Couple Meets On Southwest Flight, The Pastor Who Sat Between Them Officiates Their Wedding

A couple just got married who met inflight on Southwest Airlines in November 2018.

On a 5 a.m. flight from New York to Dallas, he sat in the window seat and spying an open exit row aisle she sat down beside him. She assumed they’d have an empty middle, perfect for the 1381 mile journey.

However Bonny Andrews, a pastor from India visiting to start a new ministry, sat between them in the middle seat – and struck up a conversation. At 5. A. M.

The three ended up talking the entire flight about their faiths, families, childhood, and current life experiences. About two hours into the conversation, Michael and Cathlyn realized that Michael’s aunt and uncle live next door to her family in Austin.

After the three parted ways, Cathlyn texted her mother to tell her she had just met her future husband. And as luck would have it, at that same moment, Michael texted his sister saying he just met his future wife.

A week later they had their first date. A year later he proposed inside of the very first Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-200 (which was almost a DC-9) at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas.

Credit: Southwest Airlines

Credit: Southwest Airlines

The couple was married at the end of 2020 in Austin – by seat opponent Bonny Andrews – and with a guest from Southwest in attendance. There was “a custom Southwest-themed photo booth, where they could sit in a row of plane seats and take their own Southwest love story pictures. There were plane motifs throughout the entire night, including plane snacks and marshalling wands.”

Credit: Southwest Airlines

They met on a flight and he had the originality not to make the proposal inflight, at this point that would be derivative. And they had an aviation-themed wedding with a Southwest photo booth. It’s tough times for the airline industry or else maybe they could’ve gotten Southwest to sponsor the wedding…

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Ha, at least for this couple, Southwest Airlines did mean LUV.

    Great story, wishing them all the best. Even better that Pastor Andrews served as their connection.

  2. Great story. Congratulations! My husband and I met on a Southwest Airlines flight too!

  3. This is such a beautiful story. I am an employee of Southwest and it warms my heart to read about wonderful unique stories such as a wedding on the aircraft. Simply beautiful ❤️

  4. Bravo and congratulations! Very great looking couple and thank you Pastor for the awesome help. Be blessed

  5. Great love story….many happy years to come….what a great love story to tell your children some day….happiness always..

  6. When you thought you’ve heard of all the inflight possibilities – good story that annoying conversation turned out to be a gem – not sure what the people seated in the nearby rows thought at 5am!!!

  7. My husband and I met sitting next to each other on a Southwest flight from LA to Phoenix in 1997. Coincidently, we were on the same flight on the way back to LA a few days later but this time sat next to each other on purpose! An even more “meant to be,” we lived 2 blocks away from each other in LA! We have been together ever since. We married in 2000 and are thinking of celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary renewing our vows on the same SWA route.

  8. Southwest is my favorite Airline to fly. Always have had wonderful experiences with flight staff. They go the extra mile. Blessings to the couple, pastor and Southwest Airlines! Keep the LUV flying:)

  9. My wife and I got married in a Southwest flight 6 years ago. Southwest is the airline with the most ❤️. Congrats and cute theme!

  10. I am one of Lori’s closest friends and have seen the love between Gary and Lori. I’m absolutely FLOORED and excited . I will be next to the bride at her Formal Wedding. These two were destined to be in togetherness and happiness for the rest of their lives.

  11. This sounds like “love at first flight.” Lol. Love indeed has its ways to even fly at high altitudes.

    Do we find love or does love finds us?

    It seems that no matter where we are, if we pay close attention to the signs— love is always there.

    In this case, the couple could have either said hello, put on their headphones, close their eyes, and completely mind their own business as many do. We know they had no escape to go about with their lives and we know they were chained from mobility.

    The question that hovers around—
    Could love have done this or was it fate or destiny that chained them to complete the rest of their lives?

    But what about if their flight would have been a short flight?

    Would they just be another stranger in the skies or would their love at first flight would have flourished like the way it did?

    As we can see, no matter how hard we try to avoid our fate; when the laws of attraction are combined with fate and destiny—there’s no escaping your final destination.

    These words are my work product And All rights are here expressly reserved

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