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I am sure that most of us on these discussion groups are old enough to remember the sexy airline stewardesses and the supposedly glamorous lives that they led back in the 1950s and 1960s. I remember seeing the movies that portrayed airline stewardesses as sexy women and the airline ads contributed to the image with ads saying "fly me" with a pretty woman inviting the men to board her plane.
I also remember the service you received on a flight back then. Men wore suits and ties (unless they were flying to Hawaii) when they boarded airplanes. One of the first commercial flights I took was when I had graduated from college and I had a job interview outside of New York City. I flew there on the "stockbroker special" that was run by Eastern Airlines (no longer flying) from Cleveland to La Guardia airport. My father took me to the airport early and the fight took off at 730 Am. It landed at La Guardia at 900 AM and I boarded a bus with all the other men to Grand Central Station in mid town Manhattan. From there the stock brokers took a train downtown to Wall Street and I took a train to Westchester County where my interview was held. The stock brokers would be on the floor of the NYSE when the opening bell rang at 1000 AM. On the return trip, I took the "martini flight" that left La Guardia at 600 PM and landed back in Cleveland at 730 PM.
On the morning flight, we got breakfast on the plane with bacon and eggs with plenty of coffee. On the return trip the stews came around and gave us drinks, as many as we could handle. Some of the guys spent the time before the flight in the club lounge at the airport for frequent flyers. Everyone on that flight was male and everyone wore a business suit, including myself. I was easily the youngest guy on that plane being only 22 years old and a new college graduate. When the plane landed in Cleveland, many of the guys getting off the plane were drunk. When my father picked me up, he said "I see that you enjoyed the martini flight".
My father flew a lot in his job so he was very familiar with air travel in the 1950s through the 1970s. There were times when it was myself picking up my father at the airport or accompanying my mother to pick him up after one of his business trips. That was the "Mad Men" era of martini flights and sexy stewardesses and passengers that were almost all male on planes.
Air travel then was expensive so it was mostly business travel and affluent retirees who traveled by air. My grandparents traveled by air a lot on their vacations and even then, my grandfather wore a suit and tie when he flew (except when he flew to Hawaii). Families couldn't afford to fly so when we took a vacation trip; we drove, even if it was cross country to the Rocky Mountains and took three days to get there. If you were travelling alone as a college student or a single person, you took a bus. The buses were full of women and children along with young people who couldn't afford the high cost of air travel.
Now it seems that the bus crowd has taken to the air as air fares have come down to earth. Meals on planes have gone the way of leaded gasoline. Now you may have to pay extra to have a pillow. Drinks are still served on planes, but you have to pay for them unless you are travelling in first class.
Read the article at this link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41236856/ns/travel-business_travel/