Guess The Airline – October 2001 answer

Every month, an airline printed advertisement, minus airline name and logo, is displayed for your guessing pleasure on Guess The Airline. The following is the answer to a previous game.

Many clever people Guessed The Airline and were not fooled by one particularly blurry clue. A few other people submitted answers completely out of range. Ready? Scroll down! This was an ad published in a 1980 issue of Newsweek.

Delta Air Lines advertisement from the year 1980, featuring John Owens, Captain, and his story, with a picture of the captain saying goodbye to passengers as they deplane.

How to guess it?

Well… as usual, this author has been clement and did not blur the route map. So, in this grainy copy, you could see that the center of the routes is somewhere close to, say Atlanta. Of course today, this airline evolved to form many hubs, and point-to-point routes are no longer the essence (for example, Montreal-Boston and Montreal-Miami non-stops are now gone). What else? The slogan! “___ is ready when you are”. Another reader mentioned the wings on the Captain’s kepi. And perhaps the use of the word “WideRide” to describe the airline’s wide-body, the L-1011 (not to be confused with its other heavy aircraft, the DC-8). One of the better clues was that this advertisement was part of a series of ads (similar to what American Airlines used briefly) featuring employees, like this pilot, or the ticket agent, or the passenger service agent, always under the same theme: “___ is an airline run by professionals”.

Finally, what intrigued most people was that mysterious plane sitting down on the tarmac at the right bottom corner of the ad. It’s the 1980s and that plane looks already like a newer generation B757 or B767… maybe even a B777 (in this airline’s mid-1990s colors!). And intentionally, that’s what this author did: everything so that this plane does NOT look like a L-1011, which would have been an extremely big clue, since Delta, Pan Am and PSA (shortly) were the only major U.S. airlines flying the L-1011. With all these clues in hand, plus such a developed route map East of the Mississippi and only one route across the Atlantic, there is only one airline that shines from the rest: Delta Air Lines.


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