United Airlines just made its own Christmas movie. We had to review.

Warning: This story contains spoilers.

It’s a tale as old as time: Two attractive strangers cross paths in a busy airport, a bunch of airline employees turn out to be elves working to get them together.

In a break from the standard in-flight security demo video, United Airlines has released a mini rom-com with all the trimmings of a Hallmark Christmas movie. And like a Hallmark Christmas movie, the 5-minute and 45-second short “Love in Plane Sight” will either warm the cockles of your heart or make you reach for the airsick bag.

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As soon as we learned about the film, our Hallmark-loving-slash-loathing team had to stop what we were doing and watch all 345 seconds immediately. The group chat (all right, it’s Slack) lit up like the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. Let’s just say we had thoughts.

A scientist should know better than to check a bag

“Love in Plane Sight” opens with a monologue from a woman anxious about traveling home to see her family, sans romantic partner. “I can’t wait for my parents to ask me why I’m still single,” laments our fair heroine to a check-in agent with secret magical elf ears she doesn’t seem to notice. “I don’t know, maybe because I’m an astronomer? … Maybe I just need to say, ‘Mom, Dad, my life partner is the sky!’”

“It’s a classic rom-com setup: big-city astronomer heads to the airport not exactly looking for love,” our deputy editor Gabe Hiatt said. This is the exact kind of cheesiness we expect from such a movie, and as hard as it is to stomach, we are here for it.

We are not here for the fact that she’s checking a bag during the holiday rush. This is a big red flag for our editor Amanda Finnegan: “Do you not remember the Great Meltdown of Christmas 2022?”

Does United really make logo latte art?

Our lead proceeds to have a friction-free travel day with plenty of time to grab a gingerbread latte at a United lounge, complete with immaculate latte art of the airline’s logo (because this movie is, of course, an ad for the airline).

Our airport coffee experience is usually more of a mad dash for Dunkin’ or waiting in the epic line at Starbucks. “I want to know if the United lounges really have gingerbread lattes with their logos,” Finnegan said.

It turns out, the gingerbread latte with logo art is available for real! “The scene was filmed at our grab-and-go United Club — Denver United Club Fly — which opened last year and offers latte art, among other things,” United spokesperson Madeline Martin said in an email. “The gingerbread latte is a seasonal offering.”

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Latte in hand, the astronomer gets a push notification on her phone that her flight is boarding (our hats off to her for downloading her airline’s app, a clutch move for managing holiday travel headaches). En route to her gate, she pauses to appreciate a group of concourse carolers, and a…

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