A lot of people get some serious shocks on April Fool’s Day.
But one lucky couple received a welcome surprise when Southwest Airlines threw an impromptu party to celebrate their recent engagement.
Last October, Andy McIlvaine told Southwest employees he was traveling to Baltimore to propose to his girlfriend, Kelley Mulfinger. What started out as a friendly conversation, morphed into a much larger undertaking.
"The next thing you know, I'm talking to these five Southwest employees," McIlvaine told the Baltimore Sun. Before he boarded his flight, one of the gate agents reportedly handed McIlvaine a $100 voucher to use toward honeymoon travel.
"I thought he was going to give me a drink ticket," McIlvaine said. "He said 'Have fun, good luck and go get your girl. Here at Southwest we’re all about love.'"
McIlvaine wrote a letter to the CEO of Southwest and the customer relations department to tell them how much he appreciated the gesture.
"I was very overwhelmed by the gesture and wanted to make them aware that they were doing a very good job and practicing what they preach," said McIlvaine.
But Southwest didn’t stop with the voucher. On Wednesday, the airline flew in Mulfinger’s mother and sister for a surprise shower at BWI. The airline says that more than 100 passengers, crew and airport staff greeted the couple at the gate with roses, champagne and personal congratulatory note from Southwest CEO Gary Kelly.
Mulfinger and McIlvaine, who have been dating long distance for years, say celebrating in airport is a fitting way to kick off their life together.
"It’s kind of funny because our relationship has evolved so much around airplane flights," said McIlvaine. The newly engaged couple said they often fly Southwest already but it looks like the airline has secured two loyal customers for life with this over-the-top gesture.