The "Pan Am Experience:" luxury dinner, circa 1970, served in a recreated 747


Would it help if we played ‘The Blue Danube’ during your meal?


My Uncle was a Pilot for PanAm. In the 90’s, after PanAm stopped flying. They started a training school and my Uncle trained people in flight simulators. He took me and my SO on a flight simulator were I got to land a 747 in Miami. He also gave us some PanAm Swag. Couple of baseball hats, and a plastic flight bag.


Random guess – I bet there there are big but infrequent bucks to be made if you happen to have an interior-of-an-airplane set available to rent to film crews, and running it as a restaurant is just to cover the rent in between hollywood-style paydays.


Enjoy dinner in an actual porn set!


While I doubt I’d go to this ($300 after all), you mention Medieval Times like it’s a bad thing! I love that, and a Chicago dinner experience (may no longer exist, it’s been twenty years) called Tommy Guns, with a 1920s Chicago theme.


(Authentic 70s airline experience is the only way to be able to smoke in a restaurant these days.)


Were we more cramped though? People (Americans) were generally so much smaller then.


My folks flew on Air France in the early 70s. Check out the menu,


Probably 1st class…


Yes. Coach seats have shrunk from 19 inches wide to 17.5. Seat pitch varies more, but minimum spacing was once 32 inches. Now it’s as close as 28 on Spirit. Some, but not all of this is made compensated for by thinner seats.


Eh. The standard coach seats in the 1960s were actually 17 inches wide.


I remember a mall near me had a restaurant styled to look like the interior of an airplane with those little windows looking onto faux sky and curved walls. My mom said it was because some people thought flying was glamorous. I suspect the target demographic was young adults wanting a unique date but who couldn’t afford relatively pricy flights of the day. Probably around 1980. Since it was in the mall I assumed it was a chain restaurant. Surprised I can’t easily find it on the web.


This would seem like a strong contender for prom dates if not for the price tag. For people who never experienced airline food, this could seem like a really cool experience.

My worst airline food experience was in 1986 when my little sister and I got food poisoning from an airline meal. She had to go to the hospital for several days.

Best experience was in 2000, when I got bumped to First Class on a flight from NY to Austin. That was a nice meal, and I’m glad because that was the last time an airline fed me on a domestic flight. Good to finish strong, you know?


movie too?


I’m guessing you’ve never had the food in one of those places?


OTOH, for a time in the 70s American 747s had a coach lounge with a piano bar:


Wait. Medieval Times is a real restaurant? I just thought it was a gag in random movies.

Do they serve a leg of suckling pig? Or deer? Or pretty much any giant leg you eat with your hands? Because if so, I’m in.


“What’s on the menu?
Medieval Times’ noble guests feast on garlic bread, tomato bisque soup, roasted chicken, sweet buttered corn, herb-basted potatoes, pastry of the Castle, coffee and two rounds of select beverages. A full-service bar is also available for adult guests. Vegetarian meals are available upon request.”

Neither corn nor potatoes nor tomatoes are very Medieval…


PanAm fans: it was a wasteful airline, but wonderful. I flew quite a number of times. Getting bumped from coach to Business was easy. The 1970s continued inside those aircraft, it was hilarious - but in the greatest way imaginable.

They made you welcome, and feel jet age, 25 years after the fanfare.

What more could you ask?

I miss them. Mind you, that sad mock up 747 isn’t very enticing!


Arguably coffee as well (certainly enjoyed in the Mideast, but not Western Europe in the medieval period). But the whole experience isn’t supposed to be the literal medieval period, but really more the cinematic version from Errol Flynn’s “The Adventures of Robin Hood” and the like.