Imagine if you spent the rest of your life married to the guy one seat over on your next airplane flight...
October 5, 2006 12:09 PM   Subscribe

My parents met on a flight to Hawaii a little more than 35 years ago. Help me make their next anniversary really special.

This question brought to mind something I've been thinking about for quite a while. My parents have one of the best "meet cute" stories I know. My Mom was on her way to grad school for a Master's in Pacific Islands history, my father was headed to Hong Kong for his job as an accountant. They were seated next to each other on PanAm's first commercial flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii. They hit it off, exchanged addresses, wrote to each other for a year, and then finally got to spend a couple of weeks together in person in Hawaii, which ended with a marriage proposal. 35 years, 2 kids, and at least 20 moves later they're still together, and I'd love to give them a special anniversary present.

They're probably going to Hawaii next year for a class reunion for my Mom's Master's program. She's already talked to a few of her classmates/friends who stood up with them at their wedding to try to get them there, but I'd like to make it even bigger. Because my parents got married in Hawaii, no one from either of their Midwestern families was able to be there except for a cousin of my Mom's whose Navy ship happened to be in port.

I know I can just go ahead and invite my aunts and uncles, but trips to Hawaii haven't gotten any cheaper, and I'd love to find a way to get them there that all of them could afford. My first thought was to see if I could get the airline my parents met on to offer some freebies because the story would be such good publicity for them, but PanAm went out of business many years ago, and doesn't seem to have been bought up by any major airline. I could probably talk to someone at her school's alumni program about making some mention of their wedding during the reunion festivites, but beyond that I'm stumped.

What else can y'all think of?
posted by MsMolly to Grab Bag (9 answers total)
Look into buying a block of seats, you might get a better deal if you're talking 20 seats reserved at once. I'm not a travel expert or anything, just throwing out an idea.
posted by voidcontext at 12:17 PM on October 5, 2006

Full disclosure: A friend used to work for this travel agency, but Hawaii is their specialty.
posted by GaelFC at 12:39 PM on October 5, 2006

Can you do a Hawaiian luau at home before they go or after they get back? Maybe say no gifts but ask for $5 from each gift so you can get tiki torches, a pig roast etc?
posted by clairezulkey at 12:53 PM on October 5, 2006

If you can't get people to Hawaii then definitely do a lu`au with all your family and friends on the mainland. Also do look into the speciality travel agencies. While the iterneraries aren't always super flexible, bargins on the airfare to Hawaii can be had.
posted by mmascolino at 1:34 PM on October 5, 2006

(oh and very cute page title too btw)
posted by mmascolino at 1:36 PM on October 5, 2006

I'd strongly suggest something on the mainland too. Even if you make getting their cheaper, being there hasn't gotten any cheaper either. What about the lu`au mmascolino mentions somewhere closer to all of them? seems to have a bazillion resources about tiki-resort-type-lookin stuff.

Personally I think they did the Hawaii thing once, minus family. Why not focus on the family thing, plus or minus Hawaii?
posted by phearlez at 2:08 PM on October 5, 2006

You know, it would be cool if you could find (or reproduce) and old PanAm flight attendant's uniform and have your folks renew their vows with the flight attendant officiating.

And I really think you need to use the title to your post on the invitation!
posted by Lockjaw at 2:30 PM on October 5, 2006 [1 favorite]

Well, I don't know if this would fly or not, but Southwest now flies to Hawaii via their Code Share arrangement with ATA.

Southwest is known as the LUV airline (that's even their stock symbol) and there is no airline more savvy/sappy with it's marketing that Southwest.

You might want to contact them and see if they like your story.
posted by FlamingBore at 2:50 PM on October 5, 2006

ATA is the main budget airline to the Sandwich Islands from the mainland, and I see they're offering special deals for their new service to Hilo. Other than Molokai, Hilo is probably the closest thing to Olde Hawai'i remaining, so it might be perfect for your parents (if less so for other colada 'n' cocoa butter-cravin' kin).
posted by rob511 at 3:18 PM on October 5, 2006

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