Vanished airlines - remember these?

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  1. bonnerbl
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    bonnerbl Gold Member

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    A big dose of nostalgia. Did you ever say, "Whatever happened to some of the old airlines?" "What was the name of the air carrier that...?" Finally, someone published a history of what airline merged,
    bought, sold, bankrupted, screwed, saved, bailed-out, etc.,
    in a short, concise manner.

    Air California

    Operated: 1967 - 1987
    Cause and result of demise: Ceased operations. Acquired piecemeal by American Airlines.
    Interesting fact: One marketing program used by Air California in the early to mid-1970s was to offer school field trips to Sacramento at $25 a head, where school children would be taken on a tour of the California State Capitol, Governor's Mansion, and Sutter's Fort.

    Air Florida

    Operated: 1971 - 1984
    Cause and result of demise: Bankruptcy, sped up by the crash of the January 13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crash in Washington DC - assets obtained by Midway Airlines.
    Interesting fact: Air Florida sponsored Southampton Football Club, an English Football League side, during the 1983-84 season, in which Southampton were league runners-up. The deal was canceled after one season due to Air Florida insolvency.


    Allegheny Airlines

    Operated: 1953 - October 28, 1979, started in 1939, as All-American Airways.
    Cause and result demise: Rebranded as USAir, then US Airways (source:
    http://www.usairways.com/en-US/aboutus/pressroom/history/allegheny.html). Purchased by America West, which kept the US Airways name.
    Interesting fact: It was one of the first airlines to create an affiliated branded network of regional airline carriers operating in unison with Allegheny, which was called the Allegheny Commuter System.


    Aloha Airlines

    Operated: 1946 - 2008
    Cause and result of demise: Chapter 11 bankruptcy, transfer of operations to Aloha Air Cargo.
    Interesting fact: On April 28, 1988, Aloha Airlines Flight 243 was a scheduled Boeing 737-297 flight between Hilo and Honolulu in Hawaii. The aircraft suffered extensive damage after an explosive decompression in flight, but was able to land safely at Kahului Airport on Maui. The safe landing of the aircraft with such a major loss of integrity was unprecedented and remains unsurpassed.

    Braniff International Airways

    Operated: 1928 - 1982
    Cause and result of demise: Bankruptcy. Some flights scheduled to leave on May 12, 1982, at Dallas Fort Worth Airport were actually forced to disembark, being told that their airline no longer existed.
    Interesting fact: A Braniff plane and logo always appear after the closing credits in the South Park cartoon series. With the slogan: Braniff - Believe It!

    Capital Airlines

    Operated: 1941 - 1961. Had its origins as Pennsylvania Central Airlines from 1936.
    Cause and result of demise: Merged into United Airlines
    Interesting fact: In 1948, the first airborne television was installed on a Capital airplane.


    Central Airlines

    Operated: 1949 - 1967
    Cause and result of demise: Bankruptcy. Sold to Frontier Airlines.
    Interesting fact: Former president of Venezuela Laurence Lau was present on the maiden flight.


    Chicago Air

    Operated: 1985 - 1986
    Cause and result of demise: Ceased service.
    Interesting fact: It operated six Fokker F27 aircraft, and the call sign was Wild Onion in reference to the Chippewa Indian derivation of the name "Chicago"
    Image courtesy of David Oates.


    Eastern Airlines

    Operated: 1926-1991
    Cause and result of demise: Bankruptcy
    Interesting fact: An Ex-Airline Executive is set on purchasing the airline back under the original Eastern name, with the main hub's being in MIA. It hopes to begin operations sometime in 2011.


    Empire Airlines

    Operated: 1976 - 1985
    Cause and result of demise: Purchased by Piedmont (see below), then USAir.


    Frontier Airlines

    Operated: 1950 - 1986
    Cause and result of demise: Bankruptcy. It re-emerged as the current Frontier Airlines in 1994 from executives of the old airline.
    Interesting fact: Frontier Airlines made history when they hired Emily Howell Warner on January 29, 1973. She was the first female airline pilot hired by a U.S. commercial airline.


