Vintage Airport Shirts Are Now Available… And We’re Taking Requests For More


For those of you who like to kick it old school — damn, I sound like an old guy trying to pretend to be cool — we now have vintage airport t-shirts available. It’s not a huge list yet, because it’s a whole lot harder to find accurate airport maps from back in the day. But hey, we have to start somewhere.

Thanks to Atmosphere Research Group’s Henry Harteveldt, my first vintage shirt is a throw back to the old Love Field.

Dallas/Love Field Vintage 1972 T-Shirt

That is, of course, in a signature orange to honor Braniff, the long-lost carrier based in Dallas,though other colors are available. And the back is an outline of one of that airline’s most recognizable planes. This was the terminal layout just before DFW opened and airlines moved out.

Once this was done, Henry tweeted it and requests started coming up. That led me to…

Chicago/Midway Vintage 1968 T-Shirt

O’Hare had already opened by this time, but the Midway terminal was still in place as built for the big guys. On the back, you’ll find the long-gone old terminal building. The place is definitely unrecognizable now.

Next up… an old friend.

Los Angeles LAX Vintage 1961 T-Shirt

In 1961, LAX finished building the initial version of its jet age terminal complex. Far from the snarled mess that is the airport today, this was a futuristic and sleek design. That is captured here along with the Theme Building on the back, also part of the original plan.

This isn’t just about old airport terminals. It’s also about old airports that don’t even exist. For example…

Denver Stapleton Vintage 1995 T-Shirt

Finally — for now — we had east to another Henry favorite. This isn’t an entire airport but just an iconic part of one….

New York JFK Vintage 1970 T-Shirt

There’s nothing quite like the Saarinen-designed TWA terminal at JFK. This layout is from right after the Flight Wing 1 expansion opened. On the back, it’s the view from the ground. I’m working on one for the whole airport, but I’m still trying to get some details squared away before it’ll be ready.

Now it’s your turn. Do you have any vintage layouts you’d like to see? If you have an actual copy of the overhead view, that’s even better. Just email and let us know. We’ll do our best to put it together.

In the meantime, you can see the whole, hopefully expanding, collection here.

Get Cranky in Your Inbox!

The airline industry moves fast. Sign up and get every Cranky post in your inbox for free.

32 comments on “Vintage Airport Shirts Are Now Available… And We’re Taking Requests For More

  1. I you do a Sacramento Airport you would have to back before 1967 before the new one was built. The old one was on Freeport Blvd. It is still there. I took my first jet flight out of there in 1966 on a United 727 to LAX .

  2. Hi Cranky – please don’t forget HOU, Hobby Airport – I was based there in 1967!
    Ellie (Coughtry) Banda

      1. Isn’t that so cool?! I’ll order after I decide on the size and color. Thanks so much!
        FYI, the airlines didn’t leave Hobby but grew exponentially. Once Trans Texas turned into Texas International and later bought CO, they used both airports. Today, Hobby is almost as busy as IAH with WN Flights and Jet Blue, DL, AA, and Via Air.
        Ellie Banda

        1. Ellie – The airlines actually did leave Hobby when IAH opened in 1969. It wasn’t really until Southwest opened up Hobby in 1971 that they started going back. So, it was a brief respite, but it was quiet for a time.

          1. Ahhh, guess I didn’t remember that! Thanks for the correction… is this Zbret I’m writing? If so, I also worked for HP. I don’t think you were there when I was? 1990-1993 in the Houston sales office but was in PHX (Tempe) office many times. I know you know my son, Troy Filson who now lives in SYD (11 years).

            1. Ellie – Yes indeed. I didn’t start with HP until 1997 as an intern, so we didn’t overlap. But I did intern in Northeast Sales with Troy and the team. Those are great memories.

            2. I thought so, but your name was familiar because Yroy liked you too! Take care Mr. Cranky! I love your work…

  3. I would love to see pre-midfield-terminal PIT. That would be a really cool one with the old rotundas. Plus a good highlight of it’s heyday with US Air.

      1. CF I didn’t see your comment when I posted the second time. I love it! I’ll have to buy one.

  4. Off topic, but I have an idea for a topic. Have you considered doing an analysis on hub efficiencies across all legacy carriers? It seems that AA has significant hub overlap which must cause financial pressures that do not exist in the same manner for Delta or United.

  5. i don’t think people are really missing this one, but maybe Montreal Mirabel (YMX), Hong Kong Kai Tak (old HKG

    1. For the old HKG, we should instead show the diagram for the approach or just the famous checkerboard where the pilots had to turn.

    2. Henry LAX – I don’t think there’s anything that really stands out at either Mirabel or Kai Tak from a terminal perspective. They’re both kind of boring, no?

  6. If you have read my posts on this blog, you know that I am a CVG fan. But, my love of aviation & airlines got started at Standiford Field in Louisville (SDF, now called Muhammad Ali International Airport). A t-shirt with the layout of the Lee Terminal right after its 1971 renovation would be a wonder to see. The Delta concourse was state-of-the-art when it was built & was the first terminal at SDF to load passengers via jetways. The opposite end of the terminal, where Piedmont & Allegheny were located, was awesome & new. In between, the developers used remaining wings of the old terminal for other airlines. The mix of old & new infrastructure worked just fine for its time! Whaddaya say, Cranky?

      1. Cranky, please forgive me, but could you please freshen up the link? I’m unable to get anything but a blank page. Thank you!

          1. Cranky, the cranky-gear.vintage link is working just fine. It’s the sdf1971.png link that takes me to a blank page, no matter what I try to do to make it appear. If I still can’t make it work, I shall have to find a computer that uses 21st century software.

  7. Cranky:

    For us total aviation geeks, how about a T-shirt with not only the terminals on it but also the runways drawn and numbered.

    An example of what I was thinking is can be found on this web page.

    It shows the terminals in muted design and the runways in bolder colors labeled at each end by their designation.

    At my home airport (ORD) they are:


    I buy one for ORD.

    Is it a possibility?

    1. Keith – Thanks for the suggestion. I’m not doing anything with runways yet, but that doesn’t mean we won’t consider it in the future sometime.

    1. Hello Chuck!
      Thanks for attaching the link to vintage airports… I was able to locate Hobby Airport from 1968 – I was based at HOU from 1967 to 1968 with Trans Texas Airways. The airline was the purchaser of CO and brought them to Houston. Then because the airline grew so rapidly, construction on IAH became necessary, and of course today, CO is now UA! Airline history is so interesting to me. I still have my original “Hostess” manual, and the newspaper called the StarLiner where I am pictured as a graduate of the Hostess class.

      Take care,

  8. Love the concept but $29 is steep. These should be $15-$20. I also don’t love that the terminal name is outed.

    1. Gregg – No reason to act shocked. If you want ORD, it can be done. Do you have years you’re thinking about? And if you have an aerial view, even better.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Cranky Flier