JetBlue is introducing AirSMR, a nine-minute audio experience that features calming sounds of airport announcements, the light chatter of crowds, snack bags crinkling, and airplanes landing and taking off in the distance. On paper, none of that sounds like it could possibly be anything other than an aural nightmare. But the experience is surprisingly soothing, particularly because it’s a made-up experience set in a fantasy version of JetBlue Terminal 5 at John F. Kennedy International Airport where nobody is having a travel-induced meltdown. The video is available on JetBlue’s YouTube as well as the airline’s inflight meditation sessions from wellness app Inscape.
The nine-minute video features a peaceful woman’s voice narrating a perfect airport scenario, like you arrived at your departing gate early and there’s “plenty of time to grab a snack, or finish watching that episode.” In the background, light footsteps of people calmly walking to their gates, and the sound of various luggage rolling smoothly can be heard. This is much more preferable to what usually happens, such as an entire youth soccer team boarding on your flight or a squad of newborn babies who all have ear infections.
The airline partnered with researcher Craig Richard to create the soundscapes. And judging from his experience of writing the book on “Brain Tingles” and his life’s work of researching ASMR, he must be the most zen person alive.
AirSMR is part of a trend where airlines are trying to entice customers through exclusive in-flight content. JetBlue recently inked a deal with Spotify and Showtime to bring podcasts and full seasons of Showtime series to customers in the air. If no amount of in-flight entertainment can change your thoughts on air travel, British Airways introduced VR entertainment on its first class flights this year, so you can pretend you’re in an alternate reality and not 35,000 feet in the air.