DALLAS — Love was in the air on Sunday for Dottie Coven and Keith Stewart.
Business travelers and frequent fliers on Southwest Airlines, the couple from Corydon, Ind., decided there was no place they’d rather marry than while flying.
And why not land at the airport known for love — Dallas Love Field — after the happy occasion?
That’s why they approached Southwest with their idea of being married in the air. The airline was game. After all, it’s famous for its fun, including flight attendants who entertain, wedding proposals and even rewarding flight attendants who are especially good to customers. (After a customer praised one flight attendant on Twitter midflight, the airline publicly honored her with a giant cookie.)
But this was its first midair wedding (using Southwest’s hashtag #nonstoplove).
With a band playing and balloons decorating the jetway, the happy couple and about 30 friends and family boarded Southwest Flight 4058 in Nashville, Tenn., for the ceremony. About 100 unsuspecting fellow passengers received an extra boarding pass inviting them to celebrate.
A flower girl walking down the aisle handed out peanuts to start the ceremony, followed by an officiant using the loudspeaker to perform the marriage of Coven and Stewart.
There were modifications for the unique location: “If anyone can show just cause why they might not be lawfully joined together, let them push their flight attendant call button now or forever hold your peace.”
The airline had a reason for highlighting this particular route: The wedding took place on Southwest’s first nonstop flight from Nashville to Dallas Love Field.
The airline had been prevented from offering that particular route under the Wright Amendment, which Congress passed in 1979 to allow only flights from Love Field to neighboring states (with a few exceptions). Congress repealed the law in 2006, and it expired in October.
The Stewarts were heading to their honeymoon in Puerto Rico on Monday morning, a gift of the airline. Puerto Rico is another relatively new destination for Southwest Airlines, which moved into the international market after its 2010 purchase of AirTran (and its international routes).