Pete Buttigieg loves transport so much he proposed to his husband in an airport terminal

Pete and Chasten Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg shared the heartwarming story of how he proposed to his husband Chasten in an airport terminal.

The transport secretary made an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers on Monday (22 January) after getting to work following his historic confirmation.

While some may see transportation as one of the less glamorous briefs, it gives Buttigieg an opportunity to work in an area that’s long interested him.

Speaking to the late night host, Buttigieg revealed the reason he opted to propose to husband Chasten at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.

He said: “I know not everybody understands that O’Hare can be a romantic place, but it absolutely can.

“So, the first time Chasten and I ever communicated was on this app called Hinge and he was sitting at Gate B5 at the airport. He had a job that involved helping exchange students move through the airport.

“And I always remembered that, in a certain technical sense, even though it was remotely, that was where we first met.”

He continued: “Later on, when the time came to propose, I found this app I could check on when it was going to be quiet at that gate, based on when the planes were coming and going, and we were taking a vacation that day, so I kind of guided him into that spot.

“I was like, you know, ‘Why don’t you show me that spot where you first were when we first started chatting with each other?’ And, just behind, there was a little bit of space behind that gate agent stand in the window and I invited him to look out the window there and then got on one knee.

“I told him it’d be a lot like being in the airport. Life with me would be probably hard to steal private moments, but also full of adventure. And, luckily for me, he said yes.”

South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg watches as his husband Chasten Glezman plays with their dog Buddy at their home on Tuesday

South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg watches as his husband Chasten Glezman plays with their dog Buddy at their home in 2018 (Getty/ Joshua Lott)

Pete Buttigieg explains why transport policy actually matters a lot

Pete Buttigieg also seized the opportunity to discuss transport policy on prime-time TV, discussing the need to move beyond a car-centric transport policy.

He said: “There’s this old idea that roads are just for cars. I believe roads are for human beings and human beings might be in a car or might be on a bicycle or a scooter or on foot or in a wheelchair, and roads need to support everybody, however it is that you get around.”

The secretary continued: “Sometimes the safest street or the best street is not one that’s just about shooting cars through the middle of a community as fast as possible. It’s about making sure people can get to where they need to go, safely, and making sure that our streets are vibrant and support us in our lives.

“I think all of us, especially as we’ve been in this pandemic reality, have had occasion to think in new ways about just how much it means to us to be in those shared spaces, which is what our streets are.”

Buttigieg also spoke about working alongside rail fanatic Joe Biden, a president who is as passionate about trains rights as he is about trans rights.

He said: “He famously loves passenger rail, so I thought I would be the biggest passenger rail enthusiast around, but I think I’ll be a close second, but always second place in this administration.

“He’s all over this. And, again, I think, not just as a personal fondness, but an understanding that so many of the things this administration’s here to do.”