Thursday, June 8, 2023

PSA aka Pacific Southwest Airlines


Image courtesy of Wikipedia.

My parents divorced when I was young... But as luck would have it, Dad, who'd joined the Air Force, eventually ended up stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona. Luke AFB was a hop, skip, and jump  (as these things go) away from where Mom and I lived in Southern California. And I'd reached an age that I could travel via air "alone."

As an aside, Luke AFB is also where Dad met my step-mom. Shout-out to Sharon--she and my 97yo grandma are the only "parental" figures I have left on my side of the fam. Hello to my in-laws who are alive and well in Central Texas.

But I digress...

If you're wondering what the picture at the top has to do with my story, I'll tell you. Or maybe you've connected some dots...

I flew this airline -- Pacific Southwest Airlines, PSA for short -- when being sent off to visit with my dad. I loved the smile on the bottom of the nose of the plane. I do, however, remember the paint job being yellow.

Recently, I listened to a podcast--okay, I've listened to many, many podcasts recently--but specifically it was about PSA and how they were the first discount airline in the United States. They were able to keep fare low due to loopholes in the industry--mainly that all their flights remained within California thereby allowing them to not be bound by certain federal rules and regulations. The model was eventually utilized by Southwest Airlines as well.

After airlines were deregulated in 1978, PSA was able to expand its routes to nearby states. It was eventually bought out, and after other buyouts and mergers, it became part of the American Airlines Group, which I learned after a bit of additional research. And American apparently maintains a few regionally based aircraft that have the smiley face paint job as a tribute to its origins. That makes the little girl heart inside me very happy.

You can read more here and here.

Have a great weekend.


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