Exercise bikes, meditation classes and a cafe serving healthy food: They are just some of the things we could see on Qantas planes in a few years.
The airline has released research revealing what features customers would like to see on board when it starts flying direct from the east coast of Australia to New York and London, a feat it’s hoping to pull off by 2022.
The main suggestions from customers are:
• Exercise areas: Whether it’s knocking out a few kilometres on an exercise bike or just having an area to stretch, people are keen to keep their bodies active mid-flight.
• Getting zen: Customers have suggested they’d like to have virtual reality relaxation zones on board and be able to have audio mindfulness experiences available when they’re in their seats.
• Better headphones: Noise-cancelling headphones are said to make a world of difference on flights and at the moment they’re only provided free of charge to business or first class passengers. But that could change in the next few years with customers suggesting all passengers should have access to them.
• Cafe: Let’s face it, sometimes when it’s mealtime during a flight you’re just not in the mood to eat. But then you convince yourself you should eat because you don’t know how long it’ll be until the next meal is served. Oh the drama. Customers have suggested that in the future they’d love to have access to a cafe on board so they can go up and order healthy food and drinks when it suits them.
CEO of Qantas International Alison Webster said the airline has heard the customer feedback and will do all they can to get some of the suggestions in place by 2022.
“Our job now is to determine where the most demand is and create this cabin in a way that makes it both affordable for customers and commercially viable for the airline,” Ms Webster said.
“Everything is on the table and we are excited about what innovations may come from this research.”
Qantas already has a number of health and wellbeing initiatives in place for long-haul flights, including specially designed and timed lighting to promote wake and sleep at the right times for passengers to help the body adapt to a new time zone and an in-flight menu designed by Rockpool restaurateur and chef Neil Perry which uses certain ingredients in meals at various points of the flight to aid sleep and wakefulness.