The First Commercial Flight

It occurred on January 1, 1914. The flight took place between St. Petersburg and Tampa. It took 23 minutes between the two cities separated by 21 miles of bay waters. 

The plane flew at an altitude of 15 feet across the open waters of the bay. The plane was a Benoist XIV, two seater with a very small flight deck. It was piloted by Tony Jannus, an experienced test pilot and barnstormer. And one paying passenger.

The passenger's name was Mr. Abram C. Pheil and he paid $400 for this flight where the price was quite expensive at that time. Mr. Pheil was the former mayor of St. Petersburg and was very eager to take this first flight of the St. Petersburg-Tampa. As a matter of fact, there was an auction held for the seat on this inaugural flight between the cities, with people bidding large amounts of money for the only seat on the aircraft and Mr. Abram won.

Thanks To Wikipedia For The Pictures

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