• Joe Breitfeller

British Airways Auctions Bespoke BOAC-747 Inspired Suitcases for Flying Start Global Charity

Marking the retirement of their Boeing 747 fleet, British Airways has teamed with luxury travel brand Globe-Trotter to create a limited edition range of handmade carry-on suitcases. Two suitcases are being auctioned online to benefit the carrier’s global charity, Flying Start.


British Airways Auctions BOAC-inspired Suitcases for Flying Start Charity - Courtesy British Airways

On Wednesday (January 13, 2021), British Airways announced that to mark the retirement of their Boeing 747 fleet, they have teamed with luxury travel brand Globe-Trotter to create a limited-edition range of handmade suitcases inspired by the carrier’s BOAC livery. To celebrate the official launch of the range, two of the bespoke suitcases will be auctioned online at ‘bid in’ to raise funds for British Airways’ global charity partnership with Comic Relief, Flying Start. The charity focuses on helping disadvantaged young people have a better start in life and last year, for example, the charity supported over 5,300 women and infants through community healthcare in South Africa to help prevent transmission of HIV from expectant mothers to their babies. Since the charity was established in 2010, British Airways has raised more than £25 million through Flying Start, reaching 824,000 people.


In Wednesday’s announcement, British Airways’ Head of Brands & Marketing, Hamish McVey, said,


“We are thrilled to be working with Globe-Trotter to create this very special product, and through this unique auction raise money for vital Comic Relief projects across the UK and overseas. While it was the right time to bid farewell to our Queen of the Skies, the launch of these BOAC-inspired carry-on suitcases provides a perfect opportunity for someone to celebrate a bygone era of global air travel and own a piece of our history.”


Also commenting on the product collaboration, Globe-Trotter’s Executive Chairman, Vicente Castellano, added,


“We at Globe-Trotter could not be happier to collaborate with British Airways and support their important Flying Start programme. The commemorative BOAC case that we have created together, is the perfect celebration of travel and style – two values that have inspired the past and indeed the future of Globe-Trotter.”


Bids for the BOAC Speedbird suitcases will start at €2,000. The suitcases were the only passengers on British Airways’ final Boeing 747 flight on December 11, 2020, as the heritage-liveried BOAC 747 made the short flight between the carrier’s engineering base at Cardiff Airport to its permanent home in St. Athan, South Wales. The unique suitcases being auctioned have also been signed by the flight’s Captain, Richard Allen-Williams, British Airways’ Chief Training Pilot. Instructions on how to participate in the auction are available on the ‘bid in’ auction page.


The suitcases are constructed from high gloss vulcanized fiberboard with a metallic pearlescent white shimmer, complemented by navy trim on the corners and handles. The exterior is adorned with a hand ‘Gold Speedbird’ insignia, while a 747 fragment decorates the interior. In addition to the charity auction of two suitcases, they are also available for purchase. The suitcase range has been limited to only 150 and are available for purchase today online and in Globe Trotter’s flagship stores. The BOAC Speedbird Carry-On suitcase retails for £1,935.



Established in 1897, Globe-Trotter is a British luxury travel lifestyle brand which produces handcrafted luggage and leather collections. All suitcases and accessories are crafted in Hertfordshire, England by highly skilled artisans, using methods and machinery that date back to the Victorian era. Globe-Trotter’s products have been used by public figures such as Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Sir Winston Churchill, HM Queen Elizabeth II and celebrities including Daniel Craig, Eddie Redmayne and Kate Moss. The company has flagship stores in Burlington Arcade, 51 Piccadilly, London, UK, and at 5-2-1 Ginza, Chuo-Ku, Tokyo, Japan.



Source: British Airways