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Transport Blog
23 April 2007
BA self-inflicts more Branson humiliation
Brian Micklethwait

This is amazing:

British Airways has removed a shot of Virgin Atlantic boss Sir Richard Branson from the in-flight version of the James Bond movie Casino Royale.

Sir Richard was seen briefly in the original film, passing through an airport security scanner, but can only be seen from behind in the new edit.

“Many films are edited in some way on board,” said a BA spokesman.

Daniel Craig’s debut last year as 007 became the most successful Bond movie at the worldwide box office.

Sir Richard was given a cameo after supplying a plane for use in the film.

The British Airways edit also obscures the tail fin of a Virgin plane that was seen in the original.

As I like to remind the universe every year or two, because it is one of the most interesting things about me, I was at the same Prep School as Richard Branson, and the guy was a force of nature.  He used to run straight through bigger boys on the rugger pitch, on account of being willing to die rather than yield.  And that was just silly rugger games.

So imagine what it has been like for British Airways, whom Branson took against some years ago, when he started quarreling with them about something or other that I can’t remember.  Landing slots at Heathrow, was it?  I don’t known.  Anyway, they thought they were big and Branson was too small to hurt them, and I remember at the time thinking that these people had no fucking idea what was about to hit them.  Sure enough, ever since then Branson has made the lives of the upper management of British Airways a living hell, and they hate him with an intensity that makes perfect sense to me, given that he has been trampling all over them and totally humiliating them for the last decade or more, but which most other people don’t understand.  That’s because most other people didn’t go to school with Branson, and they just don’t know what it’s like to have him on the opposite team against you.  Every time British Airways tries to take a swipe at Branson, they end up stabbing themselves, and each time this happens they get that bit more insane in their hatred of the man.

The above goes some way to explaining the truly cretinoid insanity of this latest self-administered BA stab wound, about which Branson must be grinning even more widely than usual.


  1. Landing slots at Heathrow, was it?  I don’t known.

    I think it was for daring to exist, basically, and then it was for being allowed to operate at Heathrow at all.

    BA had this government encouraged idea that it was the British national airline and it therefore had some God given right to monopolies on important routes in return for supposedly also providing services on less profitable routes that were somehow socially important. Other British airlines were supposed to acknowledge that they were BA’s inferiors, and only fly routes like Birmingham to Catania. Virgin came along and as its first route decided to fly from London to New York. At this point BA got upset. Then when the government gave Virgin permission to fly from Heathrow as well (taking away BAs legal right to be the only British airline on routes from that airport to the US) BA got really enraged.

    Posted by Michael Jennings on  23 April 2007 at 09:27 pm

  2. He wasn’t much of a force of nature when my aunty turned him down.

    Nonetheless shocking that BA edit inflight films like that.

    Posted by Reclaimed Railway Sleepers on  25 March 2008 at 06:43 pm

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