Exactly 60 years ago today (May 2, 1952), the de Havilland DH 106 Comet was officially introduced as the world's first production commercial jet airliner with its inaugural flight from London to Johannesburg. Soon after that landmark flight came the flight attendants of the '60s, who have had a resurgence in popularity thanks to last year's big drama Pam Am. Some consider this era the glory years of air travel, when service was still good and passengers weren't herded like cattle. Some would also call it a time when stewardesses (the retro name for flight attendant) were treated as sex objects who were supposed to wait on you hand and foot and possibly hint at . . . other services. For a time, there was even a policy that only unmarried women could fill the job. Let's take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly in this flight attendant flashback.
Pacific Southwest Airlines gives you a lift and a hug.
In 1971, this sexist National Airlines ad angered a lot of women — and increased passengers by 23 percent. Due to the success of this ad campaign, TV spots soon followed with actresses whispering, "I'm going to fly you like you've never been flown before."
A San Francisco-based group called Stewardesses for Equal Rights complained to the Federal Communications Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but by then, the damage was done and the sexualization of women working in the air was complete.
Mmmmm! Don't let the creepy grin scare you out of an appetite!
No matter where your stewardess is from . . . we guarantee you she'll be hot.
This Pan Am stewardess looks like the Amazing Kreskin. I wonder if she reads minds, too.
These PSA stewardesses are not afraid of heights.
Flight attendant training can be fun!
This isn't recommended for attempting during takeoff.
It's Jane Wyman for American Airlines! The future Mrs. Ronald Reagan in a red, white, and blue ad.
Stewardesses all in a row, looking very orange.
"In 1973 Southwest Airlines threw caution to the winds with its stewardess uniform. 'The girls must be able to wear kinky leather boots and hot pants or they don't get the job,' said the airline's male bosses."
PSA gals hang out on the plane's wing.
The '60s uniform for British European Airways was crisp and clean.
Wave to the camera, ladies!
Look at the tiny plane!