When a loved one lives thousands of miles away, the world can seem like a very big place.
But today The News launches a competition that could help make it smaller for one lucky reader, who will be reunited with their far-flung friend or family member thanks to KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
It’s all to celebrate the launch of the airline’s new, twice daily routes from Southampton Airport to Amsterdam – from where passengers can fly hassle free to more than 130 destinations worldwide.
The routes bring the world to your doorstep, reuniting families, bringing together long-lost friends and making dreams come true.
So, if you were able to bring someone you love back to the UK, who would it be? Perhaps the grandson in Dubai you have never seen? The old friend in New York you would love to throw your arms around but only ever speak to on the telephone? A bridesmaid at your wedding who moved abroad decades ago, a long-lost school friend, a cousin, a sister, brother, former colleague or forces pal… it could be anyone you’re longing to see again.
Whatever the reason, we want to hear your stories. We’ll feature some of them in The News and in four weeks’ time, judges from The News and KLM will get together to choose a winner.
That lucky reader will win a pair of tickets to fly their loved ones from any KLM destination worldwide to Southampton Airport for an emotional reunion.
Warner Rootliep, general manager of Air France KLM UK and Ireland said: ‘Our business is bringing people together. With our new flights from Southampton Airport and out of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol the world is becoming smaller. For people living on the south coast, destinations as far away as Delhi or Shanghai are now on their doorstep. We are very excited about this new route and we hope to welcome many more passengers on board soon. We are delighted to celebrate these new flight by teaming up with The News to offer the chance to make a reader’s dream come true.”
KLM has launched the new route with a fun campaign centred around airport codes. Over the past two weeks, you may have spotted giant mystery LIM letters that appeared on Southsea Common, followed by a series of ‘baby letters’ that were distributed across the region.
Wave 105.2 social media fans and listeners speculated about what they meant, with many correctly guessing that they represented the airport code for Lima, Peru. The LIM letters were later replaced by the giant letters KLM, which remained on the common throughout the sunny weekend.
People were encouraged to tweet and share pictures of them using the hashtag #SOClose2U – a play on the SOU Southampton airport code and the message that KLM brings people closer together.
Travellers can now hop on KLM flights from Southampton airport to Amsterdam and then on to worldwide destinations including Lima and New York, Orlando, Washington, Toronto, Beijing and Nairobi.
There’s no need to check luggage in again at Amsterdam, or to worry about driving up to Gatwick or Heathrow and parking there. KLM really are putting the world on your doorstep.
Mark Waldron, editor of The News, said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to be reunited with loved ones virtually anywhere in the world.
‘Imagine welcoming them home with a huge hug after they step off their KLM flight at Southampton Airport. We can’t wait to hear readers’ stories and look forward to the magic moment when we can reunite people with their far-flung friends or family members.’
HOW TO ENTER
To enter, email a brief outline of your story along with your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org by midday on June 3.
Include some details about yourself, who you want to be reunited with and why. Please include a contact number that we can call you on during office hours.
The winners will be announced in the week beginning June 7.
Reunions will take place soon after that date.