Paul Stender, a Delta Platinum Medallion Member and businessman from Milwaukee, is no stranger to long travel days. With an engagement ring for the love of his life, Lauren, protected in his carry-on bag, Paul set out on a five-flight trip to pop the question — and got a little help from Delta.
Paul met Lauren when he was competing in a sailboat race on a team with her father. After the race they said their goodbyes, only to be reunited a year later and together ever since.”When you know, you know,” he said.
On a Wednesday in July, Paul began his long journey departing Fort Lauderdale, Fla. at 5:45 a.m. to Atlanta and on to Milwaukee, Wis. where he would meet Lauren and ask for her hand in marriage. Following the proposal in Milwaukee, they were set to takeoff to Minneapolis/St. Paul, then Los Angeles before ending their day in Hawaii.
Lauren met Paul at the Milwaukee airport under the impression they were flying to Hawaii to meet their sailboat, which was finishing a race. What she didn’t know was that their final destination would also be the perfect place for a celebration.
With five connecting flights in a single day, teams from Delta Elite Services, Airport Customer Service and Delta Sky Club in Atlanta, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Los Angeles jumped into action preparing for the couple’s arrival at each of their locations.”I travel a lot for work and it’s sometimes a challenge being away,” Paul said. “This experience showed my fiancé the care of the Delta team. They did so much for us along every leg of the trip. Now when I travel, she’ll have no doubt I’m taken care of.”
The ATL Elite Services team needed to ensure that Paul made his connection in Atlanta to pull off his proposal plan. The team met Paul on arrival from Ft. Lauderdale and transferred him to his connecting flight in a Porsche Panamera 4S – one of eight Porsche vehicles used for surprise-and-delight services. Paul made his flight to Milwaukee with time to spare.
Lauren arrived at the Milwaukee airport where she was invited to go to the Delta Sky Club where Paul would meet her. The Airport Customer Service and Delta Sky Club teams worked together to ensure they had a quiet, private moment for him to ask the big question. The true celebration began after she said “yes!” and continued at every stop of their trip.
Step ThreeMSP Elite Services and Delta Sky Club teams greeted the couple in Minneapolis/St. Paul with champagne to celebrate and a cheese board to fuel their journey. They also set up transportation to and from their flights via a Porsche Cayenne S, so the couple could focus on the exciting news and celebrate.
The couple arrived in Los Angeles — the last stop before their final destination — and the team at LAX surprised them onboard with fresh flower leis flown in overnight from Hawaii, champagne, chocolates and other goodies.
Jeff Coons, Delta’s Manager of Customer Experience and Product Development, was the first to hear about the engagement and reached out to the different departments and airports to make the day extra special for the couple.
“When the Delta team is called to task, they respond,” Jeff said. “Everyone at each airport went far beyond the call to create an incredibly memorable and fun day that Paul and Lauren will remember not only for the importance in their lives, but the support of the Delta family.”
After this trip, the happy couple has even more adventures in the works. With Lauren’s father traveling the world on his sailboat, they plan to meet him at his different destinations.
“We’ll be flying Delta,” Paul said.