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Was Flying in the 80s Really Better Than It Is Now?

Was Flying in the 80s Really Better Than It Is Now?
Jeff Edwards

The FlyerTalk Forum is a pretty big place, so when a particularly good piece of FlyerTalk comes across our desks, we put it on the front page for regular Reports From the Forum. Want to read more? Check out the Reports From the Forum tag, or head to the forum yourself to see what the FlyerTalk is about.

A member recently posed the question to fellow FlyerTalkers, “Were the Early 80s Really That Much Better on UA Than Now?” For some, the answer was an unequivocal “Yes!” but others suggested that nostalgia over the “Friendly Skies” of the 1980s is simply longing for good ol’ days that never were. Although beauty is very much in the eye of the air traveler, there is very little doubt from the recollections of frequent flyers that the United Airlines experience today is much different than the experience 40 years ago.

United Airlines ad reel released May 1984


Fine Dining at 40,000 Feet

Comparing United Airlines’ inflight dining of the early ’80s with today’s fare would be like comparing apples and caviar. On the other hand, a few FlyerTalkers note that the current impressive lounge system for elite flyers makes the dining less important than before.

“I flew UA’s first TPACS–SEA/NRT and SEA/HKG–in F soon after the routes were awarded. 747 SP aircraft were used, and first class was in the nose, forward of the cockpit. In addition to the differences in experiences pointed out in previous posts, inflight service was totally different,” FlyerTalker artvandalay recounted fondly.

“Excellent wines, and when you ordered a cocktail, two were provided. TPACs offered “five cart service” with real china and silver, and included a salad mixed at your seat (with choice of dressings not served in individual plastic tubes), Moet or Dom, Russian vodka and caviar, choice of entrees (lobster, carved beef), fruit and cheese cart, dessert cart with multiple indulgent choices, and cordials. Service was very attentive and never rushed. Overall, the experience was not unlike dining in a fine restaurant.”

Image Source: FlyerTalker AlreadyThere shared a Pan Am menu from which passengers part of their frequent flyer program could order a day in advance of their flight.

While the menus and service won’t be as impressive as the first-class dining of yore, other frequent flyers argue that the United Airlines premium cabin service is simply a reflection of what modern travelers want and need. There are, after all, other options for those looking to be treated like royalty rather than be (occasionally) left alone.

“In a modern business class product like Polaris, I can eat as much as I possibly would need to (and by the way, despite the comments around here, Polaris food is actually really good), or eat at the lounge before or after a flight; I can lie down and sleep, I can watch movies, I can work. I control my flight experience,” dilanesp countered.

“So sure, if your only goal in life is to have flying replicate a 5 star restaurant, fine, you are going to be disappointed. But I don’t see why it’s even that important that flying replicate a 5 star restaurant, and if you feel otherwise, spring the 8 grand and buy a ticket on one of the international carriers that still offers true F. You’ll get that and more. On the other hand, I think for most travelers, Polaris is a far superior product to old style international F, because it puts the traveler in charge and delivers whatever he or she needs.”

Lie Flat-ish Seats

Image Source: Screenshot of cabin from United Airlines in Seoul video. This Osaka-bound flight was captured to commemorate Pac Day (February 16, 1986), when Pan Am Pacific Operation merged into United Airlines.

While the privacy and comfort of today’s business class far outstrips the lie-flat predecessors available in the ’80s, a workable facsimile was available for the well-heeled. A little extra attention and few amenities lost to time went a long way towards making early versions of the lie-flat seat as cozy as possible.

“My first international first flight was on Pan Am on the upper deck of a 747 to Paris in 1983,” JohnFortWorth recalled. “The ‘Sleeperette’ seat was a standard F seat of the era with a manual leg rest that would fold out and give you a lie flat surface. It was a more primitive version of what most international first seats looked like 20 years ago.”

Caution, Wide Load

Image Source: Diagram of Continental Airlines shared by FlyerTalker bearkatt.

Nearly everyone in the discussion agrees that the wide-body aircraft of yesterday made for a less cramped experience than the quieter and more fuel-efficient single-aisle equipment now used on most domestic routes. A few FlyerTalkers even remember when flying wide-body equipment was something United Airlines prided itself on.

“Speaking of wide-body prevalence,” user JimInOhio recollected, “remember back in the early 80s, UA advertised their ORD-CLE service as ‘All DC-10.’”

