Tag Archives: golden era

5 Reasons You Should Book The “Pan Am Experience” Today

Stepping onto the Pan Am 747 named Juan T. Trippe was amazing. Every detail, from the stewardess uniforms right down to the galleys, was just perfect. No, we weren’t dreaming, we were getting ready to embark on the “Pan Am Experience”. There has been much written about Anthony Toth, his love of all things Pan Am, and how he partnered up with Air Hollywood to recreate the passenger experience on board a Pan Am 747. Here are the Top 5 reasons you should book a flight on the “Pan Am Experience” today:

5.  If you love all things Pan Am – Pan Am was truly a pioneer. If you’re into waxing nostalgic about the “good old days” of Pan Am, you’ve come to the right place. Be prepared to walk down memory lane and be transported back to a time when flying was considered glamourous.

4. If you like to time travel – Being on board for Pan Am Experience was truly like stepping back in time. Every detail was meticulously recreated to give you the sense of what it was like to fly on a 747 back in the 70s. The seats, the galleys, even the clipper appliqué on the wall.

3.  If you’d like to meet a real Pan Am stewardess – On our flight was Barbara. She flew with Pan Am during the heydays. She was there to provide background and answer questions from the passengers about Pan Am. She was lovely and shared stories from a wonderful time in aviation history. We even played a game of “do you know…” And she knows someone that we know, who is a former Pan Am stewardess. The world is truly a small place. The “stewardesses” who served us were models, actresses, and dancers. In other words, they have day jobs. They were a fun bunch and brought lots of good energy to the experience. This is something that they do because it’s cool and allows them to experience something different. This era of flying was at least 25 years before they were even born.

2. If you’d like to meet someone who has taken “avgeek” to another level – Anthony Toth served as the “Captain” of our flight. This captain worked behind the scenes assisting the stewardesses in providing a seamless experience. Not only was he in the galley preparing meals, he answered questions after the flight. Anthony has over the years put together a huge archive of Pan Am memorabilia. He informed us that his collection now has upwards of 50,000 Pan Am items. A good selection of the collection was on display in the lobby of the “terminal”. The majority of the collection is kept behind the scenes and is used during the flight.

1. Because it’s “AirlineGuys-approved” – The reason you should book today? As the AirlineGuys, we approve of this message. And we’d never steer you wrong when it comes to aviation 😉

Barbara, Darin, Sylvester, Rachel

Barbara, Darin, Sylvester, Rachel

Sylvester & Darin

To see more pictures from our flight, click here.

 

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Delta Sky Deck – an observation

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Observation decks are reminiscent of the glory days of flying. There was a time when people would go out to airports for the sake of watching planes from these excellent vantage points. A few airports in the world still have them. They’re definitely a thing of a bygone era.  When we heard Delta was opening “observation decks” at two locations (JFK and ATL) we were over-the-moon with excitement.

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Dramatic red tarpaulins dissecting the blue skies

On June 10, 2013 Delta opened an all-new 1,710 sq ft Sky Deck at Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson International Airport. The Sky Deck is an extension of the Sky Club, Delta’s lounge for frequent fliers and is located on F Concourse at the Maynard JacksonTerminal.
We were given the opportunity to visit the Delta Sky Deck and here is our account.
When entering the Delta Sky Club on F Concourse our first impression was modern and clean. Once inside the Club we were greeted by an immense, 2-story glass wall which gave us a bird’s eye view of the taxiways, runways, and the airport control tower. Talk about avgeek heaven! The Club is standard in its look and feel across the Delta domestic system. There is ample seating arranged individually and group seating configurations, business center, work stations, quiet area, high top tables, bar area, espresso/coffee machine, and a variety of snacks (from sweet to savory, from healthy to indulgent). Other amenities included power ports to charge your electronic devices and free wifi. We did notice that the wifi was very slow. We surmised it may have been slow due to the number of passengers in the lounge at this time.
What makes this Sky Club unique, like its counterpart at JFK, is the Sky Deck; a partially enclosed outside seating and gathering place for Sky Club members. Cozy sofas, chairs, ornamental shrubs, and high top tables adorn this oasis. The blue sky was dissected by large red decorative tarpaulins. Members have an unfettered view of all the airport activity going on below. During our visit there was a Delta 747 destined for Tokyo, a 737 parked just below, and we even saw the Delta 767-400 BCRF plane (pink plane) taxiing by. Being on the Sky Deck harkened back to an era that no longer exists at many of the world’s airports. We both agreed that more Delta Sky Clubs should have Sky Decks.

At both ATL and JFK, Delta collaborated and partnered with Architectural Digest and designer Thom Filicia to develop the Sky Deck terraces. Many may remember Thom Filicia as the interior design expert in the highly enjoyable, amazingly energetic, Emmy-Award winning hit show “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

For those who are not a member of the Sky Club, and want to have this unique experience, there are various ways to gain access. These include, but aren’t limited to: paid membership, using miles for membership, purchasing a 30-day or 1-day pass, and various options through the SkyMiles American Express Card. Please click to see what options are best for you, locations, and amenities offered at Delta Sky Clubs.
We enjoyed our time at the Sky Deck at the Sky Club on F Concourse at ATL. When your future plans take you via Atlanta and you have time, you should definitely check it out.
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Sylvester & Darin

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.