Emirates has had a history of incorporating premium features in order to lure and retain customers. That includes offerings like large onboard bars as well as complimentary Surface tablets to use inflight for those affected by the US electronics ban. And other airlines have turned to upgraded features to pull in more passengers — offering more comfortable seating and fast WiFi.
The airline, which earlier this year posted the first decline in profits it has seen in five years, has also had to start charging customers to choose their seats. And Emirates’ Chief Digital and Innovation Officer, Christoph Mueller, is spearheading the push to retain passengers in the face of large, budget airline rivals.
But this move feels a little gimmicky. There aren’t many details about how Emirates plans to use the AR gear and it wouldn’t be surprising if it’s just jumping on the AR/VR hype in a bout of desperation.
Mueller envisions the goggles being used to give flight staff more information on a passenger’s travel preferences so that they can personalize their service. The AR goggles might also be offered to passengers to assist with airport navigation or food menu browsing. But with current AR goggles still quite large and cumbersome, it doesn’t seem that they’ll fit in with the Emirates’ look quite yet.
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