Google users can now take a virtual trip on British Airways’ ultra-exclusive business class-only service, with just the click of a mouse.
The airline has teamed up with London City Airport, home to British Airways’ double-daily service to New York, to create the first airport airside tour on Google Street View.
One of the airline’s two specially-configured A318 Club World London City 32-seater business jets has been photographed for internet giant Google, so that web users can take a 360-degree tour of the aircraft and its private lounge – from the comfort of their laptop, tablet or smartphone.
It’s the first time British Airways has opened its aircraft doors to allow any special photography by Google Maps for Street View: https://goo.gl/maps/FG1qS
The new mapping also means customers travelling through London City Airport can now also use it to navigate their way around the airport, allowing them to explore and ‘visit’ check-in, duty-free and even check-out the best places to eat and catch up on last-minute work before their flight.
The tour also has an information overlay, enabling users to find out more about parts of the airport such as details of concessions, locating points of interest and directions on how to get from A to B.
Stephen Humphreys, British Airways’ head of global sales, said: “From the comfort of their own home, customers can now take their own private virtual tour of one of our specially configured Airbus A318s and peek inside British Airways’ private lounge, so they can see for themselves just how exclusive the Club World London City service is.
“Linking two of the world’s biggest financial centres, this bespoke business class service has become a firm favourite for business and leisure travellers, looking to work and relax as they fly across the Atlantic in style straight to New York’s JFK.”
Alison FitzGerald, chief information officer of London City Airport, said: “London City Airport is leading the way in using new technology to enhance the customer experience. That experience starts at home when you book or check-in, and the Street View trusted tour is an exciting addition. It will help passengers to plan their journey and for those who have never visited LCY, they can see what they’ve been missing out on.”
The photography took place earlier this year, when panoramic photographer Hugh Flouch, from Red Wheelbarrow Photography, spent three days using a specially rigged DSLR camera to capture every passenger area ‘on film’. This included the airport’s entrance, check-in area, cafes, relaxing restaurants and seating areas for customers.
The thousands of high-resolution digital images were then carefully ‘mapped’ together to create a seamless virtual experience, familiar to users of Google’s ‘Street View’.
This enables users to explore world landmarks, discover natural wonders, and step inside locations such as museums, arenas, restaurants - and airlines - with 360-degree views.
British Airways’ double-daily Club World London City service was launched in September 2009 and since then both aircraft have clocked up over 18 million miles as they have flown customers in luxury between London and New York.
Customers on the prestigious flight – which carries Concorde’s former flight numbers – can enjoy a ‘private jet’ experience, with three cabin crew to serve a specially prepared in-flight menu, fine wines and snacks as they wing their way in privacy across the Atlantic.
They can watch their in-flight entertainment on specially configured iPads and stay in touch with friends, family, or the office, during the flight thanks to OnAir connectivity which allows them to go online and send and receive emails and text messages.
Check in is just 20 minutes before departure at London City, if customers are carrying luggage, or just 15-minutes with just hand luggage. Customers can also enjoy London City Airport’s only private airline lounge, which is specially-dedicated for the Club World London City service, to relax in and enjoy a drink or bite to eat before their flight.
It’s also the only transatlantic service which offers customers pre-clearance of US Customs and Immigration, thanks to a brief stop-over for refuelling in Shannon, Ireland on the BA001, which then allows customers to land at JFK as domestic customers, taking them just minutes to go from landing to boarding a taxi to continue their journey to their final destination.
Until the end of September British Airways is also offering every customer flying from London City to New York a full-sized bottle of unisex Penhaligon’s fragrance and cabin crew are serving customers a cocktail inspired by some of the ingredients that go into every bottle of the special fragrance to mark the opening of Penhaligon’s first Manhattan store.
For further information, please contact the British Airways press office on 020 8738 5100 and email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Charlotte Beeching, Head of Communications at London City Airport on 020 7646 0132 and email: Charlotte.Beeching@londoncityairport.com