I remember when… air travel was simpler

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This topic contains 81 replies, has 54 voices, and was last updated by  lloydah 17 Jan 2016
at 15:00

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  • Anonymous


    There are so many aches and pains in air travel today. I was thinking of when air travel was a simpler matter, and thought it might be enjoyable for some of us to post a recollection (if we still have any) of an enjoyable experience from when our air experience was glamorous and exciting.

    I remember going to/from university on UA in 1966-68. Flight 647 from ORD to LAN in the evening was a DC-6 (4 engine prop) – all First Class (A). The rear of the UA DC-6 had a lounge with about 7 very comfortable seats around a circular table. Since the flight took one hour plus (props were slower), dinner was served on the flight – choice of filet mignon or lobster tail as the main course. And, of course, the fare for this flight using my student standby card (for those of us who remember those days) was a whopping US$7.82,


    I remember when……BAs Club Europe seat pitch was 34″! Happy days….Was that only last year?


    When I would qualify for an Gold card with BA year in year out for 15 years in a row – now I’ve a lifetime BA Gold card – this has simplified the travel selection process.


    You could board a flight without passing through what passes for security checks at airports. It was all so easy.

    I can also remember flying to Nicosia with BEA and the ‘air hostesses’ did the washing up in the galley after lunch.


    Nice thread Retiredlawyer. Travel in the 60’s and 70’s was so different and dare I say, more civilised? I remember Swissair would provide a hotel room with dinner and taxi transfers when transiting Geneva or Zurich on a long haul flight in First Class. They would also post letters and provide business cards, free of charge, in Mandarin or Arabic when flying to those areas. Alas, no more!


    Good thread. My early experiences in 1969/70 was flying BEA domestic routes to and from LHR and the cheap fares.

    Stand-by tickets were freely available in those days on domestic routes.

    I recall flying with a BEA 1-11 on MAN-LHR and paying the princely sum of £2.50 one-way standby. No taxes and fees in those days.

    Another great flight was taking a BEA Comet 4B (BEA used to operate these at peak times to compete with BUA’s 1-11s ex-LGW) on LHR-EDI. The stand-by fare for this flight was around £5 !


    Free ciggies on the sideboard in the BA Exec lounge in CPH
    Concorde jump seat for take off


    I remember when …. an easy way to get from London to Exeter was by British Westpoint Airlines, about 1965.

    Passengers were encouarged to take the tube to the terminus – Hounslow West in those days – and were met and taken by minibus to LHR. I vividly remember the way the fuselage of the Dakota seemed to be at a very steep slope as you struggled up from the rear passenger door to your seat, then became reassuringly horizantal when at cruising height.

    I think the inflight catering was a cup of coffee – but there may have been more.

    I hitch-hiked back from the West country, once my holiday was over.


    BA shops in the high street

    Q’less airports

    … and I am only 53..


    I remember …

    Phoning 01 759 2595 to phone Heathrow to confirm an arrival time …

    AIrcraft cabins flying between some destinations used to be sprayed before departure


    In fact free ciggies handed out on board and you could enjoy a cigar with the port! Oh, and the bus from Victoria to Heathrow.


    Cromwell Road, BEA terminal, check in, restaurant, bus to LHR and straight onto the plane – usually a Vanguard – then sitting facing my parents (table between us) who would only have to frown to make me stop doing whatever they thought I shouldn’t be doing.


    Living in a house under the Croydon Airport flight path, and watching the planes outbound – mostly to Paris, I think.

    …as a student in London and flying to Belfast regularly a full breakfast was served on a packed BA B757 and I could smoke in the back row.

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