Looking Back: When my hips sounded off like Tubular Bells!!!
It was simpler and less stressful in the early days. And I’m not talking Amy Johnson! Just as far back as the 60s.
Security today has turned a leisurely experience into an assault course with queues and scans. Going through the scanner for me is like a performance of Mike Oldfield’s ‘Tubular Bells’ when my hip replacements ding!
If you flew anywhere in the 1950s you were probably rich or famous.
The classes were mostly deluxe. It was the golden age of flying with the luxurious flight considered a vacation. People dressed to kill, lining up at the foot of the plane steps for photographs. The air hostesses were glamorous and subjected to strict rules. High heels, hair above their collars, single, under 125 pounds in weight and of impeccable moral standards. Each day their nails, hair, makeup, and dress were inspected.
When I was at school the ultimate ambition was to become an air hostess, not realising that they were little more than glorified dinner ladies!
By the beginning of the 1960s with flights around £30 return to Spain, people were even then starting to complain about queues, overcrowding and luggage delays, with the first fare paying plane flying from Manchester to Palma de Mallorca in May 1962.
There were compensations on board. Children could visit the cockpit. This was dis-continued after 9/11. There were newspapers, magazines, colouring books, hot flannels, generous seating and leg room, sweets for take-off and nibbles with your drinks. The food was edible, with real knives and forks.
Charter flights today with newly designed planes are uncomfortable, no pockets for your book or personal belongings, hard seats with very little space between them, and no television screens to watch the flight route.
Having a nap is often your only entertainment and anyway you need to shut out the chatting of the stranger sitting next to you. Well, they were a stranger when you boarded. By landing, you’d heard their life history and been added to their Christmas card list!