United offered men-only "executive" flights until 1970


#1

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#2

The Chicago Executive – shuttling you from one Playboy Club to another without ever having to treat a woman like a human being. Such a deal.


#3

I remember when they still allowed smoking on a plane. Those flights JFK to Puerto Rico in the 60’s meant I’d have to hide in the bathroom till touchdown so as not to go into an asthmatic attack, it sucked big time.


#4

Just to be clear, was this targeting the same clientele as those gay party cruises?


#5

Wait… is anyone actually surprised by this?


#6

I like the idea of specialized flights, but with a bent of eliminating (my perceptions of) problem passengers:

No Children - ATL to LAX
No One With Cold/Flu Virus - EWR to MCO
No Over-indulgers - ORD to LAS
No Scary Mathematicians - all flights


#7

First pic taken inside a Sud Aviation Caravelle, I see. They were beautiful airliners back in the '60s and’70s. Triangular windows designed to avoid the metal fatigue issues suffered by the De Havilland Comets which had square windows.


#8

Except for (invisible) servants.

Mr. Passenger: "Stewardess, what’s that noise?"
Stewardess: “Nothing for you to worry about, sir; it’s just an antebellum echo.”


#9

I heard Italian ones are the worst kind!


#10

A lifetime ago a group of friends and I had a semi secret society called Summit. Any gender was invited (21 and over), you had to dress to the nines, and you had to pretend it was an old boys, Dean Martin /Sinatra type affair. It was great fun, and definitely more fun when a woman was around that could out-trash-talk us :smiley:

We were all poor so all our clothes were second/third/fourth hand. It was like an adult version of dress up and make believe.

I used to throw cocktail parties with dress codes and only serve drinks from the fifties and sixties. Very fond memories.


#11

The one aspect that is surprising-retro is the implied tolerance for people flying on business slacking off during the entire flight.

I’m not sure if it’s a product of the lower cost of flying, an expansion of lower-to-mid-level white collar managerial positions, or the same technological changes that led to the substantial decline of dictating things rather than just typing them; but contemporary business-class airline sales pitches tend to be more heavily in the direction of either ‘so comfy you can sleep on the plane and be rested for your meeting without scheduling enough extra time to book a hotel’ or ‘laptop power supply and phone and internet connectivity for your productivity stuff’ or some of both.

It’s a little weird to see people too low on the totem pole for private or charter flights; but high enough to be able to expense a needlessly costly luxury flight just to pat their little egos. The fact that the needlessly expensive luxury flight would be accomplished by making it a men’s only shmoozing event isn’t nearly as surprising; but it’s a trifle weird from today’s perspective that such a midlevel variant existed, rather than a divide between private-jets-and-occasional-embarrassments-involving-escorts and people-who-get-to-be-white-collar-because-they-wear-suits-and-don’t-earn-overtime being put under increasingly heavy pressure to justify travel related expenses.

I guess that the mop-up phase of the class wars has really changed things.


#12

Reminds me of the first time I went to Atlantic City as an adult, on a whim with friends. Sharkskin suits, a slinky cocktail dress, an eightball and a seedy motel room. I think our ideas about casinos must have been overly influenced by some combination of 007 and hardboiled novels, because almost everyone else there was dressed like they were in a fucking laundromat. SMH.


#13

Surprised? Are they really even gone?


#14

Having a smaller number of sharper corners doesn’t strike me as a good way to do that. Round windows have more, shallower corners.


#15

I have flown business for work, I always used a laptop but never the work laptop. Always doing my own stuff, slacking off. The big advantage of using a computer is that it helps me get over the boredom. Every flight from where I live is seven hours or more. Its a long time to sit in a seat and coding helps me pass the time.


#16

Hell, before deregulation American used to have piano bars on their 747s.

The totem pole was lot a shorter in the 1960s. In 1965 average CEO pay was only 20 times the pay of the average worker, compared to the 350 times it is today.


#17

I remember that episode of Daria.


#18

The good old days. Everyone knew their place: on a regular flight…or the Douchebag Express.


#19

So why did you stop? That sounds like a blast.


#20

Corporate culture has been infested with an attitude of “career defines the person” that used to exist as a keeping up with the Jones’ thing and is now at a strange peak of (predominantly older) white collar workers building their entire personality and life around being a shitty wage slave. The worst part is, I see no evidence that it is more effective than being a normal person who works for the money but doesn’t mind what they do. I may have coworkers that work double my hours for 110% my pay who spend most of their “free” time working, but I’ll still be spending my flight catching up on movies and playing games.

I mean, I listen to my dad talk about how much he hates the older people he worked with because they were “slackers” only to realize he’s one of the people that liked companies shitting on workers. He’s not even a hardcore GOPer or anything like that, he just has a strange masochism about what corporate America should be like. I’m just glad the current generation is bucking that trend hard.