This year marks the 400th anniversary of two literary giants: Cervantes and Shakespeare. IAG’s British Airways and Iberia are each celebrating their proud literary traditions with unique activities and promotions.
Each of these greats transcended his role as icon of his mother language, speaking to readers around the world through the centuries with universal themes covering the many facets of life’s comedy and tragedy.
It is fitting that a group which brings together flagships of three great literary traditions: England, Ireland and Spain, and which is also member of global airline alliance, oneworld, takes time to recognise these two masters who have shaped their respective languages and influenced the work of many international writers.
This month, British Airways debuted special Shakespearean programming on its in-flight entertainment channels. Flyers travelling around the globe will enjoy the best of The Globe, including a special live performance of Much Ado About Nothing performed at The Bard’s theatre on London’s Southbank.
That seems a perfect play to pick, given the number of nit-picky complaints that cause drama in-flight.
“We have been waiting in the wings for some time to raise the curtain on our Shakespeare-themed in-flight entertainment content,” said Troy Warfield, British Airways director of customer experience, clotting enough puns for a baker’s dozen scones served during a delightful cream tea. (All in good fun).
“Shakespeare needs no introduction, but a long-haul flight with British Airways is the perfect opportunity to become reacquainted with some of the world’s best and most engrossing plays by the world’s best playwright,” Warfield added.
Passengers will also get to see performances of other productions including The Tempest, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet, and a special viewing of Michael Fassbender as MacBeth in the latest film of the play.
Sadly, no mention of David Tennant’s performance of Hamlet, but you can get that on Amazon.
The airline has also included a number of audio books of the plays in its audio programming. This months’ addition is a rendition of The Tempest with performances that include Sir Ian McKellen and Emilia Fox.
Iberia will gift its flyers with entertainment that will last long after their flight.
All passengers flying with Iberia on the 23rd will get a three week subscription to the Odilo virtual library where they will find Don Quixote, and 250 other great works of Spanish and English literature.
Flight attendants will pass out a flyer onboard with details for passengers to access the virtual library. Iberia Plus Platinum, Gold and Silver frequent flyers will get an invitation to register for a free subscription to the virtual library until 30 May.