BRITISH Airways has surprised passengers with free upgrades to Business class as families rush to reunite over festive period.

The airline also showered flyers at their Heathrow terminal with exclusive lounge access and a bunch of other goodies including Avios and Harvey Nichols Christmas hampers.

In one instance, a man who hadn't seen his parents in the US for more than two-and-a-half years was given a Club World (business class) upgrade and sent on his merry way.

Another woman, who was travelling to America to visit her sister, as well as a delightful grandmother and another two passengers were also given an upgrade.

Meanwhile, families were handed luxury Christmas hampers at check-in and a couple were surprised a festive delight when they were given access to the flight lounge.

BA decked its check-in areas with Christmas decorations and created special boarding passes for customers while corridors were given a winter wonderland make-over and a specially designed countdown clock was installed to get customers into the festive spirit.

Across London airports, BA customers were greeted with complimentary coffee vouchers, special chocolates and KidZania tickets for Santa's young flyers.

On board, customers on short-haul flights could purchase festive snacks and were handed a special gift card.

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Those braving long-haul flights on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be served a tradition roast dinner at 35,000 feet, with all the trimmings.

Tom Stevens, British Airways’ Director of Customer Experience, said: "After what has been an incredibly difficult two years for everyone, we know how much our customers have been looking forward to being reunited with loved ones over such an important time.

"We wanted to treat our customers and go that extra mile to make their journey, wherever it may be, extra special."

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