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American Airlines' CEO attends wedding of Southwest flight attendant after viral meeting

June 10, 2021
4 min read
American Airlines' CEO attends wedding of Southwest flight attendant after viral meeting
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Love is in the air in this latest heartwarming story.

Over Memorial Day Weekend, JacqueRae Hill — a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines — and Rashard Sullivan got married in Dallas, and there was a very special guest in attendance at the wedding: American Airlines CEO Doug Parker.

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Parker shared in the festivities, posting a congratulatory message to the newlyweds on his official Instagram account.

So, what's the CEO of American doing at the wedding of a Southwest flight attendant, one might wonder?

Turns out, JacqueRae Sullivan, nee Hill, and Parker met roughly one year ago during the height of the pandemic aboard a Southwest flight from Dallas to Panama City, Florida. (AA's flights between the two cities were sold out on that fateful day.)

The two started talking after Sullivan saw Parker carrying the book "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism," by Robin DiAngelo. At the time, Sullivan was feeling overwhelmed by the events that were unfolding after the death of George Floyd.

 

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A post shared by Doug Parker (@doug_parker)

"It's so difficult with everything going on ... You want to be informed, you want to know. But then at the same time, my job as a service person is to provide somebody with happiness," Sullivan said at the time in an interview with CNN.

When Sullivan saw Parker reading the book during the flight, she sat down next to him and asked him about it. They continued talking about the book for ten minutes before she started crying. "I know he didn't know what to do. I know I startled him. I was embarrassed," she told CNN.

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Until then, Sullivan had no idea she was sitting next to one of the country's top aviation executives. They only introduced themselves after the conversation, and Parker left Sullivan with a handwritten note thanking Sullivan for chatting with him and asking her to follow up if she'd like.

At the time, the story went viral. "Southwest flight attendant meets American CEO during flight" read national headlines. In the year that's since passed, the two have continued to stay in touch, culminating in Sullivan invited Parker to her wedding.

Roughly one year after that fateful day, Parker wrote "thank you for the example and inspiration you provide to me and so many others every day. I wish you and Rashard all the best!"

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
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    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

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Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees