BigGSFO
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Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Thu Feb 28, 2013 7:25 pm

Interesting article in Gizmodo today:

Scenes from when flying was still civilized
http://gizmodo.com/5987350/scenes-from-when-flying-was-still-civilized

Times are sure different these days. Granted more people can fly for less money to more places, but the experience is so different than it was back in the so-called "golden age."

Enjoy!
 
aloges
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:00 pm

Quote:
There once was a Golden Age Of Flying. You didn't have to queue up, strip down, and surrender your beverage to the Goon Squad. Meals were served on real plates instead of sad, soggy cardboard boxes. The act of traveling itself was a pleasant part of the journey—instead of a necessary act of mass-transit. These conveniences still exist for the very rich, but there was a time when all of us had access to a fantastic world in the sky.

Where on Earth did they get that idea?   I'd much rather be able to fly on a small budget, yet still in near perfect safety, than pay a fortune for a ride on a lavish airship that has a decent chance of ending up a contorted wreck somwhere in the countryside.
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Birdwatching
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:19 pm

Quoting BigGSFO (Thread starter):
when flying was still civilized

Are you kidding? Every single one of those photos reek of cigarette smoke. No thanks. You can talk about the "golden age" of airline travel all you want, I wouldn't want to go back to those times if I had the chance.

Flying in an aircraft full of stinking smokers and paying a fortune. No thanks. I've said it before, the golden age of airline travel is... TODAY.

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707lvr
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:24 pm

I guess it's heartening in a sense to realize that (many, most?) young people think this mess of a world today is better than when life was less safe and smelled bad sometimes.
 
aloges
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Thu Feb 28, 2013 8:47 pm

Quoting 707lvr (Reply 3):
I guess it's heartening in a sense to realize that (many, most?) young people think this mess of a world today is better than when life was less safe and smelled bad sometimes.

Well... the world has always been a mess, hasn't it? Sometimes it's a huge one, sometimes a slightly smaller one. And I really wouldn't want to go back to the days when cigarettes and flammable interiors caused disastrous on-board fires (such as Varig 820), highjackers were a considerable threat and navigation errors got you shot down from time to time (KAL 902 and 007). I also like the fact that I don't have to save up for ages to afford a short hop to, say, London and back.
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Thu Feb 28, 2013 11:34 pm

Quoting BigGSFO (Thread starter):
Times are sure different these days. Granted more people can fly for less money to more places, but the experience is so different than it was back in the so-called "golden age."

pay similar inflation adjusted fares and one will travel better today. Neat photos,

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 2):
Are you kidding? Every single one of those photos reek of cigarette smoke.

I like the pilot playing with kids with a pipe (unlit). I would never go back to the era where tobacco smoke was a weak attempt to cover up body odor.

Quoting 707lvr (Reply 3):

I guess it's heartening in a sense to realize that (many, most?) young people think this mess of a world today is better than when life was less safe and smelled bad sometimes.

Bring back horses! Then we can really have a high transportation fatality rate... Those darn young people not appreciating inhaling particulate and expecting sound insulation. Ahh... We wouldn't have people complaining about certain body issues if we used the old aircraft lubricants and went through the old aircraft vibration...

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 2):
I've said it before, the golden age of airline travel is... TODAY.

Concur. In particular for long haul (> 5000nm).

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tharanga
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:15 am

"These conveniences still exist for the very rich, but there was a time when all of us had access to a fantastic world in the sky. "

A ridiculous quote from the webpage. Who exactly does the author think are the passengers in those old pictures? Does he think those are working class people, paying the real equivalent of today's cheap economy fares?
 
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longhauler
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:20 am

The only thing I see civilized in those pictures is that the passengers (and crew) considered it a privilege to travel by air ... not a right.

I would consider today's First Class, (and Business Class) to be superior to anything offered in the 1950s or 1960s. Imagine sitting in a seat of an L1049 vibrating your way across the Atlantic staring straight ahead ... at nothing. Nothing to do but eat and read.
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:20 am

Quoting tharanga (Reply 6):
"These conveniences still exist for the very rich, but there was a time when all of us had access to a fantastic world in the sky. "

Put it in perspective. It's been 12 years since a mainline commercial jet crashed in the US. Back in the golden days when flying was still civilized, crashes were regular occurrences. LAX had two fatal crashes in a 3 day period in 1969 (SK DC-8 and UA 727). Sure wish we could go back to those days and not the uncivilized days when one has to stop and think for awhile when was the last time there was a commercial airplane crash in the Western world.
 
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:39 am

Quoting tharanga (Reply 6):
A ridiculous quote from the webpage.

