Two Delta Air Lines employees were all but floating on air today as they tied the knot on a flight to Marana, Arizona.
Pilot Gene and flight attendant Holly pledged their love in front of friends, colleagues, and rows of those uncomfortable blue airplane seats with TVs on the back, according to Delta's news hub. Their last names were not included.
The couple met on that very 747-400 plane nine years earlier. Love found the couple in row 75 on the upper deck while flying U.S. troops to Kuwait. It wasn't a match made in heaven — it was more like 35,000 feet.
The couple chose the plane for their wedding venue after hearing the airline would be retiring their last Boeing 747. The airline announced last year that it would retire its 12 747s and replace them with smaller, more fuel-efficient planes. Today marked the 12th retirement.
But Holly and Gene wanted this historical final flight from Atlanta to Marana to signify the beginning of something too.
A @Delta 747 pilot and flight attendant just tied the knot on the last-ever U.S. carrier 747 flight from Atlanta to Mariana, Ariz. Their story: https://t.co/XyNaEfCYkD #DL747Farewell #aviationhistory #newlyweds pic.twitter.com/XJo92RTrW2— Delta News Hub (@DeltaNewsHub) January 3, 2018
"We've spent years flying this airplane together around the world," Gene told Delta. "In a lot of ways, we really grew up on the 747, so it's a fitting salute to say goodbye with this milestone. For us, it's really a way of showing that as one life ends, another one begins."
After meeting on the plane, the couple engaged in an avionic affair out of a romantic comedy. They were both single parents living in different states when they met. Over the years, they'd coordinate their schedules, bidding on the same flights and hoping to be placed in the same rotation, according to Delta. It was a labor of love.
Reflecting on all the good times she'd had on the 747, Holly told Delta the aircraft was "absolutely a love of Gene's — he loves it like he loves me."
Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.