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MPR News

In the 1950s, passengers flew the skies in style

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Graduation day
NWA stewardess graduation day, May 4, 1956.
Image Courtesy of the NWA History Center, Inc.

Boeing's test-flight of its big new 787 jetliner may have given all of us with holiday travel plans a glimmer of hope. But the reality of the situation is, we'll probably stuff ourselves into the smallest plane possible.

Every seat will be filled, we'll have to shell out a few bucks for a "snack box" or a drink, and we'll miss our connection in Salt Lake City. There really isn't much glamour to flying today.

Tom Crann talked with Anne Billinglsey Kerr about her book, called "Fujiyama Trays and Oshibori towels" -- referring to the appetizers and hot towels handed over to Northwest Orient travelers in the famous Fujiyama lounge. The book is about her life as a stewardess -- as they all were called then -- in the 1950s, and it was the age of the huge luxurious Boeing Stratocruisers.