Barf bags! Plane seats! Airline show on Oct. 1 has it all

It’s just a little length of blue plastic, skinny and topped with the image of a globe. Decades ago, a smiling stewardess plopped that swizzle stick in something potent before serving the concoction to a lucky passenger riding in royal comfort in a Pan Am clipper.

The airline is gone — so are stewardesses; the proper term now is flight attendants — but the drink stirrer remains. It, and other mementos of air travel, remind us that the skies once were filled with a lot more air carriers than they are today.

That swizzle stick, along with an array of other air-related items, will be on sale Saturday at the 30th annual Atlanta Airlines Collectibles Show. Delta Air Lines, which has hosted the show for a decade, will open the doors of the Delta Flight Museum for the event.

More than 80 vendors plan to be on site for the show, said Greg Romanoski, the museum’s events services manager. They’re likely to attract an international audience, he said.

Buyers will confront a dizzying collection of stuff, large and small, evoking names from carriers long gone. Remember Lake Central? TWA? Allegheny? Paraphernalia from operating airlines will be on sale, too.

Items available include old airline timecards, model airplanes, playing cards, signs, photos, postcards, menus, safety cards, kiddie wings, T-shirts, dining utensils, seats —

Wait. Did you say seats?

“I did,” Romanoski said. “They’re popular.”

Airlines routinely refurbish their planes and often are left with leftover seats. You can buy a row of three from economy class or a couple of wide ones from business class. They usually sell from $100 to $500. Folks with home theaters are usually first to snap them up, Romanoski said.

Another hot item: service carts, the wheeled devices that attendants use to serve drinks and snacks. “They’re popular if you have a bar in your home,” Romanoski said. A cart usually sets you back anywhere from $75 to $150.

If that’s too pricey, consider posters. They are hot-ticket items, Romanoski said. Delta, he noted, featured brilliant posters from the mid-1970s that beckoned travelers to visit Florida! New York! San Francisco!

“There are some really cool representations of that,” he said.

You want cool? How about an airline sickness bag? Romanoski promised vendors would have some for sale — each, presumably, unused.

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