Mother, daughter lead historic Southwest Airlines flight to St. Louis


ST. LOUIS – A historic Southwest Airlines flight recently landed in St. Louis.

In July, Holly Petitt and Keely Petitt became the first-ever mother/daughter pilot duo to lead a Southwest Airlines flight. Holly, the mother, served as the captain for the flight. Her daughter, Keely, served as the first officer.

On July 23, the duo flew their first Southwest Airlines flight together from their hometown of Denver to St. Louis.

“It’s been a dream come true,” said Holly in a Southwest Airlines news 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.” 

Keely grew up taking trips with her mom and acquired a passion for flying. Keely and her siblings were treated to a discovery flight when she was 14, and that experience made her realize she wanted to follow in her mother’s footsteps.

In the years to come, Keely began to pursue her passion. By the fall of 2017, she had earned her pilot’s license and landed an internship at Southwest.

“Southwest was always the end goal for me,” said Keely. “There was really never any other option.”

The airline’s Campus Reach Internship Program helped Keely learn more about aviation prior to her historic flight. Southwest shared several heartfelt pictures of Holly and Keely to social media following the historic flight.

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