An Australian pilot found the most perfect way to propose to his South American girlfriend — by popping the question in Spanish over the plane’s intercom.
A video released by Qantas shows captain Dooley Ellis making his usual greeting on flight QF93 from Melbourne to Los Angeles before sending a surprise message to his partner, Ana.
“We have a special passenger on board today, folks,” Ellis said from the cockpit.
“Her name is Ana. She’s travelling back to South America now to visit her family, and I want to make sure she comes back to me in Australia.
“So now that I have her complete attention: Quieres casarete conmigo? Will you marry me?”
Ellis then emerged from the cockpit with a bouquet of flowers to greet his ecstatic girlfriend, who said yes to the cheers of fellow passengers.
“I wanted to bring my life — as a pilot of 30 years with Qantas and whose father was also a Qantas Captain — and Ana’s life together in that special moment that only I could achieve,” he said.
“I wanted everyone not only on board the aircraft, but spanning the world to know how I feel about Ana.”
He said keeping the proposal a secret from his girlfriend was no easy feat, not least because camera crew were on board to film the happy occasion.
“I did mention weeks before the flight that the new uniform was being launched and that my flight was to be targeted by media. This was not correct but if Qantas had put on a production team it would have made Ana suspicious,” he said.
“I have only ever kept one secret from Ana before and it was when I returned from Colombia and made a photo PowerPoint presentation of our travels. I cannot keep a secret. I am amazed I did it and I haven’t even told her what her Christmas present is.
“The ring was purchased about three months ago but consideration about the proposal has just developed over the last year.
“There were a few things that made it important on this particular flight. Ana was leaving me for two months to visit her parents and children in Colombia, but the most important reason is that it was time for both of us together.”
Ellis and his soon-to-be bride met in Spain in 2012, while they were both doing the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia.
“We walked across the whole of Spain together, over 1000 kilometres. The next thing I knew, I was in Colombia visiting her,” Ellis said. Then she spent time with me in Texas before visiting me in Australia. That was it.
“We travelled Australia camping and only as recently as last month we drove from Sydney to Cape York for six weeks camping with the crocodiles. We have been living together in Sydney for the last four years.”
Ana will now say a temporary goodbye to her future hubby as she continues to Colombia to share the happy news with her family.
“She leaves me in Los Angeles tomorrow to visit her parents, children and friends in Colombia and I will be a sad bachelor for the next two months,” Ellis said. “A prospect I’m not looking forward to.”