#FlashbackFriday - 10 Modern Airline Commercials

Must see TV

I wrote a #FlashbackFriday post on classic airline television commercials during the golden age of travel. But there have also been some great TV ads that have come out in the past 15 years. So now I’m posting 10 modern commercials from around the world that are some of my favorite to watch. 

  • 01 of 10

    The Fort Worth-based carrier created the “Going Home” commercial, which used signage you’d see going to and in the airport to say why people were flying home on American Airlines. Those reasons included going to seeing your niece on her birthday, playing touch football with you brothers, Grandma’s cobbler, moving to a new city for her and dinner with your wife. The commercial ends with the flight board making all destinations HOME. 

  • 02 of 10

    In 2006, I saw the Chicago-based carrier’s “Dragon” commercial in October 2006 and I was captivated by it. United’s 60-second spot is about a child’s imagination when it comes to his father’s business trip. It featured hinged paper puppets using stop-motion filming, giving it a whimsical feel. 

  • 03 of 10

    Delta Air Lines

    This commercial, “Up,”aired during Super Bowl XLVIII. It was shot in black and white and shows what the airline is doing to improve the passenger experience. Delta’s message was enhanced with a constant motion of items rising, to show that growth. 

  • 04 of 10

    British Airways

    As an aviation journalist, I covered the woes surrounding the opening of the London-based flag carrier’s flagship Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in November 2008. British Airways released this commercial, “The Good Life,” that reimagined the new terminal as a giant aquarium, complete with fish, seals, rays, jellyfish, turtles, dolphins and a whale. 

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    As airlines started charging passengers for baggage fees, Southwest Airlines came out with a series of ads touting the fact that bags fly free. In this commercial, actual employees did a rap about free bags, even having a group of rampers show off their bare chests that spelled out “Bags Fly Free,” taunting passengers aboard an AirTran jet (OK, it was pixelated, but avgeeks like me could tell).

  • 06 of 10

    This Phoenix-based carrier had just merged with America West a year earlier when it released a series of television commercials where it paired with different companies. In this ad, Coca Cola’s senior vice president of marketing compares his company’s values with those of the airline. 

  • 07 of 10

    In the Atlanta-based carrier’s “Babysitters” commercial, grandparents get quite the surprise when they make a visit to see their twin baby grandchildren. They barely get into the house when the harried parents grab their luggage, hop into the grandparents’ cab and speed away as the babies start crying. 

  • 08 of 10

    The Denver-based carrier’s tail animals have become beloved in its hometown city, along with the cities it serves. In this commercial, Frontier’s animals are lip-synching to the song “You’re Still The One.”

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Virgin Atlantic

    In 2009, the London-based carrier celebrated its 25th anniversary. As part of that, it came out with this great commercial that harkened back to 1984, with brick-sized cell phones, big hair, punk rock, shoulder pads and the classic arcade game Asteroids -- along with the debut of the iconic Virgin Atlantic flight attendants. 

  • 10 of 10

    In 2004, Air Canada signed a deal with singer Celine Dion to become the face of the airline.  She sang the theme song “You and I,” that was used in a series of commercials that showed off locations flown by the carrier.