Emirates New VR Experience Lets You Board An A380 From Home

Wondering if it’s worth upgrading to a higher class of service on your next flight? If you’re flying with Emirates, you’ll be able to virtually experience the airline’s cabins to see what they’re like before making your decision. On September 13th, the airline announced its VR experiences are now available on the Oculus Store, in addition to mobile apps and website.

Emirates A380
Emirates working on an updated version of its VR apps which will include its premium economy cabin and new A380 aircraft interiors. Photo: Emirates

More than just photos and video

Most airlines will show off their products and cabin classes with photos posted to their website. Others will take it a step further and include a video of their signature premium classes. Emirates is going even further with a full virtual reality (VR) experience, which will even allow the user to engage with parts of the cabin.

“In 2018, we were the world’s first airline to introduce advanced web VR technology on our digital platforms, offering our customers an immersive opportunity to learn about the fantastic Emirates experience…We’ve continued to invest and develop that experience, and today we are delighted to be the first airline to launch a fully-fledged Oculus VR app.” -Boutros Boutros, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications, Marketing and Brand

Enabling a deeper level of customer research

Boutros adds that the initiative expands the airline’s global reach and its ability to engage with audiences across digital platforms. “It is also particularly relevant right now, as many people have not traveled for a while due to the pandemic, and are seeking inspiration and researching and rediscovering their flight options,” he adds.

The Oculus app was developed in partnership with technology company Renacen. This will allow Emirates’ customers to navigate through economy, business, and first class cabins, explore their seats, as well as the airline’s Onboard Lounge and Shower Spa on A380.

Emirates adds that it’s working on an updated version featuring its premium economy cabin and latest A380 aircraft interiors.

premium economy emirates
Emirates unveiled its premium economy cabin at the end of 2020. Photo: Emirates

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Available on multiple platforms

While Oculus is one of the most popular VR platforms, owning a VR headset is not quite ubiquitous. With this in mind, Emirates’ VR experience is also available on emirates.com to anyone with an internet connection.

It’s also available via the Emirates app for those wanting to check out the airline’s cabins using their smartphones and mobile devices.

This is what is available for each platform:

  • Emirates Oculus VR app on the Oculus Store: users are offered accurate, life-size, and interactive cabin interior experiences onboard Emirates’ flagship A380 aircraft and Boeing 777-300ER Gamechanger aircraft. Users can even “pick up” items from the Onboard Lounge, “turn on” the shower in the shower spa, or close the private suite doors behind them. The cockpit is even accessible for this platform.
  • Emirates.com website on PCs and mobile devices, or the Emirates app for iOS and Android: On these platforms, users have an immersive 3D, web VR, and 360-degree view of Emirates’ Boeing 777 and Airbus A380 aircraft cabin interiors (all 20 different configurations across the airline’s fleet). Customers can navigate from one seat to another and even allows would-be customers to book their preferred seats from within the 3D environment.

In future developments, Emirates says that it plans to offer customers the ability to explore destinations, select a cabin, and book and pay for their Emirates flight from within the Emirates Oculus VR app.

What do you think of Emirates’ initiative to promote its products? Helpful or unnecessary? Let us know what you think by leaving a comment.