Met opgetrokken knieën in de economy? Zo luxe vlogen ze vroeger

Foto Iberia

Dat was nog eens vliegen.

23 vintage photos from the glory days of aviation

Although flying today is cheaper, safer, and faster than it’s ever been, it’s becoming an increasingly unpleasant experience as airlines cram more passengers into planes, causing overcrowding and delays.

It’s enough to make travelers wish for the golden age of aviation.

We found vintage photos from 1946 to 1970, sourced from Iberia, KLM, Delta, British Airways and Air France, that show just how glamorous flying used to be.

We’re grateful that smoking is no longer permitted on planes, but we can’t deny this guy’s got style.

Foto KLM

Foto KLM

With today’s lie-flat beds in first and business class, not all that much has changed since 1949 on a KLM flight.

Foto KLM

Foto KLM

Seats on Delta have definitely shrunk since 1959.

Foto Delta Flight Museum

Foto Delta Flight Museum

Bunk beds (on KLM), however, we’d love to see making a comeback.

Foto KLM

Foto KLM

Flight attendants used to really dote on passengers.

Foto Iberia

Foto Iberia

Extra pillow service was a nice touch.

Foto Iberia

Foto Iberia

Instead of staring into screens, kids would get a geography lesson — at least on this Iberia flight.

Foto Iberia

Foto Iberia

Plane food was made fresh on KLM in 1958, and even hand-delivered by the chef. Is that caviar?

Foto KLM

Foto KLM

Meals were decadent on this British Airways flight in the ’60s.

Foto BA Speedbird [Heritage] Centre

Foto BA Speedbird [Heritage] Centre

BA flight attendants even hand-carved entire hams.

Foto BA Speedbird [Heritage] Centre

Foto BA Speedbird [Heritage] Centre

Rather than prepackaged in tin foil, steak was cut seat-side.

Foto KLM

Foto KLM

Cocktails on BA were made to order, and there were real bars to enjoy them in.

Foto BA Speedbird [Heritage] Centre

Foto BA Speedbird [Heritage] Centre

The whole set up was just really social on this 1971 KLM flight. Comparatively, flying today is like being on an airborne bus.

Foto KLM

Foto KLM

People played cards!

Foto BA Speedbird [Heritage] Centre

Foto BA Speedbird [Heritage] Centre

A lot of cards. That’s probably the downside to not having entertainment centers in every seat.

Foto Delta Flight Museum

Foto Delta Flight Museum

Hopefully you knew your fellow travelers, otherwise this set up could be pretty awkward.

Foto Delta Flight Museum

Foto Delta Flight Museum

Pedro Rodríguez, the Spanish it-designer of the ’60s and ’70s, designed the classy but authoritative Iberia uniform.

Foto Iberia

Foto IberiaFoto Iberia

These are Iberia’s airline “hostesses.” They’re not flight attendants, and certainly not stewardesses.

Foto Iberia

Foto Iberia

This 1946 Iberia uniform, on the other hand, has something vaguely nautical about it.

Foto Iberia

Foto Iberia

Most uniforms included hats.

Foto Iberia

Foto Iberia

The hats were great.

Foto Delta Flight Museum

Foto Delta Flight Museum

Delta’s colorful summer uniforms in the late ’60s really capture the essence of the time.

Foto Delta Flight Museum

Foto Delta Flight Museum

This cute little number, worn in 1967, was known as British Airways’ (then still the British Overseas Airways Corporation) “paper dress.”

Foto BA Speedbird [Heritage] Centre

Foto BA Speedbird [Heritage] Centre

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