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upworthy

southwest airlines

@southwestair/TikTok

Watch this and infuse some joy into your day.

A bride-to-be was recently en route to Austin with a few of her gal pals to celebrate her bachelorette party. But little did she know that she’d be getting a cherished memory long before she reached her destination.

A flight attendant for their Southwest flight announced over the PA system “we have royalty onboard,” and that this woman, Bri Kunkle, would soon be married.

“She is quite the princess,” the attendant said before asking the other passengers for a favor.

“I need a little help from every lady on the plane that is married or has been married. I’m going to walk up and down the aisle, and I’m going to give out a napkin,” she instructed.

“Get out a pen or something to write with, share amongst yourselves, if you would take a moment to write a little note of encouragement or piece of advice. What was something you would like to have known before you became a bride? If you could write that down so that I can pass that off to her, and she can hold on to those for a long time to remember this specific trip.”

In the clip, we see an emotional Bri receive her stack of sweet paper notes, along with a crown and snack sash.

@southwestair Its giving ✨princess bride✨ @bri kunk #feelgood #goodnews #bride #bridetok #bachelorette #southwest #celebrate ♬ Positive background music such as play and games(1251730) - earbrojp

Then the video ends with a look at the insightful messages she received.

“Before you say ‘I do’ make sure you know who you are as an individual, so you can grow together as patterns in life, in a healthy way. Congrats and enjoy the ride,” one note read.

Someone else wrote, “Marrying your best friend is such a special moment. Congrats! Remember to enjoy the little things with your partner! It’s you both against anything, and as long as you attack life together with kindness and honesty you’ll succeed. I wish you a lifetime of happiness. Now go have fun!”

Many spoke to the importance of appreciating the little things and communicating openly…but also remembering to avoid difficult conversations until hunger, anger, loneliness, or tiredness have subsided. As one person put it, “it’s okay to go to bed angry.”

There were even a few bits of pragmatic advice for the big wedding day, like this one:

“Have you MOH hold a tissue for you during the ceremony so you can gesture for it if you need to wipe away tears. And plan all you can beforehand, but on the day, just relax, enjoy, and bask in marrying your person! Congrats!”

The wholesome video was originally posted to Southwest Airlines TikTok account, and reposted by Kunk herself, who wrote in her caption “my heart is full and now I have to go make a scrapbook of these.” Over in the comments section of her accounts, many viewers swooned over how this special moment encapsulated the magic of “girlhood.”

“Something about all these women's handwriting makes me feel so emotional. The young, the old, the way the old women all added the date. I love women. What a special moment with a bunch of strangers,” one person shared.

Well said. Kudos to the flight attendant who gave this future bride a memory she’ll cherish forever.

In-flight entertainment provided by newlyweds and posse.

Love is definitely in the air. Spring has brought forth flowers, warm evenings and romance. After all the bad news cycles we’ve had, who wouldn’t be up for a little joy in the friendly skies? A couple who had joked about flying off to Vegas to get married found themselves saying their nuptials while the fasten seatbelt sign was turned off, 35,000 feet above any chapel. The couple, Pam and Jeremy, decided they would travel to Vegas once they realized that the joke about getting married in Sin City wasn’t actually a joke, and they really did want to do it.

The two booked an appointment with a Vegas chapel for Sunday night but while they were in the air from Oklahoma City to Dallas, they discovered their connecting flight to Vegas had been canceled. As luck would have it, another passenger, Chris, who found himself stranded in Dallas overheard the couple worrying about not making their appointment at the chapel and stepped up. Chris happened to be an ordained minister and when he heard they may not make it to their own ceremony, he offered to marry them himself. As all three were already headed to Vegas, they turned to Southwest to grab the last three tickets to the city, and this is where it gets interesting.


Pam was wearing her wedding dress, likely in an effort to save time once the plane landed when they finally made it to their destination. The pilot on their flight, Captain Gil, noticed the unusual attire and asked her about her get-up, given that most people wear something lounge-worthy to fly. After explaining to the pilot, and maybe even a little embarrassment, the soon-to-be bride got a surprising response to her joke about getting married on the plane. Captain Gil said “Let’s do it!” This would be the second time in one week that Pam got those surprise words coming from a man standing before her— the first landing her in a wedding dress on a full flight heading to Vegas.

Planes must be equipped to handle everything because before Pam and Jeremy could process what was happening, the crew started decorating the plane with toilet paper streamers. The flight attendants fashioned a sash for the minister out of snack mix pouches. A professional photographer was on board and grabbed the most fantastic pictures of an unforgettable event. And don’t think they forgot about the guest book. A passenger pulled out an old notebook and scrawled “Wedding Guest Book Southwest Flight 2690 4/24/22,” and passed it around to all the passengers, who signed with their seat numbers and well wishes for the bride and groom.

The newlyweds will likely never forget this event and neither will their surprise guests and crew from the flight. It’s doubtful the couple had planned to crowdsource their wedding while on a plane but this has to be the best impromptu wedding anyone could ask for.

