I have fond memories of Pan American World Airways (1927-1991). Pan Am was the unofficial flag carrier of the United States. In 1970, it carried 11 million passengers to 86 countries worldwide. Pan Am has an important list of firsts to its credit, including:
- First U.S. airline to operate permanent international air service (Key West, Florida—Havana, Cuba) (1927)
- First airline to develop and employ long-range weather forecasting (1935)
- First airline with scheduled transatlantic mail and passenger services (1939)
- First airline to complete a round-the-world flight (1942)
- First airline to operate a scheduled round-the-world service (1947)
- Pan Am’s Boeing 707 Clipper America flies the first scheduled transatlantic service of a U.S.-built jet (1958)
- First airline to fly the Boeing 747 widebody jet in scheduled service (1970)
Business Insider has an 11-minute video chronicling Pan Am’s rise and fall:
I remember being a member of Pan Am’s “First Moon Flights Club” which was a waiting list for future flights to the moon, but the company sadly declared bankruptcy in 1991.
I still miss Pan Am. No airline today has the prestige of Pan Am.