Ah, Yes I Remember It Well

Other FlyerTalk evangelists insist that nostalgia over both music and United Airlines in the 1980s is woefully misplaced. There are, after all, a litany of reasons air travelers in 2020 have it much better than our legroom-having-forefathers.

“No denying the inflight caviar service levels were better and for the most part, the ground experience was better (although the lounges and airport services are for the most part better today and more accessible), but the prices were much higher and the ability to travel was more restricted,” WineCountryUA offers.

Image Source: FlyerTalker Kurt shared a timetable of United Airlines’ international route network from March 2, 1983.

“The availability of non-stop service to more locations is better today — overall shorter travel times. There a wide range of flight options (post de-regulation). Flight safety is significantly better today (MAX or not). So yes, as a luxury experience, yesterday was better; but in many other ways, today is better for many. Understand some would want the service of yesterday but for the most part that has proven financially not possible today. (not that it has to drop as lower as UA is).”

Both in-flight dining and in-flight entertainment from 40 years ago have taken a different course: The quality of one declined over time while the other improved exponentially. Now, we are likely traveling with access to more entertainment in our pockets than United Airlines offered passengers during the entire decade beginning in 1980.

“Unless you liked listening to music or movies through a pneumatic tube, there was not much electronic entertainment,” FlyerTalker Wilbur writes. “Serving the meal from a cart was part of how to pass the time, along with a deck of cards. I learned several different card games from attendants on long flights with the old Bicycle playing card decks they handed out at the beginning of flights.”

In-Flight Entertainment

Image Source: FlyerTalker rustykettel found an old “headset” rental receipt. They were similar to a doctor’s stethoscope.

 

Smoke ‘Em If You Got ‘Em

One thing most air travelers won’t miss is the smoking section. Not surprisingly, allowing smoking in one section of an aircraft cabin meant that everyone on the plane was forced to enjoy the pungent aroma of cigarette smoke.

“What nostalgia,” Long Zhiren marveled. “What about the smoking signs that turned on? And the hazy smoke-filled cabins? The best were the European airlines whose two sections were effectively smoking and chain-smoking. You could look down the aisle of a 747 and see not even half way down the length of the plane because of the smoke. Ah the tulip livery emblazoned complimentary cigarette packs.”

Glorified Bus Stations

While the service and amenities in the air were undoubtedly better in the ’80s than they are today, no one wants to go back to a North American Airport circa 1980. Hot dog rollers and weak coffee are best reserved for truck stops and the Quickie Mart.

“A lot of folks might not remember (or be too young to know) that even up to the late 90s, a lot of airports, even big ones (hello, YYZ), were glorified bus stations with few and awful dining options,” user bart889 reminds us. “The first time I went through AMS in the mid-90s, my first thought was, ‘why can’t we have airports like this in North America?’”

The More Things Change

Image Source: Screenshot of passengers from the United Airlines advertisement reel dressed in suits and ties.

Whether or not FlyerTalkers agree that United Airlines (and air travel in general) was better in the 1980s, there is one point on which nearly everyone agrees—passengers used to dress much, much better—no matter which cabin they were traveling in. There is, of course, some disagreement as to whether or not this was a good thing.

More than a few FlyerTalkers noted that nearly everything looks better in hindsight. This rings true for a passenger in 1983 as it will be for a passenger in 2023.

“Yes it was much better in the 1980s than today…but…even then, not nearly as good as it was in the mid-60s!” ss278 lamented.

What do you miss most about air travel in the early 1980s? Do improvements such as state-of-the-art inflight entertainment, paperless travel and online booking make up for crowded planes and less legroom? The world’s largest expert flyer community will tell you why you’re wrong in the United Airlines MileagePlus forum.

View Comments (25)

25 Comments

  1. formeraa

    January 28, 2020 at 8:54 am

    With few exceptions, airport amenities in the early 80’s were quite basic in the early 80’s. The “concession stands” were more like what you would get at a ball game: overpriced, overcooked hot dogs, popcorn that had sat around for hours, overpriced watery fountain drinks.

    In flight entertainment was music and maybe a movie (if you were on a widebody aircraft).

