When Air Travel Was Totally Cool

With the new series Pan Am on TV, everyone is thinking about what air travel was like back when it was sophisticated. You know, the good old days when people dressed up to travel and airports were wonderful monuments of design. There are even pictures of this lost era!

It might be hard to imagine, because now most airports are lifeless malls devoid of any originality except where the Cinnabon is placed and then you're forced to print out your boarding pass on your computer, check your bags with a machine, and then fight off a bunch of annoying slobs wearing velour pajamas and clutching body pillows for an unassigned seat on a Southwest flight. God, It's like Mad Max out there, but with carry-on luggage and worse outfits.

But there was a time when flying was cool. Just look at home much fun these BOAC stewardesses are having peering out of a 747 in 1971.

[Image via Getty]

When Air Travel Was Totally Cool

This plane leaving London for Paris in 1937 is very Casablanca.

[Image via Getty]

When Air Travel Was Totally Cool

This is what London's Gatwick Airport looked like when it opened in 1937. Look, no lines, body scanners, or people asking you if you packed your own bags.

[Image via Getty]

When Air Travel Was Totally Cool

Screw those warm towels, this is first class. I mean, they have a fucking butler!

[Image via Getty]

When Air Travel Was Totally Cool

Pan Am weren't the only ones with sexy stewardesses. TWA had their leggy air hostesses back in 1947.

[Image via Getty]

When Air Travel Was Totally Cool

A Swedish Airlines plane flies up the East River in New York in 1946. Airplanes that close to Manhattan? Swedish Airlines? Is this even real?

[Image via Getty]

When Air Travel Was Totally Cool

On the left are the uniforms that mod style icon Mary Quant designed Court Line Aviation aviation in 1973 and on the right the classic Pan Am uniform. Way better than navy slacks and some lousy frilly tie.

[Image via Getty]

When Air Travel Was Totally Cool

Next time your knees are bumping up against the seat in front of you, think about an airplane with recliners and bunk beds. Then try not to kill someone.

[Image via Getty]

When Air Travel Was Totally Cool

Even the outside of the airport was classy. Just look at Kennedy Airport (still called Idlewild Airport at the time) in 1950, or the planes taking the night off at London Airport in 1957.

[Image via Getty]