US Airways is flying its final flight today

US Airways ceases to exist on Friday
(Image credit: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images)

When the first US Airways flight took off in 1939, the airline was called All American Aviation, a regional flier based in Pennsylvania. It grew into Allegheny Airlines, and a few acquisitions later changed its name to USAir in 1979. The last US Airways flight, nostalgically numbered Flight 1939, takes off from Philadelphia on Friday morning, travels to Charlotte, then to Phoenix, and finally to San Francisco, before returning to Philly. All those cities have special significance for the airline, purchased by American Airlines in 2013, and when Flight 1939 lands in Philly on Friday night, US Airways is officially kaput.

"We definitely wanted to give a nod to US Airways and everyone that helped us build this airline," American spokeswoman Martha Thomas told USA Today. "We wanted to make it a special experience for employees and customers." On Saturday, US Airways' reservation system and website will go dark, hopefully transitioning over to American's system, and its signage will be taken down at airports nationwide. The final flight will be full almost entirely of aviation enthusiasts and "avgeeks," according to American spokesman Ross Feinstein, but if you are feeling nostalgic and can't make Friday's flight, don't worry: The paint jobs on the aircraft and the flight attendant uniforms will stick around until sometime in 2016, regardless of what your ticket says.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.