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Vintage Airline Ads: When Flying Was Fun

By Edited Dec 20, 2013 0 0

United Airlines

Remember the good old days, when airlines treated their passengers well? When they spent more time plying you with free booze and less time confiscating your toothpaste? When legroom was free and screaming children didn’t scream because they were too busy playing Electronic Pub Pong in the lounge?

As you may have noticed, those days are over. Instead of enjoying each and every delicious moment in the air, we count the seconds until we can get the heck off the plane, check into our bed and breakfast and shower off the plane grunge. How depressing.

Take me Along (I Love You Little Cutie but the Office is My Duty)

According to this 1960s United Airlines ad, men had bachelor parties in the sky while their wives stayed home and choreographed seizure-inducing dance numbers.

We Really Move Our Tail for You

In 1982, United Airlines stewardesses made “your every wish come true.” That included, but was not limited to, seat-side salad tossing, hat storing and button sewing.

Nancy's First Day

Another 1982 United Airlines gem.

The Air Strip

In 1965, Emilio Pucci designed interchangeable uniforms for Braniff International Airways “Hostesses.” Dubbed the “air strip,” the poor flight attendants had to undergo numerous wardrobe changes, which included a space helmet for boarding, an apron dress for serving meals, and a culotte "lounging outfit" for the remainder of the flight and passenger disembarkation. Why all the fuss? Well, according to Braniff, “Even an airline hostess should look like a girl.”

Extreme Trust, Circa 1972

Before you get all offended, this flight attendant IS wearing pants. Hot pants.

But outfit aside, one does have to wonder how many takes they had to do until they got this shot right. This commercial requires some serious trust.

Wide Body DC-10...We'll Show You

A buffet? Linen tableclothes? The best of the old time serials? PUB PONG? These days, you’re lucky to get a pack of stale snack mix and a half-can of Coke.

The  award-winning “Polynesian Pubs” were removed after the 1973 oil crisis, when fuel prices soared and airlines needed to cram as many people on board as possible to make it worth their while.

And if case you think that spokesdude looks familiar, it’s Nicholas Hammond, star of The Amazing Spider-Man. He also played Friedrich in the Sound of Music, if that’s more up your alley.



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