Passengers in fur and high heels supped champagne from crystal glasses as bee-hived air stewardesses handed out deluxe freebies, from cigars and deodorant to embossed evening robes. Come evening time, guests could stretch out on full-size sleeper beds, where they were pampered in style with thick blankets, slippers and large, fluffy pillows.
There was no need to worry about leg room; 1950s and 60s airliners such as Imperial Airways and Pan Am came with vast amounts of space. There was room enough to have space for spiral staircases, meals served on actual tables, bathrooms with urinals in, and mile-high bars serving exotic cocktails.
From luxury dining to glamorous guests and acres of space, here’s a collection of vintage photos from the golden age of air travel, via Stylist Magazine.
1. The Marvellous Meals
Once upon a time, an in-flight meal meant bow-tied waiters serving a three-course feast on actual tables, with linen tablecloths and fresh flowers to boot. Forget cardboard and polystyrene trays – it was china and glass all the way…
Passengers enjoy a drink and a game of cards in the cabin of
an Imperial Airways plane in 1936
Dining service aboard the Pan American Martin Clipper aircraft, circa 1936
2. The Leg Room
There was no such thing as reclining rows. No-one ever had to argue over space, because they had acres of it – guests could have easily performed cartwheels round the cabin if they fancied it.
Relaxing in the main salon aboard the Pan American Martin Clipper aircraft,
Text and images found on vintage everyday