There’s no place like home…

British Airways is giving away hundreds of free flights and tickets for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to friends and families of UK athletes and Brits living overseas – to encourage them to fly back to strengthen home advantage during the Games.

British Airways has consulted performance experts to understand ‘home advantage’ better. These include former Olympic champions Denise Lewis and Michael Johnson, as well as the BOA’s Director of Sport – Sir Clive Woodward.

Thousands of ex-pat Brits will return to the UK this summer, and the airline is playing its role to boost the home advantage by giving away a quarter of a million pounds worth of flights, as well as tickets to the Games to swell home support.

The ‘Flying Britain Home’ Facebook promotion offers flights from 20 selected destinations around the world, with 12 tickets per destination to give away. Destinations include former Olympic host cities, as well as countries popular with ex-pats, including; Sydney, Moscow, New York, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Beijing and Los Angeles. Every successful homecomer will also receive a ticket to attend the Games as well. The British public can win flights home for friends and family living abroad at www.facebook.com/britishairways from June 1 to 14.

The airline is also offering 50 free flights to friends and family of Team GB and ParalympicsGB athletes, to give them an extra lift when they perform at the Games.

Former Olympic Gold medallist, Denise Lewis, said: “Every athlete is looking for an advantage, something that will raise their game – and home advantage is very much about that.. It’s a feeling that you get, that elevation, that self belief that you are competing with the nation behind you, willing you on”

Michael Johnson, a former USA Olympian who performed on home soil during the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, said : “I was able to balance my focus on exactly what I had to do with being able to feed off of that positive energy.”

BOA’s Director of Sport, Sir Clive Woodward, said: “I really hope the whole country does get behind the team. Every British athlete needs help, needs support, and there’s no doubt that the crowd and the home support makes a huge difference”

During the Games, the airline will host ‘Park Live presented by British Airways’ at the Olympic Park. Already dubbed the ‘Hoy Hill’ of the Games, it offers a place for fans to go before or after watching an event, or as a destination in itself. The parkland area can accommodate up to 10,000 visitors at any given time and offers giant screens showing the live action, as well as a BA stage for interviews with athletes.

British Airways, official airline partner of Team GB and ParalympicsGB, will launch its Olympic inspired social media campaign on June 1.  It will launch on Facebook and is supported with print advertising, banner adverts and social media. A short film featuring the home advantage experts will be available on Facebook.com/britishairways when the campaign launches.

Luisa Fernandez, British Airways manager of the home coming campaign, said: “This is the start of our campaign to get the country behind our athletes and give them an extra boost. Every extra clap, cheer and whoop we can offer, could make the difference to how they perform.”

British Airways is proud airline partner of Team GB and ParalympicsGB, and has flown thousands of athletes around the world to train and compete, in the lead up to the London 2012 Games.

To follow or join the campaign, use #HomeAdvantage on Twitter or visit Facebook.com/britishairways

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