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Interesting to see a Gawker article on this. Some great classic photos in this gallery.

When Air Travel Was Totally Cool

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Great stuff. Cheers.

Good images; too much of a teaser of an article with not enough meat, but I fully agree with the premise.

In the course of the years, flight has gone from glamour, adventure, and class to something akin to a flying cattle car. From the decodent luxury of Pan Am and BOAC flying boats through the jet-setter glamour of the age of Connies and early jets through the functional-but-comfortable age of the early jumbo jet...on to the "flying Grayhounds" of today: overbooked with cramped seats and $15 soggy sandwiches. Even in the 80s flight still had some of the fun and adventure, back when, as a kid, I could meet the pilot and tour the cockpit and the stewardesses and stewards (not yet the sterile "flight attendents" of the PC age) were actually friendly rather than disgruntled underpaid snarkers taking their frustrations out on overcramped passengers. Even as late as the 90s while flying was no longer "fun", I at least didn't get the idea that the airlines actually wanted to inflict deliberate pain on me.

I'd gladly exchange that Untied Airbus of today for the craft of yesteryear...even a loud, bouncy Ford Trimotor.

 

And most importantly, the treatment of the passengers were much more friendly, not like today.

I was studying for my Flight Engineer rating on the Lockheed 1049-G (Super Constellation) which I stopped when the Flight Engineers lost their contract with the airlines and became "second pilots." There was a lounge at the rear of the cabin with a card table built in. The Connie had four 3,350hp engines that were so smooth that at 24,000 feet you could balance a quarter edgewise on that table.

She is still one of the prettiest ladies of the sky!

John, you'll just have to share your remembrances of life on the Connies!

Air travel never got cooler than this:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IB-_KZXbSs 

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