British Airways i360 opens to the public

Today marks the grand opening of the British Airways i360 -the world’s tallest moving observation tower; which has opened it’s doors in the city of Brighton & Hove in the UK.

The sleek attraction has been designed by Marks Barfield Architects; the same designers behind the London Eye – and is revolutionary in terms of design and operation. Up to 199 guests at a time can step inside an aerodynamic glass-pod and slowly ascend to a height of 450ft (138m) for views of up to 26-miles across the South Coast of the UK.

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Photo courtesy of British Airways i360

Situated on the site of the historic West Pier; the tower itself is only 4-metres in diameter; and houses a unique vertical-cable car system – which is the first in the world.

Whilst the tower itself might not look aesthetically pleasing, it’s certainly impressive to witness the glass-pod with its mirrored bottom glide up to the top.

During the day, “flights” last for approximately 20-minutes, and this extends to 30 in the evening. Aboard the glass-pod itself, guests can enjoy the scenic views, and purchase a glass of Nyetimber (English Sparkling Wine), and a variety of other beverages that have been sourced from the region.

The base of the attraction is known as  the “Beach Building”. This houses a gift-shop, and meeting & events space. A restaurant named “The Bellevue Brighton” is scheduled to open later this month. On the promenade level, the iconic toll booths from the beloved West Pier have been recreated. One houses the ticket office, whilst the other is set to feature a Victorian-style tea room – which will open in a few weeks time.

British Airways are the naming rights sponsor for the i360 for its first five-years of operation. Unsurprisingly, journeys on the pod are referred to as “flights”, and tickets actually look like a boarding pass. Guests must also pass through stringent airport security-style screening in order to experience the attraction. As such, no outside food or drink can be permitted.

Tickets for the attraction can be purchased online from the website, or in-person at the ticket office. It’s worth noting you’ll save a bit by choosing to purchase your tickets in advance three-days prior to your visit. If you’re a Brighton & Hove resident who has a specific postal-code; you can sign-up to a local membership scheme for £1 and take advantage of half-price tickets and other benefits. Of course there are some restrictions, but it’s a great perk for local residents.

Will you be planning a visit to the British Airways i360 ? If so, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the brand new attraction and what you think of the guest experience.

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