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Sky’s the Limit

In the late 1950s, Alaska Airlines brought luxury and glamor to flying. At that time, the Golden Nugget service, which had a gold rush theme to it, was offered. In 1958, a round-trip ticket on a Golden Nugget flight from Fairbanks to Seattle would set you back $133.65 plus tax. The following illustrates the amenities a passenger would have received.

The Lincoln Star (Lincoln, Nebraska) August 7, 1958

AN OLDTIMER WOULDN’T BELIEVE IT

En-route to Fairbanks, Alaska–Back in the days when they were making it on foot, the sourdoughs would have strung up anybody who described for them, the Inaugural flight of Alaska Airlines Golden Nugget Service from Seattle to Fairbanks. The dreamer would have been considered too dangerous to have on the trip.

“Let’s say it’s a little different from 1929, when I ran my dogs from Manitoba to Fairbanks,” a guy across the aisle just commented.

A pretty stewardess served him a martini before stoking him with a light luncheon of shrimp cocktail, filet mignon, potato (baked in foil,) fresh peas, a green salad featuring cocktail sized tomatoes, fragrant coffee, a chocolate and whipped cream dessert, brand, etc.

We fly in a unique airliner which cost the enterprising airline exactly one-fourth the sum for which the United States bought all 86,400 square miles of Alaska; The $1,800,000 DC-6C Starliner, has the rugged frame of the CD-6A Douglas cargo plane plus the plush soon-to-come 707 jet interiors.

A few months later, this article was published in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on December 3, 1958:

“Golden Nugget” service is featured by Alaska Airlines on its Seattle-Alaska daily run to Fairbanks and Anchorage, which was inaugurated early last August.

The interior decoration dramatizes the romance of the gold strikes in the North. Alaska food delicacies are featured. These include reindeer steaks, Arctic shee-fish, Alaska king crab, sourdough biscuits and wild berry preserves.

A recorded welcome from the governor of Alaska greets the passengers as the ship passes over Juneau.

Note: The “Golden Nugget Service” featured a Gay Nineties Gold Rush décor and stewardesses dressed in turn-of-the-century attire. About 12 years later, Alaska Airlines began providing charter service between Alaska and Siberia. Tune in next week to learn how Alaska Airlines capitalized on the Russian business, with their famous “Samovar Service” in 1970. This flying in the good ‘ol days History Nugget has been proudly brought to you by Men’s Igloo No. 4 and Women’s Igloo No. 8 of the Pioneers of Alaska.

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