The following quiz appeared in the July 21, 1961 edition of the Trenton Evening Times. Answers within quotation marks were taken verbatim. How many of these rules of social conduct would apply to airline passengers today?
1961 Airline Passenger Question #1:
Of course, I’d never show up without one, but must a man wear his suit jacket throughout the entire flight?
NO. “A jacket may be folded into the overhead rack, or the hostess will hang it up for you.” (Just make sure you put it back on before you get off the plane!)
1961 Airline Traveler Question #2.
Please, sir, may I also remove my tie?
NO. “When worn with dress shirts, ties should not be removed, (although) they may be loosened.”
1961 Airline Passenger Question #3:
Is it ever permissible for women to wear slacks on vacation flights?
NO. “Informal costumes such as skirt and sweater are sanctioned, but slacks are considered poor taste.”
1961 Airline Traveler Question #4:
My feet are killing me. Is it OK to take off my shoes?
YES. “Airlines usually provide footrests and/or slipper socks for foot-weary travelers.”
1961 Airline Passenger Question #5.
I mustn’t spill my chicken and rice on the tie they won’t let me remove. Can I tuck my napkin under my chin?
YES. “This is one time when tucking is considered proper in case of sudden spills.”
1961 Airline Traveler Question #6:
While I’m at it, is it OK to lift my salad, vegetable and dessert dishes from the tray and eat them individually?
YES. “It’s handier and provides better protection for” that skirt they’re making you wear.
1961 Airline Passenger Question #7:
I need a smoke! As long as the no-smoking sign isn’t flashing, I can light up, right?
Only if you’re smoking a cigarette. “Cigarets may be smoked in your seat; cigars and pipes (only) in the lounge.”
1961 Airline Traveler Queston #8:
I’m a vegetarian, and Uncle Mo is on a special diet. Should we bring our own food along?
NO. “Given advance notice, airlines will make up special menus.” Just for you!
1961 Airline Passenger Question #9:
Won’t it make for a friendlier flight if I keep up a running conversation with my seat-mate?
Not if he’s studiously ignoring you. “It’s bad manners to bend his ear when he wants to sleep, read or just relax.” (Some things never change.)
1961 Airline Traveler Question #10:
OK, so we’re about to land. Can I just re-do my hair and freshen up my makeup here in my seat, before deplaning?
Good heavens, no! “Extensive repairs should be made in the powder room. BUT, others may be seeking equal time and space, so make it snappy.” (And don’t spill your powder on your skirt.)
The Lucky Airline Traveler
A lot of that old airline etiquette would never fly today. But in one respect, these 1960s travelers were lucky. In spite of their obsessing over airplane manners, fear of an underwear bomber in the next aisle over never once crossed their minds.