    Hughes Airwest

    Operated: 1968 - 1980
    Cause and result of demise: Purchased by Republic Airlines, in 1980.
    Interesting fact: Hughes Airwests predecessor was Air West, which itself was a merger of Pacific Air Lines, Bonanza Air Lines, and West Coast Airlines. TWA's former owner and aviator, Howard Hughes, bought and rebranded the fleet in 1970. The unique yellow paint earned them the nickname of Flying Bananas, which they then turned into a company catchphrase:Top Banana in the West.


    Kiwi International Airlines

    Operated: 1992 - 1999
    Cause and result of demise: Bankruptcy. In 1997, an M.D., Dr. Charles Edwards, tried to revive the airline (with an investment of nearly $20,000,000 of his own money), but the idea was sadly abandoned.
    Interesting fact: Kiwi International Air Lines enjoyed a flawless safety record and near-perfect dispatch reliability rate of 99.6% in its expansion.


    Midway Airlines

    Operated: 1976 - 1991. Began operations on November 1979.
    Cause and result of demise: Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
    Interesting fact: Some of the signature inflight service items were after-dinner chocolate wafer mints and hot hand towels to the entire cabin, both of which had originally caught on with Midway's business clientele.


    Mohawk Airlines

    Operated: 1945 - 1972
    Cause and result of demise: Labor issues and strikes caused it to consider merger with Allegheny (see below), later USAir.
    Interesting fact: On February 11, 1958, Ruth Carol Taylor was hired by Mohawk Airlines, becoming the first African-American flight attendant in the United States. In 1961, it became the first airline to use a centralized computer-based reservation service. In 1965, it became the first regional airline to utilize flight simulators.


    Muse Air

    Operated: 1981 - 1987
    Cause and result of demise: Liquidated by Southwest, renamed TranStar Airlines in 1985, and ceased operations in 1987.
    Interesting fact: Started up by founder and one-time president of Southwest Airlines, Marion Lamar Muse, it prohibited smoking on the plane long before federal regulations enforced it.


    National Airlines

    Operated: 1934 - 1980
    Cause and result of demise: Texas International Airlines offered to buy National in 1978, but they opted instead to merge with Pam Am, in 1980. Deregulation as well as high costs for the acquisition would eventually lead to Pam Am's demise.
    Interesting fact: In 1964, National became the first exclusively-jet-powered service in the United States. To supplement their branding and image (their logo was the Sun King, owing to the fact that they were based in Miami, Florida), they opened a terminal at JFK called the Sundrome, in 1970.


    New York Air

    Operated: 1980-1987
    Cause and result demise: Financial, acquired by Continental.
    Interesting fact: New York Air was well known for its onboard bagged snacks, known as the "The Flying Nosh," from the Yiddish word nash, to eat sweets, nibble-on.


    North Central Airlines

    Operated: 1952 - 1979
    Cause and result of demise: Merged with Southern Airways to become Republic Airlines, which became part of Northwest Airlines, which is now part of Delta.
    Interesting fact: It had its origins in 1939, when the Four Wheel Drive Company (FWD), a major manufacturer of four-wheel transmissions and heavy-duty trucks based in Clintonville, Wisconsin, opened a flight department and traded a company truck for a WACO biplane for their company's use.


    Northeast Airlines

    Operated: 1931 - 1972
    Cause and result of demise: Merged with Delta. on August 1, 1972.
    Interesting fact: Northeast was perhaps most famous for its dramatic Yellowbird campaign where its new delivery of Boeing 727-200, in 1967, were painted white and yellow. Its humble beginnings were as Boston-Maine Airways, which operated out of Boston, and was a joint venture between Boston and Maine Railroad and Maine Central Railroad.


    Ozark Airlines

    Operated: September 1950 - October 1986
    Cause and result of demise: Merged with TWA.
    Interesting fact: It operated a special toll-free number based in New Jersey between the 60s and 80s that required asking the telephone operator for number WX-8300. Also, comedian George Carlin once acted as a spokesperson for the airline.


