help them enjoy their flight time.
The Australian carrier will be making a limited number of Gear VR devices available to passengers on select A380 flights, and also inside the First Class Lounges in Sydney and Melbourne. A specially developed Qantas app running on the headset/Note 4 will show customers 360-degree views of the carrier’s first-class lounge at LAX, runway-side videos of A380 planes landing and taking off and even a virtual reality boat ride.
Unfortunately, only those travelling in Business Class aboard an Airbus A380 going from LA to Sydney or from Melbourne to LA will have a chance to borrow a headset, and only for a limited time so other passengers can have a go. Around a dozen Gear VR headsets and Galaxy Note 4 smartphones are being used for the trail partnership, four each on the outbound and inbound flights, and two each for Qantas’ Sydney and Melbourne first-class lounges.
“Whether the user wants a virtual tour of our new Los Angeles First Lounge or experience an A380 landing from the tarmac, this technology gives us a completely new way to connect with our customers,” said Qantas Group Executive, Brand, Marketing & Corporate Affairs Olivia Wirth.
“From an inflight entertainment perspective, it’s an industry first. 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.”
For those who can’t afford a top-tier round-trip ticket on one of the eligible flights, which run for around $20k return, it may be a more sensible option to just buy the $200 headset and the $700 smartphone to power it.