First Transcontinental Jet Flight

American Airlines Boeing 707January 25, 1959

The first transcontinental commercial jet trip was made by an American Airlines Boeing 707, from Los Angeles to New York.

  • Lorraine Walston

    My Great Aunt was on this flight. She’s 96 and still alive today! Are there any records of passengers, and are any others from that flight still alive? How wonderful it would be to put them together again. I know my Great Aunt still remembers everything and everyone from that day.

    • Wow, that’s amazing! I’m not aware of any records of passengers, but if there are I would think American Airlines would be the place to start. Perhaps you can interview your Great Aunt and get her to tell the story?

      • Lorraine Walston

        Hi Marcel,
        I will ask her to sit down and tell me all that she remembers. I’ll write it down. She loves telling that story… Jane Wyman was the stewardess, and who she sat next to, and the great food they served, and the celebration in New York, and how they had the choice to return immediately to Los Angeles, or stay over night and return home the next day. She chose to stay over night in New York, and spent $9 on a hotel room. How funny is that!!! American Airlines gave them a coin/medallion to celebrate the milestone. She made hers into a fabulous necklace. She gave it to me a few months ago since I love it so much. I love her pioneering spirit and what the medal stands for. She’s amazing. And I’m proud to have those genes.

        • That will be really great! Maybe you should record the interview with her? Also, make sure to take a picture of the medal and I’ll post it up here if you want. Thanks!

          • Lorraine Walston

            Thanks, Marcel. I’d be honored to have you post the medal on the site. I’ll take the photo and record her talking about the flight. And I’ll report back when I have those items. šŸ™‚

          • Lorraine Walston

            Hi Marcel,
            It’s been a while, but boy do I have some
            information for you!! First, there is a stewardess from the flight who
            is still alive. She has an AMAZING blog about the flight. Her blog even
            has the passenger list, and my Great Aunt’s name is on it!! You can
            see her blog at
            Argie (the stewardess) is turning the blog into a book and hopes to
            publish it in December. Like you, she asked me to document what my Aunt
            could remember. I did that (finally) the other day. Kinda sad that
            she doesn’t remember it all, but cool that we have some new pieces of
            information documented. I transcribed the interview. If you would
            like, I can email that document to you. It’s not long. I will do the
            photos this week. I promise. Argie has a photo of the medal in her
            blog. My Aunt had hers beautifly and simply mounted and wears it as a
            necklace. I will show you that photo in a couple days.Lorraine

          • Thanks for all your work! This is amazing!

    • R. Cramden

      “The flight was a mix of regular people and celebrities, including the 81-year-old poet Carl Sandburg, who was apparently quite drunk. ”
      This from today’s Writer’s Almanac, celebrating the flight’s anniversary.

      • Lorraine Walston

        Thank you for your post. Interesting. See the post below where I provided the list of passengers and some other news from the stewardess. Her book about the flight is still in the works, but possibly done in March.

        • Awesome! Let me know if you need help putting the book together. My wife and I each have self-published books so we know the ins and outs.

          • Lorraine Walston

            Hi Marcel,
            I am not doing the book… the stewardess from the flight (the only other person from the flight besides my great Aunt who is still living now) is doing the book. She’s at the point where she’s figuring out the differences between self publish and traditional publish, and trying to choose. Your knowledge would surely be useful to her in that decision. Perhaps I can connect the two of you. Is there a way outside of this blog to connect you?

          • Lorraine Walston

            Her insight and first hand knowledge of the flight is spectacular. Her position as stewardess, and the access American has granted her to their archives means her book is really going to cover the topic. It’s quite exciting. šŸ™‚

    • eledolly

      I miss your Great Aunt! Love that lady. On my way to Florida to speak at an AA retired group dinner. Thinking of you. Thank you again and again for getting your aunt and I together. We were on that plane on that historical day. Gratefully yours, Argie Hoskins class of 57-6 American Airlines stewardess

      • Lorraine Walston

        Wishing you a successful journey, a wonderful time with people who will surely love you, and a pleasant trip back home. šŸ™‚ Love you, Lorraine

  • Argie Hoskins

    Thank you for remembering this special day in my life and a very historical moment in time which many of us celebrate and enjoy the story of Props to Jets. Yes, Sir, I have written a book about how it was for me to be an American Airline stewardess. I have not explored the American Airline archives for information for my book. My memories and my personal memorabilia have provided the background for my experience. I wrote a book to celebrate my life as a stewardess during what I considered the Golden years of flying when passengers were special guests to be served with comfort and kindness along with style for the elect whether celebrity or not. I loved to be an American Airline stewardess. My book: More Than A Ticket From Props to Jets will be self published in or by March. Do you have any suggestions about the marketing of the book? Thank you for your interest in the First Jet Flight for American Airlines that I was pleased to enjoy and well remember the excitement. Any questions: I am looking forward to have you be delighted with a good read of the book. It will include five other AA stewardesses, three former pilots, and two former passengers. In my opinion the book is unique because it is for the general public and highlighted with the American values that made our country great. Enjoy and thanks for the opportunity to comment.

  • eledolly

    Here is an exciting moment in history.

  • Charlie Larson

    I found this plaque commemorating the historic flight from a Tulsa estate sale. Norm Rice was the F/E Instructor. It’s dated 1983 (26 yrs later). I haven’t identified the parts mounted on the plaque yet. There are many details listed on the back. Thanks for your discussion.

    • Wow! That is amazing! Thanks for sharing the pictures!