On the Air: PanAm

panam posterOk, I’m being a total travel dork right now by going preemptively gaga over the new PanAm show on ABC this fall.

Maybe it is because I enjoy most things vintage, but really I think it is because I long for a day when air travel was glam in all classes. Pan American World Airways was one of our country’s first international carriers. It started in the 20s and brought passengers to what was then the hotspot of all hotspots—Havana. Throughout its storied tenure, the carrier became known as the “Ritz-Carlton of airlines” (as coined by the guy who inspired the movie Catch Me If You Can) for its impeccable service and extensive flight routes (and it made quite a few appearances in a number of Bond Films). 

In the 60s, PanAm beat Virgin Airlines to the space race and established a waiting list for intergalactic tourist trips. Gas prices and other pressures ultimately lead to PanAm’s downfall, so it will be exciting to see the glammed-up days when pilots and stewardess were hotties, wore gloves and smiled in the friendly skies.


Photos courtesy of ABC

—Jenna Mahoney