Mother-Daughter Duo Make History Piloting Southwest Flight Together

Southwest Airlines Co. | Schelly Stone
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Holly and Keely Petitt are the first mother and daughter pair to pilot a Southwest flight.

The ultimate mother-daughter activity is in the history books! Captain Holly Petitt and First Officer Keely Petitt are the first ever mother and daughter pilot duo for Southwest Airlines, flying their first flight together on Sat. Jul. 23.

“It’s been a dream come true,” said Holly in a Southwest press release. “First, I found this career and fell in love with it, and then that one of my kids fell into this and in love with this career too. It’s surreal.”

The pair made their first trip together from their home base in Denver on Flight #3658 to St. Louis. “Not only are Holly and Keely making Southwest history, but also they’re breaking barriers and empowering women of all ages to pursue their dreams in aviation, and pun intended, reach for the skies,” says Southwest.

Captain Holly has been working in the field of aviation since college, starting out as a flight attendant. After realizing she wanted to fly planes instead, she worked on her certifications so she could pursue her dreams.

Having a mom in the cockpit inspired Keely to follow in her footsteps. After scoring an internship with Southwest in 2017, it became clear that this was the company she wanted to work for. “Southwest was always the end goal for me,” says Keely. “There was really never any other option.”

For Captain Holly, it all comes back to that irresistible mother’s love. “It’s been a very emotional morning for me. One moment you are holding this tiny premature baby in your arms and in a blink of an eye she is sitting next to you on the flight deck of a Boeing 737 jet” she says in a Facebook post.

Our kids never cease to amaze us.

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