    Pacific Air Lines / Southwest Airways

    Operated: 1946 - 1968
    Cause and result of demise: Purchased by Howard Hughes to form Hughes Airwest, which was bought by Republic Airlines, in 1980, which was bought by Northwest in 1986, which merged with Delta, in 2009/2010.
    Interesting fact: Pacific Air Lines Flight 773 crashed near San Ramon, CA, on May 7, 1964, after a distressed passenger shot both the pilot and co-pilot before turning the gun on himself, causing the plane to crash and killing all 44 aboard. This was likely the first-ever instance of a pilot's being shot by a passenger. Pacific also launched a controversial ad campaign in 1967 designed to play upon passengers fears of flying. Flight attendants apparently handed out survival kits featuring hot-pink lunch pails containing a small security blanket, a lucky rabbits foot, the best-selling book, The Power of Positive Thinking, and a fortune cookie containing the slogan, "It could be worse." The pilot could be whistling, "The High and the Mighty."


    Pacific Southwest Airlines

    Operated: 1949 - 1988
    Cause and result demise: Financial, merged with USAirways, now reincarnated as commuter affiliate.
    Interesting fact: With the slogan, "The Worlds Friendliest Airline," PSA was known for its sense of humor, and its recognizable trademark was a smile painted on the nose of each plane and an accompanying ad campaign declaring "Catch Our Smile." After PSA was bought by USAir, ex-PSA mechanics would occasionally paint smiles on USAir planes as a joke.


    Pan American World Airways

    Operated: 1927 - 1991
    Cause and result of demise: Bankruptcy, remaining assets acquired by Delta Air Lines.
    Interesting fact: During the mid-1970s, two Pan Am flights operated around the world to set or break previous around-the-world flying records. Liberty Bell Express broke the commercial plane around-the-world record, with 46 hours, 50 seconds, making only two stopovers during the journey, one in New Delhi and the other in Tokyo-Haneda. The other was over the North Pole using the Clipper, New Horizons, which was actually the same plane as the Liberty Bell Express, and took 54 hours, 7 minutes, and 12 seconds.


    PEOPLExpress Airlines

    Operated: 1981 - 1987
    Cause and result demise: Sale to Texas Air holding, integrated into Continental Airlines.
    Interesting fact: The airline used a simplified fare structure whereby all seats on a given route were offered at the same price, with slight differences between peak and Off-Peak fares. All seats were in economy class, with the exception of Premium Class seating on overseas flights. Fares were paid on the flight.


    Piedmont Airlines

    Operated: 1948 - 1989
    Cause and result demise: Integrated into USAirways (formerly Allegheny Airways), then bought by American West.
    Interesting fact: A original Piedmont Airlines DC-3 is located unrestored at the North Carolina Transportation Museum in Spencer,North Carolina. It still has its original paint scheme and parts.


    Presidential Airways

    Operated: 1985 - 1989
    Cause and result of demise: Merged with Colgan Air in 1986, then became a feeder airline for Continental in 1987 and United in 1988. Eventually went bankrupt.
    Interesting fact: It was founded, in 1985, by Harold J. (Hap) Pareti, formerly an officer at People Express, as a low-cost carrier.


    Reno Air

    Operated: 1992 - 1999
    Cause and result of demise: Integrated into American Airlines.


    Republic Airlines

    Operated: 1979 - 1986
    Cause and result of demise: Bought by Northwest Orient, which rebranded itself after the merger as Northwest.
    Interesting fact: Apparently, it is still possible to find a few old Republic logos around Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport and Memphis International Airport if one looks hard enough.


    Southern Airways

    Operated: 1949 - 1979
    Cause and result of demise: Merged with North Central Airlines to become Republic Airlines.
    Interesting fact: Southern Airways billed itself as the "Route of the Aristocrats" and used the slogan "Nobody's Second Class on Southern" in its television commercials. It was famous for its promotional shot glasses: for a time, a differently-designed shot glass was issued each year. Original Southern shot glasses are valued by collectors of the airlines memorabilia.


