Fun Side of Flying: Air Travel Collectors

In this day and age of time-consuming airport security, cramped planes, few frills – plus, a scarcity of cheap flights – it’s hard to believe flying was ever considered glamorous. But it was.

7 Best ‘Hidden Treasures’ in Airports

Best Air Travel Collections

And it really hits home when you check out some of these fascinating air travel collections.

1. Flight Attendant Uniforms

KLM purser Cliff Muskiet has been collecting flight attendant uniforms for decades now, and he’s amassed more than 1,000 of them, dating back to the 1950’s. See mod mini-dresses from the 60’s (Braniff), examples of a short-lived vogue for paper dresses (TWA), Southwests’ shorts and polo tops and colorful scarves featuring giraffes (Air Tanzania). Muskiet tells FareCompare his favorites include the 60’s and 70’s psychedelic prints, hot pants, and the pointy collared blouses. “And don’t forget all those polyester fabrics,” he adds. It’s all there waiting for you on UniformFreak.

Pan Am Stewardesses – Did They Really Wear Girdles?

2. Cabin in the Garage

Ever think to yourself, “If only I could put a first class airline cabin in my garage”? One man in Southern California did, and Anthony Toth has been happily adding to the 18 seat Pan Am 747 cabin ever since, with original china, silverware, and even life vests and oxygen masks. He told Farecompare he enjoys entertaining friends in the cabin – which fits perfectly in what had been a two-and-a-half-car garage – serving them snacks and drinks there, the latter enhanced with authentic Pan Am logo swizzle sticks.

3. Travel Shopper Paradise

Etsy: This craft and vintage site is loaded with airline memorabilia for the discerning collector, including a TWA ashtray, Western Airlines playing cards, Allegheny Airlines ceramic canapé trays, and yes, even some of those Pan Am swizzle sticks

eBay: Start your own flight attendant uniform collection – you’ll find some here.

Fat Flyers – and Air Force One

4. Big Planes and Where to See Them

Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: See one of the huge Air Force One planes that is the in-air home to the U.S. Commander-in-Chief; go inside and pretend you’re the Big Guy.

Airplane Boneyard in the Mojave Desert: See all kinds of retired or ‘parked until needed again’ aircraft near California’s Mojave Air & Space Port in Kern County. The planes keep well in the dry desert heat and many are cannibalized for parts. If you’re lucky, you may even run into Anthony Toth shopping for parts for his cabin-in-a-garage there.


Published: April 3, 2012