“The World’s Most Experienced Airline” – A tribute to Pan Am

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December 4 1991, a day which will forever be engraved in the hearts and minds of all of those who work in the airline industry. 30 years ago today, we lost “The World’s Most Experienced Airline”. We all have our stories of Pan Am, and as a kid Pan Am was the inspiration behind my desire to be an airline pilot someday, and of course to work for them.


Sadly this was not to be, Pan Am was long gone by the time I was out of flight school, ready to take the industry by storm (or so I thought). Pan Am left a void in the industry that still today no one has been able to fill. The airline that took over Pan Am’s assets, has tried and failed. It could be said that the one good thing they actually had, was that they took in a lot of former Pan Am employees who brought that mystique of service they had at Pan Am along with them. 

30 years went by lightning fast! And still we’re here picking up the pieces of what was the greatest airline ever to fly. But not all is lost, the spirit of Pan Am lives on in its people. People whom I’ve had the great joy to get to know and that fight every day to keep the name of Pan Am and its history alive and kicking. 

People like Kalev Savi, who fought tooth and nail to keep the WorldPort, the iconic terminal 3 in JFK standing, people like Linda Freire who’s at the helm of the Pan Am museum in Long Island and who never stops trying to make the museum a bigger and better place. And like Myron “Rosie” Rosenstein, who keeps the former employees in touch with each other in social media and by phone – thousands of wonderful members of the Pan Am family who refuse to let their company die. 

They are the ones who make the saying true, Pan Am might be gone, but it’s not forgotten! We miss you Pan Am! To the beautiful Pan Am family, these lines are for you. 

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    By: Alfonso Vázquez

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