Virgin Australia, the most well known Aussie brand of rich, crazy yet lovable billionaire Sir Richard Branson. The airline isn’t really considered a “world player” in its own right with its only international flight’s being once-daily flights from Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney to Los Angeles, “Bogan Express” flights to Bali as well as some Pacific and Trans-Tasman hops. Sure it’s no Delta but it seems to pull a bit more weight in the personal care department compared to its U.S partner.
Virgin Australia has recently announced that it had partnered Smiling Minds, who have developed in-flight meditation exercises for the airline. The exercises will be available via its in-flight entertainment system which is accessed by an app on iOS and Andriod devices from gate to gate. According to Virgin “Seven people on every single one of our Boeing 737s experience overwhelming levels of anxiety,” and considering a fully loaded Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 carries 176 passengers, that means for roughly every 1,000 Virgin Australia 737 flights, 7,000 people will be affected by a fear of flying. All guests traveling with the airline can access the feature on their compatible device, however, those needing a bit more help like access to information such as to when their aircraft was last serviced or cabin crew passing via their seat to check on how they are feeling mid-flight can be requested at the boarding gate for now with a checkbox feature on the booking page coming next year.
And I hate to get personal on here but from a man who had a fear of flying from 2011 to 2016 I can assure you that this is brilliant from VA. Living in Australia where air travel is essential due to the long distances to get anywhere with the poor reliability and frequency of trains to the lack of quality roads (e.g freeways), getting people who might be afraid onto aircraft which are extremally safe and regulated is the right option.
The service is available now on all Virgin Australia flights that have wireless IFE (from what I could find) however you would expect it to be added to their seatback screens in the near future as well.
One of Virgin Australia’s 737-700’s “Cronulla Beach” in which the service is available on, at Adelaide Airport
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