Hayley Angell and her wife Lisa Harris have had a magical reunion thanks to British Airways after being forced to live 16,000 kilometres apart due to a family tragedy.
Hayley, from Brisbane, had been living in Glasgow with Lisa for 18 months when she received the devastating news that her father was suffering from terminal tongue cancer.
She immediately flew back to Australia to be with him and support her mother Debbie, who herself suffers from the degenerative condition Muscular Dystrophy.
Hayley and Lisa met in Australia in 2011 and moved together to the UK in 2012. They were engaged in Paris just before Hayley’s 30th birthday and married in August 2015.
Hayley left the UK on Valentine’s Day this year and had just over a month with her father before he passed away on 26 March.
She has remained there since, helping her mother sort through the family affairs, while Lisa has returned to her home town of Derby with the couple’s dog, Hettie.
This prompted Lisa to write to British Airways’ BA Magic campaign in the hope of being reunited.
On reading her letter, the BA Magic team said they had to help the couple and set about working with Lisa, Debbie and Hayley’s boss, Mark, to arrange a surprise trip to London.
Hayley was surprised at a work conference by a video from Lisa 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 Lisa 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,” Hayley said.
“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.”
Lisa said she got in touch with British Airways more out of hope than expectation.
“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’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.”
Watch the video below: