BRIGHT SIDE: What It Was Like to Fly in the 1930s (Passengers Slept in Real Beds!)


Published on: Friday, November 22, 2019

What It Was Like to Fly in the 1930s (Passengers Slept in Real Beds!)

Getting on a plane to go somewhere today is almost as simple as catching a train or a taxi. But a century ago it was way more complicated. If you look at photos of aircraft passengers from the 30s, they’re rarely seen without their jackets or coats on. That wasn't just for the sake of fashion. It was really chilly inside since heated cabins were still rare back then.

There were some things you couldn’t fix just by donning an extra layer of clothing. Remember those vomit bags that are still present on most jets, even though hardly anyone ever needs them anymore? They originated from a time when not puking during the flight was a real challenge.

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Air travelers felt queasy 1:08
Pilots couldn’t rise further than 15,000 feet from the ground 1:50
There were louder than at a rock concert inside 2:13
Planes were way more sluggish 3:02
How much did air travel cost back then? 4:54
Flying five-star hotel 5:52

#planes #aviation #brightside

- The low pressure at high altitudes makes it more difficult for the body to absorb oxygen. Air travelers felt queasy and found it hard to breathe. ]
- But the first commercial plane with a pressurization system didn’t emerge until 1938.
- Another drawback of not having the normal pressure on board was turbulence. Without pressurization, pilots couldn’t rise further than 15,000 feet from the ground.
- In the 1930s, many aircraft had either weak or no soundproofing at all. So people onboard had to deal with the sound of wind blasting by, and roaring engines.
- During the 30s, one air trip from New York to Los Angeles took about 25 hours!
- To get from one point to another, aviators needed to make over a dozen stops, as well as refuel a couple of times.
- In 1938 you’d have to pay $243 for a week-long bumpy trip from London to Brisbane, Australia. That’s about $17,000 in today’s money!
- And yet the 20s, and especially the 30s, were dubbed the golden age of flight, and for a reason.
- Passengers had big and comfortable seats, and passengers could gaze out windows that were much more similar to train windows than the tiny plane ones we’re used to today.
- The voyagers ate at real tables while their food was served on fine china dishes.
- It’s hard to imagine, but these ships also had separate bathrooms for women and men, and even bunk beds for sleeping.
- If the average cruise speed in the 1920s hovered around 100 mph, a decade later they could fly at about 200 mph.

Music by Epidemic Sound

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     2 weeks ago +20

    Hey guys! What do you think is missing in modern planes? ✈️

  • powers of animal

    powers of animal

     1 days ago +1

    While watching this video I felt like I was traveling in 20's and 30's

    Thank you bright side

    Give one like bright side

  • a.z


     1 days ago

    Am I the only one that thinks these old planes would be fun to fly on? (Except vomiting)

  • Mido Alaaeldin

    Mido Alaaeldin

     1 days ago

    One thing wrong about the video ships didn’t take a month to cross the ocean they took 5 days even old steam ships like the Olympic and the Mauritania they took 6 days to a week to cross

  • Charles Nash

    Charles Nash

     2 days ago

    .....and those radial engines burned a lot of oil. On some of the airplanes used to fly long distances, like the Sikorsky flying boats that fly from the west coast to Hawaii, the flight engineer would transfer engine oil from storage tanks into the engines.

  • Perich29


     2 days ago

    25 hours from New York to LA, when I team drive with my 1st phase instructor, we did that under 25 hours in the Semi.

  • lapulapu II

    lapulapu II

     2 days ago +1

    The worst part of flying these days is having a five year old spoiled kid behind you kicking the back of your seat..!!

    One instance I looked back at the kid and told him if he doesn’t stop kicking the back of my seat I’ll have the flight attendant open the door for him and let him out in the cold..!!

    In no time he was sleeping soundly.!!

  • Muhammad Haikal

    Muhammad Haikal

     2 days ago

    in the year of 31XX: What It Was Like to Travel in the 2010s (AIRCRAFT!!)

    people: wHoA i WiSh pOrtALs wERe sTiLL liKe tHaT

  • Belac Oak

    Belac Oak

     3 days ago

    Alabama flag at 7:50

  • Sanni Epstein

    Sanni Epstein

     3 days ago +1

    Swissair in the 80s was still quite posh.

  • Chi Mui

    Chi Mui

     3 days ago

    If u pay the price like golden, u get the same or better service than golden age. Flat bed, no line for check in. This is not difficult with private or first class.

  • Tay Mihay

    Tay Mihay

     4 days ago +3

    "on the bright side" *whispers * "and we are" :D hahaha :P

  • Hussain Virk

    Hussain Virk

     5 days ago

    I prefer today’s style of flying no luxury is what I am ( kind of weird huh )

  • Albert Calis

    Albert Calis

     5 days ago

    The aircraft prominently seen in this video to depict 1930s air travel (the single propeller biplane) is an Antonov AN-2, which ironically did not even exist in the 1930s! It made it first flight in 1947. A more appropriate plane to use to represent 1930s air travel would've been the Douglas DC-3 or the Boeing 247.
    Nitpicking aside, cool video!

  • fwong01


     6 days ago

    "Would you like to sit in puking or none puking?" 🤣🤣🤣🤣

  • TheBandana1969


     1 weeks ago

    Any airline still have a week long trip from London to Brisbane with stop overs in exquisite countries? What a pity that NO contemporary airline has accommodation with bunk beds and private loos. We may have faster aircraft now but passengers are packed in like sardines even in the ridiculously expensive first and business class.

  • Rick Komm

    Rick Komm

     1 weeks ago

    The Pan-Am Clipper was produced by the Boeing Airplane Company between 1938 and '41, top speed was 210 mph!

  • brainey001


     1 weeks ago +1

    But that's the thing, you flew places not many people go to, it's luxurious, takes time and a hassle but it also is 10 times more exciting and memorable. Now everyone flies and go on vacations so it's not special, you can be bothered and reached by phone or even worse, see people you know.
    Think of it this way - what would be cooler - going to a huge concert in a big city 8 hours away and meeting the singer or going to a concert next door because you live right next to the stadium

  • Rhoda Landoy

    Rhoda Landoy

     1 weeks ago +2

    2410: portals

  • 錡施


     1 weeks ago +2

    me : looks at thumbnail

    also me :omg I wish planes were still like that

    5 seconds later