When civil aviation and air transportation took off after World War I, the planes were quite primitive. I mean, some of them weren’t even all-metal! This also means that early planes lacked some of the creature comforts that you’re used to.
Mainly, they lacked cabin pressurization. This feature was basically unheard off in the days before Lockheed Constellation. Passengers were therefore forced to dress in a way that made flights tolerable. Would you like to spend an entire trip in a coat? Well, that’s what the posh people had to do in the 1920s.
With cabin pressurization and advances in technologies that made flying safer and more commonplace, air travel was becoming very much a luxury thing, advertised as an adventure and treated as an airborne party.
That’s why the flyers – the people that could afford it, anyways – dressed in their best for their aerial cruises. They might have not been wearing their evening dresses and tuxes, but they were a lot more elegant than you and I are when trying to cram ourselves into that budget airline seat.
The 1960s was the time of hippies, the sexual revolution and all sorts of other shenanigans. This also impacted fashion, as people felt more free to dress however they liked. Men weren’t forced to wear suits and women could think about pants now and again.
This also translated to the clothing worn by air passengers. They took this chance to wear something more comfortable and suited for long-range travel. However, they still had the craving for the more stylish looks. Incidentally, this is the time when flight attendants wore their sexiest outfits, as airlines were using that image to compete among themselves.
Ah, the 80s! Various anti-sexism laws had been passed to make flight attendants’ lives move bearable, aviation is deregulated and airlines are competing via pricing. Fashions are becoming even more lax than before.
This is the time when jeans and perms are making their grand assault against suits and what not. Passengers got a lot more focused on feeling comfortable than looking that propper. That’s what the democratization of air travel means to the people, anyways.
You bought your seat for €10. The website was down and you barely had time to check in. You’re only allowed an anemic cardboard rollaboard as your carry on. Your seat has a leg crack instead of actual leg space. Buying a snack on board will cost you twice as much as the ticket.
Naturally, you don’t care that much about what you’re wearing, and neither do the other passengers. All of you want to be off the plane as soon as possible. Just don’t wear anything stinky or with visible holes in it, and you’re gold.
It was the changing business model of the airlines that brought you to the point where you see a flight as no more dignified than an inter-city bus ride.That is unless the airlines mess up again and you’re forced to endure flight delays, cancellations or maybe even overbooking! Don’t worry, you don’t have to just take these indignities on your chin! Claim flight compensation via Skycop and your flight disturbance can turn into up to €600!