What's Cooking for #FlashbackFriday? Old School Airline Meals

Time to Eat

Most of you are not old enough to remember, but back in the day, airlines actually used to serve pretty good meals in all classes. I go to my Pinterest board -- Old School Airline Meals -- and show 10 examples of what was cooking in airline galleys.

01 of 09

Braniff International

Photo courtesy of aviationexplorer.com

This one is for my dear friend Henry Harteveldt, who is a big fan of this Dallas-based carrier. This is a meal from the 1960s.

02 of 09

American Airlines

Photo courtesy of the 1950s Unlimited blog

 This is amazing. A passenger's love letter to American Airlines over its 1960s inflight meal becomes part of the carrier's advertising campaign.

03 of 09

United Airlines

Photo courtesy of noelleodesigns.com

This photo came from a book discovered by the noelleodesigns.com blog. It's a picture of United Airlines passengers enjoying a meal in the 1950s.

04 of 09

Delta Air Lines

Photo courtesy of examiner.com

This photo, from 1954, is a Delta Air Lines flight attendant serving a meal to these girls, who could have easily been me and my baby sister back in the day.

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Pan Am

Photo courtesy of AirlineMeals.net

This meal was featured in a brochure touting Pan Am's service to Africa in 1966. It featured a main dish and two vegetables.

06 of 09

Delta Air Lines

Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines

 The Atlanta-based carrier celebrated its 75 anniversary by creating a website of its history, including vintage advertisements. This was an ad from the 1970s touting its Royal Service for first class travelers. Meals included tenderloin steak cooked to order served with free champagne.

07 of 09


ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv/Stiftung Luftbild Schweiz / Fotograf: Swissair / LBS_SR03-21163-05 / CC BY-SA 4.0

A hot meal being served in first class aboard a Swissair Douglas DC-8 jet in 1963.   

08 of 09

Japan Air Lines

Photo courtesy of vintageadbrowser.com

 Considering the length of a flight to Japan back in the day, the country's flag carrier wanted to ensure that passengers had plenty to eat -- even in coach class, as shown in this 1973 advertisement.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09


Photo courtesy of Trevor Mcclymont

This is a shot of the New York-based carrier's all first class Ambassador Service, circa 1971. It was featured on the airline's long-haul domestic flights flown by the Boeing 707. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Please follow my travel-related magazines on Flipboard: Best of About Travel, a joint curation venture with my fellow About Travel Experts; and Travel-Go! There's Nothing Stopping You, all about the passenger experience on the ground and in the air. You can also find my travel-related boards on Pinterest, follow me on Twitter at @AvQueenBenet, on Instagram at aviationqueen and on Snapchat at AvQueenBenet.

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