Topic Author
Posts: 1731
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2004 3:30 am

Airline Bags From The 1970s

Tue Oct 05, 2004 8:14 pm

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)
Posts: 2144
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 8:02 am

RE: Airline Bags From The 1970s

Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:11 am

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
Posts: 740
Joined: Tue Aug 05, 2003 2:35 am

RE: Airline Bags From The 1970s

Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:17 am

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 avatar
Posts: 4092
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 12:27 pm

RE: Airline Bags From The 1970s

Wed Oct 06, 2004 1:24 pm

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 enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 2:08 am

RE: Airline Bags From The 1970s

Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:28 pm

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!!
Posts: 1388
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2001 8:24 pm

RE: Airline Bags From The 1970s

Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:54 pm

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!
Posts: 3053
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

RE: Airline Bags From The 1970s

Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:58 pm

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.
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George Polfliet

Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
Posts: 6510
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 6:38 am

RE: Airline Bags From The 1970s

Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:03 am

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
Posts: 3269
Joined: Thu Mar 30, 2000 2:20 pm

RE: Airline Bags From The 1970s

Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:15 am

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
Posts: 3053
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

RE: Airline Bags From The 1970s

Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:20 am

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.
Posts: 1110
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 1:08 am

RE: Airline Bags From The 1970s

Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:22 am

I had a british caledonian, zambia airways, british airways and Alitalia bags. Lovely to draw on with a biro.
Posts: 288
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2000 5:49 am

RE: Airline Bags From The 1970s

Thu Oct 07, 2004 12:30 am

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...
Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Jul 17, 2004 10:10 pm

RE: Airline Bags From The 1970s

Thu Oct 07, 2004 4:56 am

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!
A better way to fly

Popular Searches On

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos