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Virgin Atlantic 'Upper Class' passengers to get a Google Glass greeting

Virgin Atlantic Google Glass
Virgin Atlantic Google Glass
Virgin Atlantic PR

Can Google Glass add glamour and excitement into airline travel? Virgin Atlantic aims to find out, with a six-week trial of the devices beginning on Tuesday, Ars Technica reported.

To be clear, no, Virgin Atlantic isn't distributing the devices to each passenger. Instead, the airline's concierges will greet "Upper Class passengers" at London’s Heathrow airport and guide them through the check-in process. Staff will use Google's wearable computers to provide passengers with updates about their flights and answer any questions.

Those not in the "Upper Class," however, will be greeted as before, by Virgin staffers using non-wearable computers.

Virgin opted for the trial after a company-backed survey found that more than half of travelers think that flying is less glamorous or exciting than it was previously. Indeed, they may even feel airline travel is a chore, based on all the post-9/11 security.

Google Glass, still not a retail product, may fix that issue. Certainly, it will attract stares.

In a press release, Virgin Atlantic said:

From the minute Upper Class passengers step out of their chauffeured limousine at Heathrow’s T3 and are greeted by name, Virgin Atlantic staff wearing the technology will start the check-in process. At the same time, staff will be able to update passengers on their latest flight information, weather and local events at their destination and translate any foreign language information.

Google doesn't have an exclusive on the trial, though. Sony's SmartWatch 2 will be used, as well.

Virgin said that if the trial was successful, it would consider a wider roll-out and also use the device to keep its staff notified of passengers’ their customers’ “dietary and refreshment preferences,” meaning that "Upper Class" passengers could have their favorite drink waiting for them when they board.