The golden age of aviation

Have you ever wondered what air travel was like in the 50s and 60s? The answer is that flying in those days was something different. Air travel experienced its golden age. Passengers perceived them as something important. They were dressed in their best clothes, took group photos before boarding, wrote postcards to familiar faces, sampled lobster meals. The flight made them feel special. And it kind of did, because a substantial amount of money was required for the tickets. Let’s look at some features of the flights of a ‘mythical’ era. Back then, a flight to the USA cost, at today’s inflation-adjusted prices, more than $4,000. So, if you compare that to European wages at the time…

Airlines competed fiercely with each other, offering fancy meals. There were crystal glasses and silverware and lobsters were considered a regular menu item. Economy class was more like today’s business class and first class was as spacious as a hotel room. Also, in those days, smoking was perfectly acceptable in the air. Flying was a rare experience and passengers felt the need to record every moment of it on postcards. Alcohol was another popular form of in-flight entertainment and passengers were served as much as they could drink. Passengers arrived on planes without identification. They showed up at the airport 30 minutes before the flight by boarding leisurely down the stairs.