When air travel was glam
April 24, 2006 2:46 PM   Subscribe

Air France: Apparently abandoning any pretence that traveling economy in the back of an A330 is an enticing experience, they've launched this site which looks back at the days when women wore fur, men smoked pipes and air travel was glamorous. Quite a few nice little movie vignettes of life chez Air France from the ‘50’s and ‘60’s.
posted by marvin (22 comments total)
actually, Air France is the only airline with any vestige of decency in economy class (they call it "tempo").
Self serve sandwiches, snacks and drinks, free booze, magazines and newspapers.
The seat pitch could be more generous, but then again, American Airlines now charges 1 dollar for headsets on 11 hour international flights..
posted by Fupped Duck at 3:01 PM on April 24, 2006

Tres bien, merci!
posted by schoolgirl report at 3:02 PM on April 24, 2006

Awesome. And a perfect illustration of why Daniel Pinkwater doesn't fly--it's not the fear, it's the fact that it's no longer a sexy form of travel.
posted by bardic at 3:20 PM on April 24, 2006

Jesus christ, where's the SOUND OFF button?!
posted by afx114 at 3:31 PM on April 24, 2006

Cool site - thanks for the link. I always wanted to fly on a Constellation or at least one of these but, sigh, I'm happy with what I can get.
posted by Staggering Jack at 3:47 PM on April 24, 2006

it's no longer a sexy form of travel
I remember the era when cabin crew were there for comfort & service. Then at some point in the late 70s or early 80s, presumably because of the growing stigma of service jobs, they became all fixated on safety and efficiency. What's wrong with having a waitress in the sky if I appreciate the job they do?
posted by rolypolyman at 3:49 PM on April 24, 2006

To quote Basil Fawlty: "Ah! For-MIDD-abble!"
posted by gimonca at 3:59 PM on April 24, 2006

Anybody knows the title of the guitar soundtrack ?
posted by elpapacito at 4:07 PM on April 24, 2006

Warning: lame flash site, annoying background music.
posted by signal at 4:58 PM on April 24, 2006

It wasn't the safety and efficiency fixation. It was the 1970s deregulation that brought down the price of airline tickets. Back then there was an emphasis on comfort and service because you were paying through the nose for it.
posted by junesix at 5:06 PM on April 24, 2006

Well, the first aircraft I flew on was one of these. Not a Canadian one, though. I took the hop from Lydd, Kent to Beauvais, France. 7,000 feet all the way, right through a stubborn belt of thundercloud. Bouncy bouncy....
posted by Decani at 5:08 PM on April 24, 2006

Thanks for the cool link. Shame about the bad interface.
posted by keijo at 6:22 PM on April 24, 2006

I have relatives who still refuse to get on a plane in anything less than a sport coat and tie.
posted by caddis at 6:49 PM on April 24, 2006

That's kinda funny because a few weeks ago I was debating whether to wear shorts & T-shirt on the plane. For some reason I got this fixation that it would be too trashy looking (maybe because I did most of my flying in the 70s and 80s) and just wore the business attire I brought. But there were actually quite a few people going ultra-casual.
posted by rolypolyman at 6:58 PM on April 24, 2006

Staggering Jack: Northern Air Cargo still flies this old bucket between SEA and ANC. ;-)
posted by drstein at 8:46 PM on April 24, 2006

Cool - Northern Air Cargo it is then for all my flights to Anchorage. I'm sure their "live animal shipping" can't be worse than some Delta flights I've been on.
posted by Staggering Jack at 10:22 PM on April 24, 2006

Casinos are similar - once upon a time, they were dressy places, now they're not.

I don't think it has anything to do with declining dress standards, but to do with it becoming a normal part of everyday life, instead of a new, rare, and exotic thing.

So... what things today are new, rare, and exotic, such that people dress for them?
posted by -harlequin- at 8:55 AM on April 25, 2006

Hmmm, with commercial space flight just barely starting to show signs of life, would that be what people consider glamorous these days? Or is it nerdy?
posted by -harlequin- at 9:00 AM on April 25, 2006

Let's face facts... flying isn't really fun, anymore. It's not. And I'm not going to pretend that it is.

What do I wear to fly?

Summer: Shorts, Sandles, T-Shirt
Winter: Jeans, Tennis Shoes, Hoodie

Why? Because when I am going through security, I want to be able to get my shoes off, on the belt, and through the detector as fast as possible. And it would just be super if the 20 people in front of me would do the same. Have your laptop out, take your shoes off, and get through.

Business Class is more like stockade class, and I'm going to dress for it. One time, I had a fly in fly out same day trip, I wore my dress clothes. I was uncomfortable, and I was sweating. Next time, I'll just change in the restroom before going to a meeting.
posted by benjh at 10:53 AM on April 25, 2006

I'd like to disagree (and I'm aware this is purely subjective) with statements such as
lame flash site
Shame about the bad interface.

I usually avoid flash like the plague, but I found this a strangely enticing site and loved the use of flash. Who needs a TV when there's stuff like this? (how I wish I could show this to my mum - alas she's on ISDN...)
posted by ClarissaWAM at 3:41 PM on April 25, 2006

The mannequin-dressing in the uniform section was fun, but I wish there was a way to view the photos without successfully dressing the mannequin to match.
posted by etoile at 9:56 AM on April 26, 2006

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