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.
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.”
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.