Started in 1991 as the “Flight Station”, Crew Outfitters (renamed in 2003) is a growing collection of retail establishments dedicated to crew members. Crew Outfitters sells travel accessories, luggage, uniforms, and many other travel-related items.
It all began in the garage of Rick Latshaw. Rick was a TWA flight who was determined to build a piece of rolling luggage for flight crews that would be durable, functional, and useful. So, in his garage in Purdy, Missouri, he designed and invented the first “Purdy Neat Things” bag (PNT). It was after the design phase that Rick met Jerry Baker (current CFO LuggageWorks). Jerry was instrumental in assisting Latshaw in setting up what would become the world famous Purdy Neat Things bag.
Enter Steve Merritt, Delta flight attendant. Steve was the catalyst who assisted Latshaw in establishing and solidifying the connection with Delta and its crew members. Through their dedication, Delta became the first major airline to offer, the popular and now discontinued, payroll deduct (think shop now, pay later) for PNT rolling luggage.
During the initial rollout phase of the luggage, Delta pilots began purchasing, and traveling with, Purdy Neat Things bags. It was through word-of-mouth and a great piece of rolling luggage that word began to spread about how useful, durable and amazing these bags were. One of the instrumental Delta pilots to buy and use the bag early on was Tal Fogg. The rest as they say is history. (Remember the name Tal Fogg, you’ll hear it again when we conduct an interview with the current President of Crew Outfitters, April Krantz).
As is the story of aviation, there have been many changes since Rick Latshaw designed the first PNT bag.
Many may not be familiar with LuggageWorks. LuggageWorks was founded in 1989 under the name of Purdy Neat Things. LuggageWorks opened Flight Station as a way to sell the PNT bags. Its mission was to manufacture superior rolling bags that would be preferred by airline crew members. They did this by providing the highest quality rolling bags and accessories. In fact, the “Stealth” Pilot Bag is the only metal frame rolling bag in the industry and is preferred by tens of thousands of airline pilots. Denzel Washington’s character, Whip Whitaker, can be seen sporting a Stealth bag in the film “Flight.” The Stealth Pilot Bag is one of the top-selling items carried by Crew Outfitters.
Crew Outfitters locations include:
• Atlanta (3 locations)
• Dallas (2 locations)
Many crew members have expressed a desire for Crew Outfitters to open locations on the West coast as well as the NYC area. Please know that Crew Outfitters is listening and is continually looking for growth opportunities. Crew Outfitters is dedicated to offering quality products and outstanding customer service to meet the needs of flight crew members, airline personnel, and enthusiasts all over the world.
We invite you to visit their website for luggage, accessories, and some really cool aviation-themed gifts: www.crewoutfitters.com
Very Nice my Sister is Famous; April Krantz
And she’s a nice person to work with!
I’m looking to communicate with the TWA pilot who came out with the first
suitcase having two wheels on one end and folding handle on the
opposite. This configuration made it possible to pull your suitcase. I’d appreciate e-mail address or phone number. My name is
Julia Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org
Hi Julia – sorry for the delay. Hmmm. We’re not sure who that TWA pilot may be. We do know that original TravelPro rollerbag was envisioned and the designed by a Northwest Pilot. If we come across any further info we’ll pass it on.
In 1950 I boarded a Dutch Ship in Quebec for a month long Student trip in Europe. While waiting fo board the ship everyone had to pull my rolling suitcase designed and made by my father. When I saw the first rolling suitcase which I was sure was a product of a TWA pilot I was sure he had been one of the 500 students who went on that trip. While we waited 3 hours to board EVERYONE had to pull the hysterical suitcase. I’m sure he saw it then, finished college, because an airline pilot and became a millionaire with that suitcase. Please find him. Thanks, Julia Johnson
What an amazing story! Not sure how we’d locate someone on that ship. What cruise line or ship name do you recall? And when in 1950? Thanks for contacting us.