To celebrate Red Nose Day’s 25th anniversary, BA is hosting an 1980s-themed fundraising “gig in the sky” event, as well as comparing the in-flight experience of 1988 and 2013.
Paul Jarvis, curator at the British Airways Heritage Collection, said: “The eighties was an exciting time for travel. In 1988 when the first Red Nose Day took place, far-flung countries were becoming much more accessible.”
Back in 1988 the airline's business class catering consisted of duck a l’orange, cheese and crackers, smoked loin of pork, omelette served with chipolata, fruit salad, jelly with Grand Marnier and English summer pudding. Today’s Club World customers can enjoy poached lobster and edamame salad, grilled fillet of beef, chicken tikka masala and elderflower cheese cake with fresh raspberries.
Cabin crew uniforms were designed by Roland Klein in 1988, with women wearing a vertical-striped outfit with a blue blazer and men dressed in grey slacks. The modern-day uniform is designed by Julian MacDonald and the blue colour scheme clearly remains, with both men and women wearing a dark blue suit, with a red, white and blue tie or neck scarf, respectively.
Films shown on board have moved on from Tom Selleck in the caper comedy Three Men and a Baby to Christian Bale in the special effects-laden The Dark Knight Rises, and music choices have shifted from Whitney Houston to Taylor Swift.
BA was flying the Concorde in 1988 but is now looking forward to welcoming the state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner and Airbus A380 to its fleet in the coming months.
The “gig in the sky” will take place on Sunday, March 10, with eighties stalwarts Bananarama, Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet and Go West performing in the lounge and on board a special charity flight on a Boeing 767, in partnership with Magic FM.
BA is giving away 40 pairs of tickets to be in the audience for the event and help raise money for Red Nose Day. To enter the competition, text “Fly” to 64100 before midnight on March 1. Texts are charged at £5 with all profits donated to Comic Relief. Entrants must be aged 18 and over and hold a valid UK passport.
Report by Scott Carey