A BEWILDERED surgeon was proposed to by her boyfriend at 30,000 feet – and then greeted by a singing and dancing flashmob at the airport.
An astonished Sibylle Pausch, 28, was asked the big question by plucky Scot Samuel Waldron, 31, who got down on one knee in front of scores of passengers on a Heathrow to Edinburgh flight.
But an even bigger shock was in store when she stepped into the arrivals lounge at Edinburgh Airport.
Forty singers from a local choir, backed by an electric guitar, danced as they belted out a medley of romantic tunes.
The couple have been in a long-distance relationship for nine years, so PHd student Samuel, from Duns in the Scottish Borders, decided it was time to pop the question.
After weeks of planning, Samuel sprung his surprise seven miles above the ground and was delighted to get an emphatic “yes”.
He said planes had been a “symbol” of their long term relationship because he had travelled so much to see her.
Samuel got the crew to read out a short speech over the intercom shortly before the British Airways jet began its descent to Edinburgh.
All on board were told: “A passenger aboard this plane has flown over 100 flights, 30,000 miles, visited seven countries and 20 airports.
“All for one reason – to visit his girlfriend.”
Samuel said: “It was pretty nerve-wracking. I had been writing and re-writing what I was going to get the crew to say.
“I came out the bathroom and gave it to the senior crew member.
“I was speaking to the crew at the back of the plane, and the speech started just before we were descending.”
After getting the crew to read out the speech, he started walking down the aisle.
“That’s where I came in. I was walking down the aisle and they were saying it and I got down on one knee and asked her to marry me.
“After the shock wore off she said yes.
“Someone shouted ‘did she say yes?’ and then everyone on the plane cheered.
“She was shocked, she didn’t expect it, but she held together pretty well.”
The couple met when they were working in an orphanage in South Africa as students.
Samuel proposed with a ring which had been passed down through generations in his family, and made sure there was nothing suspicious-looking in his bag in case airport security searched it and spoiled the surprise.
But Sibylle was in for another shock after the arrivals lounge at Edinburgh airport broke out in song.
He said: “When they started singing she asked if it was for us, then it got more and more obvious that it was.”
“She’s a bit shy but she enjoyed it.”
He added: “I wanted to go the whole hog – you only do it once.
“I’m delighted with how it turned out.”
The singers of Edinburgh’s Sing in the City Aw Blacks choir greeted the couple at 10.30pm on Tuesday.
A video of the flashmob shows the couple turning up in the arrivals lounge and greeting members of Samuel’s family, initially unaware of the unusual greeting they are to receive.
Then a lone guitarist starts playing Then He Kissed Me by The Crystals, and is shortly joined by others from the crowd in loungue, who remove their jackets to show T-shirts revealing they are part of the choir.
The size of the choir grows and grows as the couple look on smiling, and as they break into Give it Up by KC and the Sunshine Band there are around 40 people singing and dancing in the lounge.
After they break into Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison, Sibylle is handed roses by men from the choir.
Samuel’s mum Heather, who was there to greet them at the airport,
said: “We more or less found out about it on the day. I pieced it together quite quickly and we were thrilled.”
Kirsty Baird, the choir’s manager who organised the flashmob at the groom-to-be’s request, explained Samuel’s unusual choice of location to ask for Sibylle’s hand.
She said “They’ve been in a long term relationship over long distances.
“They’ve spent a lot of time in planes.
“The airport only authorised the flashmob because it was late at night.”
Neil Hitcham, customer service director of the flight said: “My crew were more than happy to serve as cupid in this most romantic of proposals. We wish them all the best for their future together.”