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APEX — Pan Am Fan Clubs

By Caroline Ku
May 3, 2015

Original Story

Twenty-four years after the demise of the legendary airline, Pan American World Airways is still riding on the coattails of Jet Age nostalgia.

Everything Pan Am is a virtual museum run by Kelly Cusack, who started at the airline as a baggage handler and made his way up to the executive level. Cusack owns more than 5,000 items of Pan Am memorabilia, and his website painstakingly archives any aircraft object, group, or piece of history associated with Pan Am.

The Pan Am Experience by Air Hollywood reenacts every aspect of what it was like to travel as a Pan Am passenger — except for the actual flight. That’s because the 747 jumbo jet is actually a movie set in Northeast San Fernando Valley. Anthony Toth, the visionary behind the time-warped journey, is meticulous about getting every detail right. Flight attendants are dressed in the original uniforms, and a four-course meal is served on the same china that was used in the 1970s. Toth even had the boarding passes replicated, down to the type of paper they were printed on. Tickets for this novelty experience run from $277 – $345, but most spots currently left are for the waiting list.

Natascha Bonnermann thought she had traveled back in time when she set foot in the Pan Am Lounge, a 10th floor penthouse overlooking West Berlin where Pan Am pilots, flight attendants and members of the elite used to wind down. The furniture, the bar, even the ashtrays had been immaculately preserved. The lounge was mostly abandoned until Bonnermann took it upon herself to revive the penthouse in 2005. Today, the Pan Am Lounge hosts private parties and events that include food, entertainment and staff dressed as flight attendants and pilots.

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