A couple matched on Hinge and unexpectedly had their first date on a Delta flight. After 2 years of wild adventures, they got engaged in Greece.
17.09.2023 - 13:49
LaGuardia Airport is hardly a romantic destination — but for at least one couple, it's where their love story began.
Though they'd never met IRL, Austin Puckett, 31, and Madison Kinsella, 30, were not total strangers when they caught each other's eye at LaGuardia, waiting to board a Delta flight to Denver, Colorada in January 2022.
You see, Kinsella, a documentary filmmaker, and Puckett, a software and hardware engineer manager, matched on the dating app Hinge. After exchanging a few messages, they made loose plans to meet up.
The only thing getting in the way of them meeting sooner was that both were coincidentally heading out of town for a few days. Neither had said where, so little did they know the journey to their destination was identical.
"I look over and I'm like, 'No way. Absolutely, no way,'" Puckett told Insider, recalling when he saw Kinsella at the airport. "There's something about this girl that I recognize, but no way."
Meanwhile, Kinsella, who swears she saw Puckett first, said she recognized him instantly, even though he wore a face mask. "I look up and notice this guy who's tall and cute," she said. "And I'm just like, 'That would be crazy.'"
But if you thought it sounded like a scene out of your favorite romantic comedy, think again because Kinsella wasn't exactly thrilled at the prospect of bumping into her Hinge date at the airport.
"Let's be very clear, I was freaking out," she said. "I had whitening strips on my teeth, and I had broken out in a few spots, so I had pimple patches on little spots."
For a split second, she worried what Puckett would think of her.
"And then I thought, "If he doesn't like me like this, this is what I look like a good chunk of the time,'" she said. "So we're gonna find out real quick if he's a keeper or a dud.'
It's safe to say Puckett was far from a dud.
Though neither approached the other at the gate, Kinsella decided to shoot her shot and text Puckett after seeing him board early in first class.
"Long shot, are you boarding this flight to Denver right now?" Kinsella wrote. "You've got to be kidding me," Puckett responded.
Soon after, they discovered they were not only on the same flight but had the same plans for the weekend in Colorado, including skiing and attending Winter on the Rocks, a music festival headlined by Diplo.
As fate would have it, Kinsella discovered she had a free seat next to her once she boarded, so decided to retake the lead by inviting Puckett to join her midway through the flight.
From years of dating experience in NYC, Kinsella was done waiting for a guy to make the first move.
"Let this be an invitation. And if he's smart, he'll take it," she said.
Over text, Kinsella oozed confidence, but the reality was that she was