United Airlines Stewardesses [1968]

Courtesy San Diego Air & Space Museum

There was a time when people traveled in something other than sweats and slip-ons.

And security was taken care of at the gate, no shoe removal required.  Flight attendants were called stewardesses, which at the time made sense because the term Steward was given to service personnel who took care of the traveler.  Many facets of air travel have changed; while I would never consider taking a “short hop” flight to places like Spokane or Portland from Seattle, because it would take me longer to get through security than it would to fly there.  While to the younger segments of our society this is standard, many of us remember when air travel was kinder on the soul.

Bad Apples who wanted to do us harm changed all that.

At Portland International Airport 05/1973

The fact remains that flying was once glamorous and fun, especially during the 1960s glory days.  It was the closest thing to space most of us would ever see.  Rarely was a motto so accurate: The Friendly Skies.  I still love flying, just not at the same levels as I did at 14.  I’m still amazed that a huge metal tube can hurl through thin air without falling.  Goofy me: I still love looking out the window at the passing Earth below.

While the golden age of air travel may be long past, it lives on with vibrance in an unexpected place: Pinterest.  In the past year I have found more airline, airliner, and flight crew photos on Pinterest than anywhere else.  It’s clear that people have a love for the style and feeling of the age, which embodied a sense of hope for air travel’s future that was seemingly quelled when hijackers started ruining the trips.

So today, thanks to the Internet, we can continue flying The Friendly Skies. Shoe removal not required.

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