British Airways has reunited Brisbane local Hayley Angell and her wife Lisa Harris, who have been living 15,000 km apart in the UK and Australia due to a family tragedy.
Harris wrote in to the airline’s BA Magic campaign to tell their story.
The happy couple moved to Glasgow, where Harris started her dream job as a police officer, while Angell pursued her passion as a blogger.
Just a year and a half later, they received the devastating news that Angell’s father’s cancer had become terminal.
Angell rushed back to Australia, leaving Harris and their beloved dog Hettie behind in the UK.
Her father passed away in March, and Angell has been in Australia ever since, supporting her family.
The BA Magic team read Lisa’s letter and knew they had to reunite the pair, so with help from Harris, Angell’s mother Debbie, and Angell’s boss Adam, they planned the surprise of a lifetime.
Angell was surprised at a work conference by a video of Harris telling her to get packed as she and mum Debbie were flying business class to London the following day.
After a sleepless night for the pair, they were picked up early and welcomed at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport by the British Airways team, before boarding the aircraft early and being seated with a glass of champagne.
Waiting for them at Heathrow was Harris with balloons, flowers and their dog, Hettie, for an emotional reunion.
“I couldn’t believe it and it certainly didn’t sink in until I was back in the UK,” said Angell.
“It all happened so fast and was like a dream. One day I was at a conference, the next I was in a British Airways business class seat on my way to London to be reunited with my wife!
“Being able to take the trip with Mum was the most special thing and it has meant the world to her. She’d never been on a long-haul flight before and it would have been Dad’s dream to take her on holiday like this.”
Harris said, “I got in touch with British Airways more out of hope than expectation. I couldn’t believe it when they said they’d help us.
“The fact we could surprise Hayley and that Deb could come too, knowing she’d be comfortable and looked after on the flight, made it all the more special.”
Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ director of brand and customer experience, said, “As soon as we read Lisa’s email, we wanted to help. They’ve all had an incredibly tough time and it was in our gift to make a big difference.
“It looks like they’ve had an amazing trip to London and we were delighted to hear that it has opened up a world of travel for Debbie again and shortened the distance between Lisa and Hayley seeing each other next. It’s lovely that we’ve been able to help them create some incredible memories and we wish them all the very best for the future.”