It has been more than three decades since Pan American World Airways ceased operations in December of 1991, ending one of the most iconic and well-known travel companies ever to exist.
The airline started in 1927 as the brainchild of entrepreneur Juan Trippe, starting out its life carrying mail from Key West to Havana and then carrying passengers a year later. Over its 64-year history, the airline became the poster child for the airline industry, carrying American presidents, rockstars, and millions of travelers to cities around the world.
While the airline’s legacy has somewhat faded over the past 30 years, despite its place in pop culture, some relics of Pan Am still remain for those wanting to relive some of the airline industry’s glory days.
The Pan Am Museum Foundation, which has a physical museum located inside the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, New York, has been releasing vintage flight attendant training footage online over the past few months. It is a treasure-trove of content for travel industry history buffs.
The footage includes videos used throughout Pan Am’s existence going back as far as the 1950s, including its iconic “Welcome to Our World” commercial, a first-class service technique training from the mid-1980s, and its last-ever commercial from early 1991.
The videos bookmark some of the major changes in the airline industry’s history, including the start of video entertainment in flight, and the start of what became the inflight smoking ban, which can be viewed above.
The task of introducing the smoking ban to reluctant passengers, a practice that used to be prevalent on all U.S. flights until the late 1980s, might remind current flight attendants of their experience enforcing the face mask mandate during the COVID-19 pandemic, something that caused chaos in the air for so many flight crews.