The 1-0 defeat condemned the Midlands giants and their prize asset to another season in the English second tier, and will surely lead to interest from Premier League clubs.
Cairney struck with a cool finish in the first half at Wembley to earn Fulham a top-flight place worth an estimated £160 million ($213 million) windfall.
Villa looked set to turn the screw when Odoi was given a second yellow after a rash challenge on Grealish during a feisty period. This is our project, this Fulham is my club, my staff.
"I am so excited for my club, for these supporters".
"After we missed out on promotion (in the playoffs) last season, a lot of people wrote us off".
Asked of his future, he remained somewhat coy - suggesting his focus was on the upcoming World Cup with his country and that he was contractually still a Newcastle player, though admitting he would be more than happy with a return to Fulham next season.
However, if they beat Fulham in the play-off final, the claret and blues will be in a position to spend heavily over the summer.
And Khan was celebrating from the stands of what could soon be his personal property as he negotiates a deal to buy the iconic stadium from the Football Association.
The deafening sound as Fulham celebrated promotion under the Wembley arch gave a whole new meaning to white noise, for Slavisa Jokanovic's slow-burning, swaggering side had finally got over the line.
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"We are very proud and proud of Fulham today".
A more prudent approach will be needed, with their parachute payments - around £15 million this coming year- following relegation from the Premier League in 2016, ending this season.
"Ryan Fredericks should have been sent off".
Fulham though didn't lose faith in their plan and after growing into the contest, Tom Cairney netted a crucial 23rd-minute opener.
The Scot ran onto the ball and opened his body up, side footing the ball past Sam Johnstone in the Villa goal.
Villa boss Steve Bruce made just one change from the goalless draw with Middlesbrough in the semi-final second-leg, while John Terry started at centre-back and Ahmed El Mohamady slotted in at right-back.