20 Vintage Photos of How Glamorous Flying Used to Be
Flying back then was a lot different than it is today.
Stewardesses making friends
American Airlines stewardess Jean Hoder enjoyed getting to know passengers in the airport during her downtime between flights. She made a special connection with these children who were particularly interested in her career. They would return to the airport almost every day to greet her when she got off the plane. Check out these rare, vintage photos of what daily life was like in the 1950s.
They were very curious about all of the different flights Jean had been on throughout her career.
Job in the sky
Jean’s little airport fan club loved the idea of having a job in the sky.
Scanning devices weren’t always used when checking in to a flight. Here, a Continental Airlines employee collects passenger’s tickets and fare from those who hadn’t previously purchased tickets or had an extra baggage fee. Life is much easier now with mobile check-in and boarding passes, but bringing luggage is still a struggle. Know when it’s best to check your luggage.
A stewardess serves passengers on a Pan Am Boeing 707.
Look at that aisle! Imagine not having to hit every passenger with your bags on your way to your seat. This Boeing Supersonic Airplane had a lot more room than planes do now. Planes are more crowded in the modern age, so flight attendants discourage these behaviors.
Full meals were served to passengers on this American Airlines flight in the ’50s.
Some planes had sleepers where passengers could lay down for the night. An American Airlines stewardess checks on a passenger.
Boarding the plane
Flight attendants board the plane to get ready for takeoff. These strange behaviors can get you banned from flying.
The interior of this plane might not look as upscale as the ones you see today, but everyone on board was dressed to the nines.
In 1958, Florence Archambault and her children—Jane, Tommy, Florence, and Edith—took their first flight to attend a wedding in Boston. For more old-timey transportation, check out these ads for vintage cars you’ll wish you could own today.
Traveling in groups
For many members of this church group from Rochester, Minnesota, it was their first time on a plane.
Another example of a sleeper that some passengers would purchase for overnight coast-to-coast flights.
It wasn’t all ginger ale and pretzels back then
Meal service was very different than just ginger ale and pretzels back when Bette Weldy Burfield was a flight attendant from 1954 to 1960. She’s carrying coffee, cream, sugar, and mints on a heavy silver tray.
The 1961 graduates of the Trans World Airlines Hostess School in Kansas City pose for a class photo. Get a look at some photos of what school was like 100 years ago.
A United Airlines passenger enjoys her breakfast on a sleeper airplane from Chicago to San Francisco.
In the ’30s, a flight from New York to the Pacific Coast was 17 hours.
This couple won a contest for an all-expenses-paid trip to Miami. They wave to those on the ground as they board the plane. Check out some photos of vintage swimsuits we totally wish would come back in style.
Newlyweds Robert and Clara Strassburger in Illinois to travel to Wisconsin. They are headed to the state’s romantic Door County.
Here are the Strassburgers in their seats.
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