A Photo-Flashback to the Era of Fun Flying
July 28, 2009 12:06 PM   Subscribe

Retro Stewardesses (Photography) A very cool compilation of photography and images of flight attendants from the past to present. I really do miss the Golden Era of flying....now all you have to look forward to are cancellations, lost luggage, and paying for your in-flight meal.
posted by TonyDanza (22 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Looks like we've seen most of this previously. -- cortex



 
Eh, I don't think this is the "golden era" of anything. Flying is more utilitarian now than in the 1960s but 1)there tend to me more options and more flights per day to more destinations and 2)the idea that you're flying somewhere makes you glamorous is very much expired.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:10 PM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ah, good stuff.

Late 70's, a flight out of O'Hare to Tampa used to mean new clothes, little bags full of toys and other fun stuff for us. I can still remember an attendant doing some neat tricks with dry ice to amuse my brother and me.

Do they still give out little plastic wings to the kids? That used to be the highlight of any flight aboard Eastern or Delta for us when we were small.
posted by jquinby at 12:12 PM on July 28, 2009


Golden Era for (White, Male) Passengers
posted by DU at 12:13 PM on July 28, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yay! A trip down memory lane to a time when women were all compliant, attractive servants with a certain implied sexual availability. (Unless they were your mother.)
posted by scratch at 12:13 PM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Very interesting from a historical perspective, but certainly not a time worth reliving. Give me utility any day. Southwest is as good as it gets in the US, since you buy a ticket, show up, get on the fucking plane and go.

On another point, this image from the first part of the series: What is that plane. I need 2 kno.
posted by odinsdream at 12:13 PM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't think they do the wings thing anymore, or at least on the recent flight I was on they didn't pass any out to the kids.
posted by TonyDanza at 12:14 PM on July 28, 2009


My god, you mean at one time, people were able to sit comfortably on an airplane, with legs slightly extended, and enough elbow room to read a newspaper?

As a six-and-a-half-foot-tall person, I'm truly sorry I missed those days.
posted by jbickers at 12:15 PM on July 28, 2009


Huh. I had no idea that "Mohawk Airlines" was a real airline; I thought they were a figment of the Mad Men writers' imaginations. Live and learn.

As to the site; some interesting stuff, but the lack of info to go with the images makes it a bit thin.
posted by yoink at 12:16 PM on July 28, 2009


No kidding, DU. A lot of today's attendants don't miss the Golden Era of forced weigh-ins, requirement to remain single, mandatory makeup and girdle wearing, and mandatory retirement by age 32.
posted by Miko at 12:16 PM on July 28, 2009 [4 favorites]


link

Agree with yoink - cool images, but would be better with context other than 'sexy'.
posted by Miko at 12:17 PM on July 28, 2009


I had no idea that "Mohawk Airlines" was a real airline; I thought they were a figment of the Mad Men writers' imaginations.

Hey, I just watched that episode of Mad Men last night. Catching up on Season 2 before Season 3 starts in a few weeks.
posted by ericb at 12:18 PM on July 28, 2009


I think the wings went out with Eastern Airlines.

International travel still has some luxury and glamor, even in cattle class. It's just practical business sense to make sure passengers are well-fed and entertained with 1000 movies on demand. If you fly an Asian carrier the female attendants are still dressed like objects. Also, domestic travel in the US really isn't long enough to merit pampering. You may think a 3 hour cross-country flight is a long haul but once you've crossed the Pacific a few times, with connections, that next flight to LA will seem like a quick bus ride downtown.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:21 PM on July 28, 2009


As horrible as sexism is, it really pales in comparison to the injustice of those hats.
posted by munchingzombie at 12:22 PM on July 28, 2009


Lest we forget how Southwest Airlines functioned as the Hooters of the airline industry, back in the 1970s.
posted by jonp72 at 12:23 PM on July 28, 2009


A lot of today's attendants don't miss the Golden Era of forced weigh-ins, requirement to remain single, mandatory makeup and girdle wearing, and mandatory retirement by age 32.

Not to mention inequitable pay and quite open sexual harassment. For those women who were hired--never-married white women between 18 and 24. OH THOSE GOLDEN DAYS!
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:24 PM on July 28, 2009




What is that plane. I need 2 kno.

It's either a 747 (Boeing) or an L1011 (Lockheed)

I do remember flight in this era. People dressed up to fly, so although the seats were wider and you had leg room (like I needed it, I was a kid) you were also in scratchy tights or stockings, or a suit and tie.

I remember once, at O'Hare, the wind was blowing so hard we almost lost my little sister. That's right, no Jetway's, just stairs from the tarmac to the plane.

Also, the cost to fly was astronomical. You only did it in emergencies or if there was no other way.

I do miss some of the old airlines though, PSA in particular. Best regional airline ever. They had a nice sense of humor about themselves and the crews were super-friendly.

If you want a real blast from the past, read "Coffee, Tea or Me." When I was a kid I thought it made being a stewardess seem so glamourous.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:24 PM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Singapore Airline uniforms are awesome. They were designed by some famous French designer back in the 60s and they have been in use ever since. They don't seem particularly scandalous.

On the other hand, the fact that they only hire super hot ladies to be flight attendants is probably something to get more worked up about.
posted by chunking express at 12:29 PM on July 28, 2009


Re: Eastern, I followed that wikipedia link and read this bit towards the bottom of the article (emphasis mine):
On June 24, 1975, Eastern Air Lines Flight 66 (a Boeing 727) crashed into the runway approach lights, as it penetrated a thunderstorm which was astride the ILS localizer course line to that runway, at JFK in New York City, killing 113 people. The official cause of the accident was a sudden high rate of descent, caused by severe downdrafts from the thunderstorm, and the continued use of that runway by both flight crews and ATC, after they became aware of the location of that hazardous weather. The aircraft hit a motorcyclist on impact, and ABA basketball star Wendell Ladner was one of the passengers killed in the crash. Most of the deceased were killed by fire after impact rather than the crash itself. The two flight attendants in the rear of the plane survived the fire because they were doused with the liquid contents of the rear lavatories, which kept them alive. The aircraft that landed on the same runway just prior to EAL Flight 66 was another Eastern aircraft, an L-1011, that managed to fight through the wind shear by having both pilots put their feet on the instrument panel and pulling back on the wheel with all of their strength. After landing, they radioed the tower to close that runway, but it was too late for EAL Flight 66.
Holy mackeral!
posted by jquinby at 12:30 PM on July 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


The following images are taken either from the advertisements, promotions, films, or exhibition events. The girls shown here are not stewardesses in real life... but the image they convey is worth experiencing

In this part of the blog, we've decided to dispense with any remaining pretense of historical educational value, and instead to simply show you some really bangin' tits.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:31 PM on July 28, 2009


The Singapore Airline uniforms are awesome. They were designed by some famous French designer back in the 60s and they have been in use ever since. They don't seem particularly scandalous.


They're probably the most reveling of any uniforms out there. Plenty of cleavage and the skirt hem is open all the way up to the upper thigh. And yes, most all of the females are model-gorgeous. What's telling is that the male flight attendants (several on each flight and there as much for security as pouring sodas) all wear power suits.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:33 PM on July 28, 2009


Regarding the Golden Age of Flying...what were the ticket prices in today's dollars, adjusted for inflation? Because I bet that if you spent that amount on a flight today, you'd be flying a better airline, in a better seat, with better service...thereby negating the complaint about the difference between then and now.

However, I loves me some pics of cute 70s stewardesses. There oughta be a porn site.
posted by Kickstart70 at 12:34 PM on July 28, 2009


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