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  #51  
Old 06-26-2019, 02:05 PM
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Did most of my work air travel in the 80s-90s. Sure was nice to be able to get to the airport 15 minutes before boarding - or if pressed - whenever would give you enough time to pull an "OJ" and race to the gate before the door closed.

The flights I took were NEVER more than 2/3 full - you would often have an entire row to yourself. And if your work finished up early, you could just head to the airport and they'd transfer you onto an earlier flight - no charge.

Earlier, as a kid, I remember they used to give you playing cards, postcards, and pens and stationary.

And for me, I always have books/magazines to read. No interest in looking at my phone during a flight, and the only thing I find of interest on a seat6back screen is the flight map.

Even when I was a kid, I never understood the frequent jokes about airline food. Sure, it wasn't fine cuisine, but I always thought it tasty enough. Maybe because it was just different from what we got at home...

And not being treated like a potential terrorist, with the friendly TSA folk at O'Hare YELLING at you - that was an incalculable plus!
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  #52  
Old 06-26-2019, 02:14 PM
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In those days, pretty much any profession that was predominantly female gave of a "French maid" vibe. These days, good luck finding a cleaning lady who speaks French.
On the other hand, finding one that speaks Spanish is easy. In some places easier than finding one that speaks English as a first language. Why didn't a meme of "Spanish Maid" take off the way "French Maid did? Is that a good or a bad thing?

I know some airlines mandate their flight attendants each speak multiple languages.

Last edited by Broomstick; 06-26-2019 at 02:16 PM.
  #53  
Old 06-26-2019, 02:44 PM
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Even when I was a kid, I never understood the frequent jokes about airline food. Sure, it wasn't fine cuisine, but I always thought it tasty enough. Maybe because it was just different from what we got at home...
I think it's only because some airlines were pretty bad, especially on relatively short-haul flights, though I can't recall ever having anything really awful. But business class always had great multiple-course meals on real china and real silverware, and complimentary wine.

Even today they still manage fairly well in business class on long-haul flights -- like these pics of Japanese food on an Air Canada flight between Toronto and Tokyo (wasn't me, just something found on teh interwebs). But economy class used to serve basic meals like steaks, roast chicken, lasagna, and the like. Today you get nothing at all except on long-haul international flights.
  #54  
Old 06-26-2019, 02:48 PM
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This is from an episode of The Flintstones that first aired in 1965.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx2yyI2CjuY

That makes it sound like at least for those would couldn't afford a full priced ticket and had to fly on the "family thrift plan" as they call it, flying was just as unpleasant back then as today.
  #55  
Old 06-26-2019, 03:10 PM
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That makes it sound like at least for those would couldn't afford a full priced ticket and had to fly on the "family thrift plan" as they call it, flying was just as unpleasant back then as today.
Yeah, the last time I flew Basic Economy I did have to sit on the wing alongside the pterodactyls, just like that. And I had to pay extra baggage fees for the dinosaur in my luggage.
  #56  
Old 06-26-2019, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by msmith537 View Post
Ah, the Golden Age of Being a Straight Male.

In those days, pretty much any profession that was predominantly female gave of a "French maid" vibe. These days, good luck finding a cleaning lady who speaks French.

A few more ads.
  #57  
Old 06-26-2019, 03:24 PM
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Yeah, the last time I flew Basic Economy I did have to sit on the wing alongside the pterodactyls, just like that. And I had to pay extra baggage fees for the dinosaur in my luggage.
Obviously that was an exaggeration for comic effect, but presumably the writers thought the audience would find something relatable about Fred and Barny's experience.
  #58  
Old 06-26-2019, 05:05 PM
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Obviously that was an exaggeration for comic effect, but presumably the writers thought the audience would find something relatable about Fred and Barny's experience.
I think that it mainly shows that flying was too expensive for the average working-class Joe at that time, rather than indicating any real inconveniences that one might experience. They arrived just before the flight, had no lines, free baggage (at least if you didn't have dinosaur concealed in one), got free ichthyosaurus milk, and got to see a Bridget Barduzzi (Hubba Hubba!) movie. Aside from sitting on the wing, it was better than economy today.
  #59  
Old 06-26-2019, 06:09 PM
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Prices were regulated, so they couldn't talk about how inexpensive their flights were. So ads focused on things like the food and how nice the service was.
Pre-Amtrak railroads worked the same way; ticket prices were regulated so railroads put a lot of effort into distinguishing themselves by their meals and amenities.

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Both Sony and Ampex had magnetic tape systems for video that were available as early as 1961-1962. They were big and expensive, so most airlines used a film system with 16mm films loaded in a horizontal cassette. When I flew in 1963, it was an actual film projected on a screen at the front of the cabin.
IIRC Laserdisc was popular with airlines at one time.
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  #60  
Old 06-26-2019, 08:51 PM
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Er... y'know I am as swinishly enchanted by the "Coffee, Tea or Me" schtick as anyone who'd be old enough to have been exposed to it; and the mod-sexy outfits from the late 60s/early 70s bring fond "I'll be in my bunk" memories of growing up discovering... feelings ... but, um... that AA one with the cartoon of the passenger abducting the stewardess??? ... DAMN we're living in a different(*) universe today!


