Japanese firm serves up virtual reality holidays

An employee, dressed as a flight attendant, serving appetisers to guests on First Airlines, a virtual first-and business-class airline experience facility in Tokyo. The Japanese company is offering trips to Paris on flights that never leave the groun
PHOTO: REUTERS

An employee, dressed as a flight attendant, serving appetisers to guests on First Airlines, a virtual first-and business-class airline experience facility in Tokyo.

The Japanese company is offering trips to Paris on flights that never leave the ground.

This week, 12 passengers sat back and relaxed in first-and business-class seats, enjoying a four-course dinner and immersing themselves in the sights and sounds of the City of Light via a 360-degree virtual reality (VR) tour.

"A real trip is a hassle to prepare for, and expensive, and takes time. So I think it is good that we can enjoy all this hassle-free," said Mr Takashi Sakano, 39, according to Reuters.

Mr Takashi was on his first VR trip, and said that he wanted to "travel" to Rome next time.

The two-hour "flights" to holiday spots like Paris, Rome, Hawaii and New York cost only 6,600 yen (S$81) each, and have been fully booked since the company opened in 2016.

More destinations will be added soon, including domestic flights around Japan, with meals highlighting the region's cuisine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2018, with the headline 'Japanese firm serves up virtual reality holidays'. Print Edition | Subscribe