Saturday, February 14, 2009

From the Peanut Gallery . . .

A surely unexpected consequence of the Delta acquisition of Northwest Airlines is the re-emergence of packets of peanuts on some NWA flights.  Most airlines went peanut-free and switched to an alternative snack in 1998 when the Department of Transportation recommended that large carriers create a buffer zone around passengers with peanut allergies. Northwest decided to avoid the hassle and went to pretzels, instead.

Delta, however, has always served peanuts. In fact, last year alone Delta boasts it handed out 60 million packages of them.  You see, Delta is headquartered in Atlanta.  Atlanta is in Georgia.  Georgia is a huge producer of peanuts.  Ergo, peanuts on Delta.  Delta acquires Northwest, resulting in peanuts on Northwest.

Now there is a statement on the Northwest Airlines website that acknowledges that peanuts can "result in dire even fatal consequences for customers with the most severe allergies."  It recommends people with the allergy let them know so flight attendants will not serve peanuts to people in the same row or three rows in front and behind the passenger.  It also recommends they take the first flight of the day when possible because planes get a more thorough cleaning overnight.  Plus it recommends bringing epinephrine - often the EpiPen brand - which can help treat someone going into anahylactic shock.  

My, my.  And we were worried about red tails disappearing.

Friday, February 13, 2009

More Stratocruiser Party Photos . . .

The NWA History Centre was occupied by many "living artifacts," (myself included) as well as the static displays on Saturday, February 7, for the launching of the book , Fujiyama Trays & Oshibori Towels.
This handsome quintet includes Bonnie Murray Vork's daughters Kathryn and Betsy and Anne's NWA stewardess contemporaries Pat Olson, Pat Tennyson and Nola Wagner.  l-r: Kathryn, Betsy, Pat O., Pat T., Nola.
Pat Tennyson telling her honeymoon story.  When she and her husband boarded for the first leg of their trip to Europe, the NWA crew "stowed" Pat in the coatroom and her new husband in a rear lavatory and didn't allow either of them to emerge until landing in New York.
These fellows all had something to do with the Lowrey organ installation on Boeing Stratocruiser #709:
1-r:  John Peterson was involved with installation of the instrument.  C.W. "Chuck" Swanson played the organ on a MSP-IDL flight when he was 19 years old.  Felix Perry was also involved with installation and Bert Sisler was the co-pilot on the test flight of the aircraft to determine if playing the organ aloft had any impact on the integrity of the flight instruments in flight.

Dawn Hill tickling the ivories with the same tunes played on the inaugural flight of NWA Boeing Stratocruiser #709 with the Lowrey organ installed. It was in the fall of 1959. The tunes included "Autumn Leaves," "My Funny Valentine," "Stardust" and "What'll I do?"

More photos coming in future posts . . .

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It was a Stratocruiser Party!

Saturday, February 7, 2009, a party celebrating the Boeing Stratocruiser was held at the NWA History Centre, near the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The occasion was prompted by the publication of a new book, Fujiyama Trays & Oshibori Towels, Recalling a time when passenger flight was an adventure and the Boeing Stratocruiser ruled the skies, by Anne Billingsley Kerr, otherwise known as Lady Skywriter.

Yes, there were Fujiyama Trays . . . .

And Oshibori Towels (Suzi McDonough handing former flight attendant Pat Tennyson a towel.)
There was a covey of 1950's-era stewardesses . . l to r: Jan Konezny, yours truly, Pat Tennyson, Pat Olson, Nola Wagner.
Lady Sylvia Townley-Peeler flew up from her home in Tucson for the day.  Lady Sylvia was a cabin attendant from 1966 to 2007.  She donated a poster of herself wearing over a dozen uniforms that hangs in the museum.

Joe Koskovich was the Captain on the last scheduled Boeing 377 Stratocruiser flight for Northwest Airlines. He is pictured next to a beautiful model of the Stratocruiser at the museum.

More photos to come in future posts . . .