While you’re sitting in coach, trying to save your knees from being crushed and fighting over the arm rest, passengers in Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class between New York and London will be deciding which piece of art to buy from renowned British street artist Ben Eine.
The paintings, billed as “street art” and priced from $4,000 – $24,000, are available to view in person in the airline’s clubhouses in New York’s JFK, Newark airport and London Heathrow. Passengers can then purchase Eine’s works at 35,000 feet via the airline’s in-flight entertainment system. Special videos on the making of the artworks will be featured on the in-flight entertainment system.
Ten works are available for purchase.
To create the Gallery in the Air, the airline said, Eine called upon his own experiences on Virgin Atlantic, his perspective on New York and London, and research on the airline’s founder, Sir Richard Branson.
“My philosophy through all my work, be it on canvas or on the street, is about pushing boundaries and not going with the flow because everyone else is doing something a certain way,” said Eine. “I respect Virgin Atlantic’s brave and challenging attitude and the way they go against the grain, so I jumped at the chance to be part of the first ever Gallery in the Air. We have created a completely original way of appreciating and buying art – a new frontier for the industry.”
The Gallery in the Air is the latest luxury added for Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class passengers. Last year, the airline employed a “whispering coach” to instruct the crew, “coaching on the tone, volume and sentiment cabin crew should use whilst talking to Upper Class passengers,” the airline said.
Upper Class passengers also get to have a drink with Branson in the form of an ice cube. ”Little Richard” ice cubes were created using the exact measurements of Branson’s head.