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Airline Bags From The 1970s  
User currently offlineSmithAir747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1751 posts, RR: 26
Posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5177 times:

I have seen many airline ads from the 1970s, and have seen many of those leather-type or cloth bags emblazoned with airline logos and names.

What were they used for? Were they the early "carry-on" bags? Did both men and women use them, or were they mainly for women? Did all airlines have them, and how did passengers get them? I don't see them anymore now, except in retro-clothes stores or antique shops.

Please let me know what these were for.

I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineL1011 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1727 posts, RR: 8
Reply 1, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5060 times:

They were small carry-on bags that were sold to the public in airport shops. I had an Eastern bag, a United bag, and an Aer Lingus bag. I wanted to replace them when they wore out, but they were no longer available. I don't know why they stopped making them. I'd love to buy one again.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA

Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
User currently offlineNtspelich From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 764 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 5048 times:

B6 currently offers one, or at least a modern-day knock-off:

B6 bag from B6 Store

I know that some of the trendier young women's clothing stores also have knock-offs of the originals. I swear I saw a Pan-Am one in some store. (A small glimmer of excitement in an otherwise dreadful day of shopping with my ex.)

United 717 heavy, you're facing the wrong way. Any chance you can powerback to get off of my deice pad?
User currently offlineClassicLover From Ireland, joined Mar 2004, 4963 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 4979 times:

You can get them on eBay.

I bought an original 1960s Qantas bag for about $40 about 6 months ago. I use it as my carry-on luggage now. It's retro chic!

Some bags are quite naff (especially the 70s and 80s ones), but the 1960s ones from BOAC, Qantas and Pan Am are all quite attractive.

The Qantas one I have has a picture of a 707 on it, and the Qantas logo and the words, "Australia's Round-The-World Airline". It's all quite cool really!


I do quite enjoy a spot of flying - more so when it's not in Economy!
User currently offlineConvair990 From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 162 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4910 times:

I had a Northwest Orient bag (from around the late '70's to early '80's, one side had a view of a DC-10 and the other, a 747) it was given to me about 15 years ago as a gift, but unfortunately the heavy usage I had on it did it's toll over time.

I also had a Air Canada bag I bought at YYZ around 1987, but that's now gone as well.  Sad

The University of Georgia Bulldogs are girlie men!!
User currently offlineCarduelis From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2001, 1586 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4889 times:

In the 60s BOAC gave away these bags to every passenger booking a First Class ticket. I believe the other majors did the same. However, there were no overhead lockers then - just an open 'hat rack'!

In those days cabin baggage was strictly restricted only to items needed during your flight! Even today, I still only carry a small Concorde leather bag with just my toilet essentials and my ticket wallet!

I hate it nowdays when some pax bring on around four or five large items of 'cabin baggage' and spend ages trying to stow it, often blocking access in the aisle, before and after the flight! Ugh!

Per Ardua ad Astra! ........ Honi Soit Qui Mal y Pense!
User currently offlineDIA From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3273 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4852 times:

I have a JAL bag from the 1970s. I just used it on my most recent trip a couple weeks ago: DEN-LAX-SFO-LAX-DEN. I'll tell you, I had quite a few travelers that took note, and one even asked if it was an original. . .but of course!

As I sat at an A^A gate at LAX, I noticed two JAL 744s at the International Terminal. . .one with JALs new look (no crane) and one with the the last livery (w/crane). It has taken many years to phase out the famous crane. . .which is proudly displayed as the centerpiece of (one) of my flight bags.

Pesonally, I think it adds a bit of interest and color into our everyday bump-and-grind trips by air. And they make one heck of a carry-on these days.
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Photo © George Polfliet

Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
User currently offlinePHLBOS From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 7634 posts, RR: 21
Reply 7, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4841 times:

Back in the early 70s, my older brother used a dark blue PanAm bag to carry his clothes to day camp. I think the bag originally belonged to one of my parents, they purchased it for probably around the time they went to London on vacation.

Unfortunately, the bag was lost within a week or so. Some clothing and a towel were later recovered in the Lost & Found; but the bag was never seen again.

"TransEastern! You'll feel like you've never left the ground because we treat you like dirt!" SNL Parady ad circa 1981
User currently offlineCtbarnes From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3491 posts, RR: 47
Reply 8, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4827 times:

I had a large Northwest Orient flight bag that I purchased about 1979. I had it for about 10 years or so unti it wore out. It was the best carry-on bag I ever had; loads of space, easy to pack and an outside pocket I could store a portfolio in. I wish someone would start making them again; I'd buy another one in a minute!

Charles, SJ

The customer isn't a moron, she is your wife -David Ogilvy
User currently offlineDIA From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3273 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4813 times:

Thought I'd reflect on what ClassicLover stated above. . .because I'm sure there are quite a few a.netters who would want one of these flight bags being discussed here:

You can find most, if not all, of your long lost flight bags and/or bags from airlines that you would be interested in owning. . .just go to ebay. I just went to check out what they have had lately, here's how: (after you type in a search for "airlines bag" or for "airways bag" depending on what airline(s) you are targeting, do a "completed items" search to see what has been available on the market lately. . .I'll bet you find the exact bag you remember, or are wanting. After that, keep checking the current items are until you find your bag and bid away.

By the way, I have the "red" background JAL bag. . .there is also a "navy blue" background available.

And yes, most of the bags that you find on ebay are original! Check the seller's information before you purchase to verify the bag's authenticity of course.

Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
User currently offlineSpike From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1170 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4810 times:

I had a british caledonian, zambia airways, british airways and Alitalia bags. Lovely to draw on with a biro.

User currently offlineSingaporegirl From Singapore, joined Oct 2000, 302 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 4805 times:

yes, you can definately get them on ebay. i have a few vintage singapore airlines carry-on bags myself that i bring on my flights, they're brilliant! the other thing that i miss is the fact that most airlines and hotels no longer make their own stickers. it's so cool to have louis vuitton trunk luggages covered with those travel stickers. cheers.

Ladies & Gentlemen, we will now demonstrate the use of the safety equipment on this aircraft...
User currently offlineATAflyer From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 79 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (11 years 7 months 4 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 4728 times:

I collect them, since I remembered buying them in airport shops as a kid in the 70's...they are available on eBay, sure...but some of my favorite treasures I have found in Salvation Army stores and Goodwill shops across the country. I am still wanting to fly down to MIA and look in the used stores there, since that is where National, Eastern and Pan Am had their hubs. Should be an airline-collector paradise!
Btw, 2 of my favorite bags I bought when DFW first opened in 1974, with Braniff International emblazened on the sides!

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