Monday, August 29, 2011

Nostalgia: Remembering When Air Travel Was Glamorous

Nostalgia: Remembering When Air Travel Was Glamorous

It is hard to imagine that there was ever a time when air travel was glamorous, but it was, many moons ago. This hearkening back to the by gone days of travel was precipitated by a commercial I saw, advertising a new show that will be airing soon on ABC called, Pan AM. I must confess, while I do not watch a lot of television (barring my sports and food shows), I am curious to see how, and what this show will depict in respect to air travel, but more importantly, I wonder if the show will have any (positive) impacts on the airlines, as well as for those who travel? Maybe I am expecting too much. (Added 9/20/2011 - link to ABC's video of Real Pan Am Stewardesses:

In that same vein, I happened to catch the end of How to Marry a Millionaire, with the divine Marilyn Monroe. One of the scenes depicted Marilyn portraying the near-sighted character, Pola Debevoise. Pola accidentally mistook a plane to Kansas City, instead of Atlantic City (since she refused to wear her glasses). What caught my attention in the humorous scene was the fact that everyone was dressed to the nines. Clearly, I realize it is a movie; therefore, it would not be probable given the setting, and the age the film was created, that there would be anybody on the plane with flip flops on; however, I found myself longing for that type of glamorous travel too. The kind where people are polite; the planes are not smashed with people like a can of human sardines; the flight attendants appear to actually enjoy their jobs (excluding Southwest employees, who seem to enjoy their jobs), and the food is edible. Did I just say food? Yeah, I know, good luck with that!

My intention is not to say that I think we should be parading around in ball gowns and three-piece suits during our travels, and goodness knows that given the TSA requirements now days, less clothing would probably be better - from their point of view, but I digress. I simply found myself wishing that the days of air travel were easy and unencumbered like they were years ago. Obviously I know numerous things have transpired that have necessitated these changes, and anything that has to do with my safety, I am definitely embracing. But, there are those times I recall when I was very young, traveling on a plane with my mother in the early 80's, flying to Washington D.C. (in 1st Class), enjoying a bowl of raspberry sorbet with chocolate sauce, and looking around the cabin at all of the business travelers, and even then, a lot of people dressed up for their travels. There also was an unspoken etiquette that permeated the air. There was no pushing, shoving, hovering, or just plain rudeness that has become commonplace in today's air travel.

I often fantasize about having my own private jet. Yes, it's a luxury and decadence I will likely not see in my lifetime, but I can still dream. Needless to say, despite the air portion of travel (which I'm well seasoned at), I still enjoy traveling, and look forward to doing some more before the year ends, and also to start getting ramped up for the destinations I will embark upon for 2012!

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