There’s nothing quiet about air travel. From the boom of a jet’s engines to the din of the on-board air pressurization system, it’s a wonder that the person seated next to you can doze off so easily. But Virgin Atlantic is aiming to make the on-board transition from stressed to somnolent a little bit easier – on your ears at least – with the help of whispering flight attendants.
The airline’s cabin crew will get help from a “whispering coach” to learn how to keep their voices at a range of 20-30 decibels. Virgin’s service training instructor, Richard Fitzgerald, will be leading the training course to teach the best “tone, volume and sentiment” to provide “the most comfortable experience possible for our passengers.” We can only hope he’ll explain it in a voice loud enough to hear.
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Normal conversation typically ranges between 60 and 70 decibels. Fitzgerald tells the Telegraph that the halved volume range was chosen “due to its calming effect and the fact that it won’t disturb other passengers whilst lights are out.” The whisper war kicks off in anticipation of the airline’s Dream Suite, debuting in April, which features the “largest and most comfortable beds in the sky,” according to the airline. Along with the vocal training, the cabin crew is being taught how to read passengers’ moods and wake them comfortably.
But economy class aboard Virgin might remain the rowdy circus that any plane’s rear cabin often is. After all, the whispers are only for Virgin Atlantic’s highest-paying Upper Class customers, many of whom have shelled out about £6,000 – or nearly 10,000 U.S. dollars – for a journey from London to New York and back. For that price, we’d rather have a parade thrown for us when we walk on board. And don’t forget the loud marching band.