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Throwback Thursday: When It Took 4 Days to Fly Sydney to Singapore

Where: Australia
August 29, 2013 at 4:14 PM | by | Comment (1)

Sure, we love all the speed and comfort of modern travel, but it didn't that way overnight. Every Thursday, we're going to take a look back at travel the way it used to be, whether that's decades or centuries ago. This is Throwback Thursday, travel edition.

Thanks to a pretty active Facebook page, we can flashback to 75 years ago when Qantas launched their first Short Empire Flying Boat service between Sydney and Singapore. Boy, was this route once a doozy. The first services of the 3-night trip came in August 1938, and though the aircraft made a few stops along the way, passengers spent the long hours in awe of the new speed of air travel.

If you're thinking that flying was glamorous back in 1938, you would be absolutely correct. Each flight would be considered full if it had 15 passengers, the max. With each passenger scoring both a saloon-style seat and a sleeping berth, there probably weren't many complaints about legroom, delays, or sharing an armrest.

Flights took off from the Sydney suburb of Rose Bay and stopped in Townsville, Darwin, and Surabaya, before eventually landing at Singapore's Kallang Airport. Oh, and of course this was way, WAY before Changi? Told you it was a throwback.

To make us all stop rolling our eyes over the cost of plane tickets or checked baggage fees for modern jet flights, consider that included in the $4,300 $430 ticket price (1938 dollars) was overnight accommodation in each of the layover cities at the finest hotels. (Corrected calculation)

[Photo: Qantas Facebook]

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I've never gone to Singapore

I've never gone to Singapore before but I really can't imagine moving across the ocean in such a tiny plane like that! Talk about major phobia of flying if you put me in one of those!

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