Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Fashion Runway

Edith Head. Pucci. Halston. Ralph Lauren. Kate Spade. Christian LaCroix. Richard Tyler. KaufmanFranco.

Famous designers collaborating with airlines is nothing new. Fashion has been gracing the runways for many years now. Fashion, romance, and glamour still surround aviation. However, nowadays you have to look a little bit harder. Some cabin crew joke it’s near the floor because lots of time is spent bending, stooping over, and picking things up off the floor.

Recently American Airlines announced that it would be rolling out new uniforms for its crews. They chose KaufmanFranco. They’ve designed for some of the world’s best know celebs: Beyonce, Christina, Megan Fox, and Halle Berry to name just a few. And while all of these people are glamourous in their own right, dressing cabin crews is much different.

Fashion must follow function. What’s the use of looking fabulous when you can’t bend over, stoop, and otherwise look glamourous while collecting trash, and pulling/pushing beverage carts?

The designers of KaufmanFranco seem to be on the right track. Here’s what they have to say:

One of our favorite uniforms was designed by Kate and Jack Spade. We know firsthand, extensive research went into the functionality of the uniform: how cabin crews move (bending, reaching, stretching), what their jobs entail (customer service and safety), and how they get the job done (often in a hurry). They then chose the “right” fabric that could stand up to stains, spills, and being pack and unpacked (wrinkle-free is really, really important!). They then used their knowledge of what is fashionable to create a wonderful uniform that received many stares and compliments from passengers as well as other airline crew members. We enjoyed this uniform immensely. Truly one of the very best!

Enjoy the slide show!

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An Unlikely Resting Place

An Unlikely Resting Place

Nestled between two runways, at the world’s busiest airport, you’ll find an unlikely resting place. Between the takeoffs and landings of RJs and jumbo jets you’ll find a place that’s serene, peaceful, and reflective. It’s the Flat Rock Cemetery.

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Having lived in Atlanta in the early 90s, we knew of this cemetery and the area that surrounded it. During the early 90s, and before the latest airport expansion took place, this area was home to many families. Single family homes, cottages, and apartment buildings were shaded by oaks and pecan trees. Today this area is unrecognizable. Gone are the homes, schools, parks, and most of the trees. One thing that hasn’t changed is the Flat Rock Cemetery.

We visited the Flat Rock Cemetery recently to take a look around. And here’s what we learned.

The Flat Rock Community was settled just before the Civil War by inhabitants who were farmers. In the year 1872 they establish the Flat Rock Baptist Church and erected the first building in 1875. Over the years the congregation grew. However, in the 1960s as the Atlanta Airport began to expand the congregation of Flat Rock Baptist began to dwindle. By 1970 the land of Flat Rock Baptist, except the cemetery, was sold to the City of Atlanta. The oldest marker is  from the year 1877.

Of the pics taken at the Cemetery, this one has to be the most fascinating. If you look closely you’ll see a green apparition. Not one to believe in such things, seeing this has really freaked me out. The pic has been shared with those into psychic and paranormal activity and some of the things that have come back have been interesting. One clairvoyant says, “it’s been around for awhile, seems very active with spirits (some good, some not so much), there’s an uncomfortable yet calming feeling about this pic.” We showed the pic to a medium and she said, “First impression, angelic guardianship of the souls there. Second, healing of souls there.”

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While at the Cemetery one of the most profound moments was seeing the grave markers for the Thrailkill children. Four of their children all passed away within the first year of their lives. The medium tends to think it may be one of the the children.

I know many people don’t believe in this type of phenomena, and this is understandable. All I’m doing is reporting what was observed on this visit to the Flat Rock Cemetery.

The next time you’re in Atlanta and have time we encourage you to swing by and take a look around. Not only is this a historical place and peaceful place, it’s also a great place to watch planes take off from the world’s busiest airport.

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TWA: “You’re going to like us”

“You’re going to like us. TWA” (and we do, we really do)

ImageIt goes without saying that as the airlineguys, we love all things related to airlines. However, every now and then a particular airline will rise to the top of our consciousness and there it remains for a bit of time. It’s almost like the aviation universe starts to present images, stories, and references to that particular airline. We got TWA “on the brain” when we saw a picture posted and retweeted on twitter of a TWA meal tray. An economy meal tray. Full-size meal tray. Complete with entree (chicken or beef?), salad, dinner roll, dessert, and full-size coffee cup. Ahhh, those were the days. We briefly experienced the time period of the full-size, domestic flight, meal tray…in economy class.  It was short-lived, but we do remember.

If TWA were a personality we wonder whether or not it would have suffered an inferiority complex. Think about it, in the halcyon days of air travel, TWA and Pan Am were the gold standard. However, it was Pan Am that ushered in the days of the Jumbo jet. Pan Am that pioneered around-the-world flights. Pan Am was the “official” flag carrier of the US. And close behind was TWA.

Both carriers were very similar in many aspects. Both had their share of triumph and tragedy, yet they were distinct carriers that occupy a soft spot in the minds of the traveling public the world over.

If TWA were a personality and had an inferiority complex, we would have advised them to snap out of it! Here are some note-worthy aspects of TWA:

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  • Iconic leaders: Howard Hughes – Although never holding an official position with the airline, he controlled TWA for 25 years. He was suave, debonair, and passionate about his airline; all before eventually withdrawing and becoming a recluse.
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Howard Hughes

  • Known as the: “Airline of the Stars” – Movie stars, and business execs often flew TWA in its heyday.
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Fred Astaire & Gene Kelly

  • The Trans World Flight Center at JFK opened in 1962 designed by Eero Saarinen – On the National Register of Historic Places, this terminal is a monument to the golden era of the Jet Age (side note – we WILL be in attendance at this years’ open house!). Click here to see pics from Jaunted.
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Trans World Flight Center at JFK. Picture courtesy of Jaunted.

  • In 1969 TWA carried the most transatlantic passengers of any airline; until then Pan American World Airways had always been number one.
  • TWA offers the first-ever in-flight audio entertainment, providing individual receivers to passengers to listen to commercial radio programs.
  • TWA was the first airline to introduce regular in-flight movies aboard its aircraft when it offered the feature film “By Love Possessed” in the first-class section of a Boeing 707 during a scheduled flight from NYC to LA.
  • TWA is the first airline to offer passengers freshly-brewed coffee in flight.
  • TWA receives the 1994 J.D. Power & Associates award as the #1 US airline for customer satisfaction on long flights.
  • TWA receives the 1998 J.D. Power & Associates/ Frequent FlyerMagazine award as the #1 US airline for customer satisfaction on flights of more than 500 miles.
  • TWA receives the 1999 J.D.Power & Associates/Frequent Flyer Magazine award as the #1 US airline for customer satisfaction on flights of less than 500 miles.

The forces of the industry, mismanagement, costs, and tragedy (hijackings, TWA 800) were too much for the carrier once that once touted “The Most Comfortable Way To Fly”. And we all know the rest of the story…

  • In 2001, TWA files for bankruptcy for the third time. TWA agrees to sell most of its assets to American Airlines for $500M.

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While there is a lot more information regarding the storied past of TWA, we wanted to bring you the highlights of this once great airline. Every now and then an airline from the past will come to haunt us in the present. That’s okay, we like these kinds of ghosts from the past. So, be on the lookout for other carriers we highlight. After all, we are the airlineguys.

Please check out Silver Wings International‘s homepage for more information.