By Amanda Taylor, NEWS 9
A.J. Meier's dream of proposing to his girlfriend Dedra Woods in a unique way was spoiled until NEWS 9's Consumer Watch Team offered a helping hand.
"I had the idea that it would be really nice to propose to her on a hot air balloon," said Meier. "I Googled hot air balloon rides in Oklahoma City and there are all these different sites that came up."
One of the sites he came across was Life Thrills. The Georgia-based company offered romantic hot air balloon rides around the country, including Oklahoma City. Excited and ready, A.J. Meier paid the company $500 in July. Five months later, he still had received no word back on a time and date for the romantic ride.
"She never called me back," he said. "I kept leaving messages and the mailbox got full and she never returned my calls."
Determined to make his creative proposal a reality, Meier called NEWS 9
Consumer Reporter Amanda Taylor and the Consumer Watch Team to help him. After the Consumer Watch Team checked with the Better Business Bureau and found 30 complaints were on file against Life Thrills, a decision to help the young man went underway.
"We've heard so many stories of people buying their tickets over the Internet instead of some place local," said Keith Mills, owner of Free Spirit Balloons. "Once they get your credit card number, they are through with you. You will never here from them again."
Without hesitating, Free Spirit offered to take the couple up and not charge a penny. Collaborating with the Oklahoma City-based balloon company, Amanda Taylor and Meier set Dedra Woods up for her unforgettable ride...with a couple white lies to help fuel the surprise.
"His mother won this in like a drawing," said Woods. "She was afraid of heights so she gave it to us."
Lucky for A.J. Meier, all his trouble was worth the reward.
"I can't imagine being with anybody else for the rest of my life and having a family together... will you marry me?" Meier asked Woods.
She said yes.
"You kept it a secret for a long time - huh?" Dedra oods asked. "[I'm] overwhelmed, shaky. I don't know it's like a whirlwind."
A.J. and Dedra announced their wedding date is set for May 23, 2008.
If you are interested in taking a hot air balloon ride, Free Spirit said if the company you want to book doesn't tell you where you are flying, or who the pilot is, don't trust them.
If there's something Amanda Taylor and the Consumer Watch team can help you with call 841-9921.
Originally Aired: 11-16-07