Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Things We No Longer See on Airplanes

I can't believe another month has come and gone, 2013 is flying by. I recently heard on Science Fantastic that the reason why you think time moves slowly when you're young is because you haven’t lives as long so the time makes up more of your life. For example one year for an 8 year old is 1/8th of his/her life where as one year for a 40 year old its only 1/40th of that person's life. Thought it was interesting.

Now, on to the travel stuff; here is a list of things you use to be able to experience on a plane. Air travel seemed so much more glamorous back in the day. For the full list and pictures click here.

1. Sleeping Berths
In the late 1940s, the Boeing Stratocruiser was described as being “just like the magic carpet.” Besides a beautifully appointed ladies’ lounge and reclining springy club chairs, every seat in the main cabin (not just first class) could be adjusted and manipulated to form enough sleeping berths to accommodate each passenger.

2. Pong
In the early 1980s, Continental Airlines outfitted some of their DC-10s with what they called a “Pub” which included a walk-up wet bar and circular tables surrounded by swivel chairs and a two-player Pong game.

3. Champagne in Coach
In the 1970s, Southern Airways billed itself as “Route of the Aristocrats” because of its policy of offering first-class touches to every passenger.

4. Table-side Meat Carving
Pan Am’s 707 Clippers used to offer restaurant-quality meals served seatside by an on-board chef on their trans-Atlantic flights.

5. Pianos
From 1970 to about 1974, American Airlines featured a piano lounge in the rear of their 747s. The instrument in question was a Wurlitzer electric piano that required frequent repairs due to over-enthusiastic music lovers spilling their cocktails on the keys. 

6. Flight Attendants in Hot Pants

7. Fresh Cut Flower Arrangements
Pan Am’s 707 Clipper was advertised as being “vibration-free,” so they could have fresh flower arrangements on every tray.

8. In-Flight Fashion Shows

In 1965 Braniff International hired fashion designer Emilio Pucci to create a versatile and colorful quick-change uniform for the air hostesses. Flight attendants welcomed passengers aboard in one outfit, then changed to another for the meal service, and then stripped down to oh-so-sexy culottes for the “let me change into something more comfortable to help you relax” portion of the flight.

9. Peruvian Art
Braniff, the fashion-forward airline also hired New Mexico architect Alexander Girard to brighten up their fleet. Girard incorporated a monochromatic color scheme in which each plane was painted one color, from a palette that featured selections such as Metallic Purple and Lemon Yellow. 

10. A Window at the End of Each Row of Seats
In the olden days the standard seat pitch in economy class was 34 inches, but today the average is closer to 31 inches. Once an airline buys a craft, they’re free to configure the seats inside however they please, and these days that means “crowded.” Seats are revenue-generators, so over the years companies have added more rows inside their planes, which means that sometimes even when you’re assigned an official window seat, you might get just a sliver of glass at the back of your shoulder.

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