In-Flight Proposal Leads To Dismissal Of Flight Attendant

Bruce Parkinson, Open Jaw

Are we experiencing public proposal fatigue? This week’s live marriage plea during the Emmy Awards was a high-profile example of the social media-driven global trend of publicly proposing marriage.

But another recent example – on an airplane flight – didn’t end so well for the potential bride. 

A video, with over a million views, shows a female China Eastern flight attendant accepting a surprise mid-flight marriage proposal from her boyfriend. Pax applauded and the inevitable multiple video(s) caused much delight online – until the airline fired the attendant for causing a disturbance on the flight.

The brief video clip (just over a minute) shows a male passenger getting up from one knee and bowing after successfully asking for his flight attendant girlfriend’s hand. The attendant then gets on the microphone and tells passengers: “I really didn’t know my boyfriend will be proposing to me on this flight, thanks for being my witnesses.”

As Peter Needham of eGlobal Travel Media puts it: “a public relations firm could have made something of that romantic exchange,” but according to the Singapore-based AsiaOne news portal, the airline viewed it very differently.

China Eastern reportedly found that the mid-flight proposal caused a disturbance, constituting an irresponsible act that jeopardized passenger security.

On Chinese social media, some people viewed the airline’s action as heartless and overly strict – especially as the boyfriend’s plans caught the flight attendant by surprise.

Others agreed with the airline over the issue of keeping private affairs separate from a job that involves public safety, especially during working hours.

Where do you stand on inflight betrothals?

Bruce Parkinson

Bruce Parkinson Editor-in-Chief

An observer and analyst of the Canadian and international travel industries for over 25 years, Bruce uses the pre-dawn hours to prepare a daily news and information package to keep industry members up to date.


Dezi - September 24, 2018 @ 12:09
I think it was fine for the couple. It was not intentional by the flight attendant and she never put anyone in harms way. It was uncalled for the airline to fire here. She should have her job back. Passengers today need some fun sometimes and this lifted their spirits because of the applause.

Hanna Uehre - September 21, 2018 @ 15:09
I thought it was super sweet and hardly disturbing. Whatever happened to those flight attendants on airlines such as SouthWest and Westjet who make those mock announcements or sing them etc.
A proposal is hardly disturbing or a safety issue. Oh well.. it's a Chinese airline and they have different rules about these things.

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