PAN AM – WHEN FLYING WAS FIRST CLASS

The new TV Series PAN AM takes you back to a time when flying was fun, and not like the nightmare one experiences today.

PAN AM – WHEN FLYING WAS FIRST CLASS

From the 1920’s until its demise in 1991, Pan American Airlines symbolized all that was luxurious in air travel. Elite fliers packed some of the first commercial use jumbo jets and were treated to delicious rounds of meals served by bright and beautiful girls in couture uniforms. Celebrities, businessmen and “Rainbow Class” alike jetted-off to far-flung vacation spots across the globe on this mega airline, the US’s first International carrier.
Like its iconic stewardesses, Pan Am had beauty and brains; they were the first carrier to adopt Boeing’s 747, revolutionized radio communication and emergency equipment, and broke records with a New York to New York ’round-the-world trip.
Cabin crew taken aboard Jet by captain during 1960s.

The fate of Pan Am, of course, was not a glamorous one with route monopoly problems and bankruptcy grounding flights permanently in December of 1991. For a few short decades, though, the pilots and their girls in blue were celebs in their own right, almost invincible, changing the way we would forever think about air travel, even inspiring a brand-new tv show 20 years later. But what was life really like in the friendly skies?

From the 1920’s until its demise in 1991, Pan American Airlines symbolized all that was luxurious in air travel. Elite fliers packed some of the first commercial use jumbo jets and were treated to delicious rounds of meals served by bright and beautiful girls in couture uniforms. Celebrities, businessmen and “Rainbow Class” alike jetted-off to far-flung vacation spots across the globe on this mega airline, the US’s first International carrier.
Like its iconic stewardesses, Pan Am had beauty and brains; they were the first carrier to adopt Boeing’s 747, revolutionized radio communication and emergency equipment, and broke records with a New York to New York ’round-the-world trip.

Social and Travel History… PAN AM… White-Glove Service

More than years ago, flying had a certain glamour: the luxurious seats, the doting (and beautiful) flight attendants, the gourmet meals… Today, most of the majesty of commercial air travel has been scrapped thanks to cutbacks and tight security. Miss the old days? We look back at what it used to mean to fly commercially.

Pictured: In 1968, a Pan Am flight attendant embraces and Aeroflot Stewardess before their first transatlantic flights from New York to Moscow.

LIFE photos featuring the glamour of air travel in the 1950s and 1960s… When passengers didn’t travel in cargo pants and t-shirts…

Pan American Airways System Sikorsky S-42B flying boat over Miami in the 1930s…

Interior of S-42B Sikorsky – wide aisle – two seats on either side. While the S-42B service was for but a brief time it demonstrated the type of passenger service Pan Am would offer in the future – from the DC-3 DC-4 – DC-6 – Boeing 377Strato-Cruiser – and the Boeing 707 Jet aircraft until the service was suspended in 1957 – every aspect of the service was First Class.

Pan American Airways System in flight food service aboard a S-42B Sikorsky.

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About Michael L. Grace

MICHAEL L. GRACE is part of the award winning team that created the internationally performed award winning musical SNOOPY, based on PEANUTS by Charles M. Schultz. SNOOPY continues to be one of the most produced shows (amateur & stock) in America/Worldwide and has had long running productions in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and in London's West End. There are over 100 individual productions every year. He has written movies for TV, including the award-winning thriller LADY KILLER, various pilots and developed screenplays for Kevin Costner and John Travolta. Besides co-writing and co-producing SNOOPY, he wrote and produced the one-man play KENNEDY. He produced P.S. YOUR CAT IS DEAD by pulitzer prize winning author James Kirkwood. He wrote the stage thriller FINAL CUT which had productions in the UK, South Africa and Australia. His one-man play, KENNEDY - THE MAN BEHIND THE MYTH, was developed for HBO and has starred Andrew Stevens, Gregory Harrison and Joseph Bottoms. He has recently been involved in European productions with CLT-UFA, Europe's leading commercial television and radio broadcaster. He wrote MOWs THE DOLL COLLECTION, THE BOTTOM LINE and LAST WITNESS for German television. While in college and graduate school he worked as a foreign correspondent for COMBAT, the famous leftwing Paris daily, and as a travel writer. He visited more than 50 countries. He struggled as an actor, then joined the enemy and entered the training program at William Morris. He became a publicist and worked for Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley's manager, at Paramount and MGM. He followed with a brief stint as a story executive, working in the frantic horror genre period of the early 80s and wrote THE UNSEEN. He went onto write for episodic television and develop series pilots. He was a continuing writer on such series such as LOVE BOAT, PAPER DOLLS, and KNOTS LANDING. He developed screenplays for such major award winning directors as Nicolas Meyers, Tony Richardson and J. Lee Thompson. He has written for all the major networks and studios. He has been hired numerous times as a script doctor, doing many uncredited rewrites on TV movies and features. He is currently writing A PERSON OF INTEREST, a thriller novel, and, IT'S THE LOVE BOAT... AND HOW IT CHANGED CRUISING BY SHIP a non-fiction book dealing with how the hit TV series as a major cultural phenomenon and altered the style of cruising by ship. He was raised in Los Angeles. He attended St. Paul's, USC and the Pasadena Playhouse. He received a B.A from San Francisco State University where he majored in theatre arts and minored in creative writing. He is listed as a SFSU leading alumni. He also apprenticed at ACT - The American Conservatory Theatre. For a brief period he had intentions of becoming an Episcopal(Anglican) priest and attended seminary at Kelham Theological College in the UK. When "the calling" wasn't there, he left seminary and did graduate work at the American University of Beirut. He has guest lectured at USC, UC San Diego, McGill, Univ. of London and the Univ. of Texas on the business aspects of making a living and surviving as a writer, focusing on development hell, in the Hollywood entertainment industry. Grace is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild of America, the Dramatist Guild and former regional chairman of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He resides in Palm Springs.

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