These five airlines with unusual proposals really existed

5 weird airlines you probably didn’t know existed 0:58 (CNN) — In the late 1970s, the US government deregulated the airline industry, removing federal control over fares, routing and entry of new airlines in the market.
As a result, from the 1980s a large number of new airlines appeared, some of which were particularly unusual. This is a look at five of them. PetAirways Flying with Dogs: Pet Airways’ Alyse Tognotti prepares a canine passenger for her trip.
Credit: Dave Weaver/AP Founded in 2009 in Delray Beach, Florida, Pet Airways was an airline dedicated exclusively to pets like cats and dogs, or “pawsengers,” as they were called. The pets flew without their owners, in the main cabin of planes where the seats had been replaced by carriers. Each plane could carry about 50 pets, with “pet attendants” doing a check every 15 minutes. Before taking off, the animals received a pre-flight walk and bathroom break in specially designed rooms. The idea was that animal owners would prefer to transport their pets through a specialized airline rather than bring them on board their own flight in the cargo area, a practice that the Pet Airways website describes as “dangerous”, citing extreme temperature variations and lack of adequate lighting. The airline operated for about two years, serving a dozen American cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, and Atlanta. Fees started at $150 and could go up to $1,200 depending on the size of the pet. In 2012, the airline ran into financial trouble and began canceling flights, before completely ceasing operations the following year after carrying some 9,000 pets. Its website is still up, though, and a message reads “Flights will resume post-Covid, hopefully mid-2022,” suggesting there could be a second life on the horizon for the pet airline. Hooters Air Subsidiary: “Hooters girl” Hillary Vinson, front, serves passengers on a 2003 flight.
Credit: Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images In 2002, Robert Brooks, president of the Hooters restaurant chain, acquired Pace Airlines, a charter airline with a fleet of eight planes, most of them Boeing 737s. The following year he turned it into Hooters Air, an airline designed in the image and likeness of the restaurant chain. It was distinguished, in addition to the distinctive bright orange logo with a googly-eyed owl, by the fact that two so-called “Hooters girls” were on board, cheering passengers on and hosting trivia games with novelty prizes. , wearing the same “uniform” of tank top and orange shorts popularized by restaurants. However, they did not serve food or handle on-board duties, as these were performed by three FAA-certified flight attendants. The airline was based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a tourist destination known for its golf courses and seaside resorts, which had lost direct air traffic in the overall shakeup of commercial aviation after 9/11. Thanks to its low prices and direct connections to cities like Atlanta, Newark and Baltimore, Hooters Air attracted all kinds of passengers, especially golfers and tourists, but also families. However, it was never successful enough to be a profitable business, and ceased operations in early 2006 due to rising fuel prices after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The Lord’s Airline A Wing and a Prayer: The Lord’s Airline plane at Miami International Airport in August 1988.
Credit: Guido Allieri The Lord’s Airline had unique features: strictly no alcohol on board, Bibles and Torah instead of magazines on board, only religious movies in theaters, and a quarter of the fares dedicated to funding missionary work. The airline was founded by New Jersey businessman Ari Marshall in 1985, when he bought an old DC-8 that was intended to be the airline’s only plane. The plan was to have three weekly flights from Miami to Israel’s Ben Gurion airport, offering a direct route to Jerusalem, some 50 kilometers away. At that time, religious pilgrims who wanted to reach the Holy Land had to take a connecting flight to New York. “The Russians have their airline. The British have one. So does Playboy. So why shouldn’t the Lord have an airline of his own?” Marshall said in 1986, according to The Associated Press. By 1987, however, the airline had failed to obtain an FAA license due to unfinished modifications and maintenance work on the aircraft. Investors became nervous and ousted Marshall, installing a new board of directors to move things forward. The new president, Theodore Lyszczasz, disagreed with Marshall, and the two began arguing in front of the media. In the end, Lyszczasz and his brother showed up at Marshall’s house demanding company records, leading, according to newspaper reports, to a fight and Marshall suing them for trespassing. They were acquitted, but Lord’s Airline perished and the plane ended up as scrap. Smokers Express and SmintAir Smoke and mirrors: model of a plane ‘Smintair’. The real version never materialized.
Credit: Karlheinz Schindler/picture-alliance/dpa/AP The FAA banned smoking on all domestic US flights in 1990, but William Walts and George Richardson, two businessmen from Brevard County, Florida, were not. no grace. In early 1993 they decided to circumvent the rule by creating an airline based on a private club. A $25 membership fee was required and it was only open to people 21 and older. The airline was to be based at Space Coast Regional Airport in Titusville, Florida, and the plan was to offer steaks and hamburgers on board with a side of complimentary cigarettes. However, almost a year after its announcement, the airline remained without a license or aircraft, and although the founders claimed to have raised more than 5,000 members, regulators denied Smokers Express a license to operate, causing it to disappear in a cloud of smoke without taking off. In 2006, the idea was revived by German businessman Alexander Schoppmann, who declared his intention to found Smoker’s International Airways, or SmintAir for short. Schoppmann, who smoked 30 cigarettes a day, wanted to launch a daily itinerary between Tokyo and Dusseldorf, his hometown, home to a large number of Japanese expatriates and the European offices of hundreds of Japanese companies. Both countries still had a significant number of smokers at that time. However, SmintAir suffered the same fate as Smokers Express: it failed to raise the necessary capital to start operations and never flew. MGM Grand Air Launched in 1987, MGM Grand Air was a first-class-only, super-luxury airline initially flying a single route, from Los Angeles to New York’s JFK Airport, using Boeing 727 and Douglas DC-8 aircraft with a opulent: the norm was that no flight could carry more than 33 passengers, although planes could carry 100 or more in standard configurations. The airline promised no lines, no check-in and no waiting for luggage, bellhops would take bags on the plane and return them to their owners at the destination, and even offered an optional door-to-door limousine service. Special lounges at both airports offered luxury amenities and a concierge service. On board, there were five flight attendants and a standing bar, as well as private meeting compartments. There was always a full meal service with fine wine and champagne and the bathroom had gold faucets and monogrammed soap. All of this was offered at a price slightly higher than that of a first class seat on other airlines. MGM Grand Air, initially popular with the wealthy and famous, eventually opened more routes but struggled to fill all 33 seats on its planes. Operations slowed in the 1990s as private jets became more popular and in 1995 the airline was sold and renamed Champion Air, offering charter flights to sports teams and government agencies. Finally, it closed completely in 2008.