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?

Images: davidkleinart

2. The colors

The colors bleed beyond the promotional artwork. Today, blue dominates airplane interiors. In the 1960s, shades ran from pastels to sunsets.

Image: racked

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.

Images: modernkiddo

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.

Image: terapeak

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.

Image: srudut

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.

Image: pinterest

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.

Image: noelleodesigns

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.

12. Helicopters

Six bucks from LAX to Anaheim? That sure beats sitting in traffic with an Uber driver.

Image: collectair

13. The tails

As a kid, we loved spotting the names of far flung airlines. Today, the tail fins are more abstract.

Image: eBay

14. The room

So much space! You could put a pool table in there! Perhaps some airline did.

Image: infinitelegroom

 
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