Travel: He Who Got Bumped

Like most airline passengers, Los Angeles Lawyer Charles E. Wills shuffled patiently through the electronic bureaucracy of reservations, confirmations and reconfirmations with the blind faith that when the right time came, he would be aboard the right plane. But on Oct. 11, 1959, when he showed up at St. Louis' airport an hour before he was scheduled to take off for Los Angeles on TWA's Flight 77, he was told that his seat in the tourist-class section of the plane had been given to a ticket-holding fellow traveler—from first class.

TWA, following a practice...

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