More

In the '90s, two companies were using the same motto. They arm wrestled to see who got to keep it.

In 1992, Southwest Airlines and Stevens Aviation fought a battle over which company should be allowed to keep using their nearly identical punny slogans.

In October of 1990, Southwest Airlines unveiled a new slogan: "Just Plane Smart."

Southwest Airlines was founded in 1967 by Rollin King, an investment consultant, and Herb Kelleher, an attorney. Kelleher served as the company's CEO from 1981 until 2001 and oversaw many different initiatives during his tenure.


One of those initiatives was a marketing campaign around a new motto: "Just Plane Smart." Southwest proudly unveiled the punny new slogan in October of 1990, and it seemed to go over well.

A recent picture of Southwest planes. Image by Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images.

Most people seemed to like it. But there was one notable exception: a guy named Kurt Herwald.

Herwald was the CEO of Stevens Aviation, a (much smaller) company that sells and services small aircraft.

Stevens Aviation, it turned out, had a slogan of their own, the very similar and also punny “Plane Smart." And Stevens had been using it in their ads for years prior and may have had it trademarked.

In late-1991 or early-1992, Herwald noticed that Southwest was using very similar words, and out came the muscle. But in this case, the "muscle" wasn't the Stevens Aviation legal team. It was the forearms of Kurt Herwald.

Herwald sent a unique cease-and-desist letter to Southwest ... challenging their chairman to an arm wrestling match.

The letter, sent to Kelleher's attention, is reprinted below ( via Inc.):

Dear Mr. Kelleher:

We LOVE your new ads that use the clever, creative, effective "Plane Smart" theme! We can testify to its effectiveness since we've been using it in our own ads for a long time. In the true fun-loving spirit on which Southwest Airlines was founded, we challenge you to a duel to see who gets to keep "Plane Smart" — big ol' Southwest or little bitty Stevens. (Please — no lawyers!) We trust that you accept this challenge in the spirit intended. ... No litigiousness implied at all. We challenge you to a sleeves-up, best-two-out-of-three arm wrestling match between you and our chairman, at high noon on Monday, January 27, 1992...

Respectfully,
Stephen D. Townes
Executive Vice President
Stevens Aviation

P.S. Our chairman is a burly 38-year-old former weight lifter who can bench press a King Air — or something like that...








If that sounds like a ridiculous thing to ask of a major, publicly traded company CEO, well, that's because it is.

But Stevens was right — Southwest has a longstanding tradition of being somewhat ridiculous. (For example, the company's stock symbol is LUV, a reference to "love," of course, but also to Love Field in Dallas, where Southwest Airlines hoped to operate from originally.)

Not only did Southwest reply, but CEO Kelleher did so personally, with style.

Dear Mr. Townes:

Our chairman can bench press a quart of Wild Turkey and five packs of cigarettes a day. He is also a fearsome competitor who resorts to kicking, biting, gouging, scratching, and hair pulling in order to win. When really pressed, he has also been known to beg, plead, whine, and sob piteously. Can your pusillanimous little wimp of a chairman stand up against the martial valor of our giant?

Best regards,
Herbert D. Kelleher




And shortly thereafter, Stevens and Southwest scheduled an arm wrestling match, dubbed the "Malice in Dallas."

Best two out of three, winner gets to use the name and makes a charitable donation as part of the deal.

And, while this was probably not in the contract, the two sides agreed to have a whole lot of fun in the process.

They hired an official/emcee who wore a massive wig, symbolic of fight promoter Don King; they rented out a Dallas-area wrestling facility; and, even though this was in the age before YouTube, they filmed faux pre-fight "training" videos of each of the competitors. And, thankfully for those of us in the YouTube era, they also filmed the match.

Kelleher (left) and Herwald (right) face off. Image via Southwest Airlines Archive (Unofficial).

Here's round three, below. Herwald is the one in the maroon polo shirt. Kelleher is the guy in the headband and T-shirt with cigarette in his mouth, playing to the cameras.

In the video below, the arm wrestling match ends within the first couple of minutes, but it's worth watching until the end because some weird stuff happens (like, an impromptu wrestling match breaks out):

Stevens Aviation's CEO won the match and with it earned the exclusive right to use the "Plane Smart" slogan.

After the match, he immediately announced (as was clearly preplanned, given the novelty check that soon followed) that Stevens was going to continue to allow Southwest to use the motto in exchange for a $5,000 donation to Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland.

Kelleher presents the check made out to Ronald McDonald House. Image via Southwest Airlines Archive (Unofficial).

Both Stevens and Southwest got a nice PR bump out of the creative way to avoid litigation (and associated legal fees), and for Stevens in particular, it likely led to rewards.

As Priceonomics notes, "Stevens Aviation, previously a peon in its industry, rose to prominence: It experienced a 25% growth over the next four years, during which its revenues rocketed from $28 million to over $100 million."

Dan Lewis runs the popular daily newsletter Now I Know ("Learn Something New Every Day, By Email"). To subscribe to his daily email, click here.