The First International Airport in the US is Right Here in Arizona
Little known fact about me: I once worked on the reservation desk of a major airline. That was in the olden days, before you could hop on Expedia or a similar site and book a flight yourself. As a matter of fact, there was no graphical user interface at all, not even on our end, so it was a truly different experience.
When I was first hired, my colleagues and I attended weeks of training where were learned what seemed like millions of codes, not unlike working for the military. Some of them even made sense (unlike some of the military TLAs).
We studied airline codes for the major carriers, like AA for American Airlines, DL for Delta Airlines, for example. Airport codes like TUS for Tucson and PHX for Phoenix are two you might already be familiar with. International airports like LHR for London Heathrow make sense, of course.
Chicago's O'Hare Airport is ORD, which seems weird, unless you know the history. What eventually became one of the largest international airports in the world began with the quaint moniker, "Orchard Field". CHI is the city code and was still in play, but somehow that one never stuck.
JFK and LGA are both major international airports in New York, John F Kennedy Airport and LaGuardia, respectively. You've probably even heard the code for Toronto International Airport: YYZ, especially if you're familiar a fan of the amazing Canadian band Rush. The Canadian airports were a little tougher to memorize since they all began with the letter "Y". We were probably told the reason, but it's lost in the abyss of my brain.
The United States' First International Airport
There is one airport code I don't remember learning, though. It seems remarkable, considering this airport is pretty significant, and it's right here in Arizona. The airport is located in Cochise County, as a matter of fact, and yet it wasn't on the hot list of codes in my studies.
The code for this airport is DUG, and it's considered the first international airport in the United States.
First known as the Douglas Army Airfield, it was originally built just prior to World War II as a US Army Air Forces installation. On June 5, 1933, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, dedicated Douglas International Airport as the first international airport in the United States.
Flying Out of Douglas
Are you wondering if you can fly out of Douglas Airport? You can, but there are some caveats. The Douglas International Airport is still in operation to this day, although I couldn't find evidence of any commercial flights in or out. You can, however, hire a private "air taxi".
A quick check of the rates between DUG and LAX (that's Douglas to Los Angeles International Airport, in case I've lost you) starts at about $5,424. Luckily, that includes up to 5 passengers, so if you gather 4 of your friends, you'll only have to spring for about $1,084 a piece. And I'm pretty sure that's one-way.
No word if that fare includes complimentary beverage service and in-flight peanuts, but if I had to guess, I'd say probably not.