Martin Agency copywriter Joe Alexander surprised girlfriend Sarah Rowland and several dozen airline passengers last month by proposing to her … 30,000 feet over Cleveland.

The couple was traveling from Richmond, Va., to Minneapolis when Alexander decided to pop the question. With the help of a flight attendant, he had the pilot announce on the intercom: “Sarah in Row 2, the man nextto you wants to ask you a question.”

“I wanted a way to propose that matched my feelings,” said Alexander.

When Sarah said yes, passengers on U.S. Air Flight 51 cheered.

But the best was yet to come. Over and over, he told Adweek, people said, ” ‘Congratulations. It’s about time something good happenedon a plane.’ “

Alexander said, “It’s made me think that maybe we were inspired to do this on a plane for a reason.

“Maybe our story is a way for people to start feeling good about air travel again,” he added. “Maybe, just for a few minutes, if someone who knew someone who died on a Sept. 11 flight heard our story, they’d smile.”