Pan-Am was a leading American airline that used to fly to over 250 destinations with a fleet of 226 aircraft. During the airline’s heyday of 1980s and 1990s, the Pan-Am logo consisting of a globe with the words ‘Pan-Am’ written across the middle was a household hit and instantly recognised brand.
After the airline went into bankruptcy in 1992, the vast majority of the in-flight amenity kits, uniforms, labels, aircraft seating cushions, and anything else connected with the Pan-Am brand became an instant collector’s item. Pan-Am had three classes of travel on their aircraft: First Class, Clipper Class (i.e. Business Class), Economy Class. Recently I had the pleasure of meeting a former Pan-Am pilot in Shanghai. Captain S. Rajan was one of the last batch of pilots to fly with Pan-Am, operating their flagship aircraft, the mighty Boeing 747-200. Over a period of over 25 years, Captain Rajan has logged over 28,000 flying hours under his belt. Captain Rajan is a distinguished commercial airline pilot and a Boeing chief test pilot on the Boeing 747-400, has flown various aircraft for Pan-Am including the Boeing 707, Boeing 727, Boeing 747SP, Boeing 747-100 and the Boeing 747-200. Today Captain Rajan test flies aircraft for Boeing, and is the CEO of one of the world’s largest single provider of charter Boeing aircraft and Boeing spare parts.
The Pan-Am ‘Clipper Class’ amenity kit was given to me as a gift by Captain Rajan. Remarkably all the Revillon products (French luxury brand) are still in pristine condition: this includes the Shaving Cream, Eau De Toilette, Moisturizer, and the After-Shave lotion. Then there is the Shaving Blade, Nail File, Shoe Tucker, a Comb and a Sewing Kit that has a built in Coat brush. The socks are also packed in a plastic case with the logo ‘Pan-Am’ proudly written across it. The n there are the high-tech headphones, again with the striking ‘Pan-Am’ logo in Cambridge blue colours painted on the ears. All the products have the Pan-Am globe logo on them. This is a rare collector’s item because sadly, with the change of the times, no airline today offers such products on any of their flights, and no airline goes to the extent of having their unique brand logo on the in-flight amenity kits like Pan-Am used to do. All of today’s airline’s are aiming for cost effectiveness and cost reduction, so most of the in-flight kits, such as toothbrushes, eyeshades and other things are non-airline branded and instead are shared. Pan-Am used to give the headphones, cushions and blankets away to the passengers to take away after the flight, but in major flag carriers today they try to collect everything back so save costs. Even those airlines that claim to be ‘5-Star’ airlines in today’s day in age offer nothing to the extent what airlines like Pan-Am used to offer, and certainly not in that luxury.
As mentioned that it’s a change of the times, and flying is not as glamorous as it used to be.
About Airline PR
This is a special section on Airline Branding, and Airline Public Relations written by me on all the flights I have been fortunate enough to have been on. These are not records taken from somewhere else, but are actual flights I have been on. Most of the flight trips are officially sponsored by the airline companies in order to promote their certain routes, and aircraft. Airline promotion and PR related work in the aviation industry is one of my expertise.
Watch exclusive videos below taken in the cockpit of a Boeing 777-300ER in-flight over Chinese Airspace.
Special thanks goes to
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 1
B777-300ER Cockpit Video 2
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