Flying high, and in style

17 Aug

Whenever one subjects oneself to the multiple indignities associated with flying Ryanair,  an experience that somehow leaves one feeling simultaneously like a battery hen, a con artist’s mark and a protestor being kettled by the Metropolitan Police, thoughts turn fondly to the Golden Age of  the Airliner, when air travel was free range, pilots looked like Dan Dare and cocktails were not $10 miniatures of Smirnoff Ice. Behold, then, the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, a hulking walrus of the postwar skies with a poor safety record but, crucially, a lower-deck cocktail lounge (in this instance with a Hawaiian theme!):

Here’s that cocktail lounge up close (sigh):

Even flying with BOAC, the forerunner of British Airways, looks like something one might actually enjoy doing. Just look at the grateful expression on this chap’s face as the liveried attendant pours him a cocktail that he has mixed himself behind a well-stocked bar:


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