Virgin Atlantic passengers will be the first air travelers to experience the benefits of pioneering Google Glass and Sony Smartwatch technology as they arrive at London Heathrow airport, in an innovative pilot scheme which starts today.  Concierge staff in the airline’s Upper Class Wing will be using wearable technology to deliver the industry’s most high tech and personalized customer service yet.

The cutting-edge technology is being introduced as Virgin Atlantic publishes the results of a major study of 10,000 airline passengers from across the world on the future of air travel.  The results show that as the number of people travelling by plane has sky-rocketed in recent decades, the experience has lessened.  Virgin Atlantic is joining with passengers and calling on the industry to introduce more innovations and radical fresh thinking to meet sky-high consumer expectations.

Virgin Atlantic, in collaboration with air transport IT specialist SITA, is the first in the industry to test how the latest wearable technology, including Google Glass, can best be used to enhance customers’ travel experiences and improve efficiency.

Virgin Atlantic’s new solution replaces an existing process for serving passengers traveling in the Upper Class Wing, the airline’s premium entrance at Heathrow dedicated to Upper Class passengers. Airline staff are equipped with either Google Glass or a Sony SmartWatch 2, which is integrated to both a purpose-built dispatch app built by SITA and the Virgin Atlantic passenger service system. The dispatch app manages all task allocation and concierge availability. It pushes individual passenger information directly to the assigned concierge’s smart glasses or watch just as the passenger arrives at the Upper Class Wing.