Unanticipated difficulties during tracheal intubation and failure to intubate are among the leading causes of anaesthesia-related morbidity and mortality. Using the technique of video laryngoscopy, the alignment of the oral and pharyngeal axes to facilitate tracheal intubation is unnecessary. In this study we evaluated the McGrath® Series 5 videolaryngoscope for tracheal intubation in 61 patients who exhibited Cormack and Lehane grade 3 or 4 laryngoscopies with a Macintosh laryngoscope. Using the McGrath resulted in an improved glottic view, compared to Macintosh laryngoscope. Laryngoscopy was improved by one grade in 10%, by two grades in 80% and by three grades in 10% of cases (p < 0.0001). The success rate for intubation was 95% with the McGrath. These results suggest that the McGrath videolaryngoscope can be used with a high success rate to facilitate tracheal intubation in difficult intubation situations.