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Throwback Thursday: Pan Am's Art Deco Airline Terminal is a Sweet Miami Secret

Where: 3500 Pan American Drive [map], Miami, FL, United States
February 20, 2014 at 12:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

Some call it the "Gateway to the Americas," but most just know it as Miami City Hall.

This small, art deco building in the south Miami neighborhood of Coconut Grove houses the offices of city officials and one stately meeting room, complete with wood dais and original Pan Am winged clock. Why a Pan Am winged clock? Well, this meeting room was once a departures area for flights, and the building the airline's very first terminal.

Acting mostly on rumor and the results of a few Google searches, we made the 15-minute drive from downtown Miami. Venturing inside, we were thrilled to discover that the general public is welcome to meander around after a brief security screening and during city business hours, but note that the second floor restaurant has closed.

Visitors expecting a full airport will quickly notice the lack of runways; Pan Am placed this terminal here to utilize the neighboring calm waters of Dinner Key Marina on Biscayne Bay for the operation of their flying boat services, with routes stretching as near as Cuba and as far as Buenos Aires, covering most South American and Caribbean capitals in between.

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Throwback Thursday: 15 Hours to Buenos Aires on Panagra

August 22, 2013 at 3:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

Never heard of Panagra? We wouldn't expect you to, since the heyday of this airline—a partnership between Pan Am and Grace Shipping Company—happened back in the 1940s and '50s. Panagra exclusively specialized in routes from the United States to South America, routes instrumental in the founding and expansion of Pan Am Guesthouses, what you may know better today as InterContinental Hotels.

This particular magazine ad flaunts their direct service from New York to Buenos Aires on the DC-8s jets, a journey lasting some 15 hours one-way. Today, and since the 1990s, you'll find American Airlines on the route, a nonstop journey of 10 hours on a Boeing 777.

To view more classic ads like this, visit the "Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life" exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery (and do so before the exhibit closes September 15).

[Photo: Jaunted]

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Pan Am in 1969: 'Stewardesses, Like Jetliners, Must Be Slinky Sex Symbols'

June 18, 2013 at 10:44 AM | by | Comments (0)

There seems something innately disingenuous about illustrating a story on the history of flight attendants solely with GIFs, but alas good ol' Buzzfeed has gone and done it. Luckily it's for good reason; it seems NBC has dug up an old documentary of theirs on Pan Am flight attendants from 1969, entitled "Every Young Chick Wants to Fly."

If that title offends, then just wait until you watch the short film. Head over to Buzzfeed to view, but here's two of the creepier lines to prepare you:

'Stewardesses, like jetliners, must be slinky sex symbols. Pilots may be homely and bald.'

'The stewardess works an average of 18 months, then quits…Some get married, frequently to passengers'

[GIF: Buzzfeed]

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Throwback Thursday: James Bond Flies Pan Am in 1973

May 23, 2013 at 4:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

Tomorrow, May 24, is a very important date for the future of New York's JFK Airport as Delta opens their brand new, high tech expansion to Terminal 4. Still, sacrifices had to be made and tonight marked the closing of their old terminal, Terminal 3, aka the former Pan Am Worldport.

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Pan Am (Kinda) Flies Again at Palm Springs Modernism Week

February 19, 2013 at 5:39 PM | by | Comments (0)

"Air travel isn't like it used to be."

If you've ever uttered or even thought those words, then get your butt to Palm Springs this month to see what air travel used to be all about thanks to a large exhibition of archival pieces from Pan Am. This exclusive event is titled "Welcome Aboard: The Pan Am Experience" and will be on display through February 25 as part of Palm Springs' Modernism Week.

Collected by actor Phillip Keene, who worked as a Pan Am steward from 1987-1991, the bounty of vintage ephemera covers everything from Pan Am menus and uniforms to advertisements and luggage. It's really a chance to view the bits of iconic design that made up the legendary airline, and it doesn't matter if you've flown Pan Am in the past or not.

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In 1956, Computer Technology Belonged in an Airplane's Cargo Hold

January 7, 2013 at 10:48 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last night, by an open-air fire pit in Palm Springs, we met a man who had lost his lighter. He had owned it for 32 years, a present from an ex-girlfriend, he said. Sure, he later found it had slipped underneath his drivers seat, but still it got us to thinking. Here's a basic accessory of function—a lighter—and, next to us, our iPhone on which we basically run our lives. How many years does the latter last? Two? If we're lucky.

