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727LOVER
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Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:42 pm

Was that a nickname or an actual slogan?
What does that mean?
"We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
 
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LAXintl
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 4:49 pm

Because the airline founder discerned the market potential in the needs of the large volume of Navy personnel that travelled between bases in San Diego and SF Bay.
PSA pioneer route was connecting SAN to OAK (next to Alameda naval base) via BUR using military surplus C-47.
From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
 
timz
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Re: Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:50 pm

An actual slogan? Why would Friedkin like that slogan?

Maybe a few people called it that at the time, or maybe the term originated later, among airline fans. Anyone found it in print circa 1955?
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:16 pm

Obviously it was a joke. I heard the employees called it Pimps, Sluts, and A**holes. Again, probably a joke as PSA was well regarded by all AFAIK.

To this day I'm still mad about US buying one of the greatest airlines of all time and gutting them. Where do you think that Southwest, Ryanair, WestJet, etc learned how to be LCCs? PSA taught them how to do it. WN wasn't the original LCC. PSA was. They taught WN how to do it (literally speaking).
 
PI4EVER
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:20 pm

As LAXintl noted, the airline was very popular with military personnel due to low fares.
Military standby fares were sometimes less than $4 so huge demand on "liberty" weekends.
Although out of production, you can still find the book "The Poor Sailor's Airline" by Gary Lissel on the history of PSA.
Also take a look at "psa.org."
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
drgmobile
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 6:30 pm

I've never heard of this one before, but I think it's pretty self explanatory isn't it? California airline. Lots of sailors at military bases in California. Not hard to figure out.
 
drgmobile
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:03 pm

BoeingGuy wrote:
Obviously it was a joke. I heard the employees called it Pimps, Sluts, and A**holes. Again, probably a joke as PSA was well regarded by all AFAIK.

To this day I'm still mad about US buying one of the greatest airlines of all time and gutting them. Where do you think that Southwest, Ryanair, WestJet, etc learned how to be LCCs? PSA taught them how to do it. WN wasn't the original LCC. PSA was. They taught WN how to do it (literally speaking).


This is certainly the way the Southwest origin story is told in Hard Landing by Thomas Petzinger, Jr., who apparently got his background from Southwest co-founder Herb Kelleher.

"On this particular day, as the drinks flowed, [Southwest co-founder Rollin] King was bubbling with enthusiasm. A friend of his, a banker, had just returned from California. During his trip there the banker had flown on an outfit called Pacific Southwest Airlines. PSA was strictly a California airline, plying the dense corridor between Los Angeles and San Francisco with old, inexpensive airplanes at the unheard of price of $10 a ticket. Because it did not fly over state lines, PSA could fly on any schedule it chose, with whatever airplanes it desired at any price it wished. The federal government had no jurisdiction over it. If California could support an airline within its borders, then Texas certainly could." - Page 26

Now this version of the origin is somewhat challenged by another of Southwest's co-founders, Lamar Muse, who never mentions PSA in that way in his book but as is usually the case, the truth is probably somewhere in between
 
PI4EVER
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:07 pm

Correction:
Gary Kissel was the author - and -
"psa-history.org"
Sorry for typo's
watch what you want. you may get it.
 
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SANFan
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 8:46 pm

In the 60's, SAN-LAX on the Electra's cost $6.35 o.w. and SAN-SFO was $19.85! Those poor soldiers and their families could move around the state easily and on the cheap!

And as was mentioned already, WN spent a lot of time studying PSA's books and operations guides (with permission) and took all that info back to Dallas and had a real nifty blueprint for their own operation going forward!

High frequency, low fares, and fun flying -- sound familiar?

bb
 
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aeromoe
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:20 pm

SANFan wrote:
In the 60's, SAN-LAX on the Electra's cost $6.35 o.w. and SAN-SFO was $19.85! Those poor soldiers and their families could move around the state easily and on the cheap!


I'm not an economist but in the 60s I would think that was quite a bit of money. Per one online reference I checked, $1.00 in 1960 = $8.26 today, and $1.00 in 1970 = $6.30 today. Do the math to extrapolate/calculate fares.


Moe
Since 60s: AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR(85) BY B6 CO CZ(16) DG DL EA EI EN FI FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KL KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(87) OZ(88) PA PI PN(97) PT QF QQ RM RO RV(99) RV(16) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(13) ZZ 9K
 
irelayer
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:41 pm

aeromoe wrote:
SANFan wrote:
In the 60's, SAN-LAX on the Electra's cost $6.35 o.w. and SAN-SFO was $19.85! Those poor soldiers and their families could move around the state easily and on the cheap!


I'm not an economist but in the 60s I would think that was quite a bit of money. Per one online reference I checked, $1.00 in 1960 = $8.26 today, and $1.00 in 1970 = $6.30 today. Do the math to extrapolate/calculate fares.


