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How Pan Am Introduced Luxury Travel to America

Revolution led to modern air travel boom

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Dining service aboard a Pan American 'Clipper,' circa 1936. (Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images)
Dining service aboard a Pan American ‘Clipper,’ circa 1936. (Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Long before the days of hassle-filled air travel, flying was an adventure. People dressed up for flights, which included four-course meals, individual sleeping cabins, and other luxuries that seem foreign to modern travelers. The man at the center of that experience was Juan Terry Trippe, founder of Pan American Airways. Under Trippe’s watch, Pan Am built an American luxury travel empire in the 1930s, one “Clipper” plane at a time. Read Meredith Hindley’s story on Longreads.