Secret Life Of The Long-Haul Flight


1 x 60'

Production company

Brinkworth Television

Year of production


Commissioning channels

Channel 5



Each year over 300 million passengers, fly over 6 billion miles on long-haul flights - epic daily journey’s made by some of world’s biggest planes. Like flying hotels, they transport people across the world in comfort and style. But what does it take to keep these giants in the sky?

This engaging and revealing Special takes the viewer on the ultimate insider’s tour of life in the skies. It follows one of the longest flights in the world – from London to Sydney, Australia on one of the biggest planes in the world – the A380. With exclusive behind the scenes access, it reveals stories and secrets from passengers and staff - uncovering the hidden world of air travel.

Filming before, during and after the flight, we hear the confessions of the cabin crew, see the secret rest areas of the plane that are off limits to passengers, and discover the technological wizardry that allows every aircraft to be monitored every second of their 11,000 mile journey. With unprecedented access, we meet the engineers and backroom staff that form the nerve centre of the airline where they monitor engine performance, wind speed and weather. We see how food is cooked, delivered and prepared at 40,000 feet as well as seeing the vast army of people who run the cargo, load the animals, and service the plane - all against the clock.

On board we meet some of the passengers who are making the journeys of a lifetime: Malcolm is taking his first ever long-haul flight, travelling to meet his long-lost family in Sydney; Daniel and Bethanie and their new-born baby are on the way to begin a new life down under. Together with two other life-affirming stories of surprise and reunion, the film also follows Mitzi and Alfie, a pair of pedigree dogs, making the trip to meet their owners in Oz. 

Absorbing, inspirational and emotional, the Secret Life of the Long-Haul Flight reveals the challenges, the deadlines and the everyday miracles that turn this marvel of engineering into a staple of the modern world.

Available as 1 x 60' or 1 x 90' or as a series of 4 x 60' / 90' with Secret Life of the Airport, Secret Life of the Cruise, Secret Life of the Hospital.


The show was most popular amongst upmarket men, who claimed a 8.9% share of the viewing – almost double the average for their audience.

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Trailer: Secret Life Of The Long-Haul Flight

Screener: Secret Life Of The Long-Haul Flight