We have had commercial flights for 100 years now with the first paying passenger on a flight on 1st January 1914. KLM is the oldest airline starting back in 1919. In its first year of operations it carried 345 … in a whole year! That’s as much as one plane carries today. And don’t we know about it? We love to complain about air travel but it really is amazing how it has opened up the world for us.
How is this old beauty?
Flying in those days was very different. First of all you get dressed up in your Sunday best. My first flight was back in 1967 when I left England with my parents to go and live in South Africa and although it was a 14 hour flight (in those days) we dressed up to the nines. My brother (who was 8) and my father both wore suits with collar and tie. Big difference from today when flight attendants sometimes have to enforce dress code just to protect other passengers.
In those days being a flight attendant was a dream job. Today you have to wonder how some of these flight attendants get through the week. It only takes one difficult passenger to create a major headache for the staff and the other passengers. That’s not to mention pushing those heavy food and drink carts down the aisle (they can weigh up to 400 lbs) and then there is always someone who decides to use the bathroom in the middle of the service.
Further grumbles from passengers surround the whole paying for baggage issue, the size of your carry on, inflight entertainment, meals on board…. and on, and on, and on. But let me not go on…. the comedian Louis CK … sums it up best at how much we take things for granted in this great little clip from the Conan O’Brien show