    Texas International Airlines

    Operated: 1944 - 1982
    Cause and result demise: Texas Air, a holding company, bought Continental, filed for bankruptcy, and reemerged as Continental Airlines.
    Interesting fact: It was known as Trans-Texas Airways until 1969, and its acronym then allowed competitors to derisively call it Tree Top Airlines and Tinker Toy Airlines. It ran an ad campaign to counter it with a tag line: No More Tinker Toys. No More Treetops. We are now Texas International Airlines. It apparently remains to this day the only carrier to bring jet service to the airports in Abilene, Hot Springs, Wichita Falls, San Angelo, Roswell, Hobbs, and Texarkana.


    Tower Air

    Operated: 1983 - 2000
    Cause and result demise: Bankruptcy
    Interesting fact: Tower Air was prominently featured in such movies as Liar Liar and Turbulence.


    Trans World Airlines

    Operated: 1925 - 2001
    Cause and result of demise: Bankruptcy, acquired by American Airlines.
    Interesting fact: In the 1950s, the TWA Moonliner, a futuristic exhibit that was placed by Howard Hughes, was the tallest structure at Disneyland and depicted atomic-powered travel to come in 1986.

    ValuJet

    Operated: 1993 - 1997
    Cause and result of demise: ValuJet Flight 592, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9, crashed in the Florida Everglades on May 11, 1996, due to a fire caused by the activation of chemical oxygen generators that were stored in the cargo hold. The fire damaged the plane's electrical system and eventually overcame the crew, resulting in the deaths of 110 people.
    Interesting fact: In order to save itself from the damaging effects of negative publicity, it took on a reverse merger with the much smaller company AirWays Corp. (currently AirTran Holdings). It thus now operates AirTran Airways.


    Western Airlines

    Operated: 1926 - 1986
    Cause and result of demise: Merged with Delta Air Lines after failed buyout from Air Florida.
    Interesting fact: During the 1970s, they promoted themselves as champagne airline because champagne was offered free of charge to every adult passenger over 21 years of age.
     
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  2. Mapsmith
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    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    I really miss Muse and Reno. Fortunately, I was based out of Texas in the 80's and loved to fly both because they went where I wanted and cheaply. I was always treated well on board and off.

    Sigh!
     
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  3. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Of all these airlines, Aloha is the only one I have flown a few times -- both intra-island and on that odd OAK-LAS tag that they were operating for a few years.
     
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  4. ACMM
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    ACMM Gold Member

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    Sound all USA based to me.

    (Posted from my milePoint enabled iPhone)
     
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  5. Gardyloo
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    Gardyloo Gold Member

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    Missing a few that I rode often/occasionally/constantly...

    Bonanza
    MarkAir
    Reeve Aleutian
    TransMagic (my vote for best airline name)
    West Coast
    Wien Consolidated/Air Alaska

    Yes, all US - how about BEA, Sabena, BCal, Swissair, Canadian Pacific, and a bunch of others?
     
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  6. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    My first trans-Atlantic was on PAN AM ... I also miss Braniff
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    :eek: Uuugly! :p
     
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  8. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    The "pumpkin" at LGW ;)
     
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  9. cliburn
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    cliburn Gold Member

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    My first transatlantic was on Sabena
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. goalie
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    goalie Gold Member

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    All I can say is thank you to TWA for bringing goalie-dad to the U.S in 1948. Cairo-Athens-Rome-London-Gander-Boston on the Super-Connie.
     
  11. Rejuvenated
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    Rejuvenated Gold Member

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    "Vanished US-based Airlines - remember these?" - Perhaps a more fitting title?

    "Kiwi International Airlines" - this one caught me as possibly the lone non-US but a quick entry into wikipedia dismissed any notion of it as one that was based in NZ.

