British Airways invited me out to its Waterside international head office at Heathrow last week. The invite was a teaser of what’s to come with their Home Advantage Influencer Programme (apparently, somebody at BA reckons I’m influential – neato!). It also served as a very fun taxi down BA’s memory runway.
You’ve heard about BA’s Home Advantage campaign, right? And surely you’ve seen those “Don’t Fly. Support Team GB” ads? It’s all pretty cool stuff. I just wonder how BA got permission – and how much they had to pay – to use The Clash’s London Calling in the ads. I can tell you this: the BA folk are extremely proud of and absolutely loving their role as the official airline partner of the London 2012 Olympic Games. They’ve got a whole lot of killer stuff lined up around the Home Advantage campaign too.
Maybe even a little cooler for a geek like me was getting to visit the British Airways Heritage Centre, aka the Speedbird Centre. Located at the heart of BA’s HQ, the centre is home to the British Airways Heritage collection which preserves the records and artefacts of BA predecessor companies BOAC, BEA, BSAA and the pre-war Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd.
The collection is comprised of all sorts of ephemera, memorabilia and artefacts as well as more than 130 uniforms from the 1930s to the present day, a large collection of aircraft models, pics of celebrities and other notable passengers through the years and lots more.
Taking a gander at the old stewardess uniforms was a retro hoot (very Mad Men) and viewing the handwritten charts of the 1952 flight Princess Elizabeth took to Kenya and her returning flight as Queen was a fascinating bit of history to have laid out on a table in front of me.