Skip To Content

    Air Travel: Then Vs. Now

    Before people were doing this: #upintheair.

    1. In-flight entertainment

    General Photographic Agency / Getty Images

    Then: Playing cards at 30,000 feet in 1936.

    Now: Touchscreens you pray work with movies that cost a fortune.

    2. Airport security

    Duane Howell/The Denver Post via Getty Images

    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

    Harry Kerr/BIPs / Getty Images

    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!

    Now: UGHGHGHHGHGHHGHG.

    5. Air traffic control

    Lofman/Pix Inc./Time Life Pictures / Getty Images
    Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

    Then: Manual labor at Washington International Airport in 1942.

    Now: Digital.

    6. First class

    Authenticated News / Getty Images

    Then: Folks dressed in their Sunday best in First Class in 1955.

    Now: Don't even care.

    7. Smoking

    Michael Ochs Archive / Getty Images

    Then: Lighting up inside the cabin in 1955.

    Now: Oh hellz no.

    8. Cocktail service

    Pictorial Parade/Archive Photos / Getty Images

    Then: Cocktails on Pan Am in 1958. What service!

    Now: DIY.

    9. Customs and Border Patrol

    Imagno / Getty Images

    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

    Popperfoto / Getty Images

    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

    Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

    Then: A 1934 sleeping compartment on board an American Airways flight.

    Now: Try to make it work.

    12. Cockpits

    Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images

    Then: A Pan Am cockpit in 1950. Super complicated!

    Now: Still super complicated!

    13. Flight attendants

    Then: Super feminine ladies we called stewardesses.

    Now: Classy men and women we call flight attendants.

    Nostalgia Trip

    Take a trip down memory lane that’ll make you feel nostalgia AF

    Newsletter signup form