   Gizmodo is part of Gawker Media, which is an unabashedly left wing outlet. A lot of what they write is very entertaining, and I read Deadspin and Jalopnik pretty much everyday, but you have to understand that there's sometimes a lens applied to the content. Some things on Gawker are pretty much yellow journalism.
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:55 am

It is true that in the 60s and 70s the flying was a high point of the journey and/or vacation. And it is true that the safety of current flights is an improvement. Why would anyone deny either statement?
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Senchingo
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:02 am

(Ladies (if there are any) and) Gentlemen,

you are comparing apples to oranges here.

I don't compare smartphones to 1940's method of calling someone. Or a hybrid-intelligent-accident-avoiding-driver-supporting-tire-pressure-measuring car to a 1910 built Ford Model T. Or 3D-internet-wifi-hand-move-capture TV's to something that simply didn't exist those days.

For me, the "golden age" of air travelling were the 60-70's. I'm not going to talk about things like "the rich could afford it and it was supposed to be so" or "smoking was allowed" or "you got real service" (that would cause too much discussions for sure). It was simply the kind of glamour and feeling that came along with air travel. It was so much more than today's cheap cheap mass mass kind of travelling. It was a real experience, something that you could talk about with friends and relatives and it caused an impressed "wow" in the round. Today, everyone is travelling now and then and ultra long haul trips for vacation are kind of a normal thing to do for everyone.

Talking like that, one might imagine grandpa sitting in his chair with the pipe in his mouth, which made me think: Is there any average about the age of a.net users? Would be of my interest.
 
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seabosdca
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:21 am

Completely ridiculous. The 1980s, the last part of this supposed "golden age," were the time when I flew the most frequently. And today's experience is vastly superior, for (adjusted for inflation) much less money.

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 2):
Are you kidding? Every single one of those photos reek of cigarette smoke. No thanks.

     

Quoting tharanga (Reply 6):
A ridiculous quote from the webpage. Who exactly does the author think are the passengers in those old pictures? Does he think those are working class people, paying the real equivalent of today's cheap economy fares?

   There's a reason it used to be called the "jet set."
 
macsog6
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:21 am

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 2):
the golden age of airline travel is... TODAY.

I am old enough to have flown in most of these pictures. I took my first flight in 1948, although I don't recall it as I was a mere eight weeks old, but do recall other flights during the "golden age". Yes, there were somethings that were better, I suppose, but air travel was reserved for the few, not for the population in general. It was so rare that I was quite envied by my schoolmates as I flew five or six times a year thanks to my father's job.

Flights were viewed as being quite risky (look at the safety numbers), expensive, and - while fast compared to boats and trains - not as comfortable as boats and trains were. Before the jet age when the propliners flew at lower altitiudes, air sickness was quite common. My sister almost always was sick from the chop you usually encountered.

And by today's standards, the flights were quite long in duration. Going from Frankfurt, to London, then to Shannon, then across to Gander and finally down to New York took about 24 hours. I never crossed the Pacific during this time, but I imagine things were not much different.

Now I fly to LAX, hop on the direct SQ flight to SIN, and make it half way around the world in about 18 hours and safety of the flight is only something I consider when making my personal evacuation plan. And I will tell you this, SQ's inflight service is ever bit as good was Pan Am's was in 1953 from what I and my sister recall.

The Golden Age of Flight is right now. Go buy a ticket, put up with the hassle - if you think today is bad, try going through immigration in 1953 when visas were required for almost everywhere and every border required a baggage inspection - of TSA, and enjoy the flight. You'll be doing it better than anyone ever has before.

Happy Flying!
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Quokkas
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:41 am

The problem with sites that basically republish ads from the airlines is that it helps to perpetuate a myth. While in its infancy and early years flying may have been a novel thrill, the idea that it was all luxury is mistaken. Then, just like now, if you wanted luxury you paid for it. By concentrating on photos published by the airlines, all we get to see is how passengers in First were treated. It's the same when people wax lyrical about the glamour of ocean liners. How come there are no photos of what things were like in third/ steerage/ economy? Then, as now, the Golden Age was restricted to a few.

For those who want a bit of "glamour" or luxury, the airlines still offer extras that in many ways are superior to past offerings. Travel in First on leading airlines and you will have: a private reception for check-in; first class lounges featuring fine dining, spas and masseuse; separate jet bridge so that you don't mingle with those who can't afford it; a private suite on board; à la carte on-demand dining or "book ther chef" and order before you fly; complimentary pyjamas and amenity kits; complimentary chauffeur-driven limousines to transfer you from home to the airport and to your hotel; a very generous baggage allowance, and more. You just have to pay the necessary fare.

