In 1927, when Charles Lindbergh flew his solo trip across the Atlantic in his famous Spirit of Saint Louis, he flew nonstop from Long Island, New York, to Paris — 3,600 miles — in 33 hours and 30 minutes. Today, thankfully, the same trip only takes about eight hours.
Until the 1940s, stewardesses had to be registered nurses — and they were also required to be single. It would be another 20 years before the job requirements changed, allowing them to keep their jobs after marriage.
American Airlines stewardess Patty Poulsen was named the first “Queen of the World’s Stewardesses” — the profession’s highest honor — on February 25, 1967. Poulsen competed in Uruguay with 19 stewardesses from 16 countries.
American Airlines’ current logo was introduced to the public in 1969, in celebration of the airline’s 35th anniversary.
American Airlines debuted piano bars on all 15 of its 747 Luxury Liners in 1971. The specially designed 64-key electronic Wurlitzer pianos were built into the stand-up bars at the rear of the Coach Class lounges. Frank Sinatra performed live on one during the premier flight (between Los Angeles and New York) on August 21, 1971.
In 1986, 47.5 million people flew on American Airlines. Ten years later, the number had grown to 93 million. Today, it’s 130 million and counting.
The two longest nonstop routes in the American Airlines global network are between Chicago and Delhi, India, and Chicago and Shanghai, China. Flights from Chicago to these destinations are about 14 hours long, and return trips last about 16 hours.
The Last Word
Over the years, American Way has used a variety of back-page concepts to close the magazine. Some of our favorites:
-Telescope: A Journey into the Future, September 1, 1991, to December 15, 1992.