On April Fools 2011, Air France announced on Twitter they would start flying to Jupiter on Bastille Day…
Immediately we think that’s yet another April Fools joke from an airline. Yet in 1969, just about the time of Apollo 11, one could call Pan Am, Air Canada, and other airlines, and get on the waiting list for an eventual scheduled flight to the Moon. And that was no joke.
This is what a Moon reservation would have looked like on Pan Am. The poster says it’s an actual recording of a prank call which, turns out, was handled in a most professional way by the reservations agent. “What we’re doing is: we’re taking people’s name and address,” he says. But he forgot to ask “Smoking or non-smoking?”…
A radio report from Radio-Canada’s Archives (in French) dated July 18, 1969 offers two surprising interviews.
The first is with an Air Canada reservations agent in Montreal confirming that “officially, we are taking note of your requests” and that they’ll call back passengers. And the second is with a woman from Quebec who wanted to make sure she’d get her seat to verify if the Moon is made of cheese… and that she was told the ticket would cost around CAN$35,000 (which would be around what… over CAN$200,000 today?)
Do you think she and the 100+ other people on the list (as of July 18, 1969) are still wait listed? If you had been in her shoes in 1969, would you have been wait listed as well? Do you think airlines kept a waiting list to the Moon under their own initiative or because passengers asked for one?