The exclusivity of any "Golden Age" has a price. Perhaps in twenty years time we will see pictures of Emirate's on board shower-spa and say this was the Golden Age, conveniently forgetting how most passengers sat ten-abreast in Economy.

In the meantime, due to greater efficiencies in aviation, more people than ever before can afford to travel with greater options, from deciding on a basic fare with add-ons like BOB and baggage fees to wi-fi Internet and IFE and included meals.
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:48 am

Well the title says "When flying was still civilized", and for me that means properly dressed people with manners. You wouldn't see people putting their bare stinking feet on the bulkheads, or coming onboard wearing torn jeans, flipflops, and smelling like last week.

What we have today makes me long for the days of DC8s and dinner jackets (even though I wasn't born then).
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:02 am

The best time to be an airline employee was the mid 1980s thru the 1990s. Pay was still good and airlines began allowing employees unlimited free or close to free travel. Before the mid 1980s many airlines required nonrevs wear a suit, not get benefits for years or limited number of flights per year. Loads were around 70% so travel was easy. Meals still in Y and F class was accessible.
 
aloges
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:53 am

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 15):
Well the title says "When flying was still civilized", and for me that means properly dressed people with manners.

There have always been jerks and well-mannered people. The rarity of flying may have made people dress up for the occasion, but it won't have turned them all into angels.

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 15):
You wouldn't see people putting their bare stinking feet on the bulkheads, or coming onboard wearing torn jeans, flipflops, and smelling like last week.

Well, the oil fumes and cigarette smoke in the cabin probably covered up those smells - but I don't think that just about everyone showered daily in 1962... or changed underwear every day.
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:29 am

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 14):
While in its infancy and early years flying may have been a novel thrill, the idea that it was all luxury is mistaken. Then, just like now, if you wanted luxury you paid for it.

Not entirely true, or at least not entirely true a bit later in this "golden age". While fares were generally higher when adjusted for inflation, the difference between a first class ticket and a coach ticket was not the massive gulf that often exists now. Flying first class was not out of bounds for average people. My family was certainly not rich and yet throughout the 1970's, we flew first class about every other flight (for a family of four). I recall fares something like $700 per person for coach for a transcon flight, or around $1,000 for first class.

At the same time, coach was not the 31" seat pitch, fee-laden, food-less nightmare it is now. On flights longer than about 2 hours, you got a hot meal, as many drinks and snacks as you wanted, and seat pitch was more like 35" (I still remember United's DC-8's at that time with 38" - whenever we flew coach, we always tried to book United and hoped we'd get a DC-8). And back then, you'd actually be considered unlucky if you ended up seated next to someone you hadn't booked your trip with - middle seats were almost always empty. So to answer another argument in this thread, you can say that even flying coach was more expensive then, but you also got more for your money.

Don't forget that there also weren't extra charges like bag fees, booking fees, telephone service fees or even fuel surcharges. The price of the ticket was how much your trip cost, period. If you were to try to book a trip today exactly equivalent in terms of services and comfort as you would have had in the 1970's or before, I'm not convinced it wouldn't cost you pretty much the same amount in the end. (I'm also not convinced you could actually even do it on a domestic flight, because of so many services that have been cut. No way to get a hot meal on board most domestic flights now, for example.) You'd probably actually have to book business class.

I think that certainly on international routes, especially for foreign airlines, it's not impossible to have an experience as good or better than what you'd have gotten up to the 1970's... if you pay for it. And you'll probably pay *more* now than you would have then, because first and even business class have gotten so ridiculous on some airlines. But there's not much that's comparable to the service level of international coach in those days anymore, even if you wanted to pay for it. Maybe something like JAL's Premium Economy, but that kind of thing isn't very common among modern airlines and it's also quite expensive (it's a true fourth class between economy and business, not just a few extra inches of legroom like Delta's Economy Comfort or other E+ offerings). The modern international economy level of service didn't really exist in the old days. If prices are lower now, it's because the airlines have essentially invented a new, lower class of service than what used to be officially called coach.
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:41 am

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 16):
The best time to be an airline employee was the mid 1980s thru the 1990s. Pay was still good and airlines began allowing employees unlimited free or close to free travel. Before the mid 1980s many airlines required nonrevs wear a suit, not get benefits for years or limited number of flights per year. Loads were around 70% so travel was easy. Meals still in Y and F class was accessible.

