Monday, September 26, 2011

The Television Series Pan Am

The new television series Pan Am premiered last night. The series Mad Men started a big 1960's nostalgia thing and this show cashes in on it. It takes us back to an age when flying was basically for the people with money as tickets were expensive and their price strictly regulated by the US government. To those of us lucky enough to be able to fly in that golden age, here is what you got as follows:
1) Large and comfortable seats in coach and luxury seats in first class.
2) Free alcohol and almost as much as you wanted.
3) Gourmet meals each cooked individually. It was not unusual to see filet mignon served in coach and champaign served with breakfast if you had been flying all night.
4) A plane that was often half full so that you could stretch out and even go to sleep.
5) When the cabin lights went out it was always possible for a passionate couple to "join the 7 mile high club" and make beautiful love 7 miles above planet earth.
6) If you had to change a flight or reschedule a reservation, it was no problem and no fees.
7) Airport security was minimal.
If you flew first class it was almost like being a member of royalty. Please allow me to share my experiences flying the Brasilian airline Varig during the 1970's as follows:
1) The minute one sat down in the first class cabin, a glass of Moet Brut expensive champaign was placed in your hands. Generous refills were allowed.
2) Once your aircraft was airborne, the stewardesses came around with an extensive menu of various drinks like you would find in the bar of a luxury hotel.
3) As it came time for the main meal to be served, each first-class passenger was given a menu with several courses and meal options. A chef was on board to cook the meal to your specifications.
4) After eating your gourmet meal, a dessert tray as brought around with all sorts of tempting desserts,
5) Once this was finished another tray came around with a choice of very expensive after dinner drinks. It was like the life of a rich man or woman living in a 5-star hotel.
All business travelers making international trips flew first class and it was paid by their company or employing organization.
Regardless of whether you flew coach of first class, all of the stewardesses were beautiful and glamorous young women. Every male passenger had fantasies about "dating a stew."
Sadly that golden age is gone and will never return again. To those of you who are too young to have experienced such luxury and glamour in flying, I assure you that I'm not hallucinating or dreaming. I really experienced this glamorous life in the air. The series Pan Am is very special to me.
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