In the not too distant past, people got dressed up to travel by airplane, men wore suits and women wore dresses. Flight attendants were were always women who were required to be single, slim and trim. Those hostesses lit our cigarettes (yes, we could smoke on airplanes) brought us champagne, magazines, and games to play. There were flight attendants with frequent clothes changes during our flights including hot pants. Airplanes had piano bars, and many had fresh flowers on our dinner trays. On a flight to Hawaii in the 1980’s, the ladies room in First Class had orchids on a vanity that had been draped in linen. TWA provided a very good brunch buffet on a flight from San Francisco to Washington. Airlines competed for customers, seats were larger, and many flights were not packed. Passengers checked their bags and brought very little on board. All that changed in 1978 under President Jimmy Carter when the airlines were deregulated.
Some great old videos of things we never see on today’s flights can be seen here. This one is my favorite: