How can airlines REALLY know what their guests want in an airport lounge experience? They could ask them, bring them in for group trials, make researched guesses, follow trends or, as Etihad is doing, use virtual reality.

The new-age technology often used in the industry to showcase destinations has found a new purpose in travel, and that’s of a research tool.

Etihad is using virtual reality for one-month as a means of gathering customer feedback on what future lounges will look like and offer.

Guests at the carrier’s First Class Lounge and Spa and Business Class Premium Lounge in Abu Dhabi will have the opportunity to wear specially-designed headsets and virtually walk through and engage with various elements Etihad is considering for future high-end spaces.

Vice President of Guest Experience and Delivery, Linda Celestino, said the carrier is investigating ways to enhance its services beyond the expectations of comfortable design, luxurious amenities and fine dining.

Etihad Virtual Reality Goggles

“The development of this type of technology could also allow us to provide more personalisation and end-to-end entertainment solutions across all customer demographics, reinforcing our strategy of providing greater choice at every stage of the customer journey.”

Linda Celestino, Etihad Vice President of Guest Experience and Delivery

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Would you spend your pre-flight time in virtual reality?