British Airways Magic 2018 Christmas Surprise: A New York Fairytale

Filed Under: British Airways

British Airways’ ‘BA Magic’ campaign is all about BA surprising some special passengers who have written to them, and then making their dreams come true.

In the past Ben has written about British Airways

Last Christmas they went to incredible lengths to surprise and delight a 12 year old boy with cerebral palsy.

I just watched the video again and …


This got to me just as much as it did a year ago.

This year they have surprised four worthy children who have either suffered loss, or are facing the sort of adversity no child should have to endure.

All four (with a parent or guardian) are sent on a surprise trip to New York. They board a British Airways Boeing 747 for the flight, which has a private upper deck that is ‘decked’ with Christmas decorations and customized headrests.

When they arrive in New York they head to the Plaza Hotel, where some scenes from ‘Home Alone 2: Lost In New York’ are recreated for them.

Here’s the video:

CEO Alex Cruz said of the campaign:

New York is a magical destination to visit at Christmas whether you are a child or an adult, so it was the perfect place to stage our most ambitious BA Magic surprise yet. As our films reveal, the children have had to cope with very challenging circumstances and their stories are moving and inspiring in equal measure. We wanted to give them and their parents a magical start to Christmas they will never forget.

Some of my thoughts:

  • It’s a great video and a great idea, but it didn’t tug at my heart strings as much as Finlay’s story last Christmas – that was a smaller surprise but felt like it had more effect
  • While it’s a famous Christmas movie, would these kids have actually watched ‘Home Alone 2: Lost In New York’ to understand all the references during their trip, given it was released more than a decade before they were born?
  • That Trump impersonator was cringe-worthy
  • The 747 upper deck Club World looks fantastic – if they hadn’t shown the exterior you might think they were on some sort of luxurious BA private jet

Bottom line

BA does a great job with these campaigns and it was always going to be hard to top last Christmas. This one was good, but I think last year’s was one of the best they’ve ever done, so if you only have time to watch one today start with last year’s.

British Airways turns 100 next year, so is promising 100 acts of kindness to celebrate, so expect plenty more surprises next year.

If you ever want to see the gold standard in British Airways videos, grab the tissues, take the phone off the hook, and watch this.

Happy holidays everyone!

  1. Lucky, here in Europe, Home Alone is way more popular than in the US. Every kid from the age of 2 knows both episodes by heart. I’m pretty sure they understood all the references.
    There is no Christmas without Kevin.
    And not just the older ones, even the 2010s generation.

  2. For 99.99999% of their customers British Airways provides garbage product and service in bug infested planes and miserable crew that actively try to make your trip miserable as well. Then they pluck 1 passenger out of thin air and treat them spectacularly. That is not a value proposition I want to buy into.

  3. If only BA’s flight experiences were as good as their videos. Singapore Air wouldn’t have a chance for best airline.

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