    Air Vietnam, Ansett, British Caledonian, Oasis, Sabena, SwissAir, etc just to name a few of the other well-known defunct ones globally.
     
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  12. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    True enough. I recall some horrendous Air Vietnam flights during monsoons; I had 3 million miles on Swissair, and still use the Swiss Travel Club bag tags (SWISS- So What It's Still Swissair); British Caledonian, Sabena and others...
     
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  13. flyingdawg
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    TWA and STL, boy that seems like a long time ago....
     
  14. Fredd
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    Fredd Gold Member

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    Meanwhile, North of the 49th Parallel
    The first time we flew our entire family to Europe was out of YVR on the terrific Canadian charter Wardair. Its founder, Max Ward, was a genuine Canadian aviation pioneer, a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force who started his own little charter company flying in the North after WW II.

    Speaking of vanished airlines, after financial ups and downs Ward sold Wardair in 1989 to Pacific Western Airlines, which in turn become part of Canadian Airlines, which in turn was acquired by Air Canada.

    There's been a lot of that going around the past 30 years or so.

    Of course, I still vaguely remember the Kaisers my father owned in the early 50s. ;)
     
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  15. Gardyloo
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    When I moved to the UK in the 1970s it was Wardair that took us from YVR to PIK (Prestwick.) I had so much Drambuie during the flight that I arrived both hung over and with a sugar high. Welcome tae bonnie Scotland!
     
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  16. My first flight ever was on Northwest.
     
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  17. TheBeerHunter
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    I was a big fan of ValuJet. Not so much AirTran though.
     
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  18. mauld

    mauld Silver Member

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    My first flight ever was on North Central (off to college in Wisconsin), my first TATL was on BOAC, where my best memory was having salmon for the very first time (this was in the early 70's), and for this Brooklyn girl, that was a pretty exotic seafood;)
     
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  19. MLW20
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    AirTran was gross but we got to fly them one time due to the amazing Wendy's cups promotion!
     
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  20. superscot
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    First ever commercial flight - Autair International - Dart Herald, ADX-BLK
    dart.jpg
    First ever transatlantic flight - Laker SkyTrain DC-10, LGW-LAX
    dc10.jpg
     
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  21. jbcarioca
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    I fondly remember Laker, not because I ever flew them, I didn't. However Laker, set up a US$99 fare LON-NYC. Soon after, others got in the act, and other routes. I thus flew with my then girlfriend, BAH-AMM-BAH on Alia Royal Jordanian for a roundtrip fare of US$99 each, then were upgraded because I was a friend of one of the FA's. We then went across the Allenby bridge, made our way to TLV and too ElAl TLV-JFK for $119 each RT! The experience was mazing, but the astounding part was the security inspection at TLV. Both of us had Bahrain residence visas and tons of KSA, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria stamps. When we explained the pricing the soldiers understood but we both we most completely inspected.

    This is seriously OT, I know, since both of the airlines still exist.
     
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  22. mailbroad

    mailbroad Silver Member

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    My friend used to call People's Express People's Distress.
     
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  23. mhnadel
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    New York Air must have started operations before 1980 because I have distinct memories of traveling on them from LGA to BOS when I was in college and I graduated in 1980. In addition to the nosh bag, they did their seat assignments with little apple shaped numbered stickers that went on your boarding pass. Or maybe that was just when the computers were down, which happened a lot back in those days.
     
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  24. Titans26

    Titans26 Silver Member

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    Vanguard Air

    Someone found old customer credit card information and charged customers again. I received a $105.00 charge on my Discover card from Vanguard Airlines in June of 2011. My Discover card number has been the same 20 years. Vanguard went out of business in 2002. I charged a ticket DEN/MCI in 2000 while campaigning for Bush 2000.
     
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  25. Elusive

    Elusive Silver Member

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    There is a bit more to the story with
    Aloha Airlines Flight 243. During the flight the FA got sucked out of the plane! There is a memorial for her at HNL I believe.
     

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