The Groovy Age of Travel #10: Plane Interiors

I'll be traveling all next week and, alas, there will be no Retrospace posts during that time.  But in honor of the occasion I thought it was fitting to post a pile o' plane pictures.  Back when the inside of an aircraft didn't mean being stacked like sardines... back when there were ashtrays in the armrests.  It was a different time...

Everyone looks so damn happy, things are bright and cheery - they truly were the friendly skies in the seventies (except for the frequent hijacking).

This is hilarious.  I understand airlines made things inhumanely compact to milk as much money out of every square inch...so, how come it was so damn roomy back then?

For the love of God I cannot remember what movie this is from.  I took the screen shot, but didn't label it.  Anyone remember?

I do remember where this screen shot came from: an episode of Hawaii 5-O

Don't get me started on stewardesses (er, I mean 'flight attendants').  We've done plenty on this subject before - I won't beat a dead horse.

I've been on a few flights that were nearly empty.  It's sheer heaven.

This is from one of those "What sort of man reads Playboy?" ads.   This is so far from my air travel reality, I can't even put it into words.

Flying Review 1968

If I'm not mistaken, this is from a scene in Baron Blood.

Obviously a candidate for pancakes.

Some of these images have appeared in previous posts; sorry for the repeat, but they belong in this post.

In a couple days, I will be squashed and miserable..... yet I will be ever so thankful for the morsel of food they give me.  Oh, the joy of five tiny pretzels and small cup of Coke.

Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Okay, this is just making me angry.

Boeing (1971)

Is this why airlines kept going out of business? Because they didn't squeeze as many humans into their tin cans as they could have?

More pancakes on the horizon...

I can only imagine what stewardesses had to put up with back in the day... back when an airplane was basically a gentlemen's club in the sky.

I'll be thinking of this while I nibble on my pretzels (squashed like a pretzel as well).

From an episode of The Bob Newhart Show (featuring Penny Marshall as the stewardess)

END (I'll be back in about a week!)


  1. Have fun! Maybe take a train next time. It's a lot more fun.

  2. I am an ex-airline pilot. I left that line of work because that life gets old real fast. Mind you, being a pilot today is nothing like it was in the seventies. I'm not sure why anyone would want to live that life today. It looks nothing like the pictures above. Too bad, those pics above make it look very enticing. We were talking about be being a passenger not a pilot or stewardess but I couldn't resist. Whenever I travel I drive when at all possible, even if it's cross country. I hate flying!

    Have fun!

  3. great post! thanks, we'll see ya when you get back :-)

  4. Have a safe but fun but safe trip!

  5. The screenshot is Suzanne Danielle in the truly bad UK film "Carry On Emmanuelle". I wish I didn't know the answer to this...

  6. If you want to see contrast look at old commercials on YouTube. I was looking at Quantas ads. In the 70s, the commercials showed a real koala walking through a gigantic plane with a full bar (maybe a buffet too). The koala says "I hate Quantas."
    The more recent commercials have an animatronic, brownnoser koala bragging up Quantas, while scrunched in between two fat guys. Another commercial, he turns on the reading lamp to show he is nearly sitting on a sleeping, young woman's head. Yeah, I want to wake up with a koala bear on top of me.

  7. "I understand airlines made things inhumanely compact to milk as much money out of every square inch...so, how come it was so damn roomy back then?"

    You have it backwards. Airlines were not making tons of money in the 1970s, especially after the 1973 oil shock and the ridiculous amount of skyjackings (almost one a week in 1969). Airlines were heavily regulated by the US government: the FAA decided what planes could fly to what cities at what times and, much more important, how much airlines could charge for a ticket. Airlines couldn't compete on price, so they competed on amenities and customer service. Terrorists, embezzlers, drug smugglers, "DB Cooper" and the 1978 airline deregulation changed everything.

    Flying is more cramped and the free amenities are gone, but flying is much cheaper today adjusted for inflation, and FAR safer (crashes and various emergencies used to be almost as common as the skyjackings). People used to dress up to fly because only the upper-middle class could afford it. Plus, almost all the photos here were staged with professional models or taken from Hollywood sets.

    I hate the TSA as much as anybody and think airline security should be privatized. But other than the body scans and stupid questions, flying is cheaper, safer and easier (no internet or iphones in 1980) than ever before.

  8. AnonymousJune 18, 2015

    Great post. And pancakes! How I've missed them, looking forward to the next full length post