For most people, a 5:00 a.m. flight across the country may not seem like the most romantic place to meet someone, but that is not the case for two starry-eyed Southwest Customers. This is a story about how fate interceded to turn an early flight and exit row into the catalyst of an incredible love story.
Meet the lovebirds: Cathlyn and Michael. They both were on the same 5:00 a.m. flight in November of 2018. Cathlyn was returning to Dallas from a girls’ weekend in New York City, New York when she spotted a handsome guy (hint, hint...it was Michael!) sitting in the window seat of the exit row. Naturally, she selected the aisle seat next to him but assumed their conversation would be minimal at such an early hour.
However, Bonny Andrews had another plan in mind.
Bonny, a pastor from India who was visiting the city to start a new ministry, sat between Cathlyn and Michael and immediately started a conversation with the two strangers. 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. If that’s not fate...I don’t know what is.
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 after the flight, Michael ended up driving 6 hours from Lubbock, Texas, to take Cathlyn on their first date outside a plane cabin; and the rest, as they say, is history. They dated for a year (taking many Southwest trips throughout, of course) and then were ready to take things to the next level.
Recreating the moment they had first met, Michael proposed inside the cabin of the first Southwest plane at the Frontiers of Flight Museum in Dallas, Texas, in November 2019. Cathlyn said “yes” and the two celebrated with friends and family.
Southwest even sent a congratulatory champagne bottle labeled with their original flight number to mark the momentous occasion.
A year later, the two were married in a picture-perfect ceremony in Austin, Texas. And to tie the perfect bow on this story, Bonny Andrews, the pastor who sat between them on that fateful Southwest flight, joined them on their special day to officiate their wedding. I can tell you from personal experience as a witness to these nuptials, there was not a single dry eye in the house!
At the reception, guests enjoyed 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, to enjoy as guests celebrated this special couple.
Cathlyn and Michael—we wish you a lifetime of happiness and a lifetime of love at 35,000 feet! As to everyone else, you never know who you will meet on you next flight.
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They say you can’t have the best of both worlds, but sometimes, it really is possible. Taking on two climates in one trip is the perfect antidote for the indecisive traveler, who can’t decide if they want to beat the heat or chase after it. And while planning an adventure to both the sand and the snow in one trip is a feat on its own, packing for both climates can be an even larger challenge. Below are a few tips on how to pack for warm and cold temperatures, and some helpful advice from our very own seasoned travel experts!
Southwest now serves more than 99 cities both domestically and internationally—each with its own climate and weather. Here are the coldest and warmest cities we serve and a few things to do in each.
The coldest Southwest cities by monthly average temperature are:
Rochester, New York
Take a trip to The Strong National Museum of Play, an interactive museum dedicated to games, toys, and all things play.
Dig in to one of Rochester’s signature Garbage Plates at Nick Tahou Hots—it contains everything but the kitchen sink!
If you want some cardio to beat the cool temperatures, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is about 30 minutes outside of the city. This destination offers walkabouts every Saturday with trained nature therapist guides.
Just a 20 minute drive from the Minneapolis airport awaits the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. You can take a tour of the most elaborate ice palace in the Midwest, and then hop over to the snow park boasting of all kinds of fun from giant snow slides to mazes and ski races.
Rent a cabin at Camp Wandawega, a camp site listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which offers activities like tennis, archery, and shuffleboard.
Wander the history-rich halls and experience the old-timey magic that comes with the holiday season at the Pabst Mansion, where the founder of the Pabst Brewing Company once called home.
The warmest Southwest cities by monthly average temperature are:
Escape the heat with the many attractions on Las Olas Blvd. Visit shops, eateries, and art galleries in this trendy South Florida district.
Enjoy the ultimate waterfront dining experience at 15th Street Fisheries, hidden away in the heart of the Lauderdale Marina. With an incredible front-row view of the water and fresh seafood brought straight to your table, it’s an experience that can’t be beat.
