Glamourous Airports during the 1950s – 1980s

Recently, a video by a user, who goes by his online name, Recollection Road, has gained immense popularity. This is because of the comparison of things frequent flyers don’t get at airports these days. It gives us an insight into the days of friendly skies.

The fantastic video discusses how different airlines during the 1950s, such as Pan Am, United Airlines, & TWA, offered small carry-on bags emblazoned with their logos. These flight bags were sold through mail-order catalogs and sometimes given to first-class passengers as promotional items for travel agencies.

The days when the pilots would keep the cockpit open-ended with the 9/11 incident. Memories of watching the pilots in action and enjoying the view from outside the cockpit window were some that mesmerized travelers. Nowadays, the doors are secured for the duration of the flight. It was even familiar for kids to visit the flight deck during the flight. In the 1970s, 80s, and 90s, kids were invited to meet the pilots & were shown the cockpits. If they were lucky, they could don the captain’s hat.

Some even received novelty pins that resembled the flight crews, but it was usually made of wood or plastic. Nevertheless, pins were often cherished mementos for children flying during the 20th century. The other rare thing that air travelers do not find nowadays is the Airline skycaps in front of the terminals. These were curbside baggage check-in locations that expedited checking-in.

During the golden days, most airports would offer lockers where you could store your carry-on luggage for a quarter or two. However, airports nowadays emphasize keeping your luggage with you all the time. Before the rise of the internet, planning a flight and purchasing a ticket was a complex task. So, travel agents used to help airline travelers with almost everything. You will find travel agents online, but business firms are closed, as most work from home.

The video even gives an insight into the rise and fall of Pan Am Airlines. It discusses paper tickets printed for travelers and delivered in airline-branded envelopes that would keep everything organized. Today, these paper tickets and boarding passes have become outdated. With time, airplane seat sizes have gotten smaller and smaller. During the golden days of flying, seats were large and spacious. This made it comfortable to fly, not to mention the free meals, extras, more drinks, hot towels, and pillows to sleep.

After technology improved, the mechanical flip-flap boards were replaced with digital cascading sign boards. However, today large TV monitors are used in some airports. Amongst other novelty items was a free deck of cards with the airline’s logo. Finally, during the earlier days, making it through the security was easy. However, nowadays, it’s a much longer process.

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Glamourous Airports during the 1950s - 1980s