Vintage photos show how glamorous airline dining was in the past

Selection of vintage photos from Scandinavian Airlines

Archive images recently released
Of the many things travelers dislike about flying, plane food is often high on the list.

But in-flight dining hasn't always been bland, according to archive images recently released by Scandinavian Airlines to celebrate its 70th anniversary.

The Norwegian airline's collection of vintage photos, which we first spotted on The Daily Mail, show passengers from the 1950s through to the 1980s enjoying gourmet meals such as caviar, lobster, and a whole leg of ham at 35,000-feet.

On some flights, the airline's chef made an appearance to serve food to fliers, who were allowed to eat off china plates with metal knives and forks — which you certainly wouldn't be given on a flight today, unless you were in a private jet.

Check out a selection of vintage photos from Scandinavian Airlines' collection below.

In the 1950s, passengers in sleeper cabins on a DC-6 aircraft were served an in-flight breakfast in bed.

Dinner trays looked very different in the 1960s, when they included real plates, a glass, and metal cutlery.

A woman traveling with her baby on board a flight in 1968 was offered baby food in jars, provided by the airline. That year, Scandinavian Airlines started a service for children.

In this photo, taken either in the 1950s or 1960s, a Scandinavian Airlines chef prepared lobster in the flight kitchen at Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen. Yes, even lobster was on the menu.

Back in 1969, some passengers were served meals directly by an in-flight chef. Here, the chef is dishing up Smørrebrød, a type of Danish open sandwich (rye bread topped with meat or fish and cheese).

That same year, passengers in first-class were treated to a hearty meat feast that included an entire leg of ham, salami, and other sausages served with bread and beer.

The ham was sliced with a large knife (now strictly not allowed on planes, for obvious reasons) in front of passengers. This would never happen today.

In case that meal wasn't sumptuous enough, there was also fresh salmon, again served in front of fliers.

Fliers were also spoiled with a lavish spread including caviar, served up by the chef himself.

This photo from the 1970s shows the airline's chef preparing passengers' meals in the pantry.

When they weren't gorging on caviar and lobster, first-class fliers in the '70s snacked on huge fruit platters — including a whole pineapple — served in a spacious lounge area.

Moving into the 1980s, airline dining became a little less glamorous, as passengers ate out of trays that look more like the ones modern fliers are used to.

At least there were cocktails, though.


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