• Airline releases ASMR inspired flight video, showcasing the sights and sounds Brits have missed most during the pandemic
  • A survey of over 1,000 British adults showed that more than two thirds of Brits are looking forward to their next long haul flight and top destinations include Barbados, New York, California and Florida   
  • 82% missed the pilot speaking over the PA and 78% missed the tinkling sound of the drinks trolley

Virgin Atlantic has revealed the sights and sounds of flying that Brits have missed most through an ASMR inspired video. From the bing-bong of the call bell, the click shut of the seatbelt and the evocative pop of the champagne cork, all the magical moments of travel have been captured giving viewers that signature ASMR tingly feeling. Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR) is a phenomenon where a person gets a tingling sensation, often starting on the scalp and moving down the neck and spine. This physiological response can be triggered by a number of sights and sounds including whispering, isolated sounds such as tapping and beautiful or ‘oddly satisfying’ imagery.

It’s been over a year since the majority of the British public has been able to get away on holiday, however, with the recent government announcement, their next trip is tantalisingly close. 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. 

In a survey of more than 1,000 British adults, 82% of respondents missed the pilot speaking over the PA and 78% missed the tinkling sound of the drinks trolley coming down the aisle. 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. 57% of those surveyed even 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 clear winner with 94% of Brits saying they missed the sound the most. Respondents were also asked to rank where they would most like to go on their next holiday. Joint top of the leader board were Barbados and New York, with 39% of respondents keen to get there when restrictions lift. They were followed closed by California with 35% and Florida with 31%. For a full list of countries see Thrive report attached in email.


Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer commented:

“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. 

“Whether it’s the ubiquitous clicking shut of the overhead locker, or the familiar routine of the safety demonstration, it’s the sensory memory of these moments that our customers long for, heading off on their well deserved holidays, starting a fabulous adventure.”


Dr Giulia Poerio, Psychology Lecturer at University of Essex commented:

“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. We now have more objective evidence that ASMR is relaxing (it's not just people telling us that ASMR makes them feel relaxed - their physiology is telling us the same thing too). ASMR videos allow people to experience the feeling ‘on demand’ and with greater longevity and intensity. This has meant that people use ASMR videos for insomnia, to reduce stress and anxiety and even to provide relief from loneliness. It’s perhaps no surprise then that many have turned to ASMR content so much during the pandemic. 

“ASMR-tingling is associated with increased activation in brain regions involved in emotion, empathy and affiliative behaviours. As a result, ASMR has been likened to caring behaviours – suggesting that ASMR activates neurological pathways involved in socioemotional bonding. This idea is somewhat supported by research showing that ASMR videos increase feelings of social connection.” 

Customers can watch three versions of the ASMR inspired videos including short individual triggers on TikTok, a 3 minute flight experience on the Virgin Atlantic Website at https://virg.in/ASMR, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube, or a 1 hour extended version, available on the Virgin Atlantic Blog and YouTube, to while away some time dreaming of the next flight they’ll be taking. 

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Virgin Atlantic ASMR