A Half-Century Ago: Let the Jet Age Begin!

Travel Blog  •  Rob Verger  •  01.28.09 | 2:21 PM ET

Photo by Marcin Wichary via Flickr (Creative Commons)

This past Sunday was the 50th anniversary of “the first transcontinental commercial jet trip”: American Airlines Flight 2 on a Boeing 707 on January 25th, 1959. The New York Times has this great story.

An interesting detail from the piece: “The earlier flights were not just cushier but faster: 4 hours eastbound and, because of headwinds, 5 westbound. In today’s stacked-up skies, New York-to-Los Angeles flights typically take an hour longer in each direction—if they land on time.” The article also quotes an onboard correspondent for the L.A. Times who wrote of that original flight, “The shrinking effect of the jetliner upon geography distorted the earth’s face.” Beautiful. (Via Airline Biz Blog)

Rob Verger

Rob Verger is a frequent contributor to World Hum and the site's former air travel blogger. His articles and photographs have appeared in the Boston Globe and other publications, and he's a former undergraduate writing instructor at Columbia University. If you like, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or follow him on Twitter.

1 Comment for A Half-Century Ago: Let the Jet Age Begin!

Jenna Schnuer 01.28.09 | 5:25 PM ET

It really is amazing how ordinary it’s all become, eh?

But one of the changes that bugs me most lately: Flights of yesteryear (both long ago and not so long ago) were also pleasantly free of ads. Now, from the jetway to the TV screens to, soon, the flight attendant aprons, it isn’t so:


I still love to fly but the change in services and the ads and all almost make me miss People’s Express (and that’s hard to do).

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