Couple get engaged in the sky as proposal etched on world-famous beach

A woman was surprised with a marriage proposal as the plane flew into Barra's beach runway.

Couple get engaged in the sky as proposal etched on world-famous Barra beach Loganair

The sand at the Isle of Barra’s world famous tidal beach runway has become the site of a bucket list proposal for a travel-loving couple.

Stephen McCann and Bridget Byrne, from East Dunbartonshire, were amongst those on a plane travelling to the island last week.

The couple were flying to the Western Isles to celebrate photographer and fitness instructor Stephen’s 50th birthday when he staked his claim for surprise engagement of the year by using the picturesque beach to propose.

With the help of Highlands and Islands airport staff, Stephen had the message “Bridget will you marry me?” etched into the sand in letters so large they could be seen from the air as the couple approached the island.

The world-famous Barra beach played an important role in the marriage proposal of two travel enthusiasts from GlasgowLoganair

Reading the words, a stunned Bridget, 42, who owns Cafe Alba in Milngavie, said “yes,” much to the delight of everyone onboard – in particular a relieved Stephen.

After meeting at an Arcufit fitness class in Bishopbriggs in 2020, the couple have enjoyed three years together sharing their love of travel.

Barra Airport has the world’s only tidal beach runway, and has previously been used by air passengers to surprise partners with engagements.

Thanking Loganair and airport staff, Stephen said: “When I first had the idea of a beach proposal, I didn’t think it would be possible but after reaching out to the Loganair and Barra Airport team, they were so accommodating. 

“Ultimately, we were relying on mother nature as a high tide could easily wash away the writing in the sand. I was seriously stressed, but literally just before take-off, I got confirmation the message was in place, pilots were briefed, and it was all systems go.

The couple were travelling to Barra to celebrate Stephen's 50th.Loganair

“From then, it couldn’t have gone any better. Bridget got the surprise of her life looking out the window, so much so she nearly forgot to say ‘yes’. Thankfully she did, and everyone cheered then when we landed, I was able to go down on one knee and complete the proposal.

“It really was a special moment and beyond anything we could have hoped for. I can’t thank Loganair, their staff, the pilots and everyone at Barra Airport enough for all working together to make this happen. It’s something we will both never forget.”

Daniel Tye, captain at Loganair, said: “It’s always special to land at Barra, but it was extra special to overfly the beach so that Bridget could see the proposal written in the sand. I was able to see the happy couple from the cockpit and it was wonderful to see her reaction as she saw the message. It’s a joy to operate on this route and was a privilege to play a small part in their special day.”

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