Surprise proposal for one unsuspecting customer
Customer Katie Buff received the surprise of a lifetime when her boyfriend Jay got down on one knee to propose to her on a recent United flight. Jay, a flight instructor who dreams of someday becoming a pilot for an airline, wanted the occasion to be memorable for the couple. After boarding, Jay informed the crew of his surprise proposal when Katie went to the bathroom. The crew was happy to help and worked with Jay to quickly devise a plan.
A few days before the couple was scheduled to fly, Jay enlisted the help of his sister, who tricked Katie into going to look at rings she said were for herself. Unbeknownst to Katie, Jay went back to the jeweler before their flight and purchased the ring Katie had indicated she liked.
As the plan was set into motion, Katie was none the wiser. "I was not expecting a proposal. He was really quiet on the flight, and I kept thinking maybe he was mad at me. But he told me he was tired — we both were. Really, he was just nervous. He later told me he was trying to remember what he was going to say when he proposed," said Katie.
When the moment was right, SFO Flight Attendant Bernie D. used the PA system to ask customer Katie Buff to come to the front of the airplane. Katie nervously walked to the front of the cabin. Bernie then made another announcement, "One of our passengers would like to say something to his girlfriend." That was Jay's cue. He got down on one knee and asked her to marry him. After Katie said yes, the flight erupted in cheers.
The crew continued the celebration by surprising the couple with champagne, cake and a congratulatory note signed by each of them. Upon landing, the couple took pictures with the crew and in the cockpit, photos that will help them forever cherish the special occasion. "They really helped make this moment memorable and special for us — we will always remember it as an awesome moment in our lives," said Jay.
Customer stories like this remind us of what we can achieve when caring comes first. For more stories like this, visit our Connections Matter page.
Calling all AvGeeks and travelers! Here's a fun way to take your next video call….from a United Polaris seat, the cockpit or cruising altitude. We're introducing United-themed backgrounds for use on Zoom, a video conferencing tool that many people are using to stay connected.
So for your next meeting or catch up with friends and family, download the app to either your computer or mobile device to get started. If you've already downloaded Zoom you can skip ahead to updating your background image (see instructions below).
- Start here by downloading your favorite United image to your computer or mobile device. Just click "download" in the bottom left corner of the image.
- Next go to your Zoom app (you'll need to download the app to access backgrounds) and click on the arrow to the right of your video camera icon in the bottom of the screen.
- From here select, "choose virtual background" to upload your uniquely United photo.
When and where possible, we are working to repatriate travelers who are stranded abroad in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Our teams are working closely with government officials here in the U.S. as well as in other countries where flying has been restricted to gain the necessary approvals to operate service. In regions where government actions have barred international flying, we have coordinated with the the U.S. State Department and local government officials to re-instate some flights. Additionally, we have been operating several extra flights to countries in Central America and South America as we continue to play a role in connecting people and uniting the world.
We have operated more than 56 repatriation flights from Panama City, Guatemala City, Quito, Lima, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and Roatan, bringing nearly 8,000 people home. We will continue working with government officials to operate extra flights to Houston from Quito, San Pedro Sula, Tegucigalpa and from Lima to Washington Dulles and beginning April 5, we will begin operating multiple charter flights between Delhi and San Francisco. We continue to review more opportunities for flights between the United States and other countries to bring citizens home.
Video provided by the U.S. Embassy Ecuador of Americans returning home on United.
Additionally, our Customer Solutions and Recovery team is working with customers in the following markets to rebook them on flights back to the United States as capacity allows, either on our aircraft or on one of our airline partners' planes:
- Quito, Ecuador
- Managua, Nicaragua
- Roatan, Honduras
- San Pedro Sula, Honduras
- Seoul, South Korea
- Melbourne, Australia
We also recently reinstated several international flights back into our schedule to support customers and essential businesses which depend on these routes. As a result, we will be the only airline to offer service between Newark/New York and London, San Francisco and Sydney, as well as Houston and São Paulo, Brazil.
In the midst of mobilizing our cargo operations, our teams at New York/Newark (EWR) and Jacksonville (JAX) stepped in to assist Roche Diagnostics with transporting a vital component for an instrument being used for COVID-19 testing.
The component was stuck at EWR en route to the Mayo Clinic in Florida after another airline's flights were cancelled. A Roche employee contacted us asking for help and, within a few hours, our teams had the piece loaded onto a Jacksonville-bound aircraft, with arrangements in place to deliver it to the Mayo Clinic.
The item we shipped will allow the Mayo Clinic in Florida to process hundreds of COVID-19 tests per day. Mayo Clinic Laboratories has been on the front lines of increasing testing capacity to expedite caring for patients at this critical time and working to ease the burden being felt at test processing laboratories in a growing number of areas.
Together, we are facing an unprecedented challenge. United Together, we rise to meet that challenge.