(* better)

Last edited by JRDelirious; 06-26-2019 at 08:52 PM.
  #61  
Old 06-26-2019, 10:46 PM
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Yes it sucked. It sucked because I couldn’t afford to fly back then. Between 1970 and 1980 I flew a total of six times. Nowadays I fly routinely.
Six flights wasprobably four flights more than the median in that decade. Even today, with flying being vastly cheaper and many more people flying, a huge percentage of people do not fly, ever, and the median number of flights taken by a person every year is no more than one or two.

The MEAN number of flights a year taken by an American is three. However, that's driven up by a small number of very frequent fliers.
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Last edited by RickJay; 06-26-2019 at 10:47 PM.
  #62  
Old 06-27-2019, 09:14 AM
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My first flight was 1940 on a DC3. They weighed the passengers and luggage and told you where to sit in order to adjust the CG. You got free chewing gum to keep your ears from popping on take off.

My first jet flight was in the mid-60s. It was the Dallas - San Francisco leg of a flight from Huntsville AL. There were only half a dozen passengers on board. You ordered meals from a Trader Vic menu. In first class you got a book of matches with your name printed on it and if you were late they paged you in the airport. Oh yeah, the Dallas terminal was empty. It echoed when you walked.

Watching the landforms of the US from airliner altitude is more interesting than the current drivel on the video.
  #63  
Old 06-27-2019, 09:44 AM
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From a UK perspective, things changed with the advent of pack-em-in charter flights for cheap package holidays to the Mediterranean in the early 60s. Before then it was definitely something for the well-heeled, if not entirely luxurious, though often imagined as such (I seem to remember some daft romcom movie from the 30s where a couple on a flight went out on to a promenade deck, and I don't think it was meant to be an airship).

Before WW2, there were flights across the Empire, since it could be done in shortish hops, and treated rather like a cruise, with a bit of time on the ground in various exotic places.

After the war the government pushed ahead with trying to get a pole position in what was expected to be a golden age of flying, hedging their bets by backing a fast jet (the Comet, which was great until they learnt the hard way about metal fatigue), a superlarge luxury propeller plane for the Atlantic and other long-distance routes (the Brabazon, which was dropped as too large and expensive) and the Princess flying boat (also for luxury), which ended up mothballed, but still visible in the1950s. In the end, only the revised Comet was a success - speed won out over slow luxury.
  #64  
Old 06-27-2019, 10:33 AM
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With respect to the meals there are several reasons why the food quite often is less than satisfactory. The Time article sums it up, but feeding anyone a superb meal inflight is a real challenge. Factor in the fact that planes today also carry a lot more passengers and the problem is compounded. Feeding 20 people in KLM Royal class (sadly no more) a gourmet feast is going to be less of a feat than feeding 300 people in Economy seating where not only do you have less money per seat to feed them but you also have many varying tastes.
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Last edited by swampspruce; 06-27-2019 at 10:35 AM.
  #65  
Old 06-27-2019, 11:00 AM
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It's also a challenge to prepare menus that will taste like passengers expect them to at 8000-foot cabin altitudes. It's easy to just dispense with food service entirely, though.

Pity that stand-up comics can't talk about airline food anymore, though - they're stuck with Relationships and Life in NY/LA.
  #66  
Old 06-27-2019, 01:18 PM
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One thing I've noticed for a few years now, is that I am seemingly unable to carry on a conversation with a seat mate. It's like our faces are just too damn close and you're almost swapping spit to chat. I miss carrying on a casual flirtation with members of the opposite sex while flying
  #67  
Old 06-27-2019, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Dinsdale View Post
Did most of my work air travel in the 80s-90s. Sure was nice to be able to get to the airport 15 minutes before boarding - or if pressed - whenever would give you enough time to pull an "OJ" and race to the gate before the door closed.
Yeah..."pulling an OJ" came to mean something very different in the 90s.
  #68  
Old 07-01-2019, 08:07 PM
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And, I understand they weren’t as stingy on the drink service.
Depends. In the U.S. the only change I can remember is when the airlines (or the government) figured out that alcohol carried a lot more kick in the air than on the ground, and the two-drink limit was imposed.
  #69  
Old 07-01-2019, 08:38 PM
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You could show up any time before your flight actually started to taxi because you didn't need to allow time to be searched and to stand in a long line of other people waiting to be searched (some advance time was needed at busy airports but not nearly as much as now, and very little at less busy hours or places). You could walk into the airport with anybody you wanted to see you off and hang out with them at the gate if the plane wasn't ready to leave yet; wear what you felt like* because nobody would be telling you to take any of it off; carry whatever you wanted to eat and drink in your choice of containers if you didn't feel like eating the airline food or just wanted something extra with you; keep your pocketknife with you, and for that matter your shampoo if you felt like it; not worry about whether your name was spelled exactly right on all of your documents because the only document you'd to need to show anybody, unless you were crossing national borders, was your ticket.

And I also had no problem with having a couple of hours with nothing to do but read, look out the window, and possibly talk to the person in the next seat if we both felt like it. Some people did puzzles, some people brought their knitting, some people wrote, some people played cards.

*by the time I was in my late teens, while some people still dressed up, others showed up in jeans and Tshirts. That shift came in the late 1960's.
This. The last time I thought flying was exciting and fun was the 1970's.
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Old 07-01-2019, 08:46 PM
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Are there shorts that cover armpits?
If you pull them up far enough.
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