Etihad Airways trials virtual reality headsets in its Abu Dhabi premium lounges

One month trial at First Class and Business Class Premium Lounges at Abu Dhabi Terminal 3

Etihad Airways has started trialing virtual reality entertainment technology at its flagship First Class Lounge and Spa and Business Class Premium Lounge, at Abu Dhabi International Airport’s Terminal 3.

The headsets offer an immersive, HD resolution, cinematic experience in 2D and 3D, featuring intuitive technology for ease of use and noise cancelling headphones.

Each set has a battery life of over six hours which allows for uninterrupted enjoyment from a catalogue of recent blockbuster movies, selected 360° short films, TV series, documentaries and children’s programming.

The trial will last for a month with the aim of gathering passenger feedback to determine the airline’s future lounge entertainment offering at Abu Dhabi’s Midfield Terminal.

Throughout the trial, Etihad staff will assist interested guests at dedicated areas within both lounges. Each session will end with a short manual questionnaire.

Linda Celestino, Etihad Airways Vice President Guest Experience and Delivery:

“As with the Etihad inflight experience, we are constantly investigating ways to enhance our service and hospitality offering on the ground through innovative technology and customisation. By conducting trials such as this, we already understand that modern travellers expect more information and seek increasingly connected and immersive experiences which engage and entertain them on every level. Gone are the days when a premium lounge experience just meant comfortable design, luxurious amenities and fine dining.

“The development of this type of technology could also allow us to provide more personalisation and end-to-end entertainment solutions across all customer demographics, reinforcing our strategy of providing greater choice at every stage of the customer journey.”

The headsets come from American-French company SkyLights. Last week Emirates started a similar trial of Skylights virtual reality headsets in its Dubai lounges. They have also previously been on trial with SkyTeam at its Dubai lounge.

In August 2017, Air France started testing SkyLights virtual reality headsets. In July 2017, French railway company SNCF deployed the Skylights solution onboard the TGV link between Paris and Milan.

N.B. Image credit: Skylights

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Etihad Airways (EY)