    Food: Well, food was much better all around. You got a full meal in coach on flights over 90 minutes or so. Snack service was actually a light meal, not just cookies or pretzels. Everyone still complained about the quality of the meals, though. Some things never change…

  2. jonsail

    January 28, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    In the ’80s I was a beginning lawyer with a young family flying economy for business and family visits. One day my opposing counsel and I, booked in economy by our cost conscious employers, were the only two folks waiting to board wearing suits and ties–it was easier than packing them for the deposition we were flying to and in those days lawyers always dressed like that for depositions. A FA smiled at us both and said, “You look like you belong in First Class,” and gave us seats there. That wouldn’t happen today.

    Going back to the ’60s i was one time flying student standby and the open seat was in first class. Again, that wouldn’t happen today.

    And economy was definitely not as cramped in the ’80s as it is now. But economy costed a heck of a lot more in inflation adjusted dollars than it does now.

  3. Mike Brenner

    January 29, 2020 at 4:27 am

    Wow – this was a really great article! As a 1K for life, and AA Gold for life – I have flown a lot from the 80’s until today. There is no comparison — the seats today are so much better than the 80’s. Continental used to have a great first class seat on their (old) 747 – but it still didn’t compare to the beds of business class today. The United 747 that flew from NJ to Japan – had a massive FC – that really never customized the experience. Does anyone remember the sheep skin first class seats of American?? The red white and blue first class seats of TWA? As for food.. other than most airlines served caviar and soup in FC, and usually ran out of your ‘first’ choice in first – today – you can order what you want, when you want and it is pretty good. Airports today are so much more exciting – you can even buy winter coats in vending machines (at LaGuardia). 80’s gave you limited choice. Nostalgia – yes – but lets get real — the airlines have really advanced in over the decades. Nostalgia is an old 727 that smelled like kerosene versus the newer jets. More important — entertainment, electric, and laugh when ‘internet isn’t fast enough’. Old days – you watched Sister Act, Forest Gump, Groundhog Day for two months straight (First month Domestic, Second month International) — and those amazing headphones — graduating from truly ‘air pods’ of tubes of sound, to the crackling of new headphones. Yes – in the 80’s the world was more innocent and traveling was not as production – but did anyone know where their plane was, where it was coming from – and more important – the current status?? As we look back – and remember great times – it is also important to see the amazing improvements ALL the various airlines have implemented. I can’t wait for the next review comparing 2040 to 2020!!

  4. crwander

    January 29, 2020 at 4:47 am

    I remember… 80’s airports were a breeze to move through (no long security lines), but the amenities were scarce. Once you clear security, airports today are much better… well… most of the time, anyway). I think the top-end food today is just as good… somewhat lacking in economy class, though. The cabins of the 80’s had more space, but overall interior quality has gone way up. Love the lie-flat seats we have today. Service… well… just depends on the airline and the particular crew you get. I remember some all-star crews from both the 80’s and last week.

  5. horseymike

    January 29, 2020 at 5:25 am

    Comfortable seats in all cabin classes for starters. Baggage was included in the fare. Last but not least, enough leg room for a average size adult. that is how it used to be.

  6. Danwriter

    January 29, 2020 at 7:44 am

    Touring with various bands in the ’70s, we figured out that just a sport coat was often good enough for an unsolicited first-class upgrade. By the 1980s, a combination of long hair and Armani produced the same result.

  7. ksandness

    January 29, 2020 at 7:55 am

    In the days before deregulation, if your flight on one airline was delayed or cancelled, the airline would make an effort to get you on someone else’s flight if there was room, based on your class of service and/or how early you checked in. I usually flew LGAMSP on Northwest, and I was transferred to UA a couple of times when there were equipment problems.

    If your flight was cancelled and required an overnight stay in the airport, you received meal vouchers. This perk was cancelled at some point in the 1980s, as my brother found out when he was stranded at ORD on his way back to school in Cleveland with only two dollars in his pocket and no ATM card (they were still rare in those days).

    I always flew coach and never, ever felt cramped in the 1970s and 1980s. It was some time in the early 1990s that I noticed that the seats were suddenly narrower and closer together, even though my height and weight had not changed.