For me it was about 10 years earlier and I don't believe DL changed the dress code to a more casual one until the mid 90s or even later. I can remember standing in baggage claim in MCO in a suit and probably being the only person within a hundred mile radius to be dressed that way. And yet, they didn't want us to "advertise" that we were non-revs, although everyone knew what we were.
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707lvr
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:57 am

Talk about apples and oranges. When you all compare the current comfort , convenience, cost and safety (boooooring) with our travel experience in the 40-60's, I'm comparing my travel to the 1912's, e.g., "coach" on the Titanic. I never once thought about the safety record of DC-4's or 727's while flying on one, and believe it or not, people were not as pathological about cigarettes in those days. Gentleman stood when a lady entered the room, and in generally life was massively less crude fifty years ago, especially taking a flight on an airplane.
 
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:17 am

Those of you complaining about how much smoking there was on planes at that time, there was smoking in all public accommodations. You wouldn't have cared. What you're doing us imposing at 21st century value onto the mid 20th century society. That was part of life. The nonsmoking section was slightly better than smoking as the fumes did tend to the rear of the plane. It would be interesting to know if "Stews" had a higher rate of lung cancer than the general public.

Quoting aloges (Reply 17):
 
speedygonzales
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:16 am

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 15):
Well the title says "When flying was still civilized", and for me that means properly dressed people with manners. You wouldn't see people putting their bare stinking feet on the bulkheads, or coming onboard wearing torn jeans, flipflops, and smelling like last week.

Flying is a form of public transport. Buy or charter a private plane if you can't stand the public.
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Nicoeddf
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:29 pm

Quoting Byrdluvs747 (Reply 15):
Well the title says "When flying was still civilized", and for me that means properly dressed people with manners. You wouldn't see people putting their bare stinking feet on the bulkheads, or coming onboard wearing torn jeans, flipflops, and smelling like last week.

Interesting - I estimate my flights as about 50-100 per year. Never have I encountered a higher rate of smelly persons in either Y or C than in any other form of public life - which included business, your bus trip to next town or one of your friends after some serious drinking at a music festival.

Further - I certainly hope the time and age where the fashion taste re torn jeans was a sign of the value of a person has long gone.

Quoting bobloblaw (Reply 16):
Pay was still good and airlines began allowing employees unlimited free or close to free travel. Before the mid 1980s many airlines required nonrevs wear a suit, not get benefits for years or limited number of flights per year

Pay IS still good in the airline industry. Nothing tells us there is a significant difference in pay compared to other industries for comparable education level.

And regarding suits - pls check the rules about standby flying for the various airlines. Its still mostly asked for (minus the tie...) and why shouldn't it be? It is asking for the manners you all long for...
Even if I go for a business trip for (and by coincidence also on the equipment of) my employer, I am required to dress appropriately which means basically a suit.
 
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:53 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 7):
Nothing to do but eat and read.

And discuss. Conversation used to be an art instead of soundbites. And reading... not something to be just interupted.

Quoting Senchingo (Reply 11):
I'm not going to talk about things like "the rich could afford it and it was supposed to be so" or "smoking was allowed" or "you got real service" (that would cause too much discussions for sure). It was simply the kind of glamour and feeling that came along with air travel.

It wasn't that glamorous. The smells... I have a good sense of smell (unlike most smokers) and I recall how bad the old aircraft cabins smelled after a few years. For many the stale cigarette smoke masked the other odors. But for myself, I still recall the smells. I'm much happier on today's cleaner aircraft.

About the only plus was dressing up. But I still throw on a sports coat (no tie) as the service improves dramatically versus the same attire in a casual jacket!

Quoting 707lvr (Reply 20):
people were not as pathological about cigarettes in those days.

Not true. I remember gentlemen blowing smoke in my face when I was a child. People were incredibly selfish with cigarettes back then.

Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 23):
Never have I encountered a higher rate of smelly persons in either Y or C than in any other form of public life

It was worse back then for people thought they were masking their odor, in particular with perfumes or cigarette smoke (it didn't it just stacked bad odor on bad odor). I prefer flying today.

Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 23):
Further - I certainly hope the time and age where the fashion taste re torn jeans was a sign of the value of a person has long gone.

Somewhat. If you dress like a 'nice person' one is far more likely to be treated as a 'nice person.' Throw a sports coat over those ripped jeans and you would be amazed how much better one is treated.


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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:09 pm

Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 23):
Its still mostly asked for (minus the tie...) and why shouldn't it be?

Not at DL. The dress code has gone from coat, dress pants & tie (when I started) to "business casual" to virtually no dress code at all (with a few minor exceptions.......no offensive clothing, i.e. t-shirts, skimpy clothing, bare feet, PJs, etc.).
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Quokkas
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:24 pm

Quoting speedygonzales (Reply 22):
Flying is a form of public transport. Buy or charter a private plane if you can't stand the public.

