There are a plethora of TV shows and documentaries out there about the aviation and travel industries, but I have never come across one as good as BBC’s Airport. Although the show is now quite old and a lot of aspects of it are dated, it still remains one of my favorites.
Nowadays, documentaries and shows are overdramatized and it seems like money is more important than integrity. Airport, running from 1996 to 2008, wasn’t like that at all. The show goes behind the scenes at Heathrow airport and follows a handful of characters from people at the animal reception center to the control tower to baggage handlers. There’s no over dramatization and it focuses on the people and their jobs and how the airport functions as a whole rather than blowing everything out of proportion in an attempt to make it more melodramatic.
I’ve learned so much from airport, and it’s not limited to simply how Heathrow works. I’ve learned the ins and outs of the aviation industry, how many people it actually takes to keep an airport running and it made me appreciate the airlines I fly on all of my trips.
The characters grow on you and you think of them as friends rather than just people on a TV show. It shows the good and the bad things that happen in an objective and informative way. Sometimes it’s just really cool to see the animal reception center offload a tiger and deal with its paperwork rather than having everyone pretend the tiger is going to eat them and not focusing on the substance.
Watching airport feels like home and it’s fueled my passion for travel and this industry by educating me and giving me a greater appreciation for this wonderful thing we sometimes take for granted. Since Airport there have been countless shows offering similar storylines, such as Britain’s Busiest Airport, which only just began a couple of weeks ago. But these shows simply cannot live up to the standards Airport set, because they all seem insincere and exaggerated.
I think I’m going to go watch some airport now. What are your guys’ favorite travel shows? Comment below!