America's Weirdest Airlines

When the US airline industry was deregulated in the late 1970s, it opened the door for almost anyone with some money to incorporate a new airline. That opportunity gave rise to an entire crop of specialty airlines, each with a gimmick to draw passengers with particular tastes or desires. For a few years, flyers could select an airline that would cater to your religion, let you smoke despite FAA regulations, fly your cat or dog to a new city, or make you feel like a movie star. There were certainly travelers who chose such amenities, but those specialty passengers mainly wanted to get to a particular destination, and none of the niche airlines were big enough to travel to that many destinations. Eventually, the novelty wore off as passengers prioritized ticket prices, direct routes, and availability over novelty. Read about five such bygone specialty airlines at CNN. -via Digg

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