Ultimate Airport Dubai television show

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This topic contains 25 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  TheCount 15 Jan 2015
at 23:51

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  • Anonymous


    Did anyone else watch this on the National Geographic channel?

    The access the camera crews got was amazing, and I learned an awful lot about airports and operation therein.

    Great show which literally covered everything from customs (and several large drugs finds), to engineering, to ops, air traffic control, pilot training, refitting aircraft, freight, emergency’s (real ones at that!) and passengers without much of a clue..always good entertainment.

    Alas it was a bit light in showing us how to ‘train’ cabin crew and how scratches aboard a new A380 were damaging the reputation of the airline…..;-)

    I don’t know if it is available on catch-up, but if it is I’d highly recommend it.



    Its a really good show. Loved the operations insight…

    It is available to view on youtube.



    I saw one episode where someone was caught smuggling shirts soaked in liquid cocaine.. At the end of the episode, it confirmed the passenger was let off!

    Agree it was a very interesting series….


    Happy New Year to everyone in the forum!

    Thanks AOTG – I will try and take a look this week.

    For anyone that missed: “A Very British Airline” I believe it is still available on Highlife Entertainment (it certainly was a couple of weeks ago)………


    I have watched a few episodes of this series , very impressive place and the CEO of Dubai airports overseeing this is Paul Griffths who’s previous employment was working for BAA at LGW , perhaps if he was still there then AOTG experience of LGW would be more to his liking .?? or if he had been retained he could be making LHR a world beating airport instead of making Dubai such a success , we have the talent here but are we offering people incentives , realising their ambitions , paying them enough ???


    I think the issue for Mr Griffiths was the opportunity in Dubai to have almost limitless funds to realise the dream….


    I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Perhaps it could be compulsory viewing for staff who work at LHR and they could model themselves on the helpful and willing people who are working at DXB – and so many of them are Brits.


    Yep , I’m sure limitless funds and good renumeration certainly help


    An interesting point about money/remuneration.

    One of the things usually trotted out when people complain about unfair competition from the likes of Emirates is that the airline/airport have access to large pools of immigrant labour living on low wages and poor conditions.

    However when the airline/airport presents itself in a good light it’s because there is a limitless budget and good remuneration!!!

    Maybe the reality is somewhere between the two – the airport staff actually enjoy their work and understand how to provide good service.


    I have some experience of fly on the wall documentarys. I can tell you that the PR department were over it like flies on a rotting corpse, I made sure the staff that were even close to filming were staff I was happy would show our business in a positive light. I had no right at all to be involved in editing of the footage used other than an agreement it must fairly reflect what was going on. However I did have the absolute right to decide what, where and when filming could takeplace. I watched a few episodes of the Dubai airport show, and like most of that type you saw the same half dozen characters over and over again. Not random, they would be six chosen by Dubai airport/Emirates knowing they would be reflected well. They did not film the other 5994 staff!


    I’m sure the whole package offered to Mr Griffths was reasonable as it must have been a real wrench to leave BAA ?
    Also I think DXB is an amazing airport , when I flew there a few years ago with EK in biz from LGW the T3 experience was awesome , however using T1 after flying there with BA the wait at immigration was quite poor , worse than I’ve ever experienced at either LHR or LGW , but very friendly staff in all areas


    Western expats and top management (usually Emiratis) are the well renumerated. The majority of Pakistani’s, Philippino’s etc are not.


    When this series was last discussed a month or so ago, it was pointed out by someone (not me) that all the “crises” have a particular habit of being sorted out entirely straightforwardly and with smiles all round. Never having flown Emirates, I am no position to comment either way whether that actually reflects the reality of flying with EK. The latter certainly does have the advantage of 24/7 operations, new equipment, a pliable, cheaper and non-unionised staff, full state backing and no historical pension liabilities (cf. “a pension fund with wings…” O’ Leary’s critique of BA….

    It would be interesting to know whether or not the grunts fixing the runway lights or building the new runway are on quite the same expat terms as the mainly anglophone expats (from Oz, S Africa and the UK) who appear to run most of the operation. I rather suspect not.

    Overall, the National Geographic production does actually show you really what does happen behind the scenes – beyond the application of lip-gloss in cabin crew training. it is a very well made, insightful and interesting production – in contrast to the utterly risible and lame production “a very British airline” made by Lion Productions for the BBC. That is a criticism of Lion Productions BTW – rather than BA.

    For an alternative take on airports, “The Secret Life of the Airport” is worth watching:



    For those interested in airports behind-the-scenes, the BBC is covering Bangkok next, starting later this month.


    BBC3 Thursday 22nd January.

    On first glance though it appears to follow the low standard of the BA and to some extent LHR character driven docudramas ie without serious insights, which the BEEB nowadays aspires.

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