  8. yeldogt

    January 29, 2020 at 8:08 am

    The airport experience was different: JFK PanAm first class .. drive up to the terminal. Bags taken … they had food and beverages dependent on the time of day. Not very important as you only had to get to the plane that was sitting in front of you. No 3 hours before to the terminal. They had the best Salmon .. flown in every day. Took the SP to Tokyo couple times a year. JAL was good as well. AirFrance was my favorite going east …. Lufthansa .. great service .. smoke …lots of it. Today, the whole experience is longer and more stressful … London was a drive from the city — the flight and arrival. Today the whole process is hours longer …. one needs to sleep. Lets not talk about Concorde

  9. drphun

    January 29, 2020 at 8:16 am

    I remember flying in the 80’s. There were meals, but they were usually inedible.

    The big advantage was time and hassle. I could leave home 45 minutes before my flight: 10 minutes to get to the airport (15 if I had to wait for a train at the crossing), park in the lot in front of the entrance, walk in the door, skip checking bag, go through security (metal detector for me and xray for bag), walk up to the gate, check in for reserved seat, and get right on the plane if it had started boarding. Planes were rarely full and sometimes they were nearly empty.

  10. NYC96

    January 29, 2020 at 9:52 am

    Early 80’s? That cloud of SMOKE in the back of the cabin. the Smoking section. Inhale, COUGH, exhale.

  11. dragonlady13

    January 29, 2020 at 9:56 am

    Even in non-inflation-adjusted dollars it cost more more to fly coast-to-coast pre-deregulation. I remember it being around $500, which is pretty much what it is now (unless you catch a good sale, which makes it even less now). I do miss the DC-10, especially for long flights. and the addition of a seat in every row for the 777 hasn’t helped – especially with the increasing size of most passengers. I still have quite a collection of airline playing cards. As for the food – my recollection is that nobody has ever had anything good to say about food in economy.

  12. moose63

    January 29, 2020 at 10:22 am

    No, I don’t want to go back in the time machine. But, I do miss FAs that knew my name; I knew them and actually knew some families; waking to find a FA had covered me with a blanket; some meals that actually tasted good; lighter loads and an entire row just for me; polite PAXs. Yes,a lot of the personal stuff was on EA shuttles (BOS-DCA).

  13. dliesse

    January 29, 2020 at 10:25 am

    Having flown United since the 60s, I’ve seen all the changes over the years (well, not the international F product, but everything else). Yes, some aspects of flying were better in the 80s, and some are better now.

    Aside from the smoking issue, flying in the back of the bus was definitely more pleasant then. Seats weren’t necessarily wider, but there weren’t as many crammed in. Pitch was greater, and DC-10s were 2+4+2 while 747s were 2+4+3, meaning the aisles were wider. There was real service on board; even printed menus in coach with as many as three choices of entree (United’s “Mainliner steaks” were pretty good; the chicken, like almost all mass-produced chicken, was terrible).

    Just incidentally, seat widths on narrow-body Boeings were 16.7″ aisle and window, 17.6″ center. Still averages 17″ per, but they were not equal. I think the DC-10 and 747 were a straight 17″, and it was a big deal when the 767 came along with 18″ widths (2-3-2 configuration, BTW). The standard 18″ width on Airbus was never really promoted when they finally came along.

    I really don’t care about the lie-flat seats; I can’t sleep lying on my back and there’s no ability to sleep on one’s side. I do pretty well semi-reclined, though, so that’s all that really matters to me.

    Yes, flights were more expensive back then — but also everyone didn’t feel that flying cheaply was an entitlement. If you couldn’t afford to fly you vacationed closer to home. Fewer flyers meant more comfort in the cabins. When I was growing up (disclaimer: as the son of an employee) we were able to get standby seats in First Class (and we dressed for the occasion, and we behaved ourselves so we didn’t lose our pass privileges or, worse, get a massive spanking — never a beating — after the trip!). I remember one trip, in fact — this would have been in 1979 or 1980 — when I was the only F passenger on a flight ORD-ONT.

    When it started, Mileage Plus was a decent program — although that’s not the point of this thread — largely because you got miles by flying. Period. It was truly a “frequent flyer” program (or, more accurately, a “distance flyer” program).

    Interlining among airlines was normal; pretty much all airlines interlined with the others except OC, PS, and WN. While they lasted the helicopter services in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and the Bay Area had reduced fares for those connecting with the other airlines (my biggest regret is never having the opportunity for a flight on SFO Helicopter Airlines; they even had a one-day excursion fare that would let you fly to almost all of their service points in a single day).

