During the 40 years Allan Butcher has worked for British Airways he’s been based at several locations around the world including Australia, USA, several countries in Europe – and 35 years at Heathrow! During ITV’s Heathrow: Britain’s Busiest Airport, series 2 Allan takes centre stage as he helps BA’s inaugural Dreamliner 787-9 flight take-off to Kuala Lumpur!
We caught up with Allan to hear more about his incredible career and what it’s really like to work at Heathrow.
What’s a day in the life of your job really like?
Allan: Varied, never the same, challenging, satisfying, motivating teams of people I work with when meeting and departing flights.
An average day, can involve managing the turnround or departing approximately four to five services a day.
Hardest part of your job?
Getting up for those early shifts, the first of which start at 4:30am. With regards to my specific role, there’s nothing particularly ‘hard’ about my job, more frustrating.
Outside influences beyond my control, such as weather, can sometimes complicate matters, and add to the challenge. We just want to do a good job for our customers.
No one day is quite the same. Each day, you’re working in different weather climates (of late sometimes all four seasons in the same day), different locations within Heathrow, and at different times of the day – we have 13 varied shift start times progressing from early starts to late starts, and a night shift.
I love being out and about and not confined to a chair or an office indoors and working with different people every day – both colleagues and customers.
Favourite thing about working at the airport, and your favourite moment?
Working in a ‘hustle and bustle’ environment, relating closely to the end product, eg departing flights, in a safe timely manner.
My favourite moments have been working on a calendar shoot for British Airways at the Engineering base, and working on charter flights when escorting the Ipswich football team to European away games.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
Outside of work I love travelling, (sunbathing and drinking fine white wines), gardening, following sport – football, Speedway Racing, and Formula One, for which I’ve been fortunate to have been able to attend many events around the world.
I live in Camerley, Surrey, and have a daughter, who is a city analyst, and a son who’s now at college.
What was it like being filmed for the documentary?
A little nerve racking, but exciting at the same time!!
Love Actually, Top Gun, Great Escape
Jazz, and pop/Kenny G, Phil Collins and Genesis, all of which I’ve been lucky to see live.