Pan Am Set To Take To The Skies Again

Pan Am 757 (credit: Pan American World Airways)

Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) is launching the first in a series of themed journeys that harken back to the golden age of luxury travel.

Under new ownership since February 2024—and in partnership with Bartelings (a company specializing in private air travel) and bespoke tour operator Criterion Travel—the new Pan Am hopes to reinspire luxury air travel. 

Anyone who remembers flying on legendary Pan Am or reveled in stories told by those who did will surely place this reimagined travel experience on their bucket list.

Retro photo c. 1970 (credit: John Atherton/Flicker)
Retro photo c. 1970 (credit: John Atherton/Flicker)

Pan Am: A Legacy of Glamour

Dinner on Pan American B314 (credit: Pan Am Historical Foundation)
Dinner on Pan American B314 (credit: Pan Am Historical Foundation)
Gracious service on the new Pan Am
Gracious service on the new Pan Am (Pan American World Airways)

For decades, the Pan Am brand and its distinctive blue and white globe logo symbolized the excitement and elegance of air travel during its reign from the late ‘50s to the early ‘70s.

The airline was the flag carrier of the United States for decades. At its peak in 1968, it carried passengers to 86 countries.

Former Pan Am flight attendant Linda Freire chairs the Pan Am Museum Foundation in Garden City, New York. The foundation’s mission is “to educate, celebrate, and inspire present and future generations by preserving historical and diverse personal stories of Pan American World Airways.”

Friere is one of many former employees who consider their tenure at the airline to be one of the best times of her life. 

“From a young age, I knew I wanted a career that included travel, exploring the world and learning different cultures,” she says. “Working for an international airline, like Pan Am, was a dream come true. Working on Pan Am’s iconic Boeing 747 was a means to an end, allowing me to become intimately familiar with cities all over the world.” 

Although the airline filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations in 1991, memories of its attentive service, gourmet meals, impeccably dressed crew, and spacious seating still abound. 

Since then, modern technology has heralded major enhancements in airline safety. However, airline deregulation, consolidation and cost-cutting have negatively affected many aspects of the flight experience, from seat size to legroom to food service. Most of us would agree that the flying experience has worsened. 

Tracing the Transatlantic

Pan Am Boeing 314 Clipper (credit: Pan American World Airways)
Pan Am Boeing 314 Clipper (credit: Pan American World Airways)
Boeing 314 Clipper at LaGuardia Marine Terminal produced by Boeing from 1938 to 1941 (credit: Pan Am Historical Foundation)
Boeing 314 Clipper at LaGuardia Marine Air Terminal produced by Boeing from 1938 to 1941 (credit: Pan Am Historical Foundation)

The new Pan Am’s inaugural journey, “Tracing the Transatlantic,” is a 12-day, all-business class European adventure, limited to 50 discerning guests. 

Hosted by Craig Carter, CEO of Pan American World Airways and owner of Pan Am Brands, this exclusive voyage departs from New York City, following the historic routes of Pan Am’s luxurious Flying Boats.

Many experts believe that the Flying Boats paved the way for future transatlantic flights and laid the groundwork for modern aviation. 

During the ‘20s and ‘30s, these planes with hulls that could land and take off from the water were widely used. They could also make frequent stops when traveling long distances, an era before the construction of modern airports and long runways. 

On this reimagined journey, passengers will travel in a reconfigured, modern Boeing 757, outfitted with lie-flat seats, as they retrace the Pan Am southern transatlantic route between New York and Marseilles, and the northern transatlantic route between London and New York. 

They will enjoy upscale cuisine, attentive service, abundant space on board, and expedited passage through customs and immigration.

A Journey Through Time and Luxury

The Savoy in London
The Savoy in London (credit: hotel)

The itinerary includes stops in Bermuda, Lisbon, Marseille, London, and Foynes in Ireland, with curated land experiences to match the in-flight luxury.

The five-star experience on the ground includes stays at iconic properties like the Waldorf Astoria in New York, Rosewood Bermuda, Four Seasons Ritz in Lisbon, The Savoy in London, and Dromoland Castle in Ireland.

The trip includes special immersive events, such as an evening of fado in Lisbon, a July 4th celebration in London, and an exclusive dinner at the Flying Boat and Maritime Museum in Foynes, which houses the only replica of the B314 Flying Boat.

In addition, lively discussions of Pan Am history will stimulate and entertain guests throughout the trip.

What’s Next for the New Pan Am?

Seating on the reconfigured Boeing 757 (credit: Pan Am World Airways)
Seating on the reconfigured Boeing 757 (credit: Pan Am World Airways)

Pan Am’s ambitions extend beyond this inaugural journey. It hopes to organize other themed trips, all characterized by premium service and attention to detail. To celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2027, Pan Am World Airways is planning a personalized, around-the-world private jet journey.

In addition, CEO Carter envisions a future where the Pan Am brand graces exclusive airport lounges, private terminals, and branded merchandise, offering a new dimension in the travel industry. He notes that the airline’s trademark was the second most recognized in the world.

“Since 1927, Pan Am has left an indelible mark on the world. From humble beginnings as the first commercial carrier for the U.S Air Mail, Pan Am’s founder Juan T. Trippe went on to create a vast aviation empire across the globe, literally bringing the world closer together one flight at a time,” says Carter.  “This journey has been painstakingly designed to honor the unmatched legacy of Pan Am in the most respectful way.”

Pan Am logo (credit: public domain)
Pan Am logo (credit: public domain)

LEARN MORE

  • The 12-day inaugural Pan Am journey departs on Friday, June 27, 2025, and concludes on Tuesday, July 8, 2025.
  • Priced at $59,950 per person (double occupancy) or $65,500 for single occupancy.
  • Tracing the Transatlantic booking information is available online at Criterion Travel or by calling 1-800-PAA-1927.

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