The Worst Flashback Friday

Those of you who read Southwest’s blog might be familiar with my favorite series, Flashback Fridays. Each week, Brian Lusk, corporate historian and longtime airline dork dug into Southwest’s history and pulled out some fascinating photos and tales. Unfortunately, Brian died yesterday, just barely into his 60s. Fittingly, it’s Friday today, so I thought it was worth doing a different kind of Flashback Friday, the kind you never want to do.


That picture above shows the day I met Brian, at the BlogWorld Expo on November 8, 2007. That’s him and former Southwest social media queen Paula Berg manning the booth. We talked a lot about the industry, as airline dorks do when they get together, and it was just the first of several times we were able to meet over the years.

Brian and I shared a love of LA aviation history, and I was fortunate enough to swap stories with him over a Double Double at the In ‘n Out near LAX. Though he was at Southwest for nearly two decades, he spent about the same amount of time working for Delta before that. And his father was an airline guy as well, so Brian lived through some incredible times in the industry.

So instead of having a regular “topic of the week” this week, take a little time to appreciate Brian’s work. You can thumb through some past Flashback Fridays and you’ll see how great he was at making history come to life. Fridays just won’t be the same without him.

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David SF eastbay

It’s always fun to look back at old photos like in Flashback Friday. To bad airline CEO’s didn’t look back in time to see how things were, maybe they would learn how to do things better today. Those old photos put the fun back in travel, where as today, nothing about traveling is fun.

Paula Berg

Thank you so much for honoring Brian in this way, Cranky. He was the ultimate #AvGeek and a loyal reader of your blog! I know he would appreciate being remembered here.

-Paula Berg
Brian Lusk Fan and Former Southwest Airlines Employee


Well-said, Brett. Well-said.

Brooks Thomas

CF, I really appreciate you posting this. Today’s Flashback Friday on Nuts About Southwest is appropriately also in Brian’s honor, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the work he did and the person he was.

Brooks Thomas


My condolences on the death of Mr. Lusk. Being in my early (approaching mid) 60’s, I can relate.

Michelle Agnew

Great tribute! Brian touched so many lives and will be missed by many. We lost a legacy, but it’s posts like this that’ll keep his work alive. Thanks!

Bill Owen

Thank you CF, very nicely done. Brian was a completely unique individual and many people–me included–will miss his knowledge, his writing, and most of all, his PUNS. (Wicked bad punnster he was!) There won’t be another one like him!


A fitting tribute to an aviation giant. Thank you for writing this, Brett.


May his memory be eternal.

Linda Rutherford

CF, thanks for the wonderful tribute to our dear, sweet Brian. We lost a friend–our blogboy. Our favorite punster, and the best damn historian any company, any industry would be proud to employ. RIP, Brian.


Nice job Brett. A very nice tribute.

Nick Barnard

I never met Brian Lusk or even followed his writings, but I always enjoyed when he commented here. His comments always gave me the impression that he fully enjoyed life, and was quite a jolly man.

I’ll miss him.