Love stories come in all shapes and sizes, and sometimes they take flight in the most unexpected places. For Envoy First Officers Sara Hoffmann and Matthew Gense, their love story started in the halls of the University of Oklahoma. As fate would have it, they both chose to pursue their dreams of becoming pilots at the same university where they would also become Envoy Cadets.
Today, we are sharing their love story, adventures, and the unique challenges and joys they experience in their careers as pilots.
The meeting of hearts and wings
Matthew’s fascination with airplanes dates back to his early childhood. While other kids dreamed of being football players or presidents, he yearned to be a pilot. For Sara, her interest in aviation was sparked by her best friend’s father and was solidified after being gifted a discovery flight.
Flash forward to Sara and Matthew’s freshman year at the University of Oklahoma, where their shared flight training and aviation classes became the foundation of their friendship. But it was Sara who made the first move by sliding into Matthew’s Instagram DMs to challenge him to a tennis match. Their connection took off from there, and they haven’t looked back since.
All roads lead to Envoy
Matthew and Sara’s decision to join Envoy was a carefully considered one. Apart from their desire to live in Dallas, Envoy offered a clear path to American Airlines—a dream they both share. Beyond the logistical benefits, they have discovered an encouraging culture and unwavering support from the training department and fellow pilots.
“Envoy truly has a great culture,” said Matthew. “I really feel that everyone wants to see you succeed. From the training department to the flight line, we are very lucky to have great support.”
With Matthew’s mom being a retired American Airlines Flight Attendant and his sister, Katherine, joining the Envoy team as a Flight Attendant in 2022, their shared connection to the American Airlines Group brings a sense of pride and joy to their entire family.
Flying high together
Working together as pilots has been a blessing for Matthew and Sara. They understand each other’s schedules and the demands of their jobs, which only strengthens their bond.
Their shared career path has been a source of support and ease for them, allowing them to assist each other during training and navigate the challenges of the aviation world side by side. By bidding for trips that align their days off, they have managed to synchronize their time at home.
Of course, there are occasional challenges, like who will take out the trash on Thursdays, but they embrace these moments with humor and a shared sense of responsibility.
The skies they traverse
As a pilot, every day brings new experiences and opportunities to connect with people from diverse backgrounds. “One of my favorite parts of this job is every single trip you get to work with three new people,” said Sara. “Getting to know new people from all over and go get dinner in fun cities is so fun.”
For Matthew, the best part of being a pilot is that it never feels like a job.
“No two days are the same,” he said. “I like to tell people that being a pilot is a life hack. I get paid to travel around the country flying a world-class jet. There are very few jobs that even come close to ours.”
Beyond the flight deck, the couple loves to explore the world together using their travel privileges – something they have taken advantage of since their days as Cadets. They often visit friends and family and their adventures have taken them from the scenic landscapes of Montana to international destinations, such as London.
The couple is anxiously awaiting their upcoming honeymoon to Switzerland this October. In the meantime, they are keeping busy, planning their dream wedding and living their dream.
Congrats to Sara and Matthew on their engagement and thank you for sharing your story with us!