20 Vintage Photos From Between the 1940s and 1970s Show How Glamorous Flying Used to Be!

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Although flying today is cheaper, safer, and faster than it’s ever been, it’s becoming an increasingly unpleasant experience as airlines cram more passengers into planes, causing overcrowding and delays.

It’s enough to make travelers wish for the golden age of aviation.

Here are some vintage photos from 1946 to 1970, sourced from Iberia, KLM, Delta, British Airways and Air France, that show just how glamorous flying used to be.

We’re grateful that smoking is no longer permitted on planes, but we can’t deny this guy’s got style. We’re grateful that smoking is no longer permitted on planes, but we can’t deny this guy’s got style. (Courtesy of KLM)

With today’s lie-flat beds in first and business class, not all that much has changed since 1949 on a KLM flight. With today’s lie-flat beds in first and business class, not all that much has changed since 1949 on a KLM flight. (Courtesy of KLM)

Seats on Delta have definitely shrunk since 1959. Seats on Delta have definitely shrunk since 1959. (Courtesy of the Delta Flight Museum)

We’d love to see bunk beds (on KLM) make a comeback. We’d love to see bunk beds (on KLM) make a comeback. (Courtesy of KLM)

Flight attendants used to really dote on passengers. Flight attendants used to really dote on passengers. (Courtesy of Iberia)

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