Early 747 Airliners Had What Luxury In The First Class Cabin?
Answer: A Piano Bar
If you’re looking back from the 21st century at the way airline travel was romanticized in the mid-20th century, it would be easy to think it was only romanticized because it was new and the idea of getting on a jet and shooting across the ocean was a new and unique experience. While the golden age of air travel was certainly such because it was the first time people could travel so quickly around the world, there’s more to it. Early air travel was downright luxurious compared to modern air travel. There were no overhead bins for carry on luggage (because all luggage was checked at the gate or the door of the plane), so there was tons of head room. Seats were more amply sized. In-flight meals (real meals, not Diet Coke and pretzels) were common and in First Class, they were restaurant worthy.
The real mark of the golden age of air travel, however, was found in the upper deck of Boeing’s iconic 747 airliner. There you would find a space that hailed from the age of rail travel and luxurious dining cars. Couches, cocktails, and, on the early 747s, you’d even find a piano bar. Live entertainment above the cloud is something nearly unimaginable to the modern traveler and shows you just how much air travel has changed in the last half century.
Image courtesy of Boeing.