Video: How was it like to fly in the 1920s?
A friend of mine has brought my attention to this extraordinary video document that explains in all detail how was it like to fly commercially in 1924.
This silent movie, that apparently went missing for decades before it was found again and added to the British Pathé archives, provides a very thorough overview of different aspects of the passenger experience of the decade of the 1920s.
It starts by showing how passengers were picked up at their hotels in Central London and driven to Croydon airport for their Imperial Airways flight to Paris.
Then it proceeds to show several aspects of the flight preparation, including all the checks and verifications, weather forecast and route planning.
The newsreel also shows, with the help of some diagrams, the advantages of air travel when it comes to time savings compared to the sea and rail option. Interestingly it says that the “cost [of air travel] is not much higher” (not sure what type of rail fare of the time are they comparing it with).
There is also some footage taken inside the cabin during the flight (around minute 11), on what looks like a Handley Page Type W, an aircraft with capacity for 12 passengers (notice how crowded it is!).
Wait for the final part of the video to learn also about how airliners found their way to destination in that era and to see how night flights were also a thing back then.