British Airways is to livestream the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II on all aircraft fitted out with WiFi on Monday, 19th September so that passengers can watch, in real-time, one of the biggest state funerals that the United Kingdom has ever witnessed.
Although British Airways normally charges most passengers for access to inflight internet services, the airline says it will waive all normal WiFi fees to make the livestream available for free.
Along with screening the funeral live on nearly all flights, British Airways will also ask customers and staff to take part in two separate moments of silence. The first National Moment of Reflection will take place at 8 pm on Sunday, 18 September and will be marked by a 1-minute silence.
The second moment of silence, which will last for two minutes, will take place at the conclusion of the Royal Funeral on Monday and passengers will be told that normal cabin services will be suspended during this time.
On the ground, aircraft will be held on taxiways at Heathrow and planes will be stopped from taking off or landing during these times. Passengers passing through the airport will be asked to take part in these moments of silence and the funeral will be shown live on television screens across the airport terminals.
Heathrow Airport has warned there could be severe disruption on Monday so that aircraft can be rerouted away from Central London and Windsor where the Royal funeral will be taking place. British Airways has cancelled around 100 flights ahead of the funeral and other flights have been re-timed.
The United Kingdom is set to close down for an impromptu Bank Holiday on Monday, with most shops closing entirely for the day or operating reduced hours. Cafes, restaurants and cinema chains have also said they won’t be opening on Monday as a mark of respect to the Queen.
At Heathrow, all non-essential shops will be shuttered but restaurants, cafes and pubs will remain open.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.