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In 1959, You Could Write Your Own Airline Ticket on American

January 20, 2010 at 11:25 AM | by | ()

Sit down, shut up, and buckle your seatbelt—this is the motto of modern air travel it seems, and now it's so hard to believe that flying used to be a pleasure, a privilege. There are few legacy carriers left who remember the days of airplane cocktail lounges and Mad Men-esque style, but we managed to dig up an old "Welcome Aboard a 707 Jet Flagship" pamphlet handed to passengers flying on American Airlines in 1959.

Follow along with us this week as we peek back at air travel as it was fifty-plus years ago thanks to this discovery, and unearth some real shockers.

Business travelers, the second most beloved airline passengers, right after loyal First Class flyers. With their expense accounts and pressing meetings, biz travelers are manna from heaven for airlines, but it wasn't always this way. Back in the 1950s and '60s, the airlines were still trying to prove that flying was the way to go about business, versus driving or —heaven forbid—taking a train. Thus, there was a lot of "really, we're worth it" talk from American Airlines in this pamphlet. Plus, mentions of discounts if you bring your wife!

Or you could just write your own ticket, after the jump

Wives only cost 2/3 more!

Whenever business takes you out of town, you'll find a Flagship gets you there faster and feeling fresher for the world ahead. You can relax, read write reports, even dictate if you carry one of today's portable instruments. Business wives appreciate the speed of Flagship travel, too—it brings their husbands home to the family that much sooner! You can take your wife along at only 2/3 the regular first class fare under AA's Family Fare plan.

The "Universal Air Travel Plan"

When you subscribe to the Universal Air Travel Plan, originated by American Airlines, you actually open a travel charge account good anywhere in the world. Holders of Air Travel Cards can charge tickets at any airlines office for travel all over the world (with the green card) or anywhere in North America (with the red card).

Under the Air Travel Plan, American can arrange for you to hold you own stock of tickets and, literally, write your own ticket

None of this would fly (no pun attended) these days! "Write your own ticket?" How long did this go on at American? And we're sure the "business wives" loved going along on trips for 2/3 the ticket price, like they were children. So yeah, things have definitely changed in air travel.

Related Stories:
· New York City in 1953 [Jaunted]
· Retro Travel [Jaunted]

[Images Scanned from a 1959 American Airlines "Welcome Aboard" pamphlet]

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