The Groovy Age of Travel #13: TWA Ambassador 1969

Remember TWA?  Like many airlines after the deregulation, it saw its glory days (much under Howard Hughes) in the rearview mirror, and bankruptcy ahead.  By the time Flight 800 exploded over the Atlantic, the company had the most rundown planes on the tarmac, and the company's days were numbered.  Eventually, after huge layoffs and closure of its KC hub, TWA was bought by American.

But let's not dwell on these dark times, and instead go back to 1969 when they were still flying high (except for a few hijackings here and there, of course) and look at an edition of their free onboard magazine Ambassador.  Enjoy.

Free packs of Sociables available on this flight.

Thrifty needs to bring back their Scottish sexpot mascot Miss Thrifty; I think business would boom.

"Humorous" graffiti to pass the time on your travel:

Atheists are afraid of lightning.
Hormones are a big bust.
Lamont Cranston is afraid of his shadow.
Cigarettes are a drag.
Brain surgery is all in the mind.
Betty Crocker is stir crazy.
Help stamp out and abolish re­dundancy.
Emily Post puts her elbows on the table.
I'm not for or against apathy.
Dracula wears dentures.
Help, the paranoids are after me.
Acid indigestion cm he fun.
Being attacked by a laughing hyena is not funny.
Do unto others—and then cut out.
Perry Mason bribes judges.
Rosemary's baby is a little angel.
Convertibles are topless.
Mr. Milquetoast demands equal time.
Stop air pollution—quit breathing.
Support mental health like crazy.
Old mailmen never die, they just lose their zip.
Sin now -pay later.
Graffiti was Mussolini's Secretary of Defense.

I found this fascinating.  An early glimpse at a technology for "hurried businessmen" of the future: the laptop computer.

A few pages from the TWA Flight Shop

And, finally, TWA offered what they called "Adventures in Sight & Sound".  Simply plug your headphones in and select the channel.  I'm partial to Channel 6 - The Young Sound...

Take note that their Chad & Jeremy offering is "Transatlantic Trauma 1966"


  1. So funny - they had to call off the obviously popular graffiti page because they couldn't afford to pay five bucks for a good line.

    1. AnonymousMay 07, 2016

      Five dollars in 1969 comes out to something like thirty dollars today. That tab adds up fast.

  2. AnonymousMay 07, 2016

    I clearly remember when our own airport had the kind of gangways shown in the very-first page, in the ad for the breath mints. With the telescoping length, semi-swiveling cowl and even that radar-dish overhead lamp.
    The ad for the futuristic attaché case is another example of predicting the future and getting is almost right: no need for that full-sized telephone handset with spiral cord.

  3. Oh, the Lamont Cranston character from The Shadow, not the Lamont Cranston from the Minnesota music scene. That makes more sense when you look up the reference that was relevant in 1969 (which incidentally is the year the Lamont Cranston band was formed).