Couple reveal how a sandwich lead them to fall in love during a flight
Every great love story has a memorable meet cute.
In When Harry Met Sally, it was a nightmare roadtrip that led to a lifelong romance; in 500 Days of Summer it was Summer and Tom's mutual love of The Smiths that brought them together; in The Notebook it was the moment Noah saw Allie across the carnival and asked her to dance.
But, sometimes, just sometimes, a couple can fall in love over a sandwich.
Yes, you heard right. Love was well and truly in the air when Michael Whitman and Charlotte Everest met on a British Airways jet and bonded over an M&S sarnie.
It all started when 25-year-old Michael boarded flight BA0357 to London on June 29 2016, and settled into seat 25E, after a sunny holiday away with friends in Nice, in the South of France.
Almost immediately after sitting down, he noticed a beautiful stranger in the seat beside him, but somehow couldn't build up the courage to speak to her. His chance eventually came when he was handed the pastrami sandwich, part of the in-flight catering. Turning to Charlotte, he finally broke the ice by saying: "Bit small, isn't it?"
Ever since then, he and the 23-year-old theatre director have been madly in love, with Michael admitting: “We were complete strangers, but being up in the air gave us a chance to really hit it off and learn more about each other.”
Speaking further about how the romance unravelled, the account manager described the "nightmare journey" he had beforehand, confessing that he almost missed his flight due to the clock on his phone not changing in accordance with the time difference.
After being saved by a three-hour delay, he took his seat and met his future love. He said: “I was trying to think of things to say to her. She was reading a book and I was trying to see what it was so I could say, ‘That’s a good read, isn’t it?’ Then I was fretting in case it was something I hadn’t read.”
He added: “Eventually, when the food came, I ended up just saying the sandwich was small and, luckily, she thought it was cute. After that we got talking. We instantly had common ground, because she went to the University of Leeds and I had gone there a few years before.
“The conversation was flowing. She was talking about the Euro football championships, which were going on at the same time. We worked out we were in the same bar for one of the football games.”
The couple-to-be were getting along well, but the question on Michael's mind was: how did he get Charlotte's number?
After two hours in the air, the 25-year-old took out his phone and told his future girlfriend that he needed to call a cab. He laughed: “She was worried I was using my phone on the plane, but really I was just doing it as an excuse to ask for her number."
After going through passport control together, the pair parted ways and the very next morning, Michael asked Charlotte out over text. Their first date was a walk along the canal in London and a romantic restaurant date. After this, the pair travelled between Leeds and London whenever they could, before Charlotte moved to London to join her boyfriend.
Having been together ever since, the couple have now joined the ranks of the two in every 100 people flying every day who meet and fall in love in the air, according to new research from HSBC.
Charlotte added: “I never imagined I would meet someone on a flight. I wasn’t actually looking to meet anyone as I’d had a tricky month seeing someone else and that didn’t work out.”
She added: “I was so surprised when Michael broke the ice with the line about the sandwich. There was an undeniable tension between us but no one ever actually does anything about that so it was a big bravo to him!”