Virgin Atlantic has launched a video inspired by ASMR to showcase the sights and sounds that travellers may have missed most.

It has been put together with an emphasis on sounds associated with the flying experience, such as the bing-bong of the call bell, the click shut of the seatbelt and the evocative pop of the champagne cork.

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is when a person gets a tingling sensation, often starting on the scalp and moving down the neck and spine. It can include whispering, isolated sounds such as tapping and ‘oddly satisfying’ imagery.


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Virgin said that, following the government’s Global Travel Taskforce report, its customers’ next trips are “tantalisingly close”.

A spokesperson said: “We know Brits cannot wait to step back onboard, flying to their favourite destination to relax on the beach or reconnect with loved ones and this video will remind of them of those moments they have missed the most.”

A Virgin survey of more than 1,000 British adults suggested that 82% missed the pilot speaking over the PA and 78% missed the tinkling sound of the drinks trolley. Other top flying moments included 76% missing inflight TV and movies, 73% missing being welcomed onboard by cabin crew and 72% missing the inflight meal experience. And 57% of those surveyed said they missed gliding through the airport on the travellator on the way to their boarding gate.

When it comes to holiday sights and sounds, waves lapping on a beach was the most popular, with 94% of Brits saying they missed that sound the most.

Respondents were also asked to rank where they would most like to go on their next holiday from Virgin’s destinations. Joint top were Barbados and New York, with 39%, followed by California with 35% and Florida with 31%.

Corneel Koster, Virgin Atlantic’s chief customer and operating officer, said: “We have missed looking after our customers onboard this past year and cannot wait to welcome them back once restrictions are lifted and travel resumes at scale.

“At Virgin Atlantic, we pride ourselves on offering our customers a brilliantly different experience, so the concept of ASMR and giving people that magical tingly feeling, is the perfect tool to remind our customers of the travel experience that awaits them when they come back to the skies with us.”

Dr Giulia Poerio, a psychology lecturer at the University of Essex, added: “Scientific research supports claims that ASMR is something that can make people feel relaxed. People with ASMR show significant reductions in their heart rates when watching ASMR videos, reductions comparable to other more well-established stress alleviating techniques such as mindfulness and music therapy.

She said ASMR videos have been used to tackle insomnia, reduce stress and anxiety and provide relief from loneliness.

“It’s perhaps no surprise then that many have turned to ASMR content so much during the pandemic,” Dr Poerio added.