A Very British Airline

Series 1 - Episode 3

Radio Times
Review by:
David Butcher

We’ve seen our share of spanners slipped into the cheery works of British Airways in this series. Here a passenger has a panic attack as a plane is about to take off for Miami: both passenger and luggage have to be unloaded at a cost of many thousands of pounds. All in a day’s work for ops control manager Kevin, who looks like a man whose feathers would barely be ruffled by a hurricane.

There’s also a suspected firearm in a passenger’s suitcase and a family who turn up too late to get on their flight (again: baggage must be found and unloaded). But the most interesting strand involves trainee pilots Joel and Andy, who are approaching the end of their 18-month course – the first new pilots BA has trained since 9/11.

About this programme

3/3. Operations manager Kevin Mackenzie discusses the challenges of working in Heathrow - the world's most congested airport - and reveals how the airline handles the knock-on effects of passengers' actions - from panic attacks before take-off, to suspicious items discovered in luggage. At BA's flight centre, cadet pilots Joel Garabedian and Andy McLellan reach the final stages of their 18-month course in which they have been learning to fly passenger planes - each paying £84,000 for the privilege. Narrated by Stephen Mangan. Last in the series.

Cast and crew


Stephen Mangan


Executive Producer
Nick Catliff
Series Director
James Rogan
Series Producer
James Rogan

Add new comment