1. In-flight entertainment
Then: Playing cards at 30,000 feet in 1936.
Now: Touchscreens you pray work with movies that cost a fortune.
2. Airport security
Then: Passing through a metal detector in 1972.
Now: The feeling of dirty linoleum on your bare feet as you wait for someone to see an X-ray picture of your naked body.
3. Airport lounges
Then: Passengers waiting for cross-channel flights operated by Britain’s Silver City Airways in 1956.
Now: Airports where everything looks the same. You could be anywhere.
4. Economy class
Then: Coach class in the ’60s! So much room!
5. Air traffic control
Then: Manual labor at Washington International Airport in 1942.
6. First class
Then: Folks dressed in their Sunday best in First Class in 1955.
Now: Don’t even care.
Then: Lighting up inside the cabin in 1955.
Now: Oh hellz no.
8. Cocktail service
Then: Cocktails on Pan Am in 1958. What service!
9. Customs and Border Patrol
Then: Passengers traveling from Mexico to Los Angeles go through “customs” in 1930. Is this a joke?
Now: See you at Never O’Clock.
10. Sleeping accommodations for the lucky
Then: Sleepers on a Pan Am flight in 1936.
Now: Ain’t half shabby if you have a gazillion dollars.
11. Slightly less comfortable-looking sleeping options
Then: A 1934 sleeping compartment on board an American Airways flight.
Now: Try to make it work.
Then: A Pan Am cockpit in 1950. Super complicated!
Now: Still super complicated!