By Rebecca Stewart | Trends Editor

November 9, 2018 | 2 min read

British Airways has released its first TV ad since 2012, using the spot to say 'thank you' to customers for donating a total of £20m to Flying Start, its charity partnership with Comic Relief.

The airline hasn't run a campaign on the small screen since it sponsored the London Olympics over six years ago.

Since founding Flying Start, which encourages travelers to give their small change via on-board collections to help disadvantaged kids via Comic Relief, it's amassed £20m for the charity in eight years.

The brand's head of marketing Hamish McVey, said the company was warmed by "the overwhelming generosity" shown by flyers. "So we wanted to say thank-you in a very public way," he added.

The result is a a light-hearted ad from Ogilvy featuring comedian Matt Lucas as a haphazard traveller who triggers the metal detectors at the airport due to the loose change in his pockets (a moment most flyers are very familiar with).

As he struggles to get the change out of his pocket, he is met by a British Airways crew member reminding him he can donate his spare currency to Flying Start.

The ad sees Lucas drop change all over the floor while crowds of incredulous travellers look on and finishes with him dropping the contents of his bag over the floor.

The slot aired on Friday (9 November) on ITV. It comes as BA prepares to celebrate its centenary in 2019.

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