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What was flying BA in the 80s like?

Shoulder pads, big perms, banana curry and ice-cream 'bombs' might not ooze of coolness today but we can’t help love the retro glam of travelling in the 80s.

Shoulder pads, big perms, banana curry and ice-cream ‘bombs’ might not ooze of coolness today but we can’t help love the retro glam of travelling in the 80s.

To mark British Airways’ (BA) 25th anniversary year of the inaugural flight of