During the pandemic, while quarantined for months, many of us romanticized the concept of traveling to a place far, far away. But now, as the world opens up and travel once again becomes a safe option, a rude awakening is surely on its way. From long security lines and minuscule leg room, to disappointing cocktails served in plastic cups, those with wanderlust will likely be reminded that the act of traveling by plane is anything but glamorous.
But it wasn’t always that way. Before in-flight WiFi was seen as the height of luxury, Continental Airlines, which merged with United Airlines back in 2011, offered a deluxe flying experience in the ‘80s with its Pub Flights.
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On Continental’s DC-10 wide-body planes to Chicago, Denver, and Houston, travelers could stand, sip, and socialize at fully stocked bars, play an “electronic game” called Pub Pong, watch double-feature films, news reels, and cartoons, and snack on popcorn. These pubs were staffed with flight attendant-turned bartenders who shook up drinks for their sky-high guests at the front of the plane.
Though “fasten seatbelt” signs and TSA regulations have made such highbrow plane soirées a thing of the past, some innovative drinks pros have found ways to keep their cocktails classy on flights. For now, the rest of us stuck in coach will just have to make up for lost time when we arrive at our destinations.