The process of booking travel with airlines or on online travel sites has come a long way from just picking flights. From having a choice of flight times, we also could select or add baggage allowance, add a meal option, or even select your seat on the plane. For many travellers, the ability to select one's own seat before even arriving at the airport check-in counter solves the question of "window or aisle" to get the seat you'd like.

For avid travellers, having a window or aisle seat is a preference that could mean extra comfort onboard a flight or being close to a restroom. Currently we are offered 2D seat maps of planes which have helped millions of travellers find the seat they want. However, Dubai-based Emirates is going beyond the 2D seat map to make selecting your seat a virtual experience.

Emirates is introducing three-dimensional (3D) seat models of the airline's Airbus A380 interiors which could be accessed when booking a flight on the airline's website on a desktop or a mobile device.

The VR experience can be accessed to see the interiors of Emirates Airbus A380, which travellers could preview a seat to see if it meets their needs. Passengers will be able to navigate through First, Business, and Ecnomy cabins and aircraft features such as onboard lounges and lavatories. Customers could also use a VR headset for a hands-free experience.

“As we continually invest to provide our customers with an unmatched travel experience onboard and on the ground, we also work very hard to give our customers a world-class digital experience,” said Alex Knigge, Emirates’ senior vice president, corporate communications, marketing and brand (digital).

“We are pleased to be the world’s first airline to introduce this cutting-edge web VR technology, which offers our customers an immersive opportunity to learn more about the Emirates experience before they step on board.”

Emirates also has plans to expand the experience to cover the entire fleet, including the airline's Boeing 777s. The airline will allow for travellers to make changes and select their seat using the VR experience.