Scenes From When Flying Was Still Civilised

Scenes From When Flying Was Still Civilised

There once was a Golden Age Of Flying. You didn’t have to queue up, strip down and surrender your drink to the Goon Squad. Meals were served on real plates instead of sad, soggy cardboard boxes. The act of travelling itself was a pleasant part of the journey — instead of a necessary act of mass-transit.

These conveniences still exist for the very rich, but there was a time when all of us had access to a fantastic world in the sky. That world is never coming back, but it’s still nice to look back and fondly remember.

Passengers in the observation car and lounge aboard the airship R-100, complete with awesome Lloyd Loom wicker dining chairs. November 1929.

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Waiter service aboard Imperial Airways ‘Scylla’ during its flight from London to Paris, circa 1935.

Source: J. B. Collingham/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Circa 1945.

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May 1946: SA class of TWA air hostesses selected to attend a course at the TWA headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri. They are about to receive instruction in grooming, charm, poise, conversational French and entertainment.

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Dancing with the Vickers V 700 Viscount, the latest commercial airliner of the British European Airways at Northolt airport, in 1949.

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Portable altar used to deliver mass to passengers and crew who may have missed church. Idlewild Airport, 1950.

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On board the world’s first jet airliner service, 1952.

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April 1952: Building sand castles in the play area at Northolt Airport

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Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner arriving in London. November 1952.

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A lounge compartment on an airliner, designed by Henry Dreyfuss, circa 1955.

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New York’s East Side Airlines Terminal, 1955.

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Chicago, 1956.

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The restaurant inside the Queen’s Building at London Airport (now Heathrow), 1956.

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Lunch aboard a BEA Vickers Viking passenger plane, 1958.

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Passengers aboard the new Comet 4. The BOAC plane flew from New York to London in under six and a half hours. Late 1950s.

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1960: A line-up of flight attendants who will serve on board the Concorde.

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The 1960s: Business travellers walking through the main lobby of Moisant International Airport, New Orleans, Louisiana.

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Flight attendant uniforms, United Airlines, 1968.

Source: San Diego Air & Space Museum Archives

1969: Concorde 002 flies over Nelson’s Column in London’s Trafalgar Square, and a French model with a hairstyle to match.

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This is how Russian spies were treated in 1969: Morris and Lona Cohen, who worked in London under the assumed names Peter and Helen Kroger, leave London’s Heathrow Airport on a BEA flight bound for Warsaw. Jailed in 1961 for their involvement with the Portland Spy Ring, they are being released in exchange for Gerald Brooke, a British citizen arrested in the Soviet Union.

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First class aboard a Boeing 747 in 1970.

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A Pan Am air hostess serving champagne in the first class cabin of a Boeing 747, 1970.

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Hugh Hefner, his girlfriend Barbi Benton, and the Playboy DC 9 jetliner are welcomed to Heathrow Airport, 1970.

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Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones plays a Thomas electric organ behind the bar on board a private Boeing 720B airliner known as ‘The Starship’, used by the band on its North American tour, 1973.

Source: Daily Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

8th March 1977: Muslim passengers waiting for flights at Terminal 3, Heathrow Airport, London, facing Mecca for prayers.

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British entrepreneur Richard Branson inaugurates his new airline Virgin Atlantic Airways, June 1984.

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