There was a time when air travel was civilized.  There was a time when there was a degree of decorum about it.  There was a time it was an event.

And then, there’s now…

American Airline paid homage to those times back in 2000 with the resurrection of the Astrojet livery applied to a Boeing 737 and 757.  It’s not paint – the aluminum is polished and the stripe and lettering are decals.

I’ve never seen the 757, but I’ve seen the 737 three times and flown in it once from LGA (La Guardia, New York City) to ORD (O’Hare, Chicago).  This is the first “good” image I’ve been able to get of the 737 Astrojet.  It’s at Gate D38 at DFW (Dallas – Fort Worth) International Airport.

The Astrojet livery honors the image applied to American’s first jet aircraft, a BAC (British Aircraft Corporation) 1-11.

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Admittedly, the Astrojet didn’t feel any different than any other plane, but it did make me think back to when flying was something special in my life and not a regular occurrence.

It also made me think back to the black and white pictures of early air travel – men and boys in suits, women and girls in dresses.  Dignity and decorum.  I’ve got to guess that the boarding process back then was different as well – orderly lines and civilized entry as opposed today’s cattle call and “What do you mean Group 4 isn’t first?”

Or, maybe the pictures were just figments of the public relations department’s minds?  Maybe it was as crazy as it is today?  Nah.  I have to believe that it was more civil.  I remember it being more civil even just 20 years ago.  Now, it’s rush-rush-rush and that look of “obviously you don’t know that I AM more important than you and I deserve to be in Group 1, not Group 4!”

Perhaps the only fun I find in air travel anymore is to watch people who try to defy physics by trying to shove a bag that simply won’t fit into the overhead bin.  They seem to think that if they push hard enough, or wiggle it, or turn it around, it’s miraculously going to shrink and fit.  And then, they get mad at the Flight Attendant because their bag doesn’t fit.  I see this play out on almost every flight I’m on.

There also should be a rule that if you can’t lift your own bag over your head, you shouldn’t be allowed to carry it on and try to place it in the overhead bin.  Just saying.  And no, for those of you that think this statement only applies to females, you’re wrong.  Been there.  Seen that.  Almost been hit by dropped bags more times than I can count.

This image of the Astrojet can be found in the commercial section of the planes gallery on Laughing Frog Images.

Lumia Icon on Auto setting, jpg image created from the dng (raw) image.