‘Airline’ offers full flying experience without ever taking off


You know what gets me through those long hours of uncomfortable sitting, aching legs, mediocre meals, screaming kids, rude passengers, long waits for the bathroom and mind-numbing boredom on a flight? The promise of what awaits me on the other side.

It’s often said it’s not about the destination, but the journey. I say air travel is absolutely the exception.

None among us would suffer a flight if it wasn’t for the fact it’s the fastest way to get us to where we want to be. That’s the only thing flying has going for it.

So I can’t help but question the latest venture from Japan’s First Airlines, which is giving passengers the whole in-flight experience — without taking them anywhere.

This, folks, is a virtual reality experience. From First Airlines’ base in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, paying “passengers” are handed a boarding pass and directed to their Airbus seats in re-created business and first-class cabins.

With their VR headsets, the travelers — who, let’s be clear, will not actually travel — experience a simulated takeoff and landing. They hear all the safety instructions, in-flight announcements and sounds of aircraft engines, and they’re served in-flight meals, drinks and snacks by flight attendants.

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