As Brian Lenzen climbed into the 787 cockpit for the very last time, all the happy memories from the past three decades washed over him with a tinge of sadness.
After working with American Airlines for 34 years, he wasn’t quite ready to hang up his pilot’s hat. At 65, though, the Chaska, Minnesota, native had reached the mandatory retirement age of airline pilots. But his final flight on June 24 couldn’t have been more special.
With a hand-picked crew of his favorites colleagues, Brian chose Dublin as the destination, where, upon arrival, they all had a blast together at an Irish pub — though that wasn’t the only celebration of Brian’s career.
On the return flight home, there just so happened to be a group of Irish singers on board — the St. Anthony on the Lake choir. When they heard it was Brian’s last day on the job, they asked a flight attendant if they could sing an Irish blessing for him. And moments after as they all exited the plane, they brought Brian to tears.
In footage shared on the American Airlines Facebook page, the choir bids Brian farewell beautifully, singing, “Until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
While leaving the airline was bittersweet for Brian, he can’t deny it also felt amazing to have total strangers gathered around him, singing in his honor.
“It was just a very special moment,” Brian said. “I’m kind of an emotional guy anyway, and so I got a little tearful realizing that was for me.”
Now Brian plans to enjoy all the extra time he’ll be able to spend with his wife and granddaughter, though he’ll always miss flying. And, going off of all the love we just witnessed, everyone who had the pleasure of working beside him will miss him just as much.
Watch as Brian gets a magical send-off in the clip below, and share to spread congratulations on his retirement!
Sound on 🔈, tissues out 🤧. Members of the St. Anthony on the Lake choir surprised #AATeam Capt. Brian Lenzen by singing an Irish blessing after his retirement flight from Dublin to Chicago.
Posted by American Airlines on Thursday, July 18, 2019
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