How to Fly to London Like a Queen

vintage illustration airplane interior stewardess 1950sImagine flying in the lap of luxury, feted with champagne, liquors and perfumes, served a sumptuous gourmet meal afterwards retiring to sleep in a luxurious sleeper berth, only to awaken to breakfast in bed before you land in jolly old England, refreshed for the Summer Olympics.

 When was the last time you referred to an overseas flight as a magic carpet ride, or  a dream come true?

 For those who have booked their flights to the London Olympics, already dreading the overcrowded, no frills flight, the words luxury and flying used in the same sentence seem downright laughable.

But in the early 1950s luxurious air travel was indeed available to any Mr. or Mrs. Average American if they wanted to cross the pond.

Pampered By Pan Am

Vintage airline ad photos England 1950s

Take this ad for Pan American Airlines from 1953, describing one average Connecticut couples flight to England  aboard a double Decker “Strato” Clipper.

 Sure the trip was a lot longer, but take a gander at these perks as described in the advertisement:

 “Nothing finer, you know, flies the Atlantic on the extra fare President Special to London!

 “There’s a sumptuous buffet table for between meal snacks…a seven course dinner by Maxims of Paris- preceded by cocktails, graced with vintage champagne, followed by fine liquor.”

“Overnight bag. Perfume and orchids for the ladies.”

 Think of that the next time you choke on those stale peanuts the airline feeds you  washed down with your complementary coke.


A Monarch fit for a King or Queen

Vintage airline Ad BOAC vintage illustrations

Not to be outdone, BOAC offered The Monarch in 1951, an overnight NY to London nonstop, for those who demand the best in luxury service and speed.

 “A royal welcome awaits you aboard your Monarch Double-Decker Strato- Cruiser….stroll about in roomy comfort…enjoy the distinguished Sky lounge.

“Service fit for a King or Queen…. a well stocked bar! Seven course dinner-with cocktail wine including champagne and liqueurs-all complimentary.

 “Breakfast in Bed! Sleeper berths available breakfast in the grand style if you wish…dressing rooms for gentlemen and ladies…”

 “For you with our compliments –this handsome Bond street overnight bag. Also for milady the Elizabeth Arden Beauty Kit with 10 beauty aids.”

 BOAC takes good care of you.

“Step aboard and you are in a dream come true…a dream of beauty speed spaciousness comfort.”

“It sounds almost like a fairy tale…this tale of a new luxurious way to travel, one ad for TWA boasts.  “But it’s true!”

The only way to travel that way now would be in Mr Peabody’s WABAC  Machine .


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