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Fly Happily on British Airways

Fly Happily on British Airways

The Dreamliner Experiment

Very recently, a few volunteers were flown by British Airways on its BA 189 Dreamliner flight from Heathrow to NY. This was part of an experiment that was being conducted by the airline and the study pertained to the manner in which passengers react to night flights across different time zones. The fliers all used what BA is referring to as the “Happiness Blanket” and the Airline claimed that the fliers would feel happier and it would help them combat jet lag.

 

Different Strokes

Though this might sound a little out of the ordinary, the purpose behind the blanket is quite an important one. Frequent fliers are very severely affected by jet lag and their body clock is constantly in struggle mode to adjust to the changes in day rhythms. This study was conducted with the express objective of finding out how passenger conditions can be improved. The fact is that the environment in an airliner is highly-controlled and air travel is very different from say travelling by train or bus. Airlines have to take a lot of pain to help their passengers actually try to relax.

Making it Glow

 
So how exactly does this happiness blanket work? To start out with, it measures and displays the mood of the person. It has a glowing covering that uses the neurosensors that are fitted in a headband. These neurosensors measure the brain waves of the passengers. In addition, the material has an interlace of fiber optics that can indicate how relaxed the person is. If the blanket glows with the red light- it is an indication of minimal relaxation while a blue light indicates maximum relaxation.

Science and Marketing

 
Of course, the idea of the luminous blankets is based on science, but there is also a marketing element involved in this particular effort. It is a great way of showing the public exactly how the airline is making every effort to make travel more relaxing for the fliers. British Airways hopes to use the data that are assimilated from the study, to make different adjustments in the routines and options and make the travel as relaxing as possible. This includes mealtimes, lighting, seating positions as well as the kinds of films that are being played.

The Glow of Relaxation

Once the airline makes all these adjustments, it will supposedly help passengers relax and sleep much better while they are in the air. All these things will provide fewer distractions and will help the fliers sleep better which gives the body a chance to adjust to the changing time zones in a much better way. And so, even as flight technology advances and airplanes zoom across time zones, airlines will make every effort to ensure that their customers are “Happy”.

 
To say that the interior of every aircraft will be glowing red and blue, is probably, saying too much too soon, but the fact that airlines like BA take efforts such as these to maximize comfort for their passengers, goes to show that happiness is not something that can be blanketed for long.

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