By Ken Hegan for MSN Travel

Very cool!

Virgin Airlines has built a professional recording studio for musicians travelling through Heathrow Airport.

Virgin AtlanticSo while you wait for your flight to Nashville, New York, or L.A., you can record an album, edit and mix it, then email or upload it to your producer who’s been desperately waiting for your hit record.

And why not? The Beatles had their White Album, you can have your Wait Album.

Virgin’s unsupervised, industry-standard studio opened in May in their Clubhouse lounge…which is restricted to their Upper Class passengers and Flying Club Gold members, a.k.a. The Already Rich and Famous.

The Clubhouse is certainly a sweet lounge to hang your fur hat in. It offers you hot stone therapy, old-school vintage video games, and eyebrow tinting in their spa.

Need even more inspiration before cutting your tracks? Virgin’s fancy-pants £11 million ($17.5 million CDN) Clubhouse also offers a chaise lounge for you to meditate or fall faint on, courtesy laptops and wi-fi, a “ceiling to floor Japanese water wall” (which let’s just assume uses actual Japanese water), home-cured salmon (easy now, mornings only), a complimentary burger, a 14-meter long cocktail bar, a large “state of the art Multiscreen” offering TV shows, films and sports, plus you can walk upstairs (or why not demand that someone carry you up!) to their Grey Goose Loft Bar and watch for your flight through their “dramatic” skylight.

If you need musical career inspiration, the Clubhouse gives you a chance to meet this intimidatingly handsome chap in the suit. Imagine he’s your record company exec who needs you to deliver that hit song NOW.


As for Virgin’s recording studio, it features a Mac running Pro Tools 10 with the Complete Production Toolkit, an Artist Mix control service and an M-Audio Axiom Pro 25 keyboard. All housed in a pod designed by Guy Wilson of London’s AKA Design.

Virgin recording studio

A spokesperson for Virgin said, “Atlantic’s flights to New York and Los Angeles have long been popular with workers from the entertainment industry, and from now on any musician in need of a place to do some last minute editing, or to indulge a creative spark, can use the studio’s industry standard digital editing and mixings system to do so.”

The Clubhouse is open from 7am to 10.30pm. Plenty of time to cut a classic, right? In fact, as the Telegraph points out, many songs were created while waiting for planes, trains, and automobiles.

“Homeward Bound by Simon and Garfunkel, for example, was written while waiting for a train at Widnes Station, in Cheshire,” said the Telegraph.

Plus the Hollies once wrote a song about picking up girls at bus stops, which is kinda almost nearly the same thing. And while waiting for a train in Spain, I once read the entire Beckett play ‘Waiting for Godot’.

What do you think…should your local airport install a recording studio? And what other fun services would you like to see airlines offer?

— Ken Hegan

Bing: Best travel songs and playlists

Read all of Ken’s MSN travel stories here  

Follow Ken on Twitter: @KenHegan


Photos supplied by Virgin Atlantic