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Always travel with a friend


Mission, TX
Many years ago, Western Airlines (when they were still flying) would put together what the airline industry called
"fam trips" (familiarization trips) around the areas they served for public contact employees of feeder airlines. Needless to say, always looking for more business and a great idea. I even set up a few within the Wien System, especially at Prudhoe Bay in the early days although I may have forgotten to tell higher ups I was doing it. Never cost my company a cent since the oil companies paid for everything since they wanted the airline employees to know the problems within the oil industry on the North Slope. Since I had worked so very close with Western, my employees were always given priority for those free trips and one special trip, I was even invited to join.

This trip started out of Anchorage with destination of Acapulco, Mexico with sunrise cocktails (orange juice and champagne) in the VIP room before departure. We were to stay at the newly opened Acapulco Princess Hotel (2.5 employees per registered guest when full) and what a place it was/is.


I have mentioned before that airline employees really enjoyed partying and this trip was no exception. The hotel was open clear to the top floor over the lobby area. Seems this first night, there was a very special Spanish party going on in the club on a floor below the lobby. Several of the group, not me of course, :oops: grabbed armfuls of confetti and streamers and went to the top floor where we dropped everything off the balcony and than ran for the elevators. The hotel never did find out who did it or at least if they did, they didn't say anything.

The white sand beach next to the hotel was great too but had some rather dangerous rip tides at times. One full moon night several of the girls decided they wanted to go skinny dipping in the Pacific Ocean at midnight so 3 or 4 of us guys agreed to keep an eye on them in case they got into trouble. Come on guys, clean up your mind, an honest request for safety, right? :wink: They didn't get into any problems and had a great time. Airline employees in those days never worried about how they were dressed (or undressed) on those fam trips. Oh the story of a Wien flight attendant and I at the Reef Hotel in Honolulu! Unknown to us at the time, the show we put on for an underwater bar looking into the pool was taped by a friend from another airline from Anchorage on the same trip. Just picture the film as X or XX rated. We always kept our heads above water just in case. I never saw the film but my friend did. Hmmmm Wonder how we looked? I really liked that flight attendant and if I were ever to date a flight attendant, it would have been her. What a lady and probably should have married her but who knows.

The Princess had, as I recall, 5 swimming pools. One was located under a water fall and a person had to swim to get there and sat on stools under the water which was about 6 inches from the top of the bar. Everything was done by charging to room numbers so no cash involved. Talk about fun. Since it was rather dark inside, it was easy to look through the cascading water out into the pool area. First and only pool I have seen like that. The only sound was the sound of the water fall, no music but when you think about it, a waterfall sound is music.

We spent one day doing the tourist thingie into Acapulco and watched the cliff divers while having dinner near the beach. Never did get over needing to argue with a Taxi Cab driver on the amount they charged for the 20 mile trip into town. The hotel told us what the real charges were to be so we never got took. We drove by the resort that was painted all pink, even the pink Jeeps and with a private swimming pool for each unit. Oh, to have lots of money.

OK, gang, time to head back to the snow and ice of Alaska. We boarded the Western flight with a stop in Mexico City. No where in the entire trip was any identification checked by anyone, Mexican or American. Customs in the US was bypassed because we were airline employees. No wonder Eastern and American employees got by with so much.

Now comes the fun part if it wasn't fun already.

On the way home which was early in the morning after flying all night, it got to be bloody mary time. Hmmm thought that was 24/7. I happened to be sitting next to a lady that worked for Alaska Airlines (I can say that now since she doesn't work for them any more). The entire group had reserved seats all in one area at the back of the aircraft. Western had taken many groups like that in the past and had learned to hide us from the public and to be closer to the liquor cabinet. For the airline employees, there was no limit on free drinks.

The lady I was sitting next to was the daughter of a minister in Anchorage and had led a very sheltered life and almost never drank but the bloody marys were sure going down easy. Maybe she thought I was a strong person to keep her safe? Wake up dear.

Once we got to Anchorage, almost all were in a "very happy mood". A couple of the girls helped me take care of my seat mate and get her home. We got her to her parent's door, rang the door bell and ran......fast. I can only suspect what happened after that.

Now the "rest of the story".

