Quirky Attraction: National Airline History Museum


National Airline History Museum
Location: Kansas City, Missouri (201 NW Lou Holland Dr.)
When to visit: Open Wed-Sat 10 am – 4 pm (Closed Sun-Tue)
Cost: Adults $8, kids $4, under 12 free, seniors $5
Time needed to enjoy: 45-60 minutes
Website: www.airlinehistory.org

If you’re not a dedicated aviation enthusiast, a museum dedicated to airline history may not sound like the most exciting attraction in the world, but Kansas City’s National Airline History Museum does a nice job of mixing educational displays with quirky sights like decades-old flight attendant outfits and a hangar of really, really old planes, some of which you can walk inside.

The museum exhibits include these TWA “Petty Girl” uniforms from the early 1940s.


And these groovy TWA stewardess outfits worn from 1968 to 1971. I would strongly support bringing back these awesome designs. Well, the two on the right, at least. That weird hippie gypsy robe thing on the left can stay in the closet:

old flight attendant uniforms

Documents include photos of old planes and newspapers like this one that details the famous Charles Lindbergh 33-hour flight from New York to Paris in 1927. It’s amazing that he actually slept on the flight!




Then comes the fun part, as the tour moves into the hangar featuring the vintage planes. I don’t know much about planes, but I understand these suckers are impressive, and most of them are still in working condition. Here’s a Douglas DC-3 from 1941.


Guests are welcome to climb inside some of these behemoths, including this Martin 404. According to the signage, there were 103 of these planes built, and only 20 remain in the U.S. Of those 20, only three are still in flying condition, including this one.


There’s an opportunity to step right up to the cockpit. So many instruments and panels.


Admission to the National Airline History Museum is just $8, so it’s worth the trip if you’re in Kansas City. Take note that the museum is only open from Wednesday through Saturday.


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About the Author

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based journalist and blogger who seeks out offbeat attractions and awesome destinations around the world. He has been featured in Travel + Leisure, Connect Magazine, Matador Travel, and the Washington Post.

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  1. It’s awesome you’re able to go through the plane and all the way up to the cockpit. Most places still won’t let you do that! I’ll have to check this out when I’m in KC. Thanks for sharing!

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