You Can Soon Enjoy Virtual Reality On Board Some Iberia Flights
Your next in-flight entertainment experience could be multidimensional.
Beginning the week of February 18, Spanish airline Iberia is launching a six-month trial of virtual reality (VR) headsets on board its two daily A350-900 flights between Madrid and New York City, as well as on its daily A330-200 flight between Madrid and Tel Aviv.
The second-generation Pico devices by Inflight VR will be available for rent at a trial rate of six Euros ($6.79 USD), and will allow travelers to experience 3D Red Sea dives, films, documentaries and other entertainment "firsthand." The duration of the rental will last as long as the fully charged headset batteries last, estimated to be around four to five hours at full capacity.
Flight crew will also be able to reach out to and interact with passengers directly through the VR technology.
The carrier received positive feedback from travelers after offering trial experiences in the premium lounges at Madrid Airport, as well as during a flight between Madrid and Tel Aviv, and plans to expand the service to other medium- and long-haul Iberia routes if this initial six-month trial goes well.
Iberia isn't the first airline to try and jump on the VR bandwagon. Just last fall, Alaska Airlines announced its plans to bring virtual reality on board select flights.
Intriguingly, Inflight VR's founder, Nikolas Jaeger, claims that the company's devices offer, "motion sickness-free virtual reality in-flight entertainment." Considering virtual reality motion sickness is already a concern for many people even on stable ground, this is a bold statement.
TPG reached out to Iberia and Inflight VR for additional information on how the technology would work, as well as prospective rental rates and launch dates, but had not heard back as of the time of publication.
Update: This article was updated on February 18 at 11 am ET to reflect new information regarding price points and battery life from Iberia.