14 September 2009


somehow opened up to this article in the paper (no kidding, the real newspaper) the other day. the san francisco chronicle features classic articles from years (and years and years) past... i thought this one from june 3, 1963 by stanton delaplane was really great.

Chronicle Classic :
Delaplane flying high

The new TWA polar flight is nonstop from the U.S. West Coast to Paris, France. 

It takes 10 hours and 5 minutes and is crammed with so much passenger activity that everybody must work hard and seriously to accomplish his task before the wheels touch down. 

Each passenger is expected to eat a five-course luncheon and a six-course dinner. Between these he must view a full-length feature movie. He should - TWA expects every man to do his duty - precede each meal with an appropriate martini. 

The airline surveyed martini drinkers recently. It found West Coast lushes were ordering the bottled Heublein's martinis. Then they would order a straight gin. They were spiking their martinis. 

Therefore, TWA ordered West Coast martinis mixed at new odds of 16-to-1 - gin versus vermouth. Two of these and the stewardess resets your controls to automatic. You are no longer considered fit to fly yourself. 

On the west-to-east crossing, the movie is a late, late show. The jets simply eat up time. So you go to the movie in the afternoon and you get out in the middle of the night. 

Coming back the situation is reversed. 

You start lunch at midday. And when you finish it is still noon. 

This is very confusing and TWA is justly proud of it. It is not only on its toes with competing airlines. It is way ahead of the passenger.

(article continued-- full version-- and other classics : here)

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