Moe


It was, however you failed to adjust for the actual prices of airline tickets pre-deregulation:

" Los Angeles to Kansas City — $68 in 1955, $575 adjusted for inflation
Chicago to New York — $33 in 1955, $279 adjusted for inflation
San Francisco to Chicago — $76 in 1955, $643 adjusted for inflation
Boston to Los Angeles — $106 in 1955, $896 adjusted for inflation
Kansas City to New York — $52 in 1955, $440 adjusted for inflation
Pittsburgh to San Francisco — $96 in 1955, $812 adjusted for inflation
Las Vegas to Los Angeles — $13.70 in 1955, $116 adjusted for inflation
Phoenix to Chicago — $69 in 1955, $584 adjusted for inflation
Amarillo to Kansas City — $22 in 1955, $186 adjusted for inflation
New York to Columbus — $23.90 in 1955, $202 adjusted for inflation
Washington, D.C. to Kansas City — $46 in 1955, $389 adjusted for inflation
St. Louis to Los Angeles — $73 in 1955, $617 adjusted for inflation
Wichita to Philadelphia — $68.55 in 1955, $580 adjusted for inflation
New York to Pittsburgh — $16 in 1955, $135 adjusted for inflation"

From: http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/air-travel-today-is-a-damn-bargain-951705216

Compared to those prices, PSA was truly a bargain.

-IR
 
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calpsafltskeds
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:00 pm

Regarding US buying PS, as soon as AirCal was purchased, top management thought PSA was doomed. It would have been the exact opposite as AA did to AirCal what US did to PSA. PSA could have expanded as AA pulled out. AA and US removed service from the West Coast. The net result was PSA and AirCal handing over the West Coast to WN without any fight.

At PSA we would count passengers when WN started at SAN. WN would have under 10 people on their morning SAN-SFO and PS would have over 100. California loved PSA - too bad they sold out to US, who immediately gave up what had worked for years - and gave WN the model that still works in California.
 
timz
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:36 pm

irelayer wrote:
Las Vegas to Los Angeles — $13.70 in 1955 [etc]

Those are coach fares, and most flights had no coach seats in 1955. Also, add 10% federal tax to all domestic fares.

Dunno how typical this was, but in October 1955 there was one coach nonstop LAX-LAS, a UA DC-6 leaving at 2005. TWA had one LAX-BUR-LAS 049, leaving at 2015, and WA had one LAX-BUR-LAS DC4 leaving at 1630. All other flights were standard fare, $17.85 plus tax.
 
strfyr51
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:06 am

727LOVER wrote:
Was that a nickname or an actual slogan?
What does that mean?


PSA was based out of San Diego, CA which is a Huge Military town, also the Naval training Center was there and there are few poorer sailors than a Navy Recruit.
I went to boot camp there In 1969.
 
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aeromoe
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Thu Sep 07, 2017 12:38 pm

irelayer wrote:
aeromoe wrote:
SANFan wrote:
In the 60's, SAN-LAX on the Electra's cost $6.35 o.w. and SAN-SFO was $19.85! Those poor soldiers and their families could move around the state easily and on the cheap!


I'm not an economist but in the 60s I would think that was quite a bit of money. Per one online reference I checked, $1.00 in 1960 = $8.26 today, and $1.00 in 1970 = $6.30 today. Do the math to extrapolate/calculate fares.


Moe


It was, however you failed to adjust for the actual prices of airline tickets pre-deregulation:

" Los Angeles to Kansas City — $68 in 1955, $575 adjusted for inflation
Chicago to New York — $33 in 1955, $279 adjusted for inflation
San Francisco to Chicago — $76 in 1955, $643 adjusted for inflation
Boston to Los Angeles — $106 in 1955, $896 adjusted for inflation
Kansas City to New York — $52 in 1955, $440 adjusted for inflation
Pittsburgh to San Francisco — $96 in 1955, $812 adjusted for inflation
Las Vegas to Los Angeles — $13.70 in 1955, $116 adjusted for inflation
Phoenix to Chicago — $69 in 1955, $584 adjusted for inflation
Amarillo to Kansas City — $22 in 1955, $186 adjusted for inflation
New York to Columbus — $23.90 in 1955, $202 adjusted for inflation
Washington, D.C. to Kansas City — $46 in 1955, $389 adjusted for inflation
St. Louis to Los Angeles — $73 in 1955, $617 adjusted for inflation
Wichita to Philadelphia — $68.55 in 1955, $580 adjusted for inflation
New York to Pittsburgh — $16 in 1955, $135 adjusted for inflation"

From: http://paleofuture.gizmodo.com/air-travel-today-is-a-damn-bargain-951705216

Compared to those prices, PSA was truly a bargain.

-IR


Now go back and find what the military pay was for the time period. I enlisted in the USAF in 1982. Of course pay is relative but I wasn't making a whole lot of money. Certainly not enough to afford to be able to fly any time I wanted to...and barely enough to be able to fly when I needed to.

Moe
Since 60s: AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR(85) BY B6 CO CZ(16) DG DL EA EI EN FI FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KL KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(87) OZ(88) PA PI PN(97) PT QF QQ RM RO RV(99) RV(16) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(13) ZZ 9K
 
DesertAir
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Thu Sep 07, 2017 1:26 pm

PSA was a fun airline-smiles on their planes: smileliners. When they began their Frequent Flyer Program, they often gave participants 500 miles for the fun of it. They were iconic of Southern California coast culture.
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: Why was PSA known as Poor Sailor's Airline?

Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:00 pm

By the way, I picked up the Poor Sailors Airline book about nine years ago at the Smithsonian Aerospace Museum book store. Apparently, the author had some kind of connection with the museum.

Excellent book. I really enjoyed it. By way of comparison, I didn't even finish the book "Nuts" about Southwest Airlines as I find it very boring and poorly done. The PSA book was great. Recommended if you can find it.

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