We’ll start with the Russian Air Hostesses…
Aeroflot’s long-haul international flights in the mid-90’s (IL-96s out of LAX) still had good looking stewardess, and the food and service was pretty good too, and the plane nice.
Their domestic flights inside of Russia (Tupelov-154s) were downright surreal. It was as if your travel arrangements were made by David Lynch.
Reminds me of this classic
Wow! Just look at that legroom that he has at the end of that commercial!
The 1970’s were a magical time for air travel.
I remember in 1978 getting served alcohol, repeatedly, on a flight to Hawaii with my sister.
The stewardess didn’t care, and out over the ocean, alcohol laws (if there were any) just weren’t thought about.
Air France used to sell its services with the slogan, “Have you ever done it the French way?”
Air France trans-continental flights are nothing short of a big piss-up. They used to encourage people to walk around the flight cabin like it’s a nightclub. Weird. But I don’t know about what they are like now, as I avoid Western Europe as much as possible unless I am being paid to be there.
I’m not a regular flier but I have flown often enough. I used to really enjoy it but my most recent trip (Toronto to Munich on Air France) was hell. I think the seats are getting smaller.
My best trip was about 25 years ago from London to Montreal. I was on the top deck of a 747 full of kids on their way home from a school trip to Europe. A kindly stewardess took pity on me and invited me to sit in the stewardesses lounge for the flight.
I’ve flown just about every air line imaginable in my time, and nothing has ever been quite as surreal as some of the NWT flight routes I’ve experienced. David Lynch would have shit his pants!
About the attendants – I preferred it when they were female, apparently hetero, on the pretty side, and service-oriented. That was so long ago. But I still have fond memories.
P.S. It is really worth springing for the extra $$ and flying First Class. I find I bitch a lot less about my flying experience if I flew First Class. Apparently, even nasty bitches and bitter old queens can be forced to treat customers decently, so it is possible. I agree that everyone should have that positive flight experience, but in Canada you have to PAY extra to be treated like a human being. Truth is tough and reality can sure suck, huh?
Cattle car flights with air canada to Fort McMurray….. tiny seats too small for anyone with shoulders and the plane full to capacity with rig hands and oil crews.
I shudder at the very thought!
In a way the younger generations are better off, since they have never known anything different from what air travel has become. Unfortunately I remember when the seats reclined, you had ample leg room, food was served on real china with real cutlery, wine and alcohol were free, the service was customer oriented and all this in tourist class. Remembering this makes it far more difficult to accept how degraded air travel has become. Yet the cost keeps increasing as the service (if one can still honestly call it that) keeps decreasing.
We who have known a better time will always treasure those memories, and hate what time has wrought.