9/8/11

The Groovy Age of Travel #7


Here's a series of pictures from the early 1980s, when airline travel still wasn't a soul crushing experience.  Can any of you remember back when you didn't even pass through so much as a metal detector? Remember when they didn't over-book every f***ing flight? We didn't have to take our shoes off and we chain smoked the whole trip. Ahh, the good life.






11 comments:

  1. Dude, I'm pretty sure the blue seats are coach. Now a days, they'd shove 8 people in those.

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  2. In 1981 we decided at the last minute to fly to Boston from NY to see a popular band... got to the airport within a half hour, reserved a ticket at the gate with no ID or luggage, and paid with a personal check on board the plane which we handed to the stewardess as she handed us our drinks. Of course the check bounced, but we still got a flight home in 48 hours the same way because the bounce took a week to happen.

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  3. My first reaction was, "wow, the lady in the last picture has a tasty looking meal!" My second reaction was "wow, the lady has a meal!"

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  4. These are all first class, which hasn't changed that much.

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  5. Ah yes, commercial flights had their moments. However, you need to delve into the very ugly world of charter airlines. Stories that could make your hair curl so tight it would start smoking at the roots.

    Then there was a commercial flight between Honolulu and Burbank in 1961 that served powdered eggs, had broken seats, and a flight attendant that would disappear into the cockpit and come out with her hair disheveled and blouse half out of her skirt. The airlines shall remain nameless.

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  6. In college, during the 80s, I worked for a market research company that had several airlines--including United and American--as clients. We would go down to LAX and pass out questionnaires as passengers came off of the planes. The response rate was fairly high for questionnaires. We even took some commuter flights to rate the service, etc. It was always interesting to see the changes that were put into place as a result of the reports.

    My guess is that today those same clients wouldn't give a rat's behind about what the customers think about their service...

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  7. I flew for the first time in 1995, and wasn't even asked for ID. The two-hour flight meal was a sandwich and applesauce, as I recall. I had my face plastered against the window the entire time and got a red sticker; code for: first-time flyer, may need special attention.

    Now in fairness ... buying tickets in, say, 1980 required visiting a travel agent (remember those?) or calling the reservation 800-number (no internet) to have paper tickets snail-mailed to you. There were only two or three flights a day between most cities. Adjusted for inflation, prices were FAR more than today and yes, you were expected to dress nicely. And ... suitcases had no wheels!

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  8. For the above anonymous,
    I would gladly take any of those inconviences you state over the way people are treated like cattle today.

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  9. My very first flight was back in 1977 when my parents took the whole family to Disney World. I remember that the plane was huge! If I recall there was two aisles and seating in between the aisles. The seating was roomy and there was plenty of leg room. Luckily I got a window seat and I felt sorry for those folks who were stuck between the two aisles because they had no windows. I also remember there was smoking on the plane and there was a smokey loungey kind of vibe on the plane. Don't remember the food, or if there was any....I was too excited about going to Disney World!

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  10. Of course, by 2001 we were supposed to be flying Pan-Am to the moon, and the stewardesses were supposed to have velcro shoes to stop them floating away.

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  11. I still remember as a youth taking one of the last scheduled DC prop planes to/from Chicago; I got Wings from the captain. Remember when Stewards/Stewardesses were polite/friendly? How about smoking in the rear? I also remember an Air Canada in the very early 80s - complimentary wine from Toronto to Winnepeg. Gawd, I hate to fly - I wish I grew up in the train era. Thx Gilligan
    s-a-h-d

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