Newly Discovered Pan Am Video Shows Luxury Flying in the ’50s

Nov 16, 2017

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Commercial flying isn’t what it used to be — and that’s no surprise. In the last couple decades alone, aviation has gone through serious (and many of them positive) changes from prohibiting smoking onboard (for the most part), to a huge security overhaul. While some changes have been subtle, a look at this recently re-discovered promotional video from Pan American World Airlines from 1958 gives us a little insight into just how much commercial things have changed in the last 60 years.

The now defunct airline released the video to highlight how luxurious commercial flying was. It mentions the comfort and “complete absence of vibrations” that travelers used to experience before the arrival of the jet, specifically this Boeing 707 featured in the video. The flight showcased in the video, from New York City to London, marvels the fact that it lasts less than seven hours: “New York to London in the same time it takes you to see a baseball double header.” It also mentions that food can be prepared in ovens in less than five minutes; other notable differences include the large lavatories and white linens placed on the tray tables during dining service.

Pan Am led the pack when it came to flying commercially in the early Jet Age. The luxurious amenities onboard the aircraft during the ’50s and ’60s were necessary because of the high cost of traveling  — back then, the airline could afford top of the line service.

“A new concept in air travel. The travail has been taken out of travel,” the narrator states in the video. “It all goes so fast and it’s so comfortable that you feel as if you haven’t traveled at all. Many hours gained and no sleep lost.”

Featured image by Underwood Archives / Getty Images

H/T: Lonely Planet

Have you ever flown with Pan Am? Let us know in the comments below. 

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