Hiking Camelback Mountain is a staple activity in Phoenix, but for a slower pace, visit the Desert Botanical Garden. If you visit after the sun goes down, the garden is illuminated and hosts occasional evening events.
Channel your inner Oprah and stop by Pizzeria Bianco to try the legendary Pizza Rosa. Seemingly simple wit just Parmigiano-Reggiano, onion, rosemary, and pistachios, you’ll never be the same after this slice of heaven.
This Texas city may be small, but it offers several tourist activities. Check out the Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge for bird watching, hunting, and fishing or spend a Saturday visiting the Harlingen Farmer’s Market.
Books N Things is a must-visit for all the bibliophiles out there. Specializing in rare, used, out-of-print, and hard to find books, there are thousands of books lining the shelves to complement your next adventure.
Traveling in the Sand and Snow
For trips it’s not just about how you pack, but what you pack. Knowing the properties of different fabrics probably hasn’t made its way on your to-do list, but these details can keep you at a suitable temperature—even if that temperature is changing daily. Of course, this also helps leverage more suitcase space to ensure you have room for both your beach towel and snowboard. See below for an overview of some common fabrics.
Travel Tips and Tricks from Southwest Experts
Chances are if you’re flying across the country or internationally, you’ll want to do so with as little baggage as possible. Try these travel tips to avoid heavy suitcases or multiple bags during your next sand and snow adventure.
Consider wearing leggings to warmer locations and then utilize them as an under layer when traveling towards cooler temperatures. Majority of the time these can fit under a pair of jeans, and provide an extra layer of insulation.
Wear a heavier pair of shoes to the airport to avoid taking up unnecessary room in your suitcase.
Bring a scarf to bundle up in colder climates, and then use it as a swimsuit cover-up in warmer climates.
Keep a flannel garment on you or tied around your waist while you travel. This will beat the unexpected airport chill without being bogged down by a heavy jacket.
Pack pocket warmers to keep hands warm without bringing bulky gloves.
And here’s some advice from a few Southwest Employees who have ventured from sand to snow successfully.
DEN Flight Attendant Gina Patterson shows us how she travels in style! “I’m usually cold on the plane so I always wear the heavy stuff and pack the rest. Then, I switch out when I arrive to the destination.” —MCO Ramp Agent Rachel Zeleny
“Depending on the climate, I’ll pack some pieces that are the same and others to layer on top. Then, I can mix and match them with each other.” —DEN Flight Attendant Erica Hein Pomerenk
“My biggest travel essential is my Title Nine Passport Dress—I never go on any trip without it. It doesn’t wrinkle, it’s black so it doesn’t show dirt, and it goes with everything. You can layer both under it and over it, wear it unzipped as a tunic or zipped up as a dress, go sleeveless or with a blouse layered under.” —DEN Flight Attendant Gina Peterson
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“I think of my department like a wheel—each person is a spoke. Without each other, we can’t make it work.” —Delores Narancich, Aircraft Appearance Technician
Photo by Kevin Penczak
Since joining Southwest in 2004, Delores Narancich has become known for extending a helping hand and constantly striving for excellence. She works as an Aircraft Appearance Technician in Chicago (Midway), and although her Team, which operates within Technical Operations, is a smaller one, she goes above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of those around her. Although she’s a self-proclaimed “girly girl,” Delores is always willing to get her hands dirty at work, all the while staying positive and keeping a smile on her face. Delores embodies what it means to have both a Servant’s Heart and a Fun-LUVing Attitude, and we’re proud to have her as a member of the Southwest Family.
—Delaney Sanders, Communications & Outreach
Call In “When a friend was doing a Southwest phone interview, I shouted, ‘I want to work at Southwest too!’ The next thing I know, I’m filling out an application. A few interviews later, I got the job!”
Sense of Pride “What I enjoy most is making a plane look good. I like looking back at the end of the day and knowing I improved it.”
On the Job “We do more than clean the plane. We do security sweeps, carpeting changes, and leather installation. We work hand-in-hand with the Mechanics.”