    On the other hand, in those days before the Internet you had to talk to the airline folks by phone, and I’ve always hated using the telephone. I don’t remember when it changed completely, but as late as 1976 there were still flights that didn’t have assigned seats in coach. Air Traffic Control still had a ways to go in terms of development. Not all planes even had an audio system, and on short flights it wouldn’t be turned on (on the bright side — if there was audio, there WAS Channel 9, almost without exception). Yes, the movies were scheduled interminably (in addition to the domestic/international scheduling mentioned earlier, Hawaii was also scheduled differently from mainland — EB one way was WB the other way the following month, I think mainland first). Which brings up: Hawaii was still “our little corner of the world” to UA, the service being more special than domestic.

    So yes, parts of the service were better then; parts are better now. We’re all human and tend to focus on the negative, so if we think of what was wrong back then we like it better as it is now, but if we focus on today’s negatives we look back with a dreamy smile.

  14. jonsail

    January 29, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Something else no has mentioned so far: Back in the day Mutual of Omaha had boxes at the airport offering insurance for a single flight. If you wanted to buy it you took the form and envelope, filled out the info, put in a check and dropped in the box. Presumably if your plane crashed Mutual of Omaha would send a check to your beneficiary. Planes did crash more frequently back then.

  15. prodenver

    January 29, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    There’s no dispute that the equipment today is better than in the 80’s, but the flight experience is no where as pleasant as back then. True, airports were not much above bus station quality and service, but you could easily check your bags and get to your boarding gate with ease. The business model for legacy airlines changed drastically when the economy airlines entered the industry and unfortunately they felt that in order to compete for passengers they had to mimic many of the budget airline practices.

    I was a suit and tie guy, and still am, who was treated well and enjoyed first class travel. I became familiar with many FA’s on the regular routes I traveled. Today’s cattle car mentality of both the airlines and the passengers has made travel somewhat unpleasant with the exception of international travel. I’ve generally felt comfortable in both business class and first class on my trips to Europe and Asia.

  16. PointsPanda

    January 29, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Are there any other frequent flyertalk members in their 20s and early 30s, seems like the average age of the forum based on this post is 75.

  17. BC Shelby

    January 29, 2020 at 1:34 pm

    ….several things that were better then than now Full cabin service in all classes. More legroom and hip room even in coach, No premium pricing for bulkhead or exit row seats. Compensation when the airline or weather messed up. No excess fees for luggage or change of itinerary. True “freedom to move about the cabin” and even change seats. Widebody jets even on medium range flights like MKE to NYC or SEA to DEN (also loved those stretch DC-8s UNited and Delta still had) . More direct flights without a change of plane or out of the way travel through some mega hub. Most important, no TSA (I still remember when security scanners were at the gates instead of entrance to the concourse so you could see people off and welcome them home).

    Yeah airports were more spartan and “functional”, but i’d trade that any day for a better overall flight experience like we used to have compared to now.

  18. bdemchak

    January 29, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    Thanks for this wonderful article … and thanks, too, fellow commenters, for the thoughtful comments!

    What’s missing here is the people of the 80s: the flying public and the airline personnel.

    In the 80s, flying was less common and it felt like a privilege. It really was a reason to dress up and act civilized. For the past 20 years, more and more, the cadre seems either blase or downright entitled. Neither are a great look.

    In the 80s, I got the impression that when dealing with airline personnel, I was dealing with people who were professional and took pride in their work … from ticket and gate agents, to flight attendants and all crew in between. They listened, tried hard to do a good job, and could develop really warm relationships. Lately, though, I get the feeling that they’re biological extensions of a vast computing and policy framework. There *are* glaring exceptions, as I see many airline employees still in there trying hard (and I love them!), but they’re fighting management and “the system”. Face it … the personal touch doesn’t scale well to the crowds that now fly, especially when the flying public is blase (at best) and entitled and angry (at worst).

    I get the impression that the airlines’ mission is to squeeze a penny until it screams, and not so much to infect us all with their love of flying.

    True?

  19. CEB

    January 29, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    Just one comment, in response to bdemchak I would point out that the customer is squeezing that penny even harder than the airlines!! :):)

  20. SkyGirl747

    January 29, 2020 at 9:09 pm

    Pointspanda, people in their 20s and early 30s either weren’t alive in the 80s or not old enough to remember it. That’s probably why they’re not any posts from that age group on this article.

