American Airways CEO exhibits up at Southwest flight attendant’s wedding ceremony a yr after their viral assembly
One yr in the past, Southwest Airways flight attendant JacqueRae Sullivan was feeling overwhelmed by occasions in the US following the demise of George Floyd.
The protests in her house metropolis of Dallas, Texas, turned violent on the night time of Could 29 and when she went on social media the subsequent morning, “that didn’t assist the state of affairs,” Hill stated in an interview with CNN on the time.
She drove to Dallas Love Area for a flight to Panama Metropolis on Friday, praying for some ray of hope or understanding. “It is so tough with the whole lot occurring … You wish to be told, you wish to know. However then on the identical time, my job as a service particular person is to supply any person with happiness.”
She stated she prayed on her means in, “God, please assist me get to work as we speak.”
JacqueRae Hill — as she was recognized earlier than her marriage to Rashard Sullivan this Memorial Day weekend — had a life-changing encounter with passenger Doug Parker on that day’s flight, and their story went viral.
One yr later, her new good friend — the CEO of American Airways — attended her wedding ceremony, and met with Sullivan and Sullivan’s mom Patti Anderson, an American Airways attendant.
Books are magic
Sullivan informed CNN final yr that when the flight began boarding, she carried out her ordinary security checks, greeting passengers with a hey and a smile that her eyes needed to ship, as a result of she was sporting a masks.
“I knew the ebook for some time. Michael Eric Dyson wrote the foreword. It has been on my checklist, however I simply have not gotten it but,” Sullivan stated.
After she completed service, she moved towards the again of the aircraft, the place the person who was studying the ebook was seated, alone, subsequent to a window, typing on his telephone.
“I plopped down and stated, ‘Hey, how are you? In order that ebook, how is it?'”
The 2 began conversing in regards to the ebook. Sullivan recollects the person, who was White, saying, “It is our fault. We have now to start out these conversations.”
As the person spoke these phrases, Sullivan grew to become overwhelmed with emotion and started crying. “I do know he did not know what to do. I do know I startled him. I used to be embarrassed. I did not count on that. It was only a real second for me, and we talked for 10 minutes.”
The massive reveal
She thanked the person profusely for the unbelievable dialog, for his curiosity and for caring, weighed hugging him (she did). He requested her title, and he or she launched herself. Then the person informed her his title. “I am Doug Parker, the CEO of American.”
Parker scribbled a notice to Sullivan earlier than deplaning, expressing his gratitude and pleasure at having met and spoken together with her.
“I used to be grateful if he was a random individual that had no affect. However due to his place in life, the truth that he is studying that ebook. He doesn’t have to coach himself. And the truth that he’s, I simply assume that speaks volumes as to the work all of us should do in attempting to deliver ourselves collectively.”
Sullivan waited a day earlier than posting about her expertise on Fb. “With all these feelings, I wished to course of it absolutely. I wished to verify how I wrote it was precisely how I used to be feeling.”
Because the constructive responses got here flooding in, she realized that she had touched a nerve. “I did not know it will be this huge. The response has been overwhelming. I’ve cried on daily basis. Comfortable tears.”
Sullivan’s mom Patti, as an American Airways worker, Anderson contacted Doug Parker to specific her gratitude for the second he shared together with her daughter on the flight — and for the hug.
Parker replied to Patti Anderson, “[JacqueRae] actually left an impression on me. Studying a ebook is one factor — spending time with a sort, robust, younger Black girl who’s hurting and attempting to study from others is one other factor altogether.”
Parker completed his reply by thanking Anderson for thanking him, “I used to be the one who was blessed by that dialog.”
Courtesy JacqueRae S.Hill
A permanent friendship
On Instagram this week, Parker thanked the Sullivans for together with him and his household of their special occasion and mirrored on their year-long friendship. “She began a brave dialog with me about race in America and it is one I will always remember,” he wrote.
Mentioned Sullivan within the put up, “I wish to spotlight a household which have now turn into particular buddies of my household. The Parkers!”
Brekke Fletcher contributed to this story.