United Airlines in 1962: Flashbulbs for Celebrity Arrivals
Look what we found! Why, it's a June 1962 edition of United's old in-flight magazine, Mainliner. This week, we'll be flipping through the pages and learning a thing or two about the United of the dawn of the jet age.
Thanks to recent events, flyers have learned that airlines actually take seriously the privacy of their customers' itineraries. This means that airlines aren't (or *shouldn't*) be leaking celebrity travel information to the press, or even dropping names without express consent or endorsement.
In the 1960s, however, things were very different. Celebrities wanted to be greeted at the airport by adoring fans, most of the time, and airlines wanted to talk about it. There were official photographers whose job it was to simply get the A-listers to smile for the birdie, conveniently in front of the airline's logo or fin. They were men like Mike Rotunno, profiled here in the back of United's Mainliner.
Mike ran Metro News Photos, based at Midway Airport, and spent his time running to gates to stick a flashbulb in the faces ofas the article notesMary Pickford, Eddie Cantor, Pope Pius XII and a range of US presidents. We love that United notes his importance in the industry: "Along the way, he has played an impressive part in promoting the growth of airline travel." Of course we have Twitter now, and excitable fans who tweet "Madonna is on my flight OMG!!!!11!1" before the plane has even left the gate.
Curious to have a better look at the article? View a larger version here.
[Image scan: Jaunted]