Home Paul Ebeling Missed from the Golden Era of Air Travel

Missed from the Golden Era of Air Travel


It is in my memory bank, and the stuff of old movies and TV shows and today, there was a time when air travel saw a a golden era.

In the days when fine wines and Champagne were served as a normal events, when chefs were on hand to prepare real fine foods and when everyone was determined to look their very best while aboard planes, traveling by air was a different experience.

Here is a newly discovered of what it was like to fly in the golden era.

There is a lot lacking when it comes to traveling by air in the postmodern world, unless you travel in the 1st Cabin.

I took my 1st flight on TWA on a Lockheed Super Constellation (pictured above) in Y 1957,

Below are some things about the golden era of flying that those of us who experienced it miss most as follows:

Everyone Got Dressed Up To Fly

These days, people go to the airport wearing their pajamas and carrying pillows. But during the glitz and glamour at the beginning of the jet age in the late 1950’s dressing to impress was the norm for airplane travel. Women wore their pearls and men dressed in perfectly pressed suits while everyone smoked cigarettes with small, metal ashtrays during the flight. Traveling by plane was a luxury, and people understood the deluxe experience.

Meals Were Meant for Fine Dining

It is inconceivable now, but during those golden days of air travel, actual chefs were on board planes to prepare lavish meals. Using large kitchen knives, at your seat they carved ham and prime ribs of beef, dished up buttery lobster and turned meals into a fine dining experience for every guest.

Fresh fruit, fancy French pastries and other delights were provided then for all passengers.

Real porcelain dishes were used for meal service then, and sometimes, passengers even had the option of looking at menus to choose what they wanted to eat. Believe it or not, many flights also had a sommelier onboard to help passengers choose the best wine to go with their food. Often, the food was served by waiters wearing white gloves. Imagine poached salmon garnished with lemon and fresh herbs, and now imagine you can actually eat that sort of thing on a plane. Once, this was all the way it was done..

Flight Attendants Were Very Attentive

During the golden age of flight, the flight attendants were extremely attentive. They were charged with giving each and every passenger an experience, and they took it seriously. Airlines hired many more attendants for flights in those days, and these staff members would frequently ask guests if they were happy, comfortable and had everything they wanted during the trip.

Airplanes Planes Were Very Comfortable

People who are used to seeing tiny, cramped airplane interiors would be shocked at the planes from the 1950’s and 1960’s. Back then, planes were designed to be much more comfortable for each and every passenger. Planes were built with areas where passengers could play cards, chess and other games during the flight, and people could stretch their legs. Seats went all the way back, so it was really possible to get good sleep on a long haul. The airlines provided goose down pillows, and yes, the pillows were full size.

The Rest Rooms Were Much Better

Better service, better food, more comfort, there are lots of things to miss about those good old days of air travel. But the change that hurts the most when it comes to modern air travel is the rest rooms. Back in those golden days when airlines provided luxury, airplane powder rooms came equipped with small vanity tables and an array of lotions and products to use. They back then mirrors allowing you to see your entire face clearly. That is a far cry from an airplane powder room today.

Enjoy your travels

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