Over the years, air travel has changed a lot. Flying will always be exciting because it is a means to get to new places or locations not accessible by cars or other methods of transportation. However, boarding a flight is not the luxury occasion it once was.
Not all of the changes to the industry are negative, though. There have been a lot of modifications that make flying more safe and affordable for the average person. So, we put together a list with some incredible photos that show how different flying is today. You will have to be the judge of whether catching a plane now is better than it was in the "Golden Age" of flying.
20 You Boarded The Plane From The Tarmac
When people started flying, they boarded planes from the tarmac. It was not a pleasant experience to carry luggage up a flight of stairs in the blistering cold or sweltering heat. Today, jetbridges provide comfort to passengers boarding their flights by keeping them out of the weather.
19 Flight Attendants Were Mostly Women
Traditionally, pilots were male, and flight attendants were female. However, there has been a significant shift in this position over the years. In the past, all flight attendants were called stewardesses, which is a gender-biased term. No one calls them that anymore, though. Today, anyone can become a flight attendant.
18 Flying Was Pretty Luxurious
Most planes were pretty nice back in the early days. Flying was costly and only the wealthy could really afford to travel on a regular basis. However, with the extra expense, you were able to enjoy some luxuries you will not see on a regular flight anymore.
17 There Was Less Technology Onboard
You did not have access to cell phones and other modern luxuries when you flew in the old days. You could not make business calls on the go or access wifi on the plane. You had to wait until you arrived to take care of any pressing tasks.
16 Babies Were Stored Overhead
We are so thankful air travel no longer involves infants riding in "sky cots." In the past, babies flew in these hammock-like contraptions attached to overhead bins with claw-like clamps. Traveling with an infant on your lap might not be comfortable, but it seems much safer.
15 People Used To Dress Up When They Flew
Flying in the "Golden Age" of air travel people dressed in their finest clothes. You did not see people wearing sweats and tennis shoes because catching a flight was like attending a fine dinner or cocktail party and people wanted to look their best.
14 There Was A Lot More Leg Room On Planes
No matter where you sat, you had ample legroom. There were not as many passengers, so planes had fewer seats. With fewer seats, there was more room for you to stretch out and get comfortable for the duration of your flight, which made the experience more enjoyable.
13 Overhead Compartments Were Open
Open overhead compartments are another thing we are happy the airline industry left in the past. The design does not make much sense since flight crew members warn passengers to be careful when opening the overhead compartments because luggage may shift in flight.
12 There Were Not As Many Passengers On Flights
Years ago, you might be on board a plane with very few other passengers, and you never had to worry about getting bumped from your flight. Now, every position on the aircraft holds someone, and an airline might even ask you to give up your seat due to overbooking.
11 There Were A Lot Less People At The Airport
Fewer people flying meant there were not as many people at the airport. So, you did not have to arrive two hours early to make it to the gate on time. You did have to check-in at a ticket counter, but with so few people, it did not take long.
10 Planes Had Different Seating Configurations
Strange seating configurations were not uncommon on planes in the past. There were usually a few rows of seating, as well as groups of seats. Seating assignments were not as strict either, and some planes even had couches or lounge areas with open space.
9 Passengers Were Offered More Amenities For Comfort
You can request a pillow and blanket on some flights, but these amenities are rarely available. If an aircraft does carry them, they usually only have a few onboard. In the past, airlines provided these and many other amenities for every passenger.
8 The Food Was Actually Good
Flying used to include a decent meal that few passengers turned down. Now, if you are lucky enough to have an inflight meal, it is likely not one you will enjoy. Airlines started cutting cost by eliminating the quality meals they once served to every passenger.
7 There Were Piano Lounges On Planes
At one time, there were piano lounges on planes. These were areas where you could mix and mingle with other passengers. Or, you could enjoy a beverage and snacks on the way to your destination. Today, you only find things like this on top-tier international flights.
6 You Were Served A Full Meal Inflight
Gone are the days when you can expect a full meal on a plane. On a domestic flight, you are lucky to get a bag of pretzels. On longer trips or in first class, you might get a bit more, but nothing like the multi-course meal passengers years ago enjoyed.
5 You Were Free To Move Around The Cabin
If you have flown recently, you know, the pilot rarely turns off the fasten seatbelt sign. In contrast, in the past, you could move about the cabin more freely. Almost anytime you chose, you could make a trip to the restroom or stretch your legs.
4 Every Seat Was a Good Seat
Sure, some seats were better than others. However, nearly every place on the plane was comfortable. You were not crammed into tight spots like passengers are today. Plus, with so few passengers on the flight, if you did not like your seat, you could choose a different one.
3 Inflight Entertainment Is Much Different
Now, nearly every plane has a screen for each passenger to enjoy an array of entertainment options. On flights in the past, you were lucky to have an inflight movie, and if you did, everyone on the plane had to watch the same film on the same television.
2 The Flight Crew Catered To You
Flying used to be all about the passenger. You got what you wanted when you flew. Today, this is not the case. You get what you get, and you better not complain about it. If you do, the airline will gladly kick you off the plane.
1 You Were Allowed To Visit The Cockpit
Long gone are the days when passengers could visit the cockpit of the plane during a flight. That is right; you used to be able to visit the cockpit while the plane was in the air. However, new regulations now restrict passengers from entering this restricted area.