New Zealand: Same Sex Couple Weds Aboard Aircraft at 30,000 Feet

Marriage Equality

A same sex couple in New Zealand just couldn’t seem to keep their feet on the ground when they decided to get married just weeks after the country legalized same sex marriages.

So they did it aboard an Air New Zealand jetliner at 30,000 feet above sea level!

Lynley Bendall and Ally Wanikau of Auckland, New Zealand, tied the knot on board a special Air New Zealand flight from Queenstown to Auckland. The couple had been together for nearly 14 years.

Actor and marriage equality campaigner Jesse Tyler Ferguson of the United States officiated the wedding ceremony. The couple’s four children, other members or their families, and friends were in attendance on board the Air New Zealand airliner.

Historic and Joyous Moment

“It’s been an absolute pleasure to be able to celebrate this historic and joyous moment with Lynley and Ally,” says Kesse.

“Marriage equality is something very dear to both Justin and me.”

Justin Mikita is Jesse’s long-term partner.

The newlyweds have been flown to Los Angeles, California, by Air New Zealand. They will spend their honeymoon at a hotel in the nearby dessert resort town of Palm Springs.

“The atmosphere onboard was incredibly festive, and the applause following the couple’s vows was heartfelt,” says Air New Zealand Chief People Officer Lorraine Murphy. 

“It was a great celebration of New Zealand’s diversity.”

Contest Winners

A same sex marriage takes place aboard a chartered Air New Zealand flight from Queenstown to Auckland, New Zealand. Photo Credit: Air New Zealand.


I was wondering if this same sex marriage took place aboard a regularly scheduled flight or a chartered flight. And if it was a chartered flight, where did the couple come up with the money?

A little on line research revealed that Lynley and Ally were winners of an Air New Zealand contest launched in July 2013 to celebrate the country’s legalization of same sex marriages.

My goodness! Times sure have changed!


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