From the Hangars

Planes, trains and automobiles? No, just planes, planes and more planes! - Part 1

Apr 04, 2014

Who would have known that at a very young age, a family vacation to my parent’s homeland of the Netherlands would have left such an impact on me?  Some of my relatives worked for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines and greeted my brother and me with little collectibles such as decks of cards, KLM die cast models, pins and postcards of the planes.  I thought this was the coolest thing ever and cherished these tokens like gold.  Ever since then, all I could think about was airplanes.  

Perry de Vlugt 

There was this fascination with these cool machines that could fly and living in the San Francisco Bay Area, dad would take us to the OAK/SFO/SJC airports to watch planes come and go from the observation decks. He would let me walk from ticket counter to ticket counter asking the agents if they had any promotional material they could share.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  Quickly learning that many of the global airlines had sales office in major cities around the US, I started sending off letters to them requesting even more promo material and it soon got out of control! 

1984 came and so did my 19th birthday and my first job and company I’ve ever worked for: Delta.   I started in the SFO Reservations Sales Office, which sat side by side with the SFO Marketing Office.  There were opportunities to work with the sales reps at promotional functions and in front of my eyes appeared a lot of fun souvenir items and giveaways.  The Delta brand was everywhere, and so began my collection focused solely on Delta memorabilia. Airline memorabilia trade shows became the staple of my non rev journeys and I couldn’t wait to see what else I could find with the Widget on it.  My small 3 by 3 bookcase from 1984 was full of tokens- I needed more space...

Check back here on Tuesday for part 2!

Wheels Up!

Perry de Vlugt 
InFlight Service, SLC

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  1. Jack and Florence van Geem | Jul 23, 2023


    Love the story and your enthusiasm … thanks for engaging us on our flight to SLC.

    Tot Siens!

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