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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

TWA Flight Schedule, August, 1945

We're frequently stopping at antique stores, not just at flea markets like the one described a few days ago.  And I made a great purchase at a store near here in Navarre.  Picking through the old road-maps, I found a TWA schedule released in the summer of 1945.  The occasion was the resumption of service to Philadelphia.

You might think that TWA always stood for Trans-World Airlines, headquartered in St. Louis.  But at this time, it was Transcontinental and Western Air, Inc.  Headquarters was in Kansas City.  The schedule lists the officers of the company including president, Jack Frye, a well known aviation pioneer.

TWA was in a position to offer cross-country service at this time and that is probably the most interesting part of the schedule.

Westbound, flight 95, the Advance Sky Chief, departed New York at 8:30pm arriving in Chicago just before midnight and departed a half hour later for Kansas City.  Arriving at K.C. at 2:40am, the flight continued on to Los Angels where it arrived at 9:20am.  Flight 94 left Los Angeles, heading to the east at 7:15pm.  It arrived in New York at 12:40pm, local time, the next afternoon.  A fuel stop was made at an unspecified location between K.C and Los Angeles on each flight.

This flight was made on one of the new Boeing Stratoliners carrying up to 38 passengers.  Naturally, there was a premium fare for that.  Regular round-trip fare between L.A. and NYC was $237, but the upgrade charge for a Stratoliner was $15.  Add in the 15% wartime tax and the total was $289.80  In today's dollars that translates to $3,768. 

Those Boeing Stratoliners were the first pressurized passenger planes and took their patrons above most of the weather.  Otherwise the TWA patrons were flying on Douglas Skyliners (DC-3s).

If you are surprised that a flight might stop at Boulder City as an alternative to Las Vegas, consider that the 1940 census showed Las Vegas with a population of fewer than 11,000.

And, recall that World War II was still in progress.  Germany had surrendered in May but five days after this schedule went into effect, an atomic bomb would fall from a B-29 on Hiroshima.  All schedule times were in War Time.

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