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Throwback Thursday: Did You Know United Airlines Once Had Helicopters to Disneyland?

January 16, 2014 at 10:31 AM | by | ()

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.

A collection of National Geographic magazines from decades past may take up shelf space, but it’s hardly something to take for granted. We recently leafed through a few mid-1960s issues from the small library in the lobby of Miami’s Freehand Hotel, and struck retro travel ad gold in this United page touting their helicopter transfer service from LAX.

These were the days of Boeing 707s, United’s campaign as “the extra care airline,” and obviously putting far too much text in magazine ads. The fine print explains it all:

At first glance, you’d think only United jets land at our new Los Angeles jet terminal.

Not so. Helicopters land there, too. In fact, you can step from a United jet, walk a few steps, and board a convenient helicopter to Disneyland or 17 other points. The area at right (near the red truck) is the only airport boarding area for Los Angeles helicopters. What could be more convenient?

Also for your convenience in planning a trip here, keep in mind that United offers more jet service to Los Angeles, from more U.S. cities, than any other airline. For instance, five non stops from New York, seven from Chicago.

Most important, you’ll appreciate the genuine concern we have for you as an individual. Extra care—for people—is the best basis we know for running, or choosing, an airline.

Make your reservations today for jet, helicopter or convenient rental car. Just call United or your Travel Agent.

Can you imagine being a little kid and asking your parents for a birthday trip to Disneyland, and then be surprised with it and a helicopter flight there? Doubtless the sight of four-engined 707s alone inspired some young'uns to be pilots, or at least to realize that spending a lifetime within several hundred miles of your birthplace was fast becoming a thing of the past.

Sadly, this convenient heli service is also a piece of history. Delta offered a similar option in conjunction with US Helicopter, where passengers could check in and go through security at a Manhattan heliport and be whisked off to the Delta terminal at JFK Airport in only 8 minutes, but even this said sayonara around 2008.

Should you still want a helicopter to drop you off at the airport or, say, Disneyland, then you’ve got two options: be cool with dropping lots of dough on a chartered chopper or be Mr. President.

[Photo: Jaunted]

Archived Comments:

EWR to Manhatten

Continental also offered helicopter service from EWR to 2 heliports in Manhattan through US Helicopter. That company shut down in 2009.