This is true but even my local bus company imposes standards of behaviour. They have posted behind the driver a sign that list the Rules for a Pleasant Journey. This includes not eating or drinking on the bus, not playing musical devices so as to disturb other passengers, giving your seat up for the elderly or those less able, not abusing other passengers and so on. Now if those are the standards on board my local bus I do not expect less from an airline. Some years ago, in Birmingham in the UK, I saw a sign on a bus that read "Expectoration Prohibited". In an ideal world such signs would not be necessary.

Personally, I care little for how people choose to dress. You will not see me demanding that women be fined for wearing too much (the burka) or too little (the bikini), although I draw the line at naked men who have a verandah over the toy-shop. But everything has its place. It has nothing to do with hating the public but everything to do with respect for other people. If you think that clipping your toenails on a flight is appropriate, who am I to criticise. But then don't complain if the person next to you doesn't wash, has extreme halitosis, belches loudly and farts incessantly while swearing as if it was going out of fashion. If somebody chooses to behave like a boor, they should not complain if they are treated like one.

But I do think the notion of a private charter has merit, if glamour is what one is after. You can avoid the normal queues and the rough treatment at security. You enjoy the privilege of a discreet check-in area. You choose the menu. You choose the time of departure. Most importantly, apart from the crew, you know that anyone else on board is there at your invitation.

In the meantime, I still think that the "Golden Age" of travel is now. Never before have so many people had so many options. Whether it is civilised is up to the individual traveller. It is as civil as they choose to behave.
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AeroWesty
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 3:42 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 24):
Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 23):
Never have I encountered a higher rate of smelly persons in either Y or C than in any other form of public life

It was worse back then for people thought they were masking their odor, in particular with perfumes or cigarette smoke

Granted I didn't begin flying internationally until the early 1980s, but I don't recall any great preponderance of stinky, smelly people either on planes or in airports. But then I'm not put off by the faint smell of jet fuel exhaust in the air though, so maybe my smell sensors are off.

But it is nice that airlines have placed showers into their lounges, a nice shower is always welcome after traveling for hours and hours.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 7):
Imagine sitting in a seat of an L1049 vibrating your way across the Atlantic staring straight ahead ... at nothing. Nothing to do but eat and read.

Long flights, especially to resort destinations such as Hawaii, sometimes had social directors onboard, just like cruise ships, where they'd introduce travelers and setup conversations, card games, etc. It wasn't all of this "I must have my privacy, where is my cocoon" style of traveling we have today. It was a far more social experience.
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Quokkas
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:51 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 27):
It wasn't all of this "I must have my privacy, where is my cocoon" style of traveling we have today. It was a far more social experience.

That is an interesting point. In earlier days people had fewer claims on their attention. We didn't have 24/7 internet/smartphone/always on line connectivity. Despite, or because of, this always available mobile trend, people seem to be more reluctant to engage in talk with real people in person. In the past there wasn't as great a "need" to shield oneself off from one's neighbour. With the absence of facebook and personal AVOD people made their own entertainment and that would include conversation.

Funnily enough, while I enjoy travelling in a private suite if travelling by myself, if travelling with a companion I prefer the older style cabins where you can actually talk to the person sitting next to you.
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Italianflyer
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 5:53 pm

I love these 'golden age threads'!! Big points made above (I'm not going to beat to death) about price and overall safety.
Remember these are all marketing pics since print and TV were the main marketing mediums. Therefore these passenger experience clips are idealistic, not necessarily how it was on a day to day basis. FARs and airline SOPs were different in the golden age....with the safety of the F/As being secondary. I asked senior crew how in the hell were they able to serve breakfast on short sectors like ORD to MSP/DTW/CLE, on wide bodies, when we have a hard time finishing a beverage on an A320. They say ovens were started before the plane was off the gate...drink and meal orders were taken on taxi and FAs were out of their jumpseat at 1K feet rather than 10K feet. These are all serious no-nos today....mainly for the safety of the crew and pax.

I have a theory on the body smell phenomena. It goes beyond the relaxed standards of public dressing that we see in the USA and some of Europe. Thanks to the relative affordability of air travel and the globalized nature of our economy, there is a higher proportion of people on that IAH-OKC or ATL-CMH flight who started their journeys in NRT,HKG,EZE,JNB ,etc. I dunno about you all....but I'd be pretty ripe after 28 hours on a plane with limited access to soap and water.
 
spacecadet
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:13 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 26):
If somebody chooses to behave like a boor, they should not complain if they are treated like one.

