Then: One screen, one movie
Now: Everyone gets a screen, hours of movies
Do you even remember when you could only watch one movie? Between in-seat entertainment and personal devices, you could take the world's longest flight and not have a second where you're bored.
Then: Tiny, with cocktails served(!!)
Now: Big, high-tech, cocktail-free
Autopilot was invented in 1912, but it wasn't commercially implemented until several decades later. Now it is mandatory in air-carriers with more than 20 seats, but smaller planes performing short flights aren't required to have it.
3. In-flight beds:
Then: Bunks for staff
Now: Flat beds for first class
Flat beds are a luxury that recent years have seen a huge demand for. Who wouldn't want to sleep on their flight the same way they do at home?
Then: Narrow planes, several seats
Now: Wider planes, several aisles
New Boeings can seat up to 10 in an aisle, while new Airbuses can seat up to 11, compared to the then-astounding six featured above left.
5. Drink carts:
Then: Refreshments at tea time
Now: Unlimited drinks, all the time
The oft-mocked bag of peanuts has been replaced with a variety of munchies and all kinds of soft (and hard) drinks.
6. First class:
Then: Group lounges
Now: Personal lounge space
If you're in first class, it's all about getting valuable space to yourself with personal flight pods replacing standard aisles.
Then: Fancy presentation of airplane food
Now: Restaurant presentation of fancy food
At high altitudes, taste buds become less effective, so airplane food today is engineered to be more flavorful to account for the decreased sensitivity to taste.
Then: Paper schedules, mechanical scales
Now: All digital
Schedules used to be updated by a person who would use plastic numbers to display arrival and departure times. Now, everything is high-tech and getting high-techier by the day.
Now: Total relaxation
Gone are telegrams and even phone booths. Lounges are now about providing havens from busy airports, including shopping, dining, and bars.
10. Flight attendants:
Then: Hats and scarves
Now: Hats and scarves!
Some things never change.