The pilot, Cole Doss, shared a now-viral video to Instagram earlier this month of his pre-flight announcement, while on a plane from Washington, DC, to Madrid, Spain. He said that there were some of the “most talented flight attendants” on the plane, including his “exceptional mom”.
He continued his speech by describing the gratitude he has for his mother, and the ways in which she helped shaped the start of his career.
“She’s been one of my biggest supporters in my life and in my career becoming a pilot, ever since my very first flight lesson,” he said, before plane passengers started to clap for him.
After smiling at his mother and noting that he was “not done” with his speech, he said that he was thrilled to be working on the same flight as his mother for the first time in his career.
“I’m especially honoured and excited to be able to fly her for the first time today, and to be able to share this experience with all of you on our flight to Madrid,” he concluded. “To my mom, I love you. And to everyone on board, welcome aboard our family-friendly skies.”
The video ended with Doss holding his mother’s arm up in the air, before she said “thank you” to the camera.
In the caption of his post, the United Airlines worker reflected on the opportunity he had to fly with his mother. He once again praised her for being his “biggest supporter” as he became a pilot.
“The highlight of my career came to life when I was able to work a trip with my mom and fly her for the first time!” he wrote on Instagram. “She’s been my biggest supporter in becoming a pilot. We had the best trip to Madrid together. I’ll never forget this experience and everyone who helped make this possible.”
In the comments of the video, which has amassed more than 24,100 likes, many viewers went on to praise Doss’ sweet message.
“I may or may not be crying in the galley. This is wonderful,” one wrote, while another added: “Stop it. I’m crying. What an incredible experience for you and your mama. I love this.”
A third wrote: “This is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen! Congratulations Cole!”
United Airlines’ official Instagram account also responded to the video, commenting: “Family that flies together stays together! Thanks Mom!”
Speaking to Good Morning America, Doss specified the flight to Madrid was not only his first time working with his mother, but it was also the first time that she took a flight with him as the pilot.
“That was the first time I was able to fly my mom ever,” he said. “In flight school, she was a little nervous about the small planes, so I was never able to fly with her there.”
He explained that he paid tribute to his mother through the in-flight announcement because mothers and flight attendants, in general, “deserve all the credit they can get”.
“I wanted to do something incredibly special to pay back my mom and let everyone know that this was a really cool and momentous event for the both of us,” he added.
As he specified that he and his mother were on the same flight back to Washington, DC, he also joked about how she made their relationship known to fellow travellers.
“She was really proud of me so I’m sure she probably told most of the passengers that her son was flying up front,” he said.
The Independent has contacted Doss for comment.
This isn’t the first time that two family members have had the opportunity to work on a flight together. In July 2022, a mother-and-daughter team of pilots - Captain Holly Petitt and first officer Keely Petitt - flew their first plane together for Southwest Airlines. During a pre-flight announcement, Holly also had the opportunity to introduce her daughter to passengers on the plane.
“Today is a special day for me. I would like to introduce to you your first officer, a brand new member of the Southwest team of pilots, and my daughter, Keely Pettit,” she said, before Keely walked out of the cockpit and gave her mother a hug.