LONDON — British Airways recently marked its 99th birthday with 99 ice creams, a marching band and staff in heritage uniforms at Heathrow Airport, plus a memorable trip opportunity for a fellow 99 year old.
Worcestershire, England’s Mary Parsons, who is 99 years old, was surprised by British Airways with a trip to her hometown of Belfast, Ireland for the first time since she was 18 years old.
Parsons will turn 100 years old on Jan. 1, 2019, the same year that the airline celebrates its centenary.
British Airways ambassador Derek Tennant surprised Parsons at her care home and revealed that he was taking her to Belfast to see her family.
Born just 51 days after World War I ended, Parsons grew up in Monaghan, 113 kilometres south of Belfast, yet left when she was 18-years-old to move to England and become a nurse.
She was met at Belfast airport by her nephew and niece. “It was a great adventure and beyond my wildest dreams,” she said.
“I had a truly wonderful time. British Airways treated me like royalty throughout the whole journey and then meeting my family after all this time was the icing on the cake! It was fantastic to see them all again – we shared wonderful memories together and it was like a trip down memory lane. I never thought I would get to do this aged 99 but it just shows that anything is possible!”
Carolina Martinoli, British Airways’ Director of Brand and Customer Experience, said: “From one 99-year-old to another, we are so pleased we could help Mary get back to Ireland to see her family ahead of her 100th birthday. It’s an incredibly exciting time for all of us at British Airways as we look ahead to our centenary and taking the airline into its next chapter.”