If you take two snapshots of the world, 50 years apart, you’ll notice a bajillion things that are different. I mean, just go back 50 years before now, to 1970. The U.S. population was 205 million. A middle-of-the-road car was less than $2000 and gas cost about 36 cents per gallon. Talking Viewmasters were THE hot toy. In the aviation world, the Boeing 747 made its first commercial flight in 1970, and the Concorde made its first supersonic flight. And from the 1950s until January 1970, United had regular flights that were limited to only men.
The “New York Executive” and “Chicago Executive” flights were only sold to men because back in the 1950s, men were still THE thing to be. Women were still expected to have babies and stay in the kitchen but men (insert gorilla chest-thumping here) brought home the bacon. So United made flights for these important people who went to important business meetings.
The flights were about 3 hours and 15 minutes long and while they were in the air, the men were treated to stiff drinks, a steak dinner, cigars, and a pair of slippers while they could find out what the closing stock market prices were. Or they could read their favorite business magazine or even get some work done if they wanted (these services were provided by stewardesses [this was years before the term “flight attendants” came into being] who were the only two females on the flight).
The New York and Chicago Executive Flights stopped in early 1970, thanks to protests by the National Organization for Women (NOW), based on sexual discrimination.
Here’s a video that goes into more detail about these men-only flights:
Obviously, as I alluded to at the beginning of this post, times have changed. Women aren’t “barefoot and pregnant” or “staying in the kitchen” anymore…they’re astronauts, lawyers, brain surgeons, presidential candidates, travel bloggers 😉 and, yes, business executives. “Men-Only” flights wouldn’t ever be a thing nowadays. But it’s still interesting to look at its past and see how far we’ve come.
Like this post? Please share it! We have plenty more just like it and would love it if you decided to hang around and get emailed notifications of when we post. Or maybe you’d like to join our Facebook group – we have 12,000+ members and we talk and ask questions about travel (including Disney parks), creative ways to earn frequent flyer miles and hotel points, how to save money on or for your trips, get access to travel articles you may not see otherwise, etc. Whether you’ve read our posts before or this is the first time you’re stopping by, we’re really glad you’re here and hope you come back to visit again!
This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary