Thanksgiving Surprise: BA & American Airlines Reunite Special Family

British Airways has partnered with American Airlines in order to reunite a family for Thanksgiving. The family was able to celebrate Thanksgiving together for the first time since 2004 as their father’s health is deteriorating.

British Airways, American Airlines, Thanksgiving
British Airways and American Airlines stepped in to make one Thanksgiving celebration extra special. Photo: Dave K via Flickr

With four children living across the globe, Jan Mezyk has a truly international family. The children are aged between 24 and 31, and each lives in a different city; Madrid, London, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Meanwhile, Mr Mezyk lives in Chicago. This means that the family hasn’t celebrated a Thanksgiving together for 15 years. However, Mr Mezyk is no longer able to travel due to deteriorating health. In order to bring the family together for the American holiday, British Airways partnered with American Airlines.

How did it happen?

British Airways and American Airlines pulled out all of the stops to reunite the family in Chicago. While the siblings would’ve been more than happy just being flown to Chicago for the holiday, the two airlines went much further.

The story started in Madrid where Stephanie, the oldest sibling, currently lives. She was flown to London on British Airways’ sister Airline, Iberia, in the business class cabin. Here she met her sister Caralyn in the British Airways first-class lounge.

British Airways, American Airlines, Thanksgiving
The two sisters were flown across the Atlantic on an American Airlines Boeing 787. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

A British Airways representative escorted the sisters to an American Airlines Boeing 787, which flew them to Chicago in the flagship business cabin. Upon arrival, they were accompanied by a British Airways representative while they waited for their brothers Joe and Stephan to fly in from Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively.

British Airways produced a heartwarming video of the whole encounter:

A surprise reunion


Once the four siblings arrived in Chicago, they were driven to their parents’ home in a black limousine. Upon arrival, the brothers and sisters hid out of sight waiting for their parents to leave the house.

When Mr and Mrs Mezyk left the house, they were surprised by their children. Both of the parents were shocked to see their family united, with Mrs Mezyk rendered speechless. However, after pleasantries were exchanged, the airlines took the whole experience a step further.

The family was driven to the Bistronomic restaurant in Chicago. Representatives from British Airways and American Airlines led the family into the room where the meal would be served. Here, the whole group was in for a further surprise, as their extended family had all traveled to Chicago for the meal too.

British Airways, American Airlines, Thanksgiving
The extended family also joined the group for a meal in Chicago. Photo: British Airways

Speaking of the undertaking Neil Chernoff, British Airways’ Director of Networks and Alliances, said,

“Bringing people together is something British Airways and American Airlines do every day, but it’s even more important over Thanksgiving and Christmas. The teams often go to great lengths to create memorable journeys, so we hope that the Mezyk family have their best holiday season yet.”

Have you been surprised by an airline going the extra mile at Thanksgiving? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!