Virgin Atlantic follows Google Glass trials with use of Apple iBeacon tech

Virgin Atlantic Upper Class passengers flying from London Heathrow will be able to receive notifications and helpful communications sent straight to their iPhones through Apple's iBeacon technology.

The airline, which trialled Google Glass with its Upper Class service earlier this year, sends different advice and communications to iPhone owners depending on the area of the airport they are in. For example, if the passenger is in the private security channel, they will receive notification on their phones to open their electronic boarding passes in order to be ready for check in.

READ: Virgin Atlantic to trial Google Glass to help check-in passengers

Passengers in the main area of the airport will receive special partner offers, such as zero per cent commission on currency exchange as they pass the MoneyCorp curreny exchange booth.

"At this stage, we’ve only skimmed the surface on the advantages that this technology can offer our customers," said Reuben Arnold, Virgin Atlantic's brand and customer engagement director.

"In the future, we expect it to further personalise our passenger’s journey, such as notifying an Upper Class passenger that there is an open appointment in the Clubhouse spa or introducing the crew members on their flight as they board the aircraft.

"Our passengers are increasingly more connected as they travel and by using advanced technology we can improve customer experience and continue to put innovation at the heart of the flying experience."

Other uses for the technology in future could include the transmission of maps of the airport and what content is available on the in-flight entertainment for specific passengers' flights.