I was on one of my usual trips to Maui and had to wait about 4 hours for the direct Western Airlines flight (again, the name of that same airline) so decided to call this same friend (lets call her "Lee") to see if she wanted to come out to the airport and have a drink with me while I waited for my flight. "Sure, be right there". She stopped and picked up a girlfriend and headed for the suds. Well, actually Mai Tais in honor of my trip. This went on for a long time before Lee's friend, in a joking manor, made a comment that Lee should fly with me to Maui since she had never been there before. I really believe she thought there was something between Lee and I. Started out being a joke but it kept going on and on and growing. Who me, an instigator? No way. Strange how a few drinks can cloud a mind at times. Anyway, I excused myself and went to the Western counter and checked on space. Since Lee didn't have an airline pass, I bought her a full fare ticket. I went back to the table and handed it to her with some comment like "OK dear, lets go". Talk about strange looks between the two girls and sudden laughter. Anyway, it was settled. Plans were made. The girlfriend was to go back to Lee's place and sleep in her bed so her parents would think she was there. The girlfriend was to call Lee's fiancée and cancel a bridge date two days later. Lee was dressed in baggy jeans and floppy old sweat shirt and had no purse, ID, make up and actually nothing. Off we go. The girlfriend got back to Lee's place as agreed. Next morning the mother came in to wake her up for breakfast and found the girlfriend. After asking several times where Lee was, the girl woke up enough to tell the mother in a half asleep voice that Lee had gone to Hawaii with Ernie. And this trip after the one to Mexico? You know something, I never did meet her parents. Wonder why? For fear of being struck by lightning?

We had to fly through Seattle to get to Hawaii on that trip since the direct flight was full. The routing was ANC/SEA/SFO/HNL/OGG. In Seattle, I got her the makeup things she wanted. Once in Honolulu, we got her a sun dress. She had never worn shorts before in her life and a short skirt was all she would go for. Parents would not allow it.
Finally we got to the Maui Lu after an interesting ride on Aloha Airlines. Since I had ridden Aloha so many times, one of the girls remembered me and what an interesting smile and wink I got from her. Did I mention my traveling companion was very, very attractive? The baggy sweat shirt did not do her justice of course as well as the baggy jeans.

When we got to the Maui Lu and checked in (by the way, twin beds at all times) we went to my normal work area, the Maui shaped swimming pool. After all the years I had spent there, it seemed every time I returned, I met someone there on vacation that I had met before. The first time near the pool on this trip, I ran into 4 or 5 others that I knew so joined them and caught up on all the "lies" we had done since the last trip. Lee just kind of sat back and spellbound really.

One of the ladies there (single and available) that I had met long ago and who was rather wealthily asked Lee if she would like to barrow one of her many bikini suits. It was well known that Lee had never been in a swim suit of any kind before, one piece or two piece. Lee kept stalling but it is a wonder what a few vodka tonics can do in paradise. Finally the two girls took off and came back with a completely new lady who had enough vodka in her to be relaxed. Something Lee was never told before was that they had a fantastic body and my friend picked out just the right suit to show it off. Talk about being white though. I had to watch for sunburn very close. Come on guys, sunburns. Heaven forbid I should send her home to her fiancée with a sun burn over most of her body. About 4 days after I got back to Anchorage, I was supposed to have dinner at her place with her and her guy. Talk about ice cubes until he really understood there was nothing between Lee and I. After that trip, she became a completely different lady. Call me teacher? Several years later, she really thanked me for opening up her life for her. She never married the guy and I have no idea what she is doing now. And yes guys, we all know never to take a ham sandwich to a banquet but I found different. To take a special lady on a special trip to Maui with no expections of sleeping with her, you will have all the wonderful memories to live with forever, not just a one night stand.

Someone around here is from Ellensburg, WA I believe. I will have to tell you about a fun trip out of Seattle to the Maui Lu that a doctor there is aware of.

Anyway Lee had the time of her life. When it came time to fly her home the next day (she was only there 3 nights) I flew from Maui over to Honolulu to make sure she got on the direct Western flight back to Anchorage OK. Surprise, all coach seats were full so I upgraded her to first class and asked the boarding agent to give a note to the senior flight attendant to please take care of Lee. Lee told me later they treated her like a queen the whole 5 + hour trip. All coach seats full? Wonder how that happened? Never even got a goodby kiss either.

Gee, it was fun to work for an airline back in those days. Had it not been for my aviation positions and my work ethics, there is no way I could have enjoyed such experiences and there is no way a life like mine could be experienced now days either. All I can do is share with all of you the enjoyment of airline employment in the real fun days of aviation, whether a ground position or flight crew position. Lets face it, you can't really fly a J-3 today like you could 50 or 60 years ago. Been there, done that.

You will probably read more travel experiences down the line, mostly at the Maui Lu Resort.


Once I figure out how to add more photos to my photo gallery, maybe you will see what great areas I have worked in if you can really believe it was work.