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15 July 2024

Staff onboard this airline will look into your eye and say…

By Joseph George

Imagine walking into an airline and the airhostess says, “Good Morning Ahmad. Please proceed to seat number 21. Your’s is the aisle seat. And by the way, your checked-in baggage has been through checked all the way to Dallas…” All this by just looking at your face.

Virgin Atlantic has become the world’s first airline to quip staff with Google Glass. The airline has started a pilot project currently limited to the London Heathrow airport but might soon expand it across the globe.

The airline has announced that to start with, it has decided to equip its concierge staff stationed at the London Heathrow airport with Google Glass and the latest Sony Smartwatch 2.

“From the minute Upper Class passengers step out of their chauffeured limousine at Heathrow’s T3 and are greeted by name, Virgin Atlantic staff wearing the technology will start the check-in process,” the airline said.

Equipped with the Glass, the staff will not only be able to provide its passengers latest flight information, weather and local events at their destination, they will also be able to translate a foreign language and much more.

The airline also hopes that soon the staff will be able to pick up a passenger’s dietary and refreshment preferences and  “anything that provides a better and more personalized service”.

The six week pilot project at Heathrow is in collaboration with Sita -  Provider of global information and telecommunication solutions for the air transport industry.

Dave Bulman, Director of IT, Virgin Atlantic says, “Our wearable technology pilot with Sita makes us the first in the industry to test how Google Glass and other wearable technology can improve the customer experience. We are upholding Virgin Atlantic’s long tradition of shaking things up and putting innovation at the heart of the flying experience.”

Both Virgin and Sita are also testing iBeacon - a new low-powered Bluetooth transmitter that can notify nearby iOS Apple devices of nearby services, discounts and updates on their flight boarding schedules.