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Anyone Remember The AirStrip Days?

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Wow!  What fun I’ve had looking through old pictures of my mom, Lee, who was a Flight Attendant for Braniff International. Not only have I enjoyed seeing my mom back in the day,but the pictures have inspired me to do some research into the history of Pucci!  Here’s what I found, plus a few pictures of my mom.

In the 1960s, Dallas-based Braniff International set out to make commercial air travel more glamorous, with ads that boasted "The End of the Plain Plane." To give this attitude some texture, Braniff hired Emilio Pucci, a former WWII bomber pilot and one of the hottest designers of the time,

to create the uniforms for its flight attendants. Pucci’s innovative designs were a blend of fashion at altitude and fashion with attitude, serving up bright, bold colors with both style and sex appeal – at a time when sex appeal was still stylish.

The hostess uniforms, named High Fashion Quick Change or QC Costumes, came in four versions, and the complete uniform consisted of several components; Hostesses greeted passengers in an absinthe or apricot colored reversible wool coat accessorized with a Pucci print pillbox hat and velvet scarf.

Underneath, the hostesses wore a vibrant pink gabardine suit worn over a blue silk long-sleeved turtleneck tunic and matching culottes.

During meal service, the uniform was augmented by a colorful apron dress called a "Puccino." Hostesses removed the outer layers of the uniform during the flight ultimately ending up in the tunic-culottes combination. A plastic bubble headdress was occasionally worn during inclement weather. Braniff touted this series of clothing changes as the Air Strip. I’m really hoping my mom still has her plastic bubble headdress!  I think that could inspire my Halloween costume next year!

I’d love to hear your stories from the AirStrip days?  I’m sure there are lots of great stories out there……

 

 

20 Comments

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  2. I am so attractive this picture. young girls, had wanted to fly for Braniff, I remember one Sunday we had watched planes I still have most of my “BI” uniforms, one of which is framed and hanging in the hallway I sure did get a very brief and unplanned eyeful of a “QC” already in progress with the galley’s curtain shielding the FA from passenger view. In fact, she has generously gifted me with many wonderful, loved items in pristine condition from her own closet, knowing that I would wear them and show them a good time. Thanks share this post.
    Hotesses accueil Lyon

  3. Southwest Airlines Employee Mary Creason flew for Braniff, and shared this bit of history with a few of us yesterday:

    Braniff had an Eastern interchange out of MCI STL, which is why Ana’s mother is standing on a Eastern plane in the photo. When I flew for Braniff (1959-1961), we wore different uniforms. Mine was blue in the summer with spectator heels that were two-tone, white and navy. In the winter, we wore gray uniforms that were designed by one of our gals. On Braniff, we were called Hostesses, because we were to treat our Customers as if they were guests in our own home. Back then, you couldn’t fly and be married or weigh more than 132 pounds. I quit to get married and went to work for Boeing in Incoming Secret Control for all of Boeing Wichita. After about a year, I went back to Braniff and worked in Reservations, since women did not work on the ticket counter or ramp back then either. You can see my old uniforms on the second floor. I was 45 lbs lighter then! Fun, Fun! Mary Creason

    Thanks so much, Mary…I can’t wait to hear more of your stories!

  4. What a great blog, Ana. You have some great pics of your Mom, and the top one of her in her Braniff uniform while standing on an Eastern aircraft brought back some memories of the old ‘interchange’ flights which was not uncommon during the days prior to deregulation–this was a precursor to the current ‘codeshare’ agreements that airlines have today. I started at the original Frontier in Denver in the late 1970′s, and we even offered a couple of interchange flights from Denver with the old Hughes Air West [which became part of Republic, then Northwest, now Delta!]. I’d be curious to hear about some of the other interchange flights people remember.

  5. >>>and tremember he boat-looking seafood restaurant further down the circle?)

    That would have been “The Bounty”….

  6. How could a place with “108 Ultra Modern Bedrooms” ever go out of business??!! LOL
    Kim
    CRBB and Nostalgia Boy

  7. Bill –
    A great post that evoked some wonderful memories for me as well. Yes, I well remember the traffic circle at Northwest Highway and Harry Hines and trying to learn how to negotiate it as a teenaged driver! (Brian — I never knew the Irving traffic circle, but I regularly navigated seamlessly around the Richardson one at Belt Line and Coit, which had much less traffic than the one over here close to Bachman Lake)

    My own Braniff memories are of Saturdays spent at Love Field with a friend from high school who shared my love for planes and the entire airport experience. We’d drive down to the remote parking at Love and ride the elevated Braniff JetRail monorail that went into the East Concourse. It was such a cool addition to the ambience of our “airport field trip”, and set the stage for spending hours and hours hanging out and wandering through the airport. Plus, by the time we split the cost of parking, our half a day of aviation entertainment was very cheap!

    As I got a bit older and worked at my Dad’s company in South Dallas, I was thrilled to discover that South Harwood was almost exactly under what was then a major departure path from DAL, so in the summer, I could enjoy a steady stream of southerly-heading planes from Love (this was before DFW). Most of the plane sounds were similar enough to be nice background noise while sweating in a warehouse all day, but there were those regular interruptions to my work when I’d hear the distinctive sound of 747 engines. The high-pitched whine would lure me outdoors, where I’d watch transfixed as those giants would float past at what appeared to be slower speeds than the traffic on Central Expressway. They always looked like they were just about to lose forward momentum and stall out, and were a reminder of the truths of the laws of aerodynamics. The biggest treat would be when that siren song of the 747 engine whine would lure me outside to find that its source was the plane that we affectionately called the Giant Carrot — Braniff’s bright orange 747. Those were the days!
    Kim
    CRBB and Long-time Lover of Love Field :-)

    P. S. Brian, yes, it was called The Circle Inn! We would drive past it and around the traffic circle to get to The Southern Kitchen. Do you or Bill remember that restaurant? If you’d ever had their cinnamon rolls, you’d never have forgotten the place!

  8. Bill,
    They just tore down the Circle Inn a few years ago. It was on Northwest Highway. The Tower Inn was a big sprawling complex (a mega tourist court) and it was on Harry Hines. Most of that lot is still empty.
    Brian