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The strange world of 1970's air travel

YouTube is one of those internet places where it's easy to go down a rabbit hole. Like the blue links on any Wikipedia entry, setting out to read about one topic often leads to other things. Before you know it you've wasted moments or hours of your life watching a guy who owns an unruly Great Dane trying to give it a bath or viewer reaction videos from last season's  Game of Thrones finale.

Such is the case of vintage airline commercials. In an age where airlines are contemplating 10 across seating on some of their jets, it's hard to imagine there was once another way. 

In the 1970's Continental was like any airline trying to make money. The flew to places the other guys flew, but on their "new wide body DC-10's" passengers could eat from a buffet or hang out in a lounge and play pong one one of two tabletop setups in its "Pub" configuration. Here's how Continental marketed their new airplanes in print:

After takeoff passengers were welcome to make their way to the Pub to play pong and guzzle beer or sit in their giant coach seats and relax. Credit: airlinespastpresent.blogspot.com
After takeoff passengers were welcome to make their way to the Pub to play pong and guzzle beer or sit in their giant coach seats and relax. Credit: airlinespastpresent.blogspot.com

And the rest of the cabin? Even the coach seats look like today's business class seats.

And here's how it came together for the airline's TV advertising. The airplane is the star of the show, reflecting some novelty that remained when it came to air travel, even in the 1970's.

In the end Continental's efforts helped keep the company in business during the post deregulation days. It would later be acquired by Texas Air and continued to stay flying until 2012 when it ceased operations having merged with United.

Related Photos
After takeoff passengers were welcome to make their way to the Pub to play pong and guzzle beer or sit in their giant coach seats and relax. Credit: airlinespastpresent.blogspot.com

After takeoff passengers were welcome to make their way to the Pub to play pong and guzzle beer or sit in their giant coach seats and relax. Credit: airlinespastpresent.blogspot.com

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-12777c3008759a16cdd4bb70d9764b68.jpg" alt="Photo - After takeoff passengers were welcome to make their way to the Pub to play pong and guzzle beer or sit in their giant coach seats and relax. Credit: airlinespastpresent.blogspot.com" title="After takeoff passengers were welcome to make their way to the Pub to play pong and guzzle beer or sit in their giant coach seats and relax. Credit: airlinespastpresent.blogspot.com"><figcaption>After takeoff passengers were welcome to make their way to the Pub to play pong and guzzle beer or sit in their giant coach seats and relax. Credit: airlinespastpresent.blogspot.com</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-003bd810535340ab1f3dd361afaba30b.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d56fd3d373072d9e1744bdb6d28d4199.jpg" alt="Photo - " title=""><figcaption></figcaption></figure>
Matt Patterson

Matt Patterson has been with The Oklahoman since 2006. Prior to joining the news staff in 2010, Patterson worked in The Oklahoman's sports department for five years. He previously worked at The Lawton Constitution and The Edmond Sun.... Read more ›

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