The flipside to that is that if you choose *not* behave like a boor, you *do* have a right to complain about being treated like one by others. I'm not sure if that's actually the point you meant to make, but that's the logic in your position. I don't clip my toenails in public, because it's incredibly rude. So you're damn right I'm going to say something about someone else who does it next to me. There's a time and place for things; flying on a commercial airplane is not the time nor the place for that.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 27):
Granted I didn't begin flying internationally until the early 1980s, but I don't recall any great preponderance of stinky, smelly people either on planes or in airports.

Me neither, and I began flying both domestically and internationally earlier than that. People still dressed up for flying when I first started traveling. And even though all flights were smoking flights, I don't even remember the smell of cigarette smoke much at all. I would always try to get a seat in the non-smoking section but that was because I didn't want smoke blown directly at me, not because of the general smell of the cabin. I didn't notice any smell while boarding or even during the flight in the non-smoking section.

People have just gotten really militantly anti-smoking in the US these days. And I'm a non-smoker; I prefer to be around other non-smokers, and I get mad if someone lights up when they're not supposed to. But I really don't think the smoke on airplanes was ever nearly as bad as some people are saying.

I actually find the smells today, with people carrying on all manner of hot food from outside, to be a lot worse. Honestly, a bean burrito from Taco Bell is not really what I want to smell when I first sit down on an airplane.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 27):
It wasn't all of this "I must have my privacy, where is my cocoon" style of traveling we have today. It was a far more social experience.

Well, that's developed because of how "boorish" people have become. It's easier and more comfortable to talk to other people in the cabin when you feel they're similar to you, and if you were both dressed up, clean, even if you both were smoking (which used to be a social activity), then it's natural to strike up a conversation. Whereas today, if someone's slobbering Taco Bell all over themselves before we even leave the gate, then starts clipping their toenails in their seat next to me, I know I want nothing to do with that person. Get me as far away from these other animals in this cabin as possible. That's what this lack of standards in cleanliness and behavior has done to us as a society.
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 6:21 pm

Lets not forget that ever since the advent of lower fares (comparatively) there have been more of the "Greyhound" crowd on board the flights than ever before. If that sounds like a "class warfare" remark, it wasn't meant to be. It just is, what it is.
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:12 pm

As I talk about in one of my recent blog posts, there's a certain mythology to the "good old days" of flying. It depends, I suppose, on which decades we're talking about, but here's what I wrote:


People often talk about the good old days of air travel, and if only we could return to them. On the one hand, it's a sentiment I can understand. I'm old enough to recall when people actually looked forward to flying. I remember a flight to Florida in 1979, and my father putting on a coat and tie for the occasion. I remember cheesecake desserts -- on a 60-minute flight, in economy. Yes, things were once a little more comfortable, a little more special.

Though how much so is arguable. Just two nights ago I flew in economy class from Tokyo to Bangkok -- a six-hour flight. The seat pitch, maybe, was tighter than it once was. However, I had an on-demand video screen with a hundred or so movies and games to pick from. (Remember those blurry, scratchy bulkhead screens and painful plastic headsets?) I had a power port, a USB connection, free wine, and a full hot meal that was probably BETTER than a meal would have been 30 years ago. (And up front, in first or business class, no contest. Today's premium cabins are far and away better than they used to be, with full-flat sleepers, wide-screen video, deluxe food and drink, and so forth.) Inflight WiFi, already widespread on US domestic routes, will soon be commonplace even on transoceanic flights.

Do you really want to fly like people did in the '60s? Are you SURE?


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eastern747
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:00 pm

I began really flying in 1968. I had been on earlier flights, but they don't count, really.The Golden Age of flying was coming to it's Fall. Jets of course had much to do with that. However travel in the late 60's early 70's and maybe early 80's was still a treat. It was a different time and different thinking. People actually were prepared to dress appropriatly for travel and life in general...like church. Today, it is different, VERY different. I don't understand how stores like Macy's or Nordstroms etc stay in business. The world today is dress down, be lazy, be relaxed. Buy clothes from The Gap or M&N. Sure, they have their place, but there is no social ediqutte anymore. Just the same with flying.I remember the transition when I started to see F/C and B/C passengers wearing sweats. Life is different today...and the beat goes on.....
 
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:12 pm

Quoting 707lvr (Reply 3):

As one of those "young people" you are referring to, I agree with your assertion. There's no denying that the world (particularly the U.S.) is in a bit of a mess right now. But every so often, I find myself thinking what it must have been like for my ancestors, and being thankful for how the world is today. With regard to aviation, I'm glad that airfares are so cheap compared to several decades ago, though I find myself wishing I could fly on some of the older aircraft, as opposed to the bland, homogeneous aircraft that comprise most airlines' fleets today. Personally, I consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity of flying on an A310 (they are rapidly disappearing) but I find myself wishing I could have taken a trip on a Concorde or a Lockheed L-1011. Despite the minor annoyances of modern air travel (*cough* TSA *cough*), I still enjoy it, and plan to keep traveling for as long as I can.
 
