It Takes 96 People To Get Each BA Customer Into The Air

Air travel – it’s a simple as book, pack, fly. Or is it? Behind the scenes, there’s a whole army of people that come together to get each customer in the air. In fact, 96 people – as research from British Airways reveals.

To coincide with its latest ‘To Fly. To Serve’ campaign, British Airways has calculated the essential people involved in the customer journey in order to fly. It includes 96 different roles, across 18 different departments, using over 11 external suppliers in the process. The figures rise to 107 roles for premium customers – which can include the additional benefits of fast track boarding, lounge access and personal meet and

To illustrate the point, British Airways has created a montage image, using headshots of people across the airline, its suppliers and partners that represent each of the 96 roles, mixed in with hundreds of images from around the


Abigail Comber, British Airways head of marketing, said: “Our new TV advert shows the work that goes on behind the scenes, in order to get 100,000 people in the air every day. The research gave us a real appreciation for every single person that makes flying a seamless process. From the tug driver to the ramp agent, from NATS air traffic control to our chefs – there’s more people than you realise, that get you from A to Z.”

Looking at just one strand in the chain highlights this. For instance, the fish pie served to customers on board started out at Severn and Wye smokery in Gloucestershire, where fish is farmed. Meanwhile at Gate Gourmet in London, meal trays are assembled and dishes freshly prepared ahead of flying. Kuehne and Nagel deliver cutlery and tablewear for the meal trays. The menu has been considered for quality, taste and seasonality in advance by Mark Tazzioli, British Airways menu manager. On board a member of cabin crew prepares and delivers the meal. Once enjoyed, it’s returned to the aircraft kitchens and loaded into containers. When the aircraft lands, the containers are offloaded and returned to Gate Gourmet, and the process starts again.

Before flying there are 23 crucial roles behind the scenes working to ensure everything is in place for your flight. On the day you fly, there are 38 people that contribute directly to getting you in the air.

On board there’s an average flight team of 16 people, including cabin crew, Captains and Senior First Officers, and upon landing there’s 19 people that ensure your safe arrival.

On board a typical long-haul Boeing 747 flight, there will be 1,263 items of metal cutlery, 735 glasses, 233 toothpicks, 337 copies of High Life magazine, 2,000 ice cubes, 99 full bottles and 326 quarter bottles of wine, 58 toilet rolls, 337 donation envelopes to ‘Flying Start’ charity, and 40 skyflyer packs for children.

British Airways latest ‘To Fly. To Serve.’ TV advert launches on Friday 6 September at 11am on, and will then be shown on ITV during the ‘England versus Moldova’ World Cup qualifier. It follows a customer journey, showing close up shots of the intimate details of flying, panning to wide shots of the aircraft in motion. It draws contrasts between them both, showing the care and thought that goes into every part of their journey.

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