The Glory Days of Air Travel

Our Editors actually think we’re living through the glory days of air travel right now. Yes airport security is a hassle, of course we worry about safety, and the lines, well the lines are getting worse. Many would also add the reduced service from airlines in Economy, smaller seat width, less seat pitch and a distinct lack of food or wine in the back of the plane has forever changed the experience. And don’t even mention devaluations in loyalty programs and shrinking reward space. BUT aside form all of this, now is a pretty special time to travel… especially (and maybe only) if you’re in the premium cabins.

We think new planes like the 787 Dreamliner, the A350 and configurations of the A380 such as Emirates and Qatar with on board bars and lounges have upped the game immensely. You arrive faster, more rested and have more fun along the way. Want to shower on a long haul flight? Check, Emirates has you covered. Fancy a 3 room apartment in the sky? Yep, Etihad has made this a reality. Or are you just happy to have a lay flat seat?  Well by now, nearly all serious carriers offer a version of lay flat on long haul flights. See, this is a magical time to fly.

However we must confess we do have a certain romance for the early days of intercontinental passenger travel and the excitement that the jet age brought to the sky. That’s why we have compiled this picture essay of shots of travel back when people used to dress up for flights and we don’t mean putting on a fresh pair of sweat pants. 

Welcome to the real glory days or air travel. Scroll though and enjoy but before you start pining for how things used to be, just take a look at how much smoking was going on in the air and you’ll remember it wasn’t all wine and roses… though we do suspect there was a lot of wine consumed back in the day.