14 things we miss about 1960s air travel
Flying was a pleasure thanks to bold colors, great meals and fashionable hats.
Top image: vintageads
Not long ago, flying was an adventure. As a kid, we would be giddy about the thought of going to the airport. Pilots! Pins! Exotic destinations! The style and thrill of air travel peaked in the 1960s. Certainly, the security and safety of today is more reassuring. But who says you can't make the ride a little more fun, a little more colorful? Here are things we wish would return to the airports and airlines of today.
1. The posters
David Klein started designing posters for Broadway shows. In the 1950s and '60s, the painter created a series of gorgeous promotions for TWA. His 1957 advertisement for travel to New York City is part of the permanent collection of MoMA. How many airline ads today will earn that honor?
2. The colors
The colors bleed beyond the promotional artwork. Today, blue dominates airplane interiors. In the 1960s, shades ran from pastels to sunsets.
3. The futurism
It was the space age, and flying in jets way still a modern marvel for most. The look of airlines was appropriately sci-fi. Fashion designer Emilio Pucci dreamed up these delightful costumes for Braniff Airlines. Bubble helmets! Flight attendants looked as hip as David Bowie.
4. Pan Am and TWA
Howard Hughes' TWA and its rival Pan Am, founded by two Air Force men, were pioneers of the sky. It's not the same without the brands.
5. The graphic design
This menu from United Airlines makes ordering dinner a four-star affair…
Image: United Airlines
6. The food
…speaking of which, when was the last time you had carved roast beef in the sky? Today, we're lucky to get a bag of peanuts.
7. The service
Airplanes were like hotels in the air.
Image: Air New Zealand / dailymail
8. The uniforms
The uniforms were straight off the runways of Paris.
9. The luggage
And what better way to carry your clothing to Paris than in bright, matching suitcases?
Image: Hartmann ad / fastcodesign
10. The hats
This is something we just miss about society in general — fancy hats.
11. Braniff Airlines
As seen earlier, the Oklahoma-founded, Dallas-based flier was the boldest and brightest of the domestic carriers. The planes were painted lime, "Chocolate Brown" and "Metallic Purple." The company folded in 1982.
Six bucks from LAX to Anaheim? That sure beats sitting in traffic with an Uber driver.
13. The tails
As a kid, we loved spotting the names of far flung airlines. Today, the tail fins are more abstract.
14. The room
So much space! You could put a pool table in there! Perhaps some airline did.