Happy Holiday Air Travel!

With many people preparing to fly home to visit relatives during the upcoming holidays, we thought it was time for an aviation-themed blog.  Now, some of you might be nervous fliers.  But perhaps it will make you feel better to see that back in the day, it could have been a lot worse to fly.  We’ve used our collections to illustrate just several of the reasons that it’s much, much safer to fly in this modern age.

  1. Covered jetways to the aircraft.  No risk of slipping and falling on an icy tarmac.

Passengers on the first transcontinental flight from Los Angeles to the East Coast, July 8, 1929. AHC Collections, Charles A. Lindbergh Photo File.

2.  Runways and tarmacs that are clearly defined, easy to navigate, and paved.  No need to worry about the plane’s tire’s slipping and skidding in mud.

Secure your seatbelt for takeoff and landing. Just look at that packed-dirt runway! Richard Leferink Scrapbook, Box 14.

3.  Protection from the elements, especially welcome at cruising altitudes of 30,000 feet.

Lieutenant Commander Ellsion and Glen H. Curtiss in plane, North Island, San Diago, California, 1910, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center. Photo File: Planes--Old Timers .

4.  Small pets can still travel in the cabin, but must be restrained in a mesh carrying case.  This is safer for everyone since it reduces the risk of animals biting other passengers, but also lessens the chances that a pet might tumble out of the cockpit.

Early aviator Roscoe Turner with pet lion cub Gilmore.  Roscoe Turner Papers, Box 113, Folder 7.

Early aviator Roscoe Turner with pet lion cub Gilmore. Roscoe Turner Papers, Box 113, Folder 7.

However, now that air travel is such a routine part of our lives, there is one drawback.  There are no crowds of attractive young people to see us off and welcome us back once we’ve touched down on the ground again.

Photo of Roscoe Turner and women in bathing suits with the "Flying Cigar Store." Roscoe Turner Papers, Box 82, Folder 18.

But I think that most of us would agree that arriving safely at our destination far outstrips any departure or arrival fanfare!  Happy holidays and safe travels, all!

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