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:31 pm

Quoting nicoeddf (Reply 23):
Pay IS still good in the airline industry. Nothing tells us there is a significant difference in pay compared to other industries for comparable education level.

That may be true in Germany but I continually read about regional carrier pilots in the U.S. with starting salaries around $20,000 a year. How many other jobs with such low wages require that level of training and are responsible for hundreds of lives every day?
 
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:01 am

I have to say I'm not a fan of Gizmodo, I find their articles are written in such an insulting and negative tone. The journalist seems to think they can get away with saying whatever they want, no matter how misinformed they are. I remember reading a Gizmodo article about the age-old question re: cell phones on planes, and from the get-go the overall tone was enough to turn me off that website forever. Implying that flight attendants are drunks and always hungover, that if a 'normal' person was in charge it wouldn't happen, and that it is a plain embarrassment to the industry. As a flight attendant myself, I couldn't believe that this genius journalist who was so convinced they were right and everyone else (i.e.: the airline industry) was wrong, completely ignored one of the biggest reasons: airline policies by reason of possible distraction during sensitive phases of flight.
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:14 am

Quoting AVIATEUR (Reply 32):
However, I had an on-demand video screen with a hundred or so movies and games to pick from.

This is a nice perk and now that we have it, it's not something I'd want to go without (though mostly because any further downgrades these days just feel like a personal insult to the passengers).

But nobody in the 60's or 70's was flying around saying "you know what? I'm so BORED, I wish I could have HUNDREDS of movies right now!" There's actually a known psychological effect where the more choices you have, the less effective you are at actually making that choice and the more stress you have because of it. Nobody can watch hundreds of movies on a flight. So now you have to choose the one you're going to watch, which means *not* watching several others you might want to see. Your stress level goes up, and all the while as you watch whatever you do finally choose, you're left wondering if one of the other movies the airline has might be better. You may end up flipping around, not actually finishing any of the movies you try out.

Again, I'm not saying I want to give up AVOD now that it's here. But I'm saying it didn't really solve a pressing problem that existed, and it's not like there weren't (and still aren't) more relaxing ways to enjoy the flight.

Honestly, when there was just *one* movie being shown on a big screen at the front of the cabin, you watched it all the way through and it was easy to give it your full attention because that's what was on. And maybe that meant you ended up watching (and enjoying) a movie that you otherwise might not have ever seen.

It's the same with cable TV now, where we have 200 channels but "nothing's on".
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flyingturtle
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:52 am

Golden Age of flying?

That was when you dressed appropriately for the act of flying or traveling in general, that's when you actually talked to a travel agency clerk before ordering your tickets, that was when you still had to apply for visa for your passport that surely was neither biometric nor machine-readable, that was you changed your Deutsche Mark into Spanish Pesetas before you flew to PMI, that was when hijackings were done on a monthly basis...

Surely, travelling in general was done with more dignity, safety standards were less.

In the times of Ryanair and EasyJet, flying has turned into something like having dinner at McDonald's. You order it, gulp it down, and two days later you won't know anymore what was special about these French Fries or that hamburger.

To me, flying still is magnificent because I want to understand how these things fly and what the people in the front office are doing. To the average traveller however, it has turned in to a compromise between convenience and cheapness while getting from A to B.


David
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aviateur
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:10 am

Quoting spacecadet (Reply 37):
Again, I'm not saying I want to give up AVOD now that it's here. But I'm saying it didn't really solve a pressing problem that existed, and it's not like there weren't (and still aren't) more relaxing ways to enjoy the flight.

You make some interesting points. I stand by what I wrote, but I don't totally disagree with you. The passenger's entire mindset, and set of expectations, was different in earlier days, I suppose. It was, maybe, easier to be happy.


PS
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Quokkas
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 2:15 pm

Quoting flyingturtle (Reply 38):
That was when you dressed appropriately

You mean today? Check out some of the conditions of carriage at various airlines. At UA, for example, they can refuse to carry you if you are bare-foot or wearing flip flops. There have also been threads posted about people being ejected because their pants were worn too low - is it called saggers?

