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Top 5 Friday: Airline Concepts We Wish Had Worked

Lots of hare-brained airline concepts have been launched over the years, but today we wanted to focus on 5 airlines that launched with interesting ideas that weren’t able to survive:

Legend – Legend flew all-business class regional jets out of Dallas Love Airport for about 10 minutes back in 2000.  The idea of avoiding DFW and not having to fly Southwest was an appealing combination for some business travelers.  Unfortunately for Legend, American came along and crushed them by essentially launching the exact same service.  Game over.

MGM Grand – In the late 1980s, MGM Grand Air flew a couple of transcon routes on 727s and DC-8s outfitted like private jets.  Oh those were heady times.  But as Wall Street collapsed and the cocaine dried up, so did interest in the airline.  Oddly enough, it survives today as charter carrier Champion.

EOS Airlines – All first-class seating to London for fares that were often available under $2,000.  What’s not to like?  It’s hard to remember that before they came along your only option for premium Transatlantic travel cost $5,000 and up.

Eastwind – For a brief period in the mid-1990s Eastwind flew from Trenton to points in Florida.  As a New Jersey boy, the idea of much, much-maligned Trenton getting its own airline was somewhat exciting, considering that the capital city of New Jersey didn’t even have a movie theater.  But as you’d suspect, that love affair lasted about 10 minutes and they moved their headquarters to Greensboro before disappearing.

Midwest Express – Yes, Midwest still exists today.  But ask anyone who used to fly them and you’ll know that it’s a completely different airline.  Flying an all-business class configuration with full meal service and warm cookies for a very small premium over coach fares, their on-board product made flying to Milwaukee almost bearable. Almost.

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  1. What about the single greatest airline concept ever conceived…the 1st class lottery!

  2. Gruff But Lovable points out his greatest idea ever: if any first class seats remain empty after boarding, the flight attendants lottery them off to the folks in the back. Unfortunately, first class never has empty seats anymore on domestic flights (do they?)…nonetheless, a brilliant idea never rolled out.

  3. “Oddly enough, it survives today as charter carrier Champion.”

    I think you’ll find Champion shut down more than a year ago, Jared. Does your aviation news arrive by carrier pigeon?

  4. No, it arrives via courier on Champion Air.

  5. LMAO… Nice comeback.

  6. that was a nice comeback.