TWA’s Foreign Accent Flights

In 1968, TWA introduced "foreign accent flights" on its domestic service. Travelers could choose to go on a French, British, Italian, or American-themed flight. The stewardesses were dressed in uniforms inspired by the respective countries. For instance, on the British flights the stewardesses wore an "English serving wench" outfit.

Time - Apr 24, 1968

More info from TWA Museum Guides Blog:

Begun on April 1, 1968, "Foreign Accent Service" was TWA's attempt to leverage its international image to attract passengers to its domestic U.S. flights. Certain longer-haul flights (such as New York - Los Angeles) were themed to create a foreign, cosmopolitan atmosphere. It could have been French, Italian, British or American (an inquisitive young visitor once asked our guide what was "foreign" about the American theme). To "brand" that experience, hostesses were outfitted in one of four appropriately themed uniforms, made from paper (that's right, paper). Hostesses donned the uniform prior to the flight and disposed of it when the flight was over...

These "wear once and dispose" dresses were designed as wrap-arounds, secured with velcro fasteners. Hostesses typically carried a pair of scissors and tape to adjust the length. The promotion was short-lived. Logistical problems involving coordination of the dresses with the flight's theme developed and supply problems meant later uniforms had to be constructed with a lighter-weight paper, which was more prone to tearing. Some senior hostesses were reluctant to wear the dresses, including legendary flight attendant, Ida Staggers. Ms. Staggers, hired in 1936, was not pleased with this promotional role. Despite a large financial outlay for logistics and advertising, the program died quietly, never making it past 1968.

Hollywood Studio Magazine - July 1968

Sports Illustrated - Mar 25, 1968

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Jun 04, 2024
     Category: Fashion | Air Travel and Airlines | 1960s

I remember flying in the 60´s (and 70´s) Wide comfortable seats, free drinks and munchies (not liquor though) a meal and young pretty stewardesses. Who said things have gotten better ?
Posted by F.U.D. in Stockholm on 06/04/24 at 05:11 AM
There's something so Sixties about this: fun, transgressive, and unenlightened. Austin Powers was not mde up.
Posted by Dr. Fian on 06/05/24 at 10:01 AM
Wow. Tasteless *and* ignorant, who'd have thought it of the Mad Men?
Posted by Richard Bos on 06/09/24 at 02:49 PM

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