In its early days, meditation app Headspace signed a big partnership deal with Virgin Atlantic back in 2011. Passengers would get in-flight access to guided meditation sessions led by Andy Puddicombe, the app's founder.
By appearing on Virgin's flights, Headspace got exposure and brought meditation further into the mainstream. The move made Virgin Atlantic seem cutting-edge, and it eventually launched a race for meditation apps to start partnering with airlines. At that point, however, Calm — Headspace's current rival and now a partner of American Airlines — hadn't even come onto the scene.
Looking back, it's a natural fit that an airline and meditation app would want to team up. Nothing creates tension like a flight delay, a forced bag check at the gate, a middle seat, or cramped legroom. And of course, some people have a real fear of flying.
JetBlue and Inscape launched the latest airline and meditation app partnership last week. JetBlue is known for offering some out-of-the-box perks (blue potato chips, anyone?), so the fact that it's going with an app that's less well known isn't too surprising — especially since Inscape is designing somewhat cheeky, flying-specific guided meditations, like Land With a Smile and Tranquil not Turbulent.
Headspace's in-flight content is also getting an upgrade. The app announced back in August that new meditation sessions called Sleep by Headspace would be coming on board Virgin Atlantic flights.
We predict that most airlines will have a meditation partner in the next year or two. And if Inscape keeps up its clever content, it just might become Headspace's new rival.
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