THEN AND NOW: Photos that show how glamorous flying used to be

Bob Ridpath

Pit Bull love
I harbor a strong suspicion that the good old days weren’t all that good. To wit:

Some really ugly societal tendencies
Lard as a hair product
Nasty food
No air conditioning
Bad dental hygiene
Bad hygiene in general
Poor grasp of the germ theory of disease and/or food preparation
Limited media

Etc, etc....
The lard worked.
My food was good.
The fan sucked in hot, humid Summer. I’ll give you that.
We bathed or showered daily.
Limited media was better than the 24 hour news cycle. Walter Cronkite, Huntley-Brinkley still rule.
You get the societal change, too.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
I don't really necessarily enjoy flying as a pax on an airline, it's more just a need to get from A to B, but one of the most enjoyable when I look back, was Midwest Express.
I flew them a few times. They had a great niche and a very loyal customer base. They couldn't compete, though. There were several me-too airlines that tried that model with superior service for just a *slight* premium - none of them made it, sadly.

@jtrain609 - why is it called seat pitch and not "leg room?"
 

Bob Ridpath

Pit Bull love
A roundtrip JFK-LAX ticket was about $550 in 1970. That's about $3400, similar in price to a DeltaOne or jetBlue Mint JFK-LAX today. I would argue that the current flatbed seats are a better product than 1970s interiors. You also have the option of paying about $600 roundtrip for an economy ticket, about the same price as 1970.

The industry is also way more efficient than it used to be. Instead of flying a 727 BUF-ERI-TOL-SBN-ORD, the hub-and-spoke system allows small towns one stop connections to hundreds of destinations. I'm a sucker for old airliners and jet age nostalgia, but as a consumer the current industry is better in almost every way.
There used to be scheduled service from Lawrence, MA, Berlin, NH, New Bedford-Fall River, MA, Keene, NH, Auburn-Lewiston, ME, and on-and-on ad infinitum ... Of course, economics decreed it wouldn’t last. It was still there, though, and even a kid could afford a ticket.

It’s like “wind chill” to me ... “The temperature is 39 degrees but it feels like 26 with the wind.” Nope, it’s 39 actual degrees out ... dress like you’re not an idiot.

I never flew coast-to-coast, but I made it from Boston to Fort Wayne and back for 79 bucks, on United Mainline, a number of times. Whatever the “equivalent” price today, a ticket (and services) were not somehow beyond the reach of “ordinary” people.

I disagree that it’s “better,” although certainly more “efficient.” Likely just the rant of an old guy, though, who wants people to stay off his lawn;)
 

JordanD

Honorary Member
I harbor a strong suspicion that the good old days weren’t all that good. To wit:

Some really ugly societal tendencies
Lard as a hair product
Nasty food
No air conditioning
Bad dental hygiene
Bad hygiene in general
Poor grasp of the germ theory of disease and/or food preparation
Limited media

Etc, etc....
And that's a fraction of the problems "not being white" caused you back then.
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
I flew them a few times. They had a great niche and a very loyal customer base. They couldn't compete, though. There were several me-too airlines that tried that model with superior service for just a *slight* premium - none of them made it, sadly.

@jtrain609 - why is it called seat pitch and not "leg room?"
Hell if I know.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
I flew them a few times. They had a great niche and a very loyal customer base. They couldn't compete, though. There were several me-too airlines that tried that model with superior service for just a *slight* premium - none of them made it, sadly.

@jtrain609 - why is it called seat pitch and not "leg room?"
Seat pitch is the space between the same point on two rows of seats and is an objective number. Leg room is sort of a subjective term and open to being fudged.
 

Richman

Well-Known Member
I'm going to have to disagree that we've moved in the right direction on this one.
No worries. Remember “media” encompasses a whole lot more than just the news.

Soooo, enjoy your trip down to the county library to check out the “Be-Bu” section of that Funk and Wagnalls encyclopedia that’s 4 years old. While you’re at it, be sure to drop off your “I don’t want this one” card to Columbia House Record club when they sent you a stinker like 10 novelty Xmas Songs sung by the Chipmunks.

You don’t get one without the other.
 

Corporate Pilot

Well-Known Member
My dad flew for Continental and I remember a flight from HNL to LAX on a 747 overnight flight. We were in first class and I woke up and went up stairs. My mom woke up later and went looking for me. She found be in the lounge eating popcorn and playing Crazy 8 with the flight attendants. What a different time.

CONTINENTAL747-vi.jpg
 

Low_Level_Hell

Well-Known Member
For all those here lamenting the good ol’ days of more glamorous and exclusive air travel, wouldn’t there be a whole lot less pilot career opportunities is those trends continued?
 

Bob Ridpath

Pit Bull love
Not lamenting, personally, just noting the reality.

There was service to scores, maybe hundreds, of other destinations nationwide with multiple flights daily; not all of it was mainline, but a bunch of it was. I’d think that might present MORE opportunities, not fewer, but I’ve been wrong before.

I’d also note that if a fifteen year old kid could afford the travel, it wasn’t all that “exclusive.”
 

knot4u

Repeat Offender
I remember flying out of KBUR as an unaccompanied minor in a PSA DC-9 with the smile painted on the front and landing in KSFO then getting on a Navajo that eventually got me to Redding CA. My grandmother patiently waiting for my brother and I at the fence there with her red Karman Ghia (that she bought new) parked nearby was always a welcome sight. Then we would continue on up to Brookings OR with her driving that car like Paddy Hopkirk through the redwoods. It was a wonderful time to be alive
 

jtrain609

I'm a carnal, organic anagram.
Sucks because they were the last(?) holdout with peanuts, both their dry roasted and their honey roasted being real good. Don't know why secondhand peanut allergies are all of a sudden a thing, for as long as peanuts have been around on airliners.

I wonder if SWA has a warehouse storage of their remaining peanuts stock somewhere....Dallas maybe?
Peanut allergies are on the rise, having tripled in the last few decades. There are a few theories for why.

Mayo Clinic Q and A: Number of children with peanut allergies has increased significantly

Our older kid has a tree nut allergy, which has produced anaphylactic shock on at least one occasion. If that were to happen inside an airplane, the only way to get to a hospital in a timely manner is a diversion, which is sub par for everyone involved.

Removing the allergen seems like a more cost effective way of dealing with the problem.

You still need to ingest a part of a peanut in order to have a reaction to it. The problem is cross contamination. I can tell you having two kids at home if one was eating cashews in a different zip code, she'd find a way to come directly back to our house, find her sister, and then shove her cashew covered hands in her sister's mouth for no reason whatsoever.
 
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averettpilot

Well-Known Member
This thread has made me realize I’m but a toddler compared to most people here. I’ve only flown on 4 airlines and it is mostly an unpleasant experience. It can’t be to much to ask for just a little leg and shoulder room.
 
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