Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Flying For Fun PAN AM

Pan-Am was America's airline, connecting the north and south continents, then island hopping across the Pacific to Manila and then straddling the Atlantic to London and Paris. I flew them often to Boston from New York back in the 1970s. The service wasn't up to the fabled clipper class of the past, but they got you on your plane. Once I arrived at the JFK terminal after the gate had been closed by the ground crew. "Sorry, the plane has pulled away from the gate." The woman at the counter picked up the phone and spoke to someone, then hung up and said, "Come with me. We'll drive you out to the plane." We hurried through the terminal to the lower floors. A luggage cart was waiting at the doors. I threw my bag in back and the woman shouted, "Bon Voyage." The driver zigzagged through the maze of tarmacs to find the prop-engined puddle-hopper idling before the main runway. The rear door of the plane was open and a crew member was waiting by the stairs. I ran to the aircraft and jumped on board to take my assigned seat. As I fastened my seatbelt, the captain apologized for the delay and announced that we were ready for take-off. The engines roared and the aircraft raced down the runway into the air. That was traveling.

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