Traveling Fun For Thanksgiving

Vintage ad family and airplane TWA 1951

As millions crowd our airports for the traditional Thanksgiving trek home over the river and through the woods, the tension mounts at the thought of long lines, insufferable crowds, and the dreaded delays that inevitably await the weary and wary traveler.

Gloom is cast before the holiday even begins.

But for the Post-War population, the new air travel was a breeze.

For the modern mid-century family, the notion of flying home for the holidays was a novelty and a grand experience at that.

Vintage ad De Soto

They could ditch their De Soto which was now as dated and old-fashioned as traveling by sleigh.

illustration travelers waiting for plane.

Fun is Never Out of Season …All year round, travel is better by air
American Airlines advertisement 1949

Flying High with TWA

Vintage illustration 1950s family boarding airplane

“Over the River and Over the woods. To grandmothers house we go,” this 1951 TWA ad announces gaily.

The gleeful modern family fairly bursting with pep and anticipation couldn’t wait to board their flight to visit Grandma. Why let old-fashioned distance keep a family apart?

“There’s a new road now to an old tradition. It’s the TWA high way home for Thanksgiving. And what a blessing it is to families separated by too many rivers and too many woods….and so many years!”

“If you’ve let distance and lack of time keep you away too long, try traveling this high way. Find out how TWA can make it very near to someone dear- for even an ocean apart is only hours apart…by skyliner!”

vintage ad airline TWA 1949

TWA went out of their way to make flying a family affair!  Flying was no longer just for Dad and his business trips. Once the airline started their Family Budget Plan, “…parents have had cause to cheer,'” boasted TWA in this 1949 ad. “For now they can take the whole family by air at down to earth prices.”

By traveling on a Monday Tuesday or Wednesday, they could save substantially. “As head of the family,” they explain,”Dad pays full fare. Mother and the children under 22 go for only half fare each”…and  best of all crying infants and toddlers under 2 could fly free of charge!

Tempting you further, TWA promises, “The flight is a delight, the service supreme, with delicious hot meals served free. Best of all…and oh how mother loves this!…you’re there long before the kids start to fuss or fidget!”

Snowbound for the Holidays

vintage illustration people shoveling out snow from cars

Compare the cheery disposition of Mr. and Mrs. Modern who have chosen the up -to-date way to travel to visit Grandmother with their neighbors, Mr. and Mrs. Outdated who chose the more antiquated mode of travel- their automobile.

Hampered by a snow storm they are unable to dig out in time for the turkey. Mrs. Outdated, with visions of stuffing and cranberries dancing in her head,  looks longingly at the speeding plane in the sky, carrying the wise Moderns to the destination.

Modern Means of Transportation

vintage illustration travelers in snow outside house

Vintage ad American Airlines 1949

“Don’t Give Up- Go Up,” declared American Airlines in this 1949 advertisement , touting the benefits and wonders of the new air travel that most post-war families had yet to experience.

“Air Travel- and only air travel can often make the difference between the accessible and the impossible. This is especially true during the holidays when the earthbound are frequently snowbound. Hence, wise travelers plan to go by air.”

“Also, air travel is little affected by the challenge of distance and time. The miles on the map lose their menace- the hands of the clock become friend instead of foe when you use this modern means of transportation.”

“So when holiday travel plans seem likely to get ‘bogged down’ don’t give up- go up.”

Copyright (©) 2018 Sally Edelstein All Rights Reserved


  1. John Anderson

    Thanks for the memories… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. John Anderson

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


  3. Then there was the Thanksgiving where my sister and her family flew from Kentucky to Nebraska. Scheduled to land in Denver and take a connecting flight to Western Nebraska, where the parents lived, weather diverted them first to a town in Central Nebraska, where they spent the holiday in an airport, eating out of vending machines.

    The weather improved, and the day after Thanksgiving, they managed to fly into a town sixty miles away from their destination. My father and I drove on iced-over roads to pick them up, finally arriving home after a grueling trip.

    In the meantime, the rest of the family had left for South Dakota, where they lived, because of forecasted nasty weather, something one takes seriously in this part of the USA and especially between the Nebraska Panhandle and the Black Hills.

    All this time, my mothe4r was stewing about how they missed the whole point of coming to Nebraska for the holiday, upsetting my father. The tension was unbearbale! I swore off family get togethers once again, but, of course, was home for the holidays every time thereafter.

    Now that my mother, father, and brother have died, one sister is in a care center, and the other sister is in Seattle, I find I rather enjoy the quietude of a Thanksgiving where no one has to give up his or her bed for out of town family a few days to sleep in the basement in the furtnace room, no one brings up voting for this or that politician making sure that can of worms is opened, and no one is on the road or in the air risking life and limb for a piece of turkey and a brief stressed visited before returning to the dangers of travel to get home to that personal bed and the routines that make up one’s normal life.

    Yep! Quietude! I am thankful for thee! I shall sleep in tomorrow and eat leftover pizza when I get up.

    Liked by 1 person

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