Vintage Travel: This is How Your Flight Looked in 1950

The 1950s is known as the Golden Age of Travel. Probably because you needed like a straight-up gold mine to afford a commercial flight back then. But in the Golden Age, your flight looked a lot different than it does now. Basically, you didn’t take a plane to your vacation, the plane was part of the vacation.

They gave you a postcard as you stepped onboard, so you could document every second of your time above the earth. Because your flight was, in fact, something to write home about.

air 1

Your flight attendant had a weight limit (it was 125lbs), and she had to wear heels at all times. Also a full-on girdle. She had to be chatty and cute and follow and manual a conduct manual that declared she stay single while maintain “high moral standards during employment.”

air 2

Plane food was more than a bag of peanuts and a water. Airlines competed for the best sky-high meal – four courses served on real china. Roast beef and/or lobster weren’t uncommon.

Oh and, all the alcohol you could drink, even domestically. And not just box wine, we’re talking scotch after scotch.

air 5

If you were flying first class, your seat was a recliner. You could practically lay down. If you were flying economy class, you still had about 12 inches more legroom than you would today.

You smoked all the cigarettes, pipes, and cigars you wanted… for the next 50 years. It wasn’t until 2000 that smoking was outlawed on all flights. Crazy.



About the Author : Elsie Sing


Elsie is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; her writing has appeared in a few university publications, under tables and on the sides of trains. She likes taking Polaroid pictures and planning rooftop picnics.