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Fairytale in New York: A very Kevin Christmas by British Airways

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© Image Stuart Bailey

British Airways whisked four deserving children (each with a parent) away for a once-in-a-lifetime festive weekend in New York City

·       The children were able to ‘live like Kevin’ through their exciting experiences which were inspired to follow in the footsteps of one of the world’s most famous child stars in a much-loved Christmas film

·       The trip included a VIP flight, a stay at the world-renowned Plaza hotel and surprises delivered by a selection of popular celebrity faces including Pixie Lott, Harry Maguire, Maya Jama, Jodie Whittaker, Millie Bobby Brown and Jon Culshaw as President Trump

·       The trip marks the start of the BA Magic 100 project, which will see 100 acts of kindness performed by the airline in its Centenary year, 2019

‘A Very Kevin Christmas’ represents British Airways’ biggest and best BA Magic surprise so far and has been captured in two films released today showing New York in all its festive splendour. The first film is a movie-style teaser.

The second, a longer chronicle of their adventure, includes interviews with parents revealing the inspiring and moving background stories of each of the young people in the group.

During the three-day trip, British Airways unveiled a variety of movie-esque experiences including a stay at the iconic Plaza Hotel, ice skating in Central Park, a visit to the Rockettes show at the Radio City Music Hall, toy shopping in the newly re-opened FAO Schwarz and an ice cream feast in the Plaza Hotel’s most exclusive and prestigious guest room, The Presidential Suite.


A medley of celebrity faces worked behind the scenes with the airline to announce the experiences to the four children, who were each nominated for the trip by those around them for their inspirational stories1.

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© Image Stuart Bailey

The star-studded cameos started at London’s Heathrow Terminal 5, where Pixie Lott revealed the trip destination during an intimate acoustic performance of ‘Walking in a Winter Wonderland’.

They were then checked-in to at the British Airways desk by Harry Maguire and Maya Jama to fly in the specially re-branded ‘Kevin Class’, which saw the children and their parents given exclusive use of the Club World cabin on the upper deck of a Boeing 747.

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© Image Stuart Bailey

More surprises were introduced by Stranger Things star, Millie Bobby Brown and Dr Who star, Jodi Whitaker, who had both recorded personal video messages to the children. The video from Jodi Whittaker was revealed to the children via the giant screen at One Times Square, and the famous ABC Supersign showed the children’s names and a ‘Happy Christmas’ message from the team at British Airways.

The young group also had a personal meeting at the Plaza Hotel with the current President of the United States, played by Jon Culshaw.

This special trip kicks off #BAMagic100 which will see the airline thank its customers by surprising them with 100 acts of kindness (big and small), throughout its Centenary year.

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© Image Stuart Bailey

Alex Cruz, British Airways’ Chairman and CEO said: “New York is a magical destination to visit at Christmas whether you are a child or an adult, so it was the perfect place to stage our most ambitious BA Magic surprise yet. As our films reveal, the children have had to cope with very challenging circumstances and their stories are moving and inspiring in equal measure. We wanted to give them and their parents a magical start to Christmas they will never forget.

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“As part of our centenary celebrations in 2019 we’ll also be launching BA Magic 100 when we’ll look forward to surprising many more of our customers.”

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© Image Stuart Bailey

The movie style trailer as well as behind the scenes video of the children’s adventure can be found at www.britishairways.com/bamagic
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© Image Stuart Bailey

About the children

Belal’s story

Belal is a ten-year old boy from London who lived in the walkway housing beneath Grenfell Tower at the time of the devastating fire in June 2017. He and his family were some of the first people to witness the events unfolding that night and tragically lost some of their friends that night, and their home which they have never been able to go back to.

Bradley’s story

Bradley is a nine-year old boy from North Devon. Last year Bradley was involved in a particularly serious car accident with his mum and older sister, Kiera, whose resulting injuries were fatal. Kiera donated her organs after the accident and ever since, Bradley and his family have been raising awareness of organ donation.

Mayana’s story

Mayana is a nine-year old girl from Surrey. In September 2017 her mum Jemily was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer called pseudomyxoma peritonei (PMP).  This cancer affects about two in a million people. After bravely undergoing extensive surgery, Jemily recently fell ill again and is undergoing further treatment. The news of her mum’s diagnosis has been extremely difficult for Mayana but she continues to smile and support the rest of her family.

Sophie’s story

Sophie is an 11-year old girl from Edinburgh. She was diagnosed with a brain tumour in October 2017, on her big brother’s birthday. A few months before Sophie was diagnosed, her twin sister Megan got all the symptoms of the tumour but was given the all clear before the family discovered Sophie’s illness. For the last year Sophie has been receiving treatment and battling this condition and has just had the all clear.

About the selection of the children

British Airways commissioned We are Futures to work with their National Schools Partnership network of teachers, club leaders and professionals asking for nominations for The BA Magic – Trip of a Lifetime opportunity. Each of the nominees have been through enormous life changing events, that no young person should ever have to face, yet they continue to inspire those around them.

We are Futures selected the winners from a diverse group across the whole of the UK, and awarded the trip to New York for courage, stoicism and inspirational behaviour in times of adversity. These young people are from different geographical locations, different backgrounds and different circumstances, but one thing they have in common is their exceptional ability to keep smiling through adversity.

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© Image Stuart Bailey