Continental Airlines


Those who dismiss the Wall Street protests as a gathering of young, useless members of the lost generation may want to have a look at these photos. Over 700 pilots from United and Continental Airlines demonstrated in front of Wall Street Tuesday. The pilots are protesting the lack of movement on collective bargaining agreement negotiations from the United/Continental merger, which reaches its one-year anniversary soon.

There may be varying demands amongst the protest's constituencies, but that variety does not diminish the importance of each grievance.

[Photos: Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

Airline Poster, c. 1969

This week’s Smithsonian Snapshot marks the start of summer with this 1969 airline poster.

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum’s collection of more than 1,300 posters focuses on advertising for aviation-related products and activities. In the mid 1900s, airline advertisements like this one from Continental Airlines promoted exotic travel destinations.

This multicolor screen print shows a Hawaiian surfer wearing orange-and-red swim trunks and pink lei. In the background a volcano hidden among a lush, green jungle explodes with a swirl of warm colors. The black lines and bright solid colors are typical of psychedelic posters from the 1960s.

The poster collection is a unique representation of the cultural, commercial and military history of aviation. It represents an intense interest in flight, both public and private, during a significant period of its technological and social development.

To learn more about aviation advertising, visit the National Air and Space Museum’s “Fly Now” online exhibition website. To view more summer-related items at the Smithsonian, visit our summer Pinterest board.

This item is one of 137 million artifacts, works of art and specimens in the Smithsonian’s collection. It is not currently on display. To learn more about this item, visit the National Air and Space Museum website.

Today is the last day of operation for Continental Airlines, known from this point forward as United Airlines.

I’ve always admired Continental. As a legacy carrier, I always saw them as the most refined, with the best service. As a young aviation geek growing up in Houston (where Continental was based) I got to take my first wide-body flight from IAH to IAD on a DC-10. This was back when the DC-10s had walk-up bars on board! It was a special trip to Washington DC with my dad, while I was in Kindergarten.

I’ve only flown Continental a couple other times since then, sadly. I have a few friends who now work for the newly-merged company and I know they have been dreading it. I hope that somehow, the two-become-one airline can find a way to get a long more amicably than the result of US Airways and America West.

It makes me thankful to work at an airline that focuses on what we call corporate Culture. Yes we even capitalize Culture. I wish my friends and colleagues at other airlines could experience the same.

Three years ago today...

Continental Airlines Flight 3407 crashed at 10:17 PM in the Buffalo suburb of Clarence, New York.

50 people were killed- 49 on the plane and one in the house of Doug and Karen Wielinski of Long Street.

Since that time, family members of those lost in the crash have worked tirelessly to ensure that our skies are safer, that pilots are more well-trained, and that airlines make safety their priority above all.

The tragedy touched the lives of everyone in Western New York. Let us rebuild, but let us never forget the 50 lives that were lost that cold February night.

My thoughts and prayers are with anyone who lost a loved one that night.