Alumni Profiles

Rutgers Globe-Trotters

Jay Dougherty Alyssa Chesnut
Pilot Jay Dougherty CC’06 and his wife, flight attendant Alyssa Chesnut RC’06 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo: Alyssa Chesnut)

One way to have an endless summer of travel, one that allows you to visit exotic destinations all year long, is to work for a major airline. That’s been the good fortune of pilot Jay Dougherty CC’06 and flight attendant Alyssa Chesnut RC’06, who, since marrying in 2017, have vacationed in Aruba, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, and Hong Kong, to name a few locations. “The best part of our vocation is a common language and lifestyle,” says Chesnut. “We go on work trips with each other or plan exciting vacations, knowing that the airfare is free.”

That they met, got married, and share all this fun is something of a miracle. They were both at Rutgers at the same time, but Chesnut and Dougherty never met. After graduating, each began working for a major airline; still, they never crossed paths. It took an early morning flight in 2014 from Newark to Denver for them to finally meet—as passengers. Seating changes put them side by side in aisle 10. Small talk led to the revelation that, yes, they did have a couple of things in common. Evidently, there was more they shared, like a love of maps and travel. Three years later, a love for each other led to marriage.

“We have a lot of time together, perhaps more so than the typical couple who work outside this industry,” says Dougherty. “Because we have enough control over our schedules to coordinate a stretch of days off, we can embark on some truly fantastic adventures.”

Story originally appeared in Rutgers Magazine