Subtly, every aircraft is different – but there was a glorious, golden era between the 1950s and the 70s, when they were very different. A time when passengers dined on pheasant, there was an onboard sommelier, and champagne flowed like a fountain. Welcome aboard. The seatbelt sign is switched off, so it’s straight to the pub for a bevvy or five.
Take a look at this Continental Airlines commercial from the 70s (is that an Atari Pong coffee table?)
Next up, enjoy the three-hour dinner service… some caviar? Lobster? On Scandinavian Airlines the chefs filleted salmon to order, and carved legs of ham in the aisle. Try doing that with a plastic knife…
Now you’ve wined and dined, why not retire to the piano bar? Yes. A PIANO. On a PLANE. Believe it – this vid from American Airlines even has Fonzie doing a cameo.
How about a boogie? Some Air Canada planes had a dance floor on board. Get your flares on – turbulence guarantees some signature moves. Cabin lights have dimmed – catch up on some shuteye on your actual horizontal bed. And don’t bother getting dressed for brekky in the morning – it’ll come to you.
Of course, the golden age of flying wasn’t all canapes and stewardesses in knee-high boots. The air in the cabin would have been thick with cigarette smoke, and in 1947 flying from Sydney to London took four days and two overnight stops. Plus, a ticket would have cost you half a house – for real. But we reckon it still sounds better than cup noodles and no leg room.