airline history

KLM turns 100 on Oct 7

KLM, Royal Dutch Airways, turns 100 on October 7 and celebrations marking the milestone event are already underway.

A great exhibit drawing from KLM’s extensive collection of more the 250,000 images has been on view at the Amsterdam City Archives.

And on October 7, a hoopla event will take place in a KLM hangar at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. During that party, the much-awaited ‘reveal’ of the 100th tiny Delft house filled with Bols Genever (a Dutch gin) will take place.

The small houses are a given out as complimentary gifts to travelers flying World Business Class and there’s always a wave of excitement in the cabin when the cart with the houses start being rolled down the aisle.

Stuck at the Airport will on hand for this year’s big reveal and we’ll share details on that as soon as we’re able.

Stuck at The Airport was honored to be on site for the reveal of KLM’s 97th miniature Delft House, which was made in the likeness of the Hotel New York in Rotterdam.

The hotel is on the site of the former headquarters of the Holland American Line and for many years, beginning in 1872, the company’s ships sailed between Rotterdam and New York and several other U.S. cities.

Stuck at the Airport was also onsite for the reveal of KLM’s miniature Delft house #98 – which depicts the family home of aviation pioneer Antony Fokker.

In advance of its birthday, KLM has been busy with events, promotions and announcements celebrating the company’s past – and looking to the future.

Take a look at these two short videos, especially the “Fly Responsibly” video that actually encourages travelers not to fly.

Hawaiian Airlines: why all the gum?

On Monday, journalists gathered at Hawaiian Airlines’ Honolulu headquarters for the carrier’s first global media day and the announcement that the airline is adding lie-flat seats to the premium cabins on its fleet of A330 aircraft.

hawaiian airline seats

During the event, refreshments were laid out for the attendees. And in with the coffee, water, fruit and trail mix were boxes filled with packs of Doublemint gum.

The gum seemed like an odd offering until it was explained that last November, when Hawaiian Airlines was celebrating the 85th anniversary of interisland passenger service, Doublemint gum was part of the festivities.

The reason: back in 1929, the first inflight amenity offered to passengers was a stick of Wrigley’s gum to help relieve ear pressure.

Hawaiian Airlines revived that tradition during its anniversary day celebration on November 11, 2015 by once again handing out Wrigley’s Doublemint gum to passengers (along with some other goodies) to the more than 12,000 passengers taking neighbor island flights that day.

Hawaiian gum offer

Hawaiian Airlines gum box

But not all the gum Wrigley’s sent to Hawaiian Airlines for the celebration was used.

Not by a longshot. Which is why Doublemint gum is now there on the refreshment table at a lot of Hawaiian Airlines events.

hawaiian airlines gumbox (3)

Lufthansa “then & now” photo exhibit at Munich Airport

Lufthansa then and now flight attendants

Lufthansa has put together an exhibition of ‘then and now’ photos bundled under the title “Service is our tradition” and on view in Terminal 2 at Munich Airport until the end of August.

The images show the development of Lufthansa from 1955 to today and show historical images of the cabin, the cockpit and aircraft juxtaposed with similarly posed scenes from today.

Here are few samples:

Lufthansa then and now flight attendants with kids

Lufthansa then and now flight attendant with drinks

Not going to Munich Airport anytime soon? You can see all the photos from the exhibition here.

Flight Attendant Celebration Day at SFO Airport

United We StandFemale Flight Attendant Uniforms of United Airlines

United Air Lines stewardess uniform 1957–1958, courtesy SFO Museum

If you happen to be at San Francisco International Airport on August 20th, 2013, make your way over to the library at the Louis Turpen Aviation Museum in the International Terminal for Flight Attendant Celebration Day.

The event will run from 10 am until 3 pm and celebrate the history of flight attendants with talks, short subject films and commemorations, along with complimentary refreshments and free validated parking.

Here’s a link to the scheduled events of the day.

Even if you can’t be on hand for Flight Attendant Celebration Day on August 20th, be sure to stop by the museum to see the current exhibition United We Stand: Female Flight Attendant Uniforms of United Airlines, which will be there through the end of September 2013.

Greetings from Hong Kong International Airport

I was one of the lucky invited media guests on the August 28, 2012 Cathay Pacific delivery flight of a new Boeing 777-300ER from the Boeing factory to Hong Kong International Airport. (Here’s a link to a secret about the airplane that airline chief executive John Slosar pointed out during the trip.)

The 12 hour flight started off with a fun event that included a chance for many guests (not me, though) to get their pictures taken with one of the engines on the plane.

This group of specially chosen crew members was as excited as the invited guests to be on the delivery flight of Cathay Pacific’s newest Boeing 777-300ER plane going from the Boeing factory to Hong Kong on Tuesday, August 28, 2012.

I’ve got two days to spend in Hong Kong before heading home. Geeky, I know, but I spent one of those days touring the public side of Hong Kong International Airport and visiting Cathay City, the Cathay Pacific headquarters located near the airport.
My tour guide at Cathay City was Agnes Yeung, who was kind enough to take me through the small, on-site Cathay Pacific History Museum, which can be visited by school groups and other invited guests but is, unfortunately, not open to the general public.

The Cathay Pacific Museum at Cathy City includes a display documenting the changes in the airline’s flight attendant uniforms

The Cathay Pacific museum entrance is set up to look like the former Hong Kong airport, known as Kai Tak, which was located right in the city and was replace with a new airport in 1998.

I didn’t get a chance to visit the Headland Hotel, a 501 room property right near the airport reserved exclusively for airline crew members and other Cathay Pacific personnel. Yeung said the hotel is usually booked at “more than 100% capacity,” and I thought for a moment there was a breakdown in translation. But she explained that because crew members are arriving from and leaving for flights at all hours of the day and night, and because many crew members are only there to rest for a short time, the hotel can indeed be operated at more than 100% capacity.

Next up: some of the amenities at Hong Kong International Airport, including a visit to the “Dream Come True” center, where kids test out what it’s like to work as a pilot, a flight attendant, a surgeon, a police officer and several other jobs;  the real story of that much-talked about IMAX movie theater at the airport; and a look at some of the other activities available at Hong Kong International Airport.