You Can’t Fly Home Again

The past is often romanticized and remembered more fondly than what it might deserve. But when it comes to air travel, it might actually be that the good ‘ole days really were better than the present state of the industry.

Over on the Business Traveller forums members share specific recollections of how air travel used to be. And in the process they paint a collective portrait of a mode of travel that, while it technically still exists, certainly has transformed into something altogether different.

A sampling of the “I remember when” posts from the thread:

I remember going to/from university on UA in 1966-68. Flight 647 from ORD to LAN in the evening was a DC-6 (4 engine prop) – all First Class (A). The rear of the UA DC-6 had a lounge with about 7 very comfortable seats around a circular table. Since the flight took one hour plus (props were slower), dinner was served on the flight – choice of filet mignon or lobster tail as the main course. And, of course, the fare for this flight using my student standby card (for those of us who remember those days) was a whopping US$7.82 ~RetiredLawyer

Free ciggies on the sideboard in the BA Exec lounge in CPH ~esselle

sitting facing my parents (table between us) who would only have to frown to make me stop doing whatever they thought I shouldn’t be doing. ~lloydah

The only onboard “service” from the cabin crew was their collection of passengers’ fares. Imagine, in those days passengers could board a plane without having bought a ticket. (Tickets were bought on board the flight). ~AMcWhirter

The Business Traveller forum is obviously UK-centric, but I’m certain they would invite others to post their own “remember when” air travel memories. Or, if you aren’t a member of the Business Traveller community and don’t have time to join right now, feel free to post your story in the comments below.

Read the thread in its entirety: I remember when…

Image: “Mum Takes A Trip – TWA 1969” by Barry Lewis. CC BY 2.0.

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