Southwest Airlines Pilot Marries At 33,000 Feet Above Utah

Yesterday a Southwest Airlines pilot got married in Utah. On its own, this doesn’t sound like much of a story. However, the marriage took place on one of his company’s flights from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City while cruising at 33,000 feet.

A bride and groom stand outside a Southwest Boeing 737
A Southwest pilot recently tied the knot onboard one of his company’s flights. Photo: Stephen M. Keller via Southwest

At Simple Flying, we’ve seen a whole host of interesting aviation-themed weddings. Indeed, just over a month ago, we reported the first airborne wedding in Australia, taking place on a Virgin Australia flight from Melbourne to Sydney. Another wedding saw a Delta employee marry in a lounge. Now, Southwest has taken it a step further, with one of its pilots getting married at 33,000 feet (but not while flying a plane).

A special day for WN1711

Each day a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 operates an almost 600km journey from Las Vegas (LAS) in Nevada to Salt Lake City (SLC) in Utah. Usually, the flight is relatively uneventful. This all changed when Southwest pilot York Zentner stepped onboard.

A bride and groom sit in the engine of a Boeing 737
The marriage took place above Utah on Southwest flight 1171. Photo: Stephen M. Keller via Southwest

According to Southwest Airlines, York met his special somebody, Sabrina Solesbee, at a Southwest Airlines ticket counter in Las Vegas. The two quickly hit it off, and when Sabrina wasn’t working, she would accompany York as a passenger on his flights. The two visited many cities during their relationship. On one trip to Utah’s mountains, York proposed during a private flight.

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Fast forward, and the couple knew where they wanted to get married. Given the connection between Southwest Airlines and their relationship, the pair opted to tie the knot on the flight from Las Vegas to Salt Lake City, where they hope to settle down.

A bride and groom stand in the aisle of a Boeing 737
Bringing a new meaning to walking down the aisle… Photo: Stephen M. Keller via Southwest

The majority of flight WN1711 is over the state of Utah, so the pair filed for a marriage license in the state. When the big day came, the couple boarded the flight with 15 friends and family and a plane full of Southwest passengers. Once the aircraft was over Utah, the two were married by Andrew Pabste, another of the airline’s pilots.

Marriage in the air

It seems as though marriage is in the air as far as airlines are concerned. Today, Emirates tweeted that it is to begin offering weddings in the bar area of its Airbus A380 aircraft on select routes. The wedding service is intended to take love to ‘new heights. The airline shared the news with a picture of a couple tying the knot at the bar.

However, while the Southwest Airlines wedding is genuine, sadly, all is not what it seems when it comes to Emirate’s new offering. A closer inspection of the image shows that the marriage date is April 1st, 2021, meaning that this is more than likely the airline’s attempt at an early April Fools.

What do you think of mid-air marriages? Would you tie the knot at 33,000 feet? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!