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British Airways and Ancestry Help Sisters to Meet for the First Time

Special vacation sale launched in honor of National Sisters Day

  • British Airways plays a special part in an emotional moment between three sisters, who meet in person for the first time at 35,000 feet. Their heartwarming story, in honor of National Sisters Day (August 7), can be watched here.
  • British Airways launches ‘fly and drive’ flight and car rental deal to help people book their own family adventure.

NEW YORK, Aug. 04, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- British Airways and Ancestry, the largest provider of family history and personal DNA testing, have united two sisters from Texas, for the first time, with their half-sister in the UK. The surprise that occurred on board a flight from Austin to London, was captured in a video that debuts today.

Inspired by the union of the sisters, British Airways has launched a limited time ‘fly and drive’ offer to the UK and Ireland, so all Americans can take advantage of the strong value of the dollar and discover the rich history of the region for themselves. Flights plus five days car rental packages start from $549 NYC to Dublin and $779 to London per person with 2 adults travelling, renting a manual mini car and includes all taxes, fees and surcharges. Travelers should book by August 31 for travel in November 2016.

“I’ve Been Searching for Many Years for My Father’s Side of the Family”

Mandy Shore (age 71) was born in Britain during World War II and was raised by her adoptive parents. When she began researching her family tree Mandy found information on her mother but her father continued to remain a mystery until she initiated a search through the AncestryDNA database.

To her surprise she discovered her father had two other daughters, Lynn Garner (now 65) and Ann Burrage (now 61), who both lived in Texas. British Airways heard about the sisters’ story and offered to bring the family together in England. However, the meeting came earlier than expected as the airline invited Mandy to surprise her half-sisters on their flight to Heathrow.

“For British Airways, the journey is so much more than the flight,” said Simon Brooks, SVP Americas for British Airways. “It is about bringing friends, families and colleagues from all over the world together to create amazing memories that can last a lifetime. With destinations around the globe and an array of travel packages including hotel, car rentals, and more, British Airways hopes to continue connecting families like Mandy, Lynn and Ann for many years to come.”

“Ancestry’s mission is to help everyone discover, preserve, and share the story of what led to them. Traditionally that’s meant learning more about your ancestors through family history, however the AncestryDNA test has broadened the scope of that mission to so much more,” said Michelle Ercanbrack, Family Historian at Ancestry. With more than 2 million members in our AncestryDNA database, people are connecting with living family members at an unprecedented rate and unraveling family mysteries in the process. We are thrilled these sisters found each other through Ancestry, and we’re excited to see more reunions like this as our database continues to grow.”

Discover London

To give other families the chance to have the trip of a lifetime, British Airways and Ancestry have launched an easy to enter social media contest where three people will be able to win a pair of roundtrip Club World (business class) tickets on British Airways complete with four nights at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Hotel. The classic British hotel is a short stroll away from Buckingham Palace and the boutiques of Bond Street, Knightsbridge and London's West End theatres are also easily accessible. Hopeful travelers can enter by filling out the contest form by September 30. Rules and restrictions apply, see all terms and conditions.

Travel to Uncover Your Family History

For travelers interested in planning journeys to discover more about their family history, Ancestry has suggestions for making the most of the trip:

  1. Identify the exact town or parish your ancestors are from.
  2. If you are unsure of the location or to learn even more details, search more than 18 billion records on Ancestry to discover information about your ancestors’ lives, including homes they lived in, churches or schools they attended, occupations and more.
  3. Determine if significant historical locations such as battlefields in the area may have affected their lives. Include those in your travel plans.
  4. Locate the libraries, archives, and courthouses that are in your ancestors' hometown. Search their websites to determine what offline records they may have in their possession that might help in your research or enhance your ancestors' life stories.
  5. Print up a list of the addresses, phone numbers and operating hours of the historical places and research repositories you want to visit.
  6. Find a local genealogist or historian you could hire to visit these locations with you. Their in-depth knowledge of the area may add local flavor, history and insights.
  7. Book your flights and hotel as well as a car rental so you can easily drive to nearby cities and visit major landmarks in your ancestors’ lives. British Airways flies to multiple destinations around the world and has many fly and drive offers that add extra value to your trip. Search offers at ba.com.
  8. Be sure you have the free Ancestry app on your mobile device so you can take your family tree wherever you go.
  9. Enjoy your time in your ancestral homeland and when you get home, send your stories to Stories@ancestry.com to share the wonderful things you discovered.

For further information, please contact the British Airways Americas press office on 212 716 0477 or email americas.communications@ba.com.

Notes to Editors

  • Package deal based on mini manual car type. Other cities and travel dates available at slightly higher prices. Visit Ba.com/reunited for full details on the offer.

About Ancestry

Ancestry, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, harnesses the information found in family trees, historical records, and DNA to help people gain a new level of understanding about their lives. Ancestry has more than 2.4 million paying subscribers across its core Ancestry websites and more than 2 million DNA samples in the AncestryDNA database. Since 1996, more than 18 billion records have been added, and users have created more than 80 million family trees on the Ancestry flagship site and its affiliated international websites. Ancestry offers a suite of family history products and services including AncestryDNA, Archives, ProGenealogists, Newspapers.com and Fold3.

About British Airways

British Airways, part of International Airlines Group, is one of the world's leading global premium airlines and the largest international carrier in the UK, serving more than 40 million customers a year. The carrier has its home base at London Heathrow, the world's busiest international airport, and flies to almost 200 destinations in over 75 countries with a fleet of more than 280 aircraft.

Source:British Airways PLC