Words by Natalie Paris
Air passengers can now take a virtual seat on a British Airways, business-only flight to New York by using Google Maps.
Online users can experience walking up to the plane across London City Airport tarmac by moving a Google Maps marker across 360 degree photographs of the airport.
Potential passengers can then climb the steps and turn right to see inside the cabin of an A318 Club World London City 32-seater business jet.
They can also take a virtual stroll back the other way and walk through the doors into the small private lounge provided for BA’s business class customers, and wander through to duty free and check-in.
The national carrier hopes that the innovation will intrigue potential customers who will be able to see what the inside of a business-only flight looks like from the comfort of their armchairs.
The tour also has an information overlay, enabling users to find out more about parts of the airport such as details of concessions and directions on how to get from A to B.
The photography was shot 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.
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 stiched together to create a seamless virtual experience.
British Airways’ double-daily Club World London City service was launched in September 2009 and since then, the two planes that fly the route have clocked up more than 18 million miles.
"Seats on the Airbus A318 aircraft are set in a 2x2 configuration," said John O'Ceallaigh in his review of the service. "Each converts into a 6ft (183cm) fully flat bed and features two personal power points that can accept UK, EU and US plugs without the need for an adaptor.
"A small screen can be extended for privacy. Though the seat was generally agreeable, I found its headrest bulbous and uncomfortable, particularly when attempting to sleep."
This article was written by Natalie Paris from The Daily Telegraph and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.