New Online: PBS Pan Am Documentary

A fantastic documentary on Pan Am, Across the Pacific is streaming online from PBS. The first episode ‘Airborne’ is now available, the second video will post on Friday, and the final one next week.

When the China Clipper took off for the first scheduled flight to Manila on November 22, 1935, it riveted the attention of people around the world. At that moment Pan Am vaulted to a commanding position and the world changed forever as a result. That’s the story brought to life in “Across the Pacific.” Newly unearthed archival motion pictures, photographs, and original sound recordings as well as stunning graphics, help bring this history back to life.

Here’s the first segment.

I’m excited for both upcoming episodes “Latin Laboratory” and “Another Ocean.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. Looking forward to Kaley Cuoco (“The Big Bang Theory”) stars in an upcoming international caper series, “Flight Attendant,” that was shot in Rome, Bangkok and New York City on HBO Max.

    I like a good “international caper series”.

  2. That should be an excellent series on PBS. . .looking forward to watching. I recently read a great book on the history of PAN AM titled “Sky Gods”. It’s available on Amazon and Apple, a great read and brought back a lot of good and sad memories. Also, a lot of the behind the scenes politics surround the airline industry. I highly recommend it.

  3. @Sunviking
    For flying boats specifically there is : The Pan Am Clipper; a History of Pan American’s Flying Boats 1935-1945 ( by xxxx Allen)

  4. @Paolo – Probably my favorite Pan Am book. Good to know that I’m not the only person familiar with it.

  5. Sky Gods was very good. If you haven’t read Hard Landing, I would recommend that also.

    This video says episode 2, is there one before this?

  6. The best flight I ever had was on Pan Am in 1967. I was on my way home from Saigon, after a perfectly shitty year! Landed at Travis AFB. When the plane took off, there was thunderous applause and cheers.

    On my way to Saigon, the year before on Continental, you could have heard a pin drop as we landed. Both flights had one thing in common: the best damn flight crew and Stewardesses. Bless them all.

  7. That was excellent. Thanks for posting.

    And another thumbs up for Sky Gods. I read it years ago and very much enjoyed it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *