-- Love is certainly in the air for these two frequent fliers.
"I said, 'I'm sorry, I've got three bottles of champagne in there and I'm really hoping these stickers will help [keep] them from breaking,’” McIlvaine told The Sun newspaper in Baltimore.
The airline employees were curious what he was celebrating with all the bottles of bubbly in tow. When they learned of the elaborate engagement plans, the staff was so excited for him that an employee handed him a $100 Southwest voucher and said, “Have fun, good luck and go get your girl. Here at Southwest we’re all about love.”
Overwhelmed by the airline’s generosity, McIlvaine wrote “thank you” letters to Southwest’s CEO and the airline’s customer relations department.
Needless to say, Southwest wasn’t going to stop there.
“When Southwest contacted me about a wedding shower, I was very surprised, to say the least,” McIlvaine said. “I was initially a little hesitant as I wondered if Kelley would kill me and also, I've never been one who likes being the center of attention.”
He got over the stage fright of sorts, and went on to give his fiancee the surprise of a lifetime.
“I had no idea what was in store,” Mulfinger, 30, told ABC News of the moment she walked off the plane. “I was told to wait 30 seconds and then walk through the Jetway towards the terminal. As I was waiting, three Southwest employees starting humming, ‘Here Comes the Bride,’ and I thought it was cute and was excited that I’d maybe get to see Andy at the end of walkway.”
Not only was McIlvaine there, “but so were hundreds of people, and my mom and his mom,” she recalled.
As if the champagne and roses weren’t enough, the airline had also flown in both of their moms-- and Mulfinger’s sister-- for the celebration.
“My sister surprised me with a birthday cake,” the excited bride-to-be said, explaining how it also doubled as her “first wedding cake taste.”
Mulfinger’s sister is “an excellent baker,” and is going to make a special, surprise-flavored wedding cake for their May 2016 wedding.
“The flavor is going to be a secret to guests, but it's my favorite,” she said.
And as for their honeymoon, “We will definitely fly Southwest for the honeymoon as long as they fly there,” McIlvaine said. “They have started flying internationally, which is great, so we might explore one of those locations.”