Nostalgia corner – Life at Heathrow in 1964

I spent yesterday travelling down to Austria with the family for half term, so today you are getting a bit of ‘filler’.  However, in terms of filler, this is pretty cool.

If you have 9 minutes to spare today, this video is well worth a watch:

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It shows you what life was like at Heathrow back in 1964 ….

The world really has moved on in the last 50 years!

This old article from the Daily Mail is also worth a read – a series of photographs showing how First Class travel on British Airways has changed over the last 40 years.

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  1. “British Airways’ First Class cabin in 1990: Fine dining has always been a priority”

    Chortle Chortle!

  2. Comments on DM article are rather entertaining too…

    Lots of ‘first class envy’ and a large number of people who seem to think we all pay cash to travel in such cabins 😉

    • If you order the comments on the daily mail article as worst rated first, they’re all the ones criticising BA. Seems like their readership doesn’t appreciate someone bad mouthing Britain.

      • When it comes to reading, let along paying any real attention to the comments under Mail Online articles… well, save yourself, for that way insanity lies!

  3. Fine dining, wifi!!?? Must have been on board business class on Qatar because you won’t find either on BA.
    I have flown First on BA since 1986 and in that it has been a roller coaster of an experience ranging from the sublime to the rediculous. With 18 seats in the nose of a 747 beef carved before you and individual video screens – there really was nothing to beat it. Sadly the product has declined and now you see crew scurrying around passengers taking food orders according to status and some mythical number which tells them how important you are. Not getting you first choice is common. Nor is cost cutting limited to food. Poorly paid badly trained crew mean the overall on board experience is simply not what it was. Ground service was never a strong point but anyone who has used the lounges at Heathrow recently will also have noted their decline. The product has been overtaken by the Middle East carriers and AA’s exceptional business class offerings and today’s BA First is simply not a First Class product. For that you need CX SQ KE or EY QR etc.
    Don’t get me wrong it’s fine forbAvios redemptions and EX EU with an upgrade and most people will be content with it on that basis. But whilst the Daily Mail readership may be impressed with the trip down memory lane, as they so often are, today’s BA is an overly protected monopoly offering mediocre service across the board. Sadly Jonny foreigner does it so much better and that you won’t find that in the Daily Mail

    • Just tried QR J for the first time; service and seat were great but the quality of the food was on par with BA. Fortunately food in Al Mourjan was much more edible and filling.

    • +1
      BA First nicely summarised Paul!

  4. Nice to see what Heathrow and Gatwick used to look like.

    Mind you some things never change – both airports looked like a building site then and now.

  5. I think the only airline still going from the film is, SAS.
    1964 and they were talking about LHR being at breaking point!! Wonder how far the solutions got? :(

    • Technically there were three runways then too!

      Technology has allowed them to half the runway usage down to a movement every 45 seconds but aside from that, the airport is basically the same – two main runways! It was full then and is full now and still in 2016 we don’t have a solution for that.

      • Unfortunately I don’t think another (usable) runway is the answer, why? Another runway will not easy the strain on capacity, the people (at LHR) make it work already with 2. The 3rd runway is an expansion of flights and business which will cause the same (but bigger) problem; quiet frankly the local area cannot support it even if they wanted to, the area surrounding Heathrow is at saturation point in terms of people, buildings, roads, traffic and dare I say it…….. permanent visitors to the UK forgetting to leave.

        The solution is to build a new airport or move business to airports around the UK. London and LHR are its own worst enemy, our airports and distribution of business should be more like Germany or France.

        • Completely agree! If you look to Germany there is a wide spread of resources between all their cities, which means Berlin isn’t the focus for everything. You are far more likely to use Frankfurt as a hub than Berlin, which just isn’t an issue when you can get on an ICE train and travel (cheaply) at up to 300km/hr to get there.

          • Of course there are significant historic reasons why Germany developed this way in the second half of the 20th century.

            But the focus on / pre-eminence of London in the UK is somewhat absurd… the problems is no-one seems to know how to change matters. Barmy property bubbles don’t seem to do it!

          • Not really absurd – but explainable. We are where we are.

            Look at the geography, both physical & political.

            No surprise at all that the UK is London-centric. Think where we do business & where power lies; self-perpetuating, maybe.

            If we needed a twin London, it wouldn’t ideally be north of London, but far better somewhere like Bristol or Southampton.

    • Aeroflot is still up and running too!

  6. Anyone notice any similarity in the first and fifth photos from Daily Mail?!

  7. OT: just came back from PVG today. BA check-in staff put us in the China Eastern Lounge, which is pretty poor unless you’re a fan of steamed dumplings and pickled eggs. I’m not, so trotted over to the Cathay Pacific/Dragon Air lounge instead which had a passable cooked breakfast and sandwiches on offer. China Eastern did have a proper bar though, but I wasn’t drinking. Between the 3 of us we got 3 op-ups to CW across the 2 flights – result!

  8. At least in those days Heathrow had a proper open observation deck!

    • I remember going on that deck when my Aunt & family migrated to New Zealand, never to return. Quite a few tears & we waved handkerchieves as they flew away. Must have been about 1972, I was a mere lad.

      Luckily I saw them again with my wife & first 2 children in about 2003 when we stayed the night up in Bay of Islands.

      Still going, minus 1 kidney – my Aunt, that is :)

  9. love this feature. not as much has changed as you think.

    – goes to show LHR was already at capacity.
    – economy seats look the same.
    – the good ol tunnel is still as it was.
    – LGW built, STN on the way and discussion re. another airport! sound familiar?

    Food looks better though!

    • Yep can’t understand why they don’t just turn Gatwick into the new main London airport with 4 runways. It’s in the middle of nowhere, so nobody much to annoy with the noise.

      The locals would probably love the jobs & compo.

      And only 10 mins more further away from Central London than LHR.

  10. Enjoyed – nostalgic.
    Building sites ever present.

  11. I see that the IAG shares are up again though. It would seem that BA are aware that if you strengthen your monopoly, the customer can go do one. In the short term anyway!

  12. Wonderful clip