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On the first day of Intern Orientation, I sat next to a fellow Intern with my same last name. After discovering our shared surname, I joked with him that while I already have a twin sister, he could be our triplet. “Actually,” he responded, “I am a triplet.”
With it being National Twin Day today, it seems fitting to acknowledge this unique trend among our Intern class. Below is a quick look at some of the summer 2018 Interns with their multiples. While our siblings aren’t interning with us, all of the Interns have become a Family.
Alyssa (right) and twin sister, Leah, (left) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Alyssa Comins, External Communication Intern – Communication & Outreach
Twin sister: Leah
Age difference: 20 minutes apart
Favorite part of having a twin: “Having a built-in best friend. Although, having two closets worth of clothes is a good perk, as well.”
Fun fact: “Leah and I are both involved in the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapters at our schools. Next year, we will both serve as chapter presidents. It has been fun to meet up in random cities for PRSSA conferences and events, since we’ve been apart at our respective colleges.”
Delaney (right) and twin sister, Devon, (left) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Delaney Sanders, Operational Communication Intern – Communication & Outreach
Twin sister: Devon
Age difference: Seven minutes apart
Favorite memory with your twin: “Surprising her at an LSU football game, where she attends school. I had her roommate film it, but we both cried so much that it was inaudible.”
Fun fact: “My dad taught us a trick when we were younger to make people think we can read each other’s mind. To this day, it works every time.”
Isabel (left) and twin sister, Irene, (right) in Detroit, Michigan.
Isabel Lien, Visual Communication Intern – Communication & Outreach
Twin sister: Irene
Age difference: Eight minutes apart
Thoughts on twin telepathy: “Well, of course we can read each other’s mind. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.”
Fun fact: “I have two older sisters (not including Irene), and it’s funny because we’re each following in one of their footsteps. Irene is going to medical school like the second oldest, Joan, and I’m a designer like the oldest sister, Jane.”
Katherine (left) and twin brother, Matthew, (right) at Chimney Rock State Park, North Carolina.
Katherine Minarik, Aviation Technical Writing Intern – Technical Operations
Twin brother: Michael
Age difference: Two minutes apart
Favorite memory with your twin: “Growing up, my brother and I spent a lot of time outside. We lived in a very rural area with lots of farm land, so we spent a significant amount of time exploring and looking for cool things.”
Fun fact: “When we were babies, I learned to talk first and would always talk for Michael … so much so that he didn’t learn how to talk for a very long time.”
Alexander (left) and twin sister, Mikki, (right) in Florence, Italy.
Alexander Minton, Communications Measurement & Analytics Intern – Communication & Outreach
Twin sister: Mikki
Age difference: Two minutes apart
Family history of multiples: “Multiples surprisingly do not run in my family, so we must have been the ‘unicorns’ of the bunch.”
Fun fact: “The best part about being a twin is having someone to go through life with me at the same time, and learning from each other’s achievements and mistakes.”
Katie, his sister, (left), Mitchell (center), and Christi, his other sister, (right) in Boulder, Colorado.
Mitchell Sanders, Maintenance and Aircraft Performance Engineering Intern – Technical Operations
Triplet sisters: Katie and Christie
Age difference: One minute older than Katie, six minutes older than Christie
Collegiate destinations: “I attend Georgia Tech University in Atlanta. Katie attends John Hopkins University in Baltimore, , and Christie attends Vanderbilt University in Nashville.”
Fun fact: “One time, we sang acapella together for a talent show at a summer camp. I think we were 10. I remember really not wanting to do it, but my sisters convinced me, and it was fun.”
Corey (left) and his twin brother, Andrew, (right) in Dallas, Texas.
Corey Fuller, Labor Relations Analytics Intern – Labor Relations
Twin brother: Andrew
Age difference: One minute apart
Thoughts on twin telepathy: “No, we can’t read each other’s minds, but sometimes when we get asked a question, we’ll say the same thing at the same time, which freaks people out.”
Fun fact: “The best part of being a twin is having a built-in best friend to experience everything with.”
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