These Nostalgic Photos From The ’50s and ’60s Give A Glimpse Into The Golden Age Of Flying

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Nowadays, traveling by plane probably feels like more of a hassle than a joy. A lengthy line for check-in, uncomfortable seating and poor food can all add up to a miserable journey, after all. But it wasn’t always like this. The 1950s and ’60s are often regarded as the “Golden Age of flying,” in fact, when departures were swift, legroom was plentiful and food and drink were exquisite. It was pretty much a different world – for better and worse.

Image: Underwood Archives/Getty Images

Today, you’ll find a wealth of choice while booking flight tickets – from coach all the way through to first class. Back in the 1950s, though, there was initially only one class of travel when it came to airplanes. And these weren’t in the conditions now reserved for the cheap seats, either. Yes, at that time, everyone actually flew in relatively plush comfort.

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Image: Geoffrey Thomas Collection via Airline Ratings

Passengers weren’t stuffed into cramped seating, for instance; by contrast, seats went all the way back. Even sleeping in a specially made-up bed on long-haul flights wasn’t out of the ordinary. That’s a convenience you won’t find outside of first-class cabins nowadays.

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