Topic of the Week: Your Favorite Vestige of Departed Airlines


As mentioned yesterday, we had our annual internal Crankyfest gathering in Palm Springs last week. At check-in, we saw a computer set up on the side that was meant for people to be able to print their boarding passes. Look at some of the airlines there.

Deceased Airline Check In

Forget the fact that there has probably never been a guest at the Hyatt Indian Wells who needed to check in for a Pakistan Intl flight. But Mexicana? Yeah, that airline has been gone for ages. (And a click just goes to a 404 page.) That got me thinking about where I’ve seen vestiges of those airlines that are no longer with us. Certainly there’s the Pan Am building in Honolulu which still carries its name. But where are your favorite spots for finding a connection to an airline that’s long gone?

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30 comments on “Topic of the Week: Your Favorite Vestige of Departed Airlines

    1. Actually Jet Blue’s JFK terminal is the ghost of Bud Maytag’s National Airlines ( I’m Karen, Fly Me fame)
      TWA is still there, it’s a landmark and that is occupied by the ghosts of Command Airways (launch customer of the Shorts 330 and the ATR) as well as TWA.
      As for Pan Am just go to Delta’s Shuttle terminal at LGA (aka the Marine Air Terminal, the real Clippers
      moored there. Go to Corral Gables city hall, its the former Pan Am terminal for MIA.

      1. It’s not Coral (one “r”) Gables City Hall, which is just down the road from MIA. It’s the City of Miami’s City Hall that was the former Pan American Airways seaplane terminal back in the 30’s.

  1. A sculpture called “The Flight” is still in the lobby of the former Pan Am Building in NY. And the Pan Am Globe, from the former Miami Pan Am sea/airport is in the Miami Science Museum. Not to mention Pan Am Railways, complete with logo and type font, in the US northeast.

    1. The former Miami Pan-Am seaport is actually the Miami city call. they are converting it into a Pan-Am museum if im not mistaken.

  2. The books in hotel rooms are great for list of defunct airlines. I was at on last year that still listed the number for TWA though about calling it.

  3. See it all the time in hotels where their information books list defunct airlines. Kinda has been an easy way to tell how old the hotel is. Usually see a lot of Northwest, Continental but occasionally see a TWA. Not too long ago in PA there was one that listed Piedmont. The airline geek in me always checks.

  4. not necessarily my favorite but i just saw the US HP tribute jet taxiing at DCA. i know that’s probably brett’s favorite!

  5. Traveling out of STL in 2011 I departed on US Airways from gate A-17 and as we were boarding I saw an Eastern logo on the gate control mechanism…sadly my phone was not handy to grab a picture!

    1. At STL there is the old Ozark Airlines hanger which still has “OZARK” faded yet visible on the south side facade on the top. There is also an Ozark Airlines mini-museum the Community America Bank building between Terminal One and the hanger.

  6. Thats funny Mokulele is listed, we dont even offer online check-in yet. I happen to be in charge of that project!!

    1. Pacific Wings is there too. It looks like that’s only the second half of the listing since it only has Lufthansa though WestJet. Makes me wonder if they still have Aloha on the first page.

  7. The Marine Air Terminal at LaGuardia – and anytime I fly to Tulsa – that’s where Braniff Int’l Airways was founded in 1928.

  8. Unfortunately, those vandals at MetLife removed the “Pan Am” sign from the airline’s former New York HQ. So, as far as Noo Yawk goes, I’d nominate the former TWA flight center for the best “blast from the past.”

    Airline history museums are becoming a thing now, with one of the best ones at the International terminal at SFO. I can’t wait to get up there and see the new “catch our style” exhibit featuring PS, OC and RW.

    1. I love sometimes when cheap companies use stock photos of NYC and you can see the Pan Am still.

      I am going to go off topic a bit but here is my list of my favorite airlines that are gone.

      Western Airlines – I think when Delta bought them they changed Delta for the better (or until recently)
      Hughes Air West – hated the airline, loved flying in a banana colored airplane (I was a kid so it was cooler then than now)
      Morris Air – Better at being a LC airline than SWA
      Malaysia Airlines – Not dead yet but soon will be in my opinion. Best cabin crew I ever had on any flight.
      All Airlines from the 70s/80s when it was fun to fly! Now Greyhound is easier and more convenient some days.

  9. There are Continental carts and containers on pretty much every UA flight.

    The teal and red wavy HP interior design still lurks on some US planes.

  10. Travel agencies often have yellowing plastic models from airlines as promotional materials! And many have have cardboard cutouts from Asian airlines of their cabin crew on display.

  11. As an inveterate spotter/flight logger, I love remnant registrations. I’ve flown many an ex-TWA bird with AA, etc. There are still plenty of -NW, -TW, & -US registered birds and the like plying the skies.

  12. Didn’t someone say once that if you go to Havana airport or an old terminal there or an old Havana airport you can still see a old PanAm ticket counter?

  13. With today marking Disneyland’s 60th anniversary, I’m partial to the restored former TWA headquarters building in Kansas City (now housing the Barkley advertising agency) complete with a replica of the TWA Moonliner II. (The original Moonliner II is at the Airline History Museum.) For more information, see

  14. I am a plane spotter and I was going through my collection of plane pictures from 2000-2001 the other day. The number of airlines that have disappeared over the past 15 years is amazing: TWA, Continental, Northwest, US Airways, America West, Midwest Airlines, Midway airlines, Canadian airlines, etc… Those of those had smart liveries too.

  15. My favorite vestige of a departed airline is this 727 model that I have:

    It was a gift from my dad and its outlived all of the Space Shuttle models.

    The actual plane that carried the registration number of the model (N780AL) also ends up being a vestige of departed airlines, originally delivered to Braniff, then sold over to US Air, then ATA, then Astar Air Cargo, where it got put out to pasture.

    I also really like the old rust scheme. I know many hate it, but I’m a child of the 80s, so I like the worm logo thing. I never was a fan of the Red, White, and Blue US Air livery just seemed like it was put together in Microsoft Paint, though I’ve liked the US Airways liveries..

  16. That button reminded me of how much I miss Midwest Airlines. You had a really good product (first/business class seat width, almost FC legroom). A full airplane didn’t mean you couldn’t find an overhead bin. I wish they could have found a way to stay in business. Although the 717s were nice, they didn’t have the range of a 737/A320. Longer routes had to be serviced by older MD-80s or 90s. Ironically, its merger with/buyout by Republic/Frontier ruined both companies in my book. We lost the comfort of Midwest, and now Frontier has moved away from hub-and-spoke operations, which means if I want to go from PDX (Portland) to MCI (Kansas City), there is only one flight a day instead of two or three because there are fewer connections through Denver. Although I do like the Frontier version of premium economy, what good is it if I can only get one flight a day as an option (and sometimes that flight gets booked months in advance, so I have to book with another airline anyway!).

  17. TWA sign on Saarinen Building in front of JetBlue’s T5 at JFK. This pic is from 18:45 yesterday.

    [image1.JPG] -Dave

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