But what is appropriate dress? Is it a suit and tie that will become crumpled on a twenty-five hour journey or is it something more comfortable? I have no objection to people wearing track-suit style clothing on a long-haul flight. I would be more concerned about such glamorous people as that Russian fellow (Gérard Depardieu) deciding he needed to wash the carpets than a person who had a tear in her jeans. Behaviour is more important than appearance, in my opinion.

Certainly, things have improved regarding changing Marks into Escudo or applying for visa, but that isn't really something that affected the onboard experience of the airlines. Sure, the greater affordability of travel may have contributed to simplification of visa requirements, but the integration of Europe and the introduction of the Euro were unconnected with it.

But I agree, travel is a compromise between convenience and cheapness. But then, despite regulation, it always was. The reduction in regulation has enabled a wider degree of choice but the basic compromise remains.
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:23 pm

Quoting tharanga (Reply 6):
"These conveniences still exist for the very rich, but there was a time when all of us had access to a fantastic world in the sky. "

A ridiculous quote from the webpage. Who exactly does the author think are the passengers in those old pictures? Does he think those are working class people, paying the real equivalent of today's cheap economy fares?

I agree. Although, I must admit my parents flew our entire family - then five children (kids 1 baby, the rest 3yrs - 9yrs) from TUS to JFK in 1964 to see the NY World's Fair. My dad was a young FBI agent on a meager gov't salary. The next year, we took the trip again. I wonder how they paid for those trips.
 
mplsjefe
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 3:27 pm

Quoting Quokkas (Reply 40):
At UA, for example, they can refuse to carry you if you are bare-foot or wearing flip flops.

They can refuse to carry you if you are wearing flip-flops? Really?
 
Aither
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:00 pm

What is the most important thing when flying ? that's safety. Calling "golden age" a period when safety was much less than today always surprises me.

This is also a very US centric view : ask the African if the golden age was flying with their national carriers or with Emirates now, even in economy class. Same for the Chinese, Russian, South Americans...

On many airlines today's business class is the equivalent or even better than the first class 10 years ago. Look at the first & business class of many A380s for example. These are truely "golden age" class.

In economy class it all depends of the carrier. Some new world carriers offer great economy class with very nice IFE. We could also mention the engine noise etc.

We have the choice from no frills to luxury on many long haul routes. The story is a bit different on short haul routes where even the major carriers tend to offer a low cost product.

[Edited 2013-03-02 08:02:11]
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nwcoflyer
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:00 pm

Quoting mplsjefe (Reply 42):
They can refuse to carry you if you are wearing flip-flops? Really?

Interesting... bare feet I can understand. Flip flops seems crazy. I cant imagine telling someone in HNL or SAN they cant fly because they are wearing flip flops. Maybe for non-rev's but revenue pax... I think not.
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:06 pm

I am old enough to remember tobacco addicts being surprised that I didn't think stale smoke was a good thing to have in an enclosed space. Most non smokers hated it and had no choice but to tolerate it.
The concept of a non smoking section is comedy mainly because as soon as one person struck up, the foul stench filled both cabins. Horrible days, one would not wish to turn the clock back. As for better and safer days? That's inaccurate. Sex crimes went unreported, the Catholic Church was involved in endemic abuse of children, black people were barely treated as equals in some US states long after the B707 went into service. Rape within marriage wasn't even an offence in England and as for being gay, you were condemned to a secondary and seedy existence in the shadows, unless one was a "celebrity". Assuming you were straight, your woman knew her place and it was in the home.
Indeed the list goes on but there is little to be nostalgic about in reality. Aircraft yes, human behaviour, no.

Think about that next time.
 
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:08 pm

Quoting nwcoflyer (Reply 44):
Interesting... bare feet I can understand. Flip flops seems crazy. I cant imagine telling someone in HNL or SAN they cant fly because they are wearing flip flops. Maybe for non-rev's but revenue pax... I think not.

You'd probably have to get confirmation from a F/A, to be sure, but I think it's a safety issue.
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mplsjefe
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:09 pm

Quoting nwcoflyer (Reply 44):

Interesting... bare feet I can understand. Flip flops seems crazy. I cant imagine telling someone in HNL or SAN they cant fly because they are wearing flip flops. Maybe for non-rev's but revenue pax... I think not.

Agreed.
 
PC12Fan
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:36 pm

Quoting lightsaber (Reply 24):
Nothing to do but eat and read.

And discuss. Conversation used to be an art instead of soundbites. And reading... not something to be just interupted.

Yea, God forbid someone having to read a good book.   
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timpdx
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RE: Gizmodo: When Flying Was Still Civilized

Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:08 pm

just out of curiosity, since I, too, dont remember smoking flights being not THAT bad, did aircraft circulate more air in the cabin back then certain aircraft are just awful and stuffy these days.

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