Air Canada has promised C.J. Poirier, of Clarkston, Mich., free tickets if his campaign goes viral. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Air Canada agrees to give free tickets to love-struck man — with a catch

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A love-struck Michigan man has convinced Air Canada to give him free tickets to visit his Newfoundland girlfriend — if he can manage to make his campaign go viral.

C.J. Poirier of Clarkston, Mich., met Becca Warren of Corner Brook, N.L., online last year.

After six months of daily texts, Facetime calls, and chatting with each others’ friends and family, the two decided they wanted to meet in person. But neither could afford a flight.

So Poirier took to Twitter, asking Air Canada how many retweets it would take for free roundtrip tickets.

Air Canada responded Tuesday by asking what the population of Newfoundland was — and said it would take that many.

Poirier needs 530,000 retweets; he was at 13,000 late Wednesday night, and rising fast.

“Quite honestly, I was very surprised to see the campaign start growing at the rate it is now,” Poirier told The Canadian Press over a Twitter message.

The 19-year-old barista said he didn’t expect a response from Air Canada, but it’s made him and Warren optimistic that the dream trip could finally happen.

“When they first responded, I had a sliver of hope. That sliver has become a mountain and I could not be any more excited,” said Poirier.

Poirier and Warren’s international love story has proven inspiring. Canadian comedian Colin Mochrie shared Poirier’s tweet on Wednesday, writing “Help true love….”

Isabelle Arthur of Air Canada wrote in an e-mailed statement that the company reacted to Poirier’s authenticity.

“We certainly hope we… all 530,000 of us…. get invited to the wedding,” Arthur wrote.

Warren said she isn’t surprised by Poirier’s far-fetched plan — in her words, “he’s a pretty quirky guy.” She found out about his Twitter campaign after it had already started racking up retweets.

“I was literally grocery shopping with my mom and my brother yesterday and he called me and was like, you have to see this,” Warren recalled with a laugh.

Poirier hopes to meet his goal by May 13, so he can use the time he has already booked off work to make the trip to Corner Brook.

Both are unsure if the Twitter campaign will meet its goal. But Poirier posted Wednesday afternoon that he’ll be livestreaming a fundraiser on YouTube Gaming Thursday as another way to cobble his ticket funds together.

“Even if we don’t make it, I still plan on going,” he wrote.

“The fact that Detroit is kind of a strange place to go from Newfoundland doesn’t make it cheap at all.”

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