Collector’s Spotlight: Airline Spoons

January 17, 2014


I’m really pleased to introduce the first ‘Collector’s Spotlight‘ feature this year. After badges, bones and action figures, today we have a fascinating collection of airline spoons! Many thanks to Dieter for the interview.


Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Dieter and I am from Austria and working in tourism.

Since when have you been collecting and what do you collect?

Since around 15 years I am collecting spoons with the name or logo from an airline on them. These spoons are used inflight and are marked from the carrier so they come back to the right airline after being cleaned at catering departments. You can see my entire collection online. If you happen to have a spoon I do not have I would be very happy to get it! Please find my contact email on my site.


How did your collection start?

I started collecting by coincidence, I think it was 1997 when I was flying with my sister on a Lauda Air flight and she decided to take the coffee spoon from the plane to use it in our vacation and give it back on the return flight , which never happened. This spoon stayed in her kitchen drawer for years and whenever I visited her, it reminded me of a wonderful vacation. So I started to ask the flight attendants on every flight I took from then, if I can take a spoon with me. And beside one time with Gulf Air I have always been lucky. Thanks to all the nice, hard working crews by the way!

My collection grew and I came go the point when I wanted not only spoons from airlines I flew with, but every spoon existing. I started to visit flea markets and thrift stores and, with the help of the internet, I found fellow collectors to trade all over the world. After many years of trading, some of them have become good friends.


How big is your collection and is it still growing?

My collection has now over 2000 spoons from 500 different airlines, with the oldest spoon dating back from the 1920s (Imperial Airways) till the brand new First Class spoon from Lufthansa. Materials changed over time, the classic one is the metal spoon, but after WW2 airlines used even wooden spoons (see American Airlines), some Asian airlines use china spoons and now some use reusable plastic ones (Qantas).


What was the most recent addition to your collection?

It is getting harder and harder now to get new spoons for me, fortunately airlines change their logo from time to time and some new airlines start business. My special interest is in spoons from the 1950/60s, which are hard to get and are nice in design and logos. But like in every collection, you have to have luck. Like with my last spoon – a spoon from VLM Airlines used in the 1990s but found by a friend now.


Where do you keep your collection?

All my spoons are stowed in boxes in two airline catering trolleys which I was able to buy. I thought it is the perfect stowage.

What is your favourite piece in your collection?

My favourite spoons are the first Austrian Airlines spoon – it has a logo on it which was only used from 1958 till 1960 and a spoon from Slovak Airlines.


Do you use your collection?

When I have duplicate spoons I use them in my kitchen and it is always funny that guests start telling stories about their travels when drinking their coffee. I am very happy to have many friends who always collect spoons for me, without them my collection would not be that big. Thank you!

(All photographs courtesy of Dieter )


Thank you so much to Dieter for sharing his collection! Check out his entire amazing collection in his online Flickr galleryAnd if you have an interesting, unusual or unique collection you’d like featured on Museum Diary, please get in touch!



2 Responses to “Collector’s Spotlight: Airline Spoons”

  1. Barbara Cortili Says:

    This is what I call a COLLECTION. This guy is absolutely amazing! Thank you for sharing this great interview!


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