Awesome: British Airways Helps An Aunt Get To Hong Kong For 24 Hours

Filed Under: British Airways, Videos

If there’s one thing I have to give British Airways credit for (other than how many business class seats they can squeeze into little spaces), it’s their marketing videos.

For example, British Airways’ 2013 “Visit Mum” campaign made me cry (and if it doesn’t make you cry, you may not have a soul). It’s a brilliant abstract ad that doesn’t directly encourage you to fly British Airways, but rather tells a story that will hopefully resonate with people, and make them associate visiting family with British Airways.

In 2016 they had another ad targeting the Indian market, which was also great, but just couldn’t really compete with the 2013 ad, in my opinion.

However, lately British Airways has been doing an ad campaign where people write in sharing a trip they’d like to take for a special reason, and British Airways (sometimes) makes it happen.

For example, in August they helped a man propose on a London to Larnaca flight.

Today British Airways shared their latest story where they helped someone with a special trip, and I really love this. Here’s how British Airways describes it:

British Airways has worked its magic with a whirlwind 24-hour adventure in Hong Kong for deserving customer, and Skype aunt, Sarah Macfarlane.

London-based Sarah wrote to the airline to ask for help to fulfil her wish to see her nephew, Brodie, in his big break into showbiz: a starring role in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert… 6,000 miles away in Hong Kong.  Sarah’s nephews and niece have lived in Hong Kong all their lives, so Sarah has missed out on many school plays, football matches and milestone family moments. Sarah vowed that she would get to Hong Kong to watch Priscilla but, with work piling up, she explained she only had a single day to get there and back.

Despite having no previous acting experience, nine year old Brodie has been cast in the role of Benji in the Tony Award-winning musical. British Airways stepped in to help this ‘aunt on a mission’, with a few surprises thrown in along the way.

Met by fabulous costume characters from the show at Heathrow Terminal 5 and Hong Kong airport, Sarah took to the skies in an A380 to surprise Brodie in a trail of glitter and feather boas, and armed with her very own bespoke High Life inflight magazine with Brodie as the cover star.

After watching Brodie shine on stage, Sarah gave him the surprise of his life in his dressing room and declared that their reunion hug was “worth traveling all the way around the world for”. The pair were then surprised with a helicopter trip over Hong Kong to make the most of their family time before Sarah had to head back to the airport.

Here’s the video:

While not quite as emotional as British Airways’ India ad, I thought this was both touching and cute. When you boil it down, the beauty of airlines is the ability to easily connect people who are thousands of miles apart, and nothing quite drives that point home like this.

  1. I’m surprised they did not stick her in COACH for BA, so nice that they gave her Club.

  2. Am I the only one who still can’t get over the amount of sass the Heathrow greeter has. You go girl..

  3. I have been stuck in the blue level executive club since 2007 as Ba takes tier points way each year so when I tried to extend a stay in England due to a family death , BA charged me £150 to change . They did not care or show any compassion

  4. @Lin
    you have to understand that you were not on youtube to impress some bloggers that easily fall for cheesy fake ads, so there was just nothing BA could do for you 😉

  5. I booked at the last minute today and all I could get was BA club. I was so shocked by how cramped the 777 cabin and seat were, that I walked backed to premium economy and offered my seat to a young lady sitting by a window in premium economy. The switch made her day, and mine

  6. Can’t believe she actually made it to the play on time given BA’s total & complete inability to depart on time.

  7. I can’t cry – they didn’t make captions for Deaf viewers – that’s so typical of BA to ignore Deaf pax as always!

  8. @ Roxanni

    All modern emotion-based advertising is based on Bernays’ work. He was an evil genius.

    Being Freud’s nephew, Bernays understood from the master how to manipulate us gullible peasants into buying more stuff (he worked for big tobacco, successfully persuading women that smoking was a cool thing for them to do, at a time when it was socially frowned on).

    What do you think things like “come fly the friendly skies” are all about?

  9. I’m sorry, Lucky, because it’s BA, I have to confess to being very synical. If you want to really know what BA are about see @Lin’s comment above. Isolated stories for PR purposes are simply that.

    As a company they treat their staff like crap who in turn treat their passengers like crap. Just look at their industrial relations record. Any company that doesn’t treat their staff as their most valuable asset is a company worth avoiding.

    Sadly my tear ducts are dry and I have no heart in this case.

  10. @ Culverin

    “Any company that doesn’t treat their staff as their most valuable asset is a company worth avoiding.”

    Any company that treats its staff as its most valuable asset will go bankrupt. The most important asset of any company that has ever existed is money. Anyone who thinks staff are the most important asset is deluded, or has actually believed the bullshit spouted by some management nerds.

    For more support for my viewpoint Google Dilbert’s take on this.

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