Pan Am
Think back to when the "friendly skies" were really friendly. When you could board an airplane without a strip search, carry on more than 3.4 ounces of water and took your shoes off only if you wanted to.

There was a time when men wore suits and women wore their Sunday best when they boarded an airplane -- sweatpants or jeans were just simply uncouth. Smoking? Sure thing. In fact, a lovely young stewardess would light your Chesterfield as she handed you another scotch and soda.

A lot of airlines have come and gone since the days when boarding an airplane was still an adventure and true luxury. TWA is MIA, and Braniff is perhaps remembered by many only because its TV commercial is part of the end credits of South Park. Pan American World Airways, better known as Pan Am, still inspires happy memories, however.

What's so special about Pan Am? Aside from its starring role in the "glory days" of aviation, it pioneered many of the things we now take for granted, from jumbo jets to computerized reservation systems, affordable international flights to in-flight snacks (back then they were meals).

We may think back even more warmly because Pan Am departed the airways in 1991 (declaring bankruptcy after years of financial troubles), long before flying became even more cramped and clamped-down.

This fall, ABC is looking to tap into memories of those good old days with the series Pan Am, a drama populated by the pilots and stewardesses of the famous airline.

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