Meditation channel added to Virgin Australia's in-flight system to help anxious travellers

A meditation channel has been added to Virgin Australia's long-haul flight entertainment system to make flying less stressful.

The airline announced this today after Virgin's founder Sir Richard Branson launched a new partnership with the not-for-profit group, Smiling Mind.

Founded in 2012, Smiling Mind is a not-for-profit web and app-based meditation program developed by psychologists and educators, and has over 2.6 million app downloads.

Virgin Australia’s public affairs manager of operations Libby Armstrong said the programme will be especially useful for those travelling with anxiety.

Early next year, the airline will also implement a ticking box in their booking system which allows travellers to discreetly identify their travel anxiety, giving them extra support during the flight.  

These passengers will then be directed to Smiling Mind's in-flight meditations on the entertainment system.

"Travelling is stressful, and I think it’s the lack of control people have about travelling. If we can give back a bit of control, that will make all the difference," Ms Armstrong told  The Daily Telegraph.

"I know lots of people who have been struck by anxiety and it’s a horrible thing to have to suffer. Hopefully (the in-flight meditations) will introduce more people to meditation as well because it could be an added weapon for people to overcome their fears," said Sir Richard.