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Joe’s First Flight – British Airways Takes Special Customer On Milestone Journey

Joe's First Flight – British Airways Takes Special Customer On Milestone Journey


After suffering a sudden brain aneurysm, doctors didn’t expect Joe to survive. He has and he’s been overcoming milestones since. British Airways decided to help him overcome another!


Joe Dowd suffered a life-changing brain injury in 2014, leaving him with both physical and cognitive challenges.

After hearing about BAmagic (British Airways magic), Liz (Joe’s wife) wrote a heartfelt letter sharing their story and how flying was their next big milestone. Before his accident, Joe had been a banker, flying all over the world, but after a long period of rehabilitation, Joe was able to walk again and started making new goals for himself.

British Airways Magic Surprise

From Heathrow, Joe and Liz were pleasantly surprised as they moved from their home to a Rolls Royce, to the first class lounge, a tour of the flight deck and onto Dublin.

Upon landing, British Airways gave the couple one last gift to top off the day. Two Club World (business class) tickets to Sydney, Australia, where the couple had previously lived.

Joe later expressed, “It’s been an amazing experience from start to finish. From being met by the British Airways ambassador to meeting Captain Ben and then surprising us with the Australia tickets, it was a day I’ll never forget!”

Liz said, “… It was such an incredible and emotional milestone, Joe’s specialist team feel that he has returned even stronger. The whole experience was truly memorable and magical.”

Carolina Martinoli, British Airways director of brand and customer experience, said: “When Liz wrote to us and told us about Joe’s bravery, we wanted to do everything we could to make sure he had an enjoyable and seamless journey. Our ambassadors, ground staff, cabin crew and pilots worked hard to make sure it was a trip Joe and Liz would never forget. They are a truly inspirational and deserving couple.”

Watch this behind-the-scenes video to witness Joe and Liz’s journey from Heathrow to Dublin.

Your Loved One Can Enjoy The Magic Too

British Airways is asking customers who have booked a trip with them to email their stories in, they hope they can make your trip a little bit more magical too!

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Amber Valencia

Amber is the special features writer and editor at Connected Women. She brings her passion for copy-writing, content strategy and business branding to the Connected Women community, helping our members share their expertise through engaging content.  

She and her little family are dedicated volunteers who serve children and youth in Davao City, Philippines through the arts, sports and youth gatherings. She one day hopes to build a youth art centre where young people can freely express themselves and grow in their skills and talents.

Edited by: Amber Valencia, Image credit: Melanie Ng

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