All of this leads us to show you the photo above, which has made its way around the internet this past week as it does about once a year. It's an incredible image that falls in the annals of both technology and aviation history as it's a 5MB hard drive being loaded onto a Pan Am plane in 1956. it weighs one ton.

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The Naughtiest Flight Attendants of 2012 are...

December 28, 2012 at 3:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's that time of the year again, the time when the year just plain ends. Alas, we can't just let 2012 go that easily, especially since travelers spent it both up in the air and up in arms over a crazy range of topics. Needless to say, we're ready for 2013, but first we're taking a brief look back at the best of 2012 with the Jaunted Travel Awards,—or as we fondly refer to them—The Jauntys.

This year, real life flight attendants were on their best behavior but, luckily for us, the fictional ones made up for it!

The stewardesses (as they were known back in the day) on ABC's short-lived soapy drama Pan Am had enough naughty secrets under those crisp blue uniforms and girdles to make us long for the days when flying was glam.

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Pan Am's Iconic JFK Terminal Will Definitely Head to the Big Airport in the Sky

October 18, 2012 at 4:37 PM | by | Comments (2)

The length of Terminal 3 as viewed from its replacement: the extension of Terminal 4

Before moving forward, we look back a moment at the iconic Worldport (Terminal 3), former JFK Airport home of Pan Am and current roof over much of Delta's JFK operation.

Since early 2010 we've known the end was nigh. Delta plans to demolish the building after moving into their massive expansion of the neighboring Terminal 4, which will all go down in May 2013 and which we'll tell you all about tomorrow.

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When Crossing the Equator Used to Be a Big Frickin' Deal

October 9, 2012 at 1:24 PM | by | Comments (0)

When was the last time you flew over the Equator and, at the exact moment, toasted the occasion? Probably never, right? That's because it's not that big a deal anymore and airplane pilots have stopped announcing it. But trust that there was a time when heading over the equator was a very big frickin' deal and flight crew not only noted it, but celebrated it by passing out official certificates of equatorial passage to passengers.

This was a time before seatback TVs and the moving map channel, of course. In fact, the ritual of "Crossing the Line" goes back to the days of exploration by tall ship, a fact that wasn't lost on Pan Am when they borrowed the practice to break up the monotony that set in on those long Clipper (also a maritime term) flights, from the 1930s through the early 1960s.

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Pan Am's Season One Finale Was Likely Its Final Flight

February 23, 2012 at 2:45 PM | by | Comment (1)

The future doesn't look very bright for ABC's Pan Am. The show's season one finale attracted only 3.9 million viewers, the lowest in its time slot. So, after spending the past few weeks on the bubble, it looks like Sunday's dismal ratings guarantee the show won't be returning.

Now, with our favorite prime-time travel series kaput, we're hoping the networks will have something new travelers can look forward to in the fall season.

Here's a look at the top 3 most promising pilot shows for armchair adventurers:

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Pan Am's TV Season May Be Over, But Retro Travel Lives On at the Pacific Aviation Museum

February 22, 2012 at 8:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

The first season of ABC’s retro travel drama Pan Am is long over (as of a few days ago), but you might just be able to get your Pan Am fix out in Hawaii. Take a break from all the swimming, snorkeling and sunbathing and schedule a little time to visit the Pacific Aviation Museum on the island of Oahu. Located within Pearl Harbor on Ford Island, the museum has everything and anything when it comes to historic military and civilian air travel as it applies to the region.

It’s probably worth a visit any day of the week, but what we’re most interested in is the new Pan Am exhibit called “Come Fly With Me.” The exhibit has been up and running since late last year, and the opening coincides with the 75th anniversary of Pan Am’s first flights to and from the islands. There’s plenty of memorabilia on hand—remember, look but don’t touch—from both the airline’s propeller days and the jet age. Museum officials are hoping that the exhibit will continue to evolve as more and more donations are acquired, and the museum is able to gobble up additional Pan Am goodies.

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Seven of Our Favorite Defunct Airlines of Yesteryear

February 7, 2012 at 2:17 PM | by | Comments (3)

It sure seems like a number of world airlines have been closing up shop recently. Last week, we saw two European carriers cease operations and call it quits. Barcelona-based, Spanair, and the Hungarian flag carrier, Malev, both abruptly stopped flying, stranding passengers all over the continent. Of course, these latest casualties are not the only airlines to make their final approaches.

Let's take a trip down memory lane and reminisce of those airlines we never forget and, secretly, wish we could still fly. These brands never had an iPhone app, some barely had a website, but they will always play a role in the golden age of air travel.

Some of favorite defunct airlines, in no particular order:

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