Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Travelers share their favorite aviation-related memories with PIT

By BlueSkyStaff

Published September 3, 2020

Read Time: 5 mins


Last week, we asked our social media followers to tell us about some of their favorite aviation memories.

From meeting Fred Rogers in the airport to first-time flights and exotic international trips, these stories made us nostalgic for going somewhere … anywhere!

Here’s a few of our favorite moments shared on Facebook and Twitter:

Tara Alexander-Oliver (Glen Dale, WV)

I have always been terrified to fly and never did. Three years ago, my husband booked a trip to Disney for our family and I had no choice but to get on the plane for the first time at age 39. [It was the] best decision I’ve made [and] it has opened up a lot of new places for us!

Tara Alexander-Oliver (left) smiles for a photo on board a flight with her daughter and husband. (Courtesy photo)

Lisa Fowler (Seven Fields, PA)

For more than 10 years, I had been trying to win tickets for the Red Carpet seats at the Academy Awards. In 2017, I was selected. I brought my dad and husband. I will never forget how helpful the PIT employees were in getting us where we needed to go. They put us at ease!

Lisa Fowler (right) and her father George Moschak take a photo while attending the Academy Awards ceremony in 2017. (Courtesy photo)


Steve Fowler (right) and George Moschak smile for a photo at the 2017 Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles. (Courtesy photo)

Ellie Hall (Pittsburgh)

I was in London during [Prince] Harry and Meghan’s wedding. My British partner was a bit underwhelmed but agreed to camp out on the long mile in Windsor Park so we could have a good view. It sure paid off! Incredible day and awesome memory!

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in May 2018 at Windsor Castle in the United Kingdom. (Courtesy photo)

Todd Henry (Bethel Park, PA)

When I was three years old in 1989, my family was visiting Pittsburgh to look for homes as we were relocating from Fair Haven, NJ, for my dad’s job. When we were at baggage claim at the old Pittsburgh airport (Greater PIT), I had wandered over and began speaking to a stranger in a trench coat. My family was understandably concerned and rushed over to interrupt, only to find out the stranger in the trench coat I was talking to was Fred Rogers. He was just as kind and caring as he was on television and he talked with me about our family’s upcoming move to Pittsburgh and how that made me feel. Since then we have set roots down in Pittsburgh and I have two children of my own. It is a story that my parents tell to this day. Amazing beginning to our new life in the ‘Burgh.

Jennie Karalewich (Washington, DC.)

Flying nonstop from PIT to FRA (Frankfurt am Main Airport) in 1994 and building up the courage as a 10-year-old to ask for the itinerary when we landed in Germany!

A framed flight chart saved by Jennie Karalewich displays information from her family trip to Germany in 1994. (Courtesy photo)

Peter Linko (Pittsburgh)

After being in Africa helping with kids in a summer camp for almost a month, I was so excited to be coming home. We flew from South Africa to the U.K. to New York City to Chicago and then back to PIT. Wow, what a crazy time trying to get home…

But flying on that last leg and looking out and seeing the city and then the runway and then touching down back home…what a feeling. No matter how many times or how far away we fly – there is absolutely nothing like flying home into Pittsburgh International Airport!

Peter Linko (right) reads with a young child while volunteering at a summer camp held in South Africa. (Courtesy photo)

George Ribich (Irwin, PA)

There are so many great travel experiences over the years at the airport, from live Christmas music to the National Aviary bringing a flight machine to the airport. My favorite experience, however, would have to be meeting Franco Harris after his and George Washington’s statues were returned to public view after restoration. I don’t know if there is a better experience for a Pittsburgher than meeting such a kind and generous sports legend (while traveling to work at Sunday Night Football nonetheless)! I am back in the skies and looking forward to many more experiences such as these! Thanks, KPIT!

George Ribich (right) stands with Pro Football Hall of Famer Franco Harris at PIT in September 2019. (Courtesy photo)

Robert S. (Denver)

[I] flew out of PIT in 2009 on the then brand-new Delta flight to Paris in order to see the Tour de France for the first time. [It was a] trip of a lifetime, that included getting to meet this superfan (a German guy who ran a bicycle museum and attended all the grand tours, including a string of 30+ Tours de France).

Robert (left) smiles for a photo with a Tour de France “superfan” in Montpellier, France in 2009. (Courtesy photo)

Matthew Slafka (Kent, WA)

My favorite travel memory is flying on the inaugural nonstop flight from Seattle to Pittsburgh. I was thrilled that it had become so much easier to come home, and it has quickly become my favorite route!

Alaska Airlines launched nonstop service between PIT and Seattle in September 2018. (Courtesy photo)

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