Example: [Reader's Digest, 1958]
Variations: Early versions of this legend suggest that the offer of free tickets was dreamed up to demonstrate to women that the relatively new service of airline travel was safe, or that it was intended to induce the wives of newly-returned servicemen to try commercial flights. Later versions omit this detail (and the free tickets) and simply present the promotion as a means of increasing business.
Origins: No real-life basis for this legend has yet been found. Anecdotal
In 1967 United Airlines ran a "Take Me Along" campaign complete with advertisements featuring miniskirt-clad wives entreating their husbands to take them along with a zippy song-and-dance number. However, United's ad campaign did not offer free tickets or discounted fares, and this legend antedates it by more than twenty years.
Last updated: 22 April 2011
Brunvand, Jan Harold. The Baby Train. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993. ISBN 0-393-31208-9 (pp. 166-168). Lyon, Marguerite. And So to Bedlam. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1943. (pp. 280-281). Playboy. "Party Jokes." October 1956 (p. 48). Reader's Digest Treasury of Wit and Humor. Pleasantville, NY: Reader's Digest Association, 1958. (p. 144).