The daughter was inspired by her mother and wanted to be a pilot since she was 14.
Holly and Keely Petitt are a mother-dand-daughter team who happen to be coworkers as Southwest Airlines pilots. Holly is a captain while Keely works as a First Officer. Recently, the two set off on their very first flight together onboard Flight 3658 from Denver to St. Louis!
Holly's introduction of Keely to passengers was captured on video and aired on Good Morning America on Tuesday. Holly can be heard saying, "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."
She told GMA, "I just keep using the word 'surreal.' You have this little baby you’re holding in your arms and then in a blink of an eye there she is sitting on the flight deck next to you." She added, "It’s just it’s been surreal and a dream come true," per The New York Post.
Holly claimed she had an "aha" moment when she got the chance to sit in the jumpseat after starting out as a flight attendant after college. She told The Denver Channel, "This is what I want to do with the rest of my life. So I went home, told my husband Todd, and he laughed because we had three kids, the youngest was one, Keely was just over two, and Zoey was three-and-a-half. That’s when I took my first flight lesson. He said, ‘Okay, let’s do this.’ And we just took it one step at a time."
On July 23, Southwest Airlines had a mother and daughter duo pilot a flight for the first time in the airline's 55 year history. Captain Holly Petitt and First Officer Keely Petitt operated flight 3658 from Denver (DEN) to St. Louis (STL). #SWAPA #Pilots pic.twitter.com/LVpOTbH1Zu— Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (@swapapilots) August 3, 2022
Growing up around Southwest aircraft, Keely decided she wanted to be a pilot before the age of 14. In 2017, she began working at Southwest as an intern. She obtained her personal pilot's license two years later.
According to One Mile at a Time, she eventually became an airline pilot in mid-2019, after nearly three years as a pilot for small airline Horizon Air, until earlier this summer, when she secured her dream job with Southwest Airlines. A mother and daughter operated a flight together for the first time in Southwest Airlines history.
Keely said, "Southwest was always the end goal for me. There was really never any other option."
She further added, "I’m looking just at my schedule like how can I swap this around to fly with mom. I don’t care where we go or when we do it but anytime we would get to fly together again would just be spectacular."
Cover Image Source: Good Morning America/Youtube