It seems like a diversion whose time has come: Pan Am: The Game.
Newly minted and now available at Target for just over $30.00 the board game by Funko Toys
allows frustrated frequent flyers to acquire stock for their own fledgling airlines and play against Juan Trippe and his near-mythic Pan Am World Airways.
The game was created by design studio Prospero Hall to look and feel like a treasured relic for the Golden Age of Travel. There are 52 aircraft playing pieces ranging from Clippers to fledgling jets from the 1960s. Destination cards are from places like Havana, Gander, Saigon where Pan Am jets would stop and refuel or begin their sorties into new flight paths taking travelers where they’d never been before, and in style.
The cards themselves are like mini retro posters from the 40s to the early 60s. (You know, those enticing ads where women wear cat-eye sunglasses and Dior New Look dresses and men sport David Byrne-like Zoot suits.)
There is also a large playing board with a map of the world from the top down zigzagged with Pan Am’s flight routes and an instruction book also with a retro art cover, and mini flight attendant playing notes that’s just as attractive as the rest of the package.
The rules of the game say that the last person to have been in a plane gets the first turn and as the somewhat complex play begins (you’re competing against each other and against a monomythical Pan Am) there is definitely the chance that you’ll start waxing nostalgic for the last time you just grabbed your carry-on and ran to the jet bridge for that red-eye to LAX – or LHR, or SIN.
For the vast majority of travelers who can’t wait to get back into flight formation, Pan Am: The Game is an appetizer for a post-COVID-19 travel recovery and a talisman gift for fellow road warriors.