  21. ksandness

    January 30, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Well, of course passengers are looking for the best price. Domestic air travel is so wretched nowadays that no one in their right mind would pay more than necessary for it, especially with variable pricing. I once literally saved $300 by booking a roundtrip PDX-MSP a day later than originally planned. (The ticket was around $500 when I first looked, and then $198 literally the next day.)

    Business and first are priced way above what they are worth. People who say “If you don’t like coach, pay for first or business class.” OK, I’m willing and able to pay a premium above coach, as with United’s Economy Plus or Delta’s Economy Comfort. But (and here’s a real world example) I’m flying ORD to LHR, and coach is $1200 while the cheapest business class ticket is $7000, and I’m going to spend an extra $6000 on my plane ticket rather than on hotels, restaurants, and ground transportation in the UK?

    Interestingly enough, I’ve been offered a chance to bid on upgrades in recent years. I paid $325 for a one-way upgrade to premium economy on NH, NRT to SFO, $500 to upgrade to business class ICN to LAX on UA, and $600 to upgrade to business class on Aer Lingus, DUB to MSP. In all of these cases, I bid the lowest allowable amount and ended up in sections that were only 50-75% occupied, while the coach passengers were crammed in shoulder to shoulder and knees to seatback.

    I suspect that the airlines would have no trouble selling out their premium sections if they priced them at no more than twice the coach fare and stopped offering free upgrades based on anything other than butt-in-seat miles.

  22. gglave

    January 30, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Any article like this about the “good ol’ days” *has* to start by mentioning fares. The reason you got a meal, legroom, free drinks and a pillow was fares were much higher than they are today (adjusted to today’s dollars). I remember 20+ years ago YVR-DEN return without a Saturday stay was $1500 in 1999 dollars. My parents were well-off middle class, yet when we flew back to England in the 1970s my dad had to take out a bank loan to pay the fares.

  23. m44

    February 1, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Yes – I’ll take 80’s anytime. If you bought a ticket – you were certain you’ll be there. If anything happened to your flight, or you were a little late – you could take your ticket to any airline.
    And the airlines were not cheating like today – the flight number was the flight number – no code-share smokescreen, the flight time was the time – and if the door was not closed you could get on it — unlike today’s fake-departure time which prevents you from boarding the flight 10 minutes before the time even if the door is still open.
    Not to mention the fact that if the airline caused damages you could sue them as the Constitution provided without the garbage prohibitions of the deregulation act.

  24. shipcamein

    February 7, 2020 at 8:55 am

    Just saw this article a few days late…I’ll comment anyway, WTH…

    It’s really about priorities, isn’t it? And state-of-the-art. Unfair to compare technology – it will be better ten years from now, too – but as long as you had state of the art, then no need to complain (back then). Good meals in the sky – yes, still a priority for me. It means more to me than IFE, I can’t remember the last time I watched an inflight movie (or at home, for that matter). I read books back then (started flying late 70s), I still do that now. I miss taking more non-stops, and on those non-stops, were almost always empty seats. Whole rows sometimes. That rarely happens now. I love today’s lounges. For 40 minutes. Then I’m on a plane for 6 hours. Not worth it, generally, except long, long layovers.

    But what I miss most is manners. Sorry, people. I’d trade my lie-flat for a tray that hasn’t had someone’s bare feet on it. I’d trade my steak dinner if I didn’t have to play arm-rest roulette while doing it. I’d give up my book., if a steady stream of drunken budget flyers would stop banging my elbow on their next trip to pee all over the bathroom floor.

    I miss when people put strangers before themselves, and that is hardly more obvious anywhere than at today’s airports. Yes, many things are better now, but that isn’t one of them.

  25. buzglyd

    February 8, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Don’t forget, the “headphones” back then were usually two hoses that plugged into an armrest speaker. The sound was terrible. The fun part would be taking the end of your seat mates hose and blowing into it which provided an earful of wind! You could also talk into the end of another person’s hose and carry on a quiet conversation with those things!

    The food and drink were better in front but in coach it was mini-food. It was free but not good. And no inflight wifi or texting and personal electronics were limited to a Sony Walkman if you had one.

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