This is what it was like to be a stewardess in the early 1960s

This was a time when air travel was actually fun.

Image: Cruise Line History

Amid all the reports of long lines at airports across the country, it's easy to forget that air travel used to be fun.

Thanks to a woman named Polly Goodman, we have a little bit of nostalgia for the golden age of aviation. Goodman wrote an essay for the Huffington Post about what it was like to be a stewardess during the early 1960s.

As Goodman describes her first flight as a stewardess, she goes through a checklist of things you would never find on any airline today. The crew took the names of each passenger to establish a sense of rapport, handed out magazines and pillows, and reminded everyone to wait until they were airborne to start smoking.

Before she got to that point in her career, Goodman said she had to attend five weeks of Stewardess College. Women, ages 20 to 24, came from all over the country to become stewardesses due to their love of travel.

Don't be fooled — Stewardess College wasn't a breeze. Goodman describes having to take 10-hour classes, five days a week. Courses included geography, first aid and basic medical training in case of an emergency. Most importantly, they learned how to pour coffee during turbulence.

The weekend was no time to rest, either. On Saturdays, the stewardesses took a course in hairstyling. According to Goodman, everyone's hair had to be cut above the collar, contain no artificial colors and look perfect underneath a hat. Also, on Saturdays, the women were given a weight check, which Goodman says they all dreaded. 

Despite the intense training, Goodman says she loved her time as a stewardess. She fondly remembers all the places she went and the famous people she encountered on her flights.

Learning about Goodman's experience reminds us of a bygone era, one that we will never see again. An era when air travel was classy, sophisticated and, most importantly, fun. 

Do you remember flying during the golden age of aviation?

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