I watched a few minutes of Pan Am tonight. It is a very handsome soap opera, the art direction is really first class. Of course, those of us who flew Pan Am don't recall that all the stewardesses (yes, you were allowed to call them that) were that good looking. Nor were the pilots all blonde, handsome and 35. In fact, if the captain didn't have a reasonable amount of gray hair you'd be a little suspicious. Sort of like the first time Matt--as a rookie first officer--flew the river visual down the Potomac to land to the south at National. Our house is near the river and you can see the planes on approach from our back yard. Matt said he was tempted to get on the PA and say, "Everybody on the right side of the plane wave at my parents." But he said he didn't do it because the passengers probably wouldn't want to know that the pilot had parents who were still alive.
But the Pan Am thing got me to thinking of the list I keep of the airlines I've flown. I went in and marked the US flag carriers that I've flown that no longer exist. When Continental disappears in a few months, the count will be an even 30. Here it is. . .
America West Airlines
Braniff International Airways
Eastern Air Lines
Frontier Airlines (the "old" Frontier 1950-1986))
New York Air
New York Airways (helicopter)
Pacific Southwest Airlines
Pan American World Airways
Piedmont Airlines (the "old" Piedmont 1940-1989)
North Central Airlines
Texas International Airlines
Transamerica Airlines (charter airline)
Trans Texas Airways
Trans World Airlines
coming soon. . .
Continental Airlines (merging with United)
I'm not sure there are that many lines left in the country, but I suppose if you count the little guys, there are. But the major players now are down to American, Delta, United, US, Southwest, and maybe Alaska and jetBlue.
Anybody have any fond memories of the dear departed lines? I have lots. Any other RIP's to add to the list?