KLM teases passengers with virtual experience

KLM’s latest marketing spin teases passengers flying on a budget with a view of what their traveling experience might be like, for just a few dollars more, by choosing KLM.

The ‘KLM Flight Upgrader’ promotion consists of a virtual reality tour of a long-haul KLM cabin with new design seating and state-of-the-art inflight entertainment, as well as KLM catering services.

The airline shared the experience with passengers at New York’s JFK airport scheduled to fly with budget competitors and released a video of the reaction.

The airline will also make the tour available as an app for potential customers to download so that they sample the experience onboard before making any final booking decisions.

KLM writes in its announcement of the promotion:

“Passengers can spend as much time on board the virtual KLM flight as they would like, so they will never have to face the harsh reality of a budget flight.

The Upgrader lets them try out the inflight entertainment system for free, where they can watch an episode and ten minutes of a recent blockbuster without paying extra as they would on a budget flight.

Passengers can access the KLM Media App which provides content from numerous newspapers and magazines. They also get all the leg room they need to virtually stretch out.

And like all KLM passengers, they experience the top-notch service of a KLM crew and inflight dining to satisfy their virtual hunger at no extra cost. (No scent or taste VR components included.)”

Virtually there 

Other airlines have experimented with virtual reality as part of their marketing promotions.

In 2015, Qantas partnered with Samsung for a Gear VR tour of its A380 first-class cabins, launched at Sydney and Melbourne airports.

Virgin Atlantic developed a similar campaign in 2015, with a virtual tour of its Upper Class experience viewable on Windows 10 Tablets and phones, developed with Microsoft.

The Lufthansa Group has committed itself to VR for various promotions, including 360-degree videos of its cabins which premiered at ITB in 2015.

it also has an app which helps potential travelers explore top destinations, a thrill ride for its partner SWISS including a 360º fly-past by Patroille Suisse, a peek at Austrian Airlines’ new Embraer 195 cabin, and a 360º video of budget Eurowings’ own in-flight experience.

Lufthansa also deployed Avegant Glyph video glasses at its Business Lounge in Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport this February, featuring a selection of six videos ranging from pre-flight relaxation to a tour of its new A350 aircraft cabin.

VR isn’t just a handy tool for promotion. At APEX EXPO, SkyLights announced that Air France/KLM will bring the new AlloSky VR headset onboard, as part of the In-Flight Entertainment experience for the group’s new millennial-attitude airline brand Joon.

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Marisa Garcia

About the Writer :: Marisa Garcia

Marisa Garcia is the tnooz aviation analyst. She has covered travel technology, design, branding, and strategy for leading publications, including Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, APEX Magazine, AirlineTrends, and Travel+Leisure. She also shares industry insights on her site Flight Chic. Fly with her on Twitter.



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