Us330 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4104 posts, RR: 13 Posted (14 years 4 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2342 times:
Well, it looks like it is finally over for Legend:
Preparing for final departure
Legend to auction memorabilia, from first class to more mundane
By Kim Horner / The Dallas Morning News
• Legend Airlines auction
First-class travelers may never again get to fly in Legend Airlines' plush leather seats with the built-in TVs. But they can buy them.
And china dishes and T-shirts and DC-9 parts.
Memorabilia sale marks airline's final departure
• Online look at the items up for auction
• Extra content index
Hundreds of items from the bankrupt luxury airline will be sold to the highest bidders at public auctions Saturday and Sunday. The Mesquite firm running the auction, Brunson & Associates, expects an enthusiastic turnout, including other airlines' representatives and nostalgic former Legend employees.
"There's a mix of people that just have a lot of interest in Legend," said the firm's president, Steve LaJoie. "It was such a good airline."
Proceeds will help pay the carrier's creditors. Legend, which launched on April 6, 2000, ran out of money and unexpectedly closed in December, stranding 1,000 travelers and firing more than 400 employees without pay.
The merchandise to be auctioned runs from the bizarre (air-sickness bags) to the bittersweet – the Checkmate Award, a chess piece on a wooden base marking Legend's long-fought legal victory to fly in and out of Dallas Love Field.
Legend used larger airplanes converted to 56-seaters to meet federal restrictions on long-haul service from the airport. The result was extra leg room and overhead space to give first-class service to every passenger. Despite popularity with travelers, Legend ran out of money after an investor backed off plans to provide financing, officials said at the time. Also, the airline faced higher-than-average startup costs given the long court battle.
Now the dusty Checkmate trophy sits with hundreds of inaugural T-shirts, leather coasters and other goods at Legend's corporate offices. Prices aren't set, and Mr. LaJoie had no estimate of how much money the sale would generate.
"It's hard to say," he said. "We have $750,000 to $1 million worth of aircraft parts for DC-9s."
Legend leased its airplanes; the parts to be sold at the auction are spares.
Saturday's auction at the Legend offices includes the promotional items, office furniture and computers. On Sunday at the Brunson & Associates offices, customers can bid on parts from the aircraft, including the galleys and thousands of pieces of china once used to serve recipes concocted by local celebrity chefs.
The liquidation was sad news for former Legend pilot Robert McKenzie, who said he misses the company's family atmosphere.
"From a personal standpoint, I'd love to have some of that stuff," said Mr. McKenzie, who now flies on a contract basis for other airlines. "We're all still in mourning."
Employees who buy Legend merchandise also may be helping themselves – Mr. McKenzie and others are still seeking at least $1 million in paychecks and insurance claims from the company.
"We may be buying stuff and paying our own salary," he said.
Legend memorabilia already has been popular on the online auction site eBay.
Susan Rohe of Irving said she paid about $79 for a place setting of the airline's china and about $40 for an inaugural T-shirt. She plans to give them to her 19-year-old son, Randy, who once flew on Legend and asked for souvenirs from the airline for his birthday.
"We were so impressed with anything that had to do with Legend," Ms. Rohe said. "We were so disappointed when they went out of business. It was such a first-class operation."
Some Legend mementos might fetch high dollars, but office furniture probably won't, said Mike Hudkins, owner of Texas Office Products & Supply in Austin, who collects airline memorabilia.
"When it comes to china or something that's specific to the airline, it might be worth some money," Mr. Hudkins said. T-shirts, stress balls and other items with Legend logos may take longer, he said.
"It'd be something you'd have to stick in a warehouse and 20 years from now there'd be some value to it," Mr. Hudkins said.
Mathew Bantick said he wished he could go to the auction – if only it weren't so far away. The airline memorabilia collector lives in Bosley, a town near Manchester, England. He already owns many mementos from Legend and other airlines but said there's at least one thing missing:
"I've been wanting to buy some airline seats and put them in my bedroom."
For the site of the auction, and more detailed information go to this site: