British Airways stared into space to find a cure for jet lag and the result is launched tomorrow (Monday March 29).
A team of NASA scientists joined forces with the airline’s own medical experts to solve the biggest problem facing the flying public.
The result is a new “Well Being” service which promises to stop high-flying business travellers falling asleep on the job and holiday makers dropping off over dinner.
It includes the first ever “Well Being Ambassadors”, cabin crew who have received specific training in “alertness management” which they can pass onto passengers face to face during their flight.
They can look at individual flight plans and give detailed advice covering everything from when and what to eat, when to nap, when to exercise and when to change their clocks onto local time.
Videos and magazine articles in-flight will back up this personal health service.
The newly-opened Arrivals Lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal 4 then lets passengers put theory into practice with a gym, masseurs, rest areas and a vitamin packed breakfast bar.
A separate advice pack has been written for the airline’s own globe-trotting staff, including flight and cabin crew, dealing specifically with how to maintain a healthy lifestyle while spreading their wings.
The whole programme has been developed by British Airways Doctor David Flower and Californian company Alertness Solutions, headed by former NASA scientist Dr Mark Rosekind and his astronaut colleagues.
Dr Rosekind said: “One in five people think sleep’s a waste of time. In fact it’s a vital physical need. Judgement and decision making powers decline by half when sleep is lacking. It should be considered like food, drink and air - vital for survival.”
Working with air crew, he has carried out scientific studies looking at flying and its impact on bodily functions particularly the time keeper in the brain called the circadian clock.
Dr David Flower said “All sorts of books, potions and pills have promised to cure jet lag but what we are offering is a sensible range of advice based on solid research. This is a service no other airline provides.”