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British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was the British state-owned airline created in 1940 by the merger of Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd and continued operating overseas services throughout World War II. After the passing of the Civil Aviation Act of 1946, European and South American services passed to two further state-owned airlines, British European Airways (BEA) and British South American Airways (BSAA). BOAC absorbed BSAA in 1949, but BEA went on to operate the UK’s domestic and European routes for the next quarter century. A 1971 Act of Parliament merged BOAC and BEA with effect from 31 March 1974, forming today’s British Airways.

Having recently posted the BA Visit Mum promotional video, I thought it might be interesting to post an old BOAC commercial, just to see how times have changed.

Scenes I especially like in the video:

  • The steward picks up a dropped doll (looks like a Chuckie doll and probably wouldn’t make it past security nowadays!) and returns it to a small girl. The current BA safety briefing video shows a stewardess picking up a teddy and returning it to a small boy. Maybe BA should change its slogan to ‘BA – returning lost toys for nearly 80 years’.
  • The steward asks ‘got everything you need Sir?’ to a chap with a ‘was hot in the 60s’ girlfriend, in a fnaar, fnaar, nudge, nudge, wink, wink sort of way.
  • The ‘jolly good!’ Captain ask for a coffee and the steward says he’ll ‘go and crack the whip in the galley’ – obviously those stewardesses (now called cabin crew) were on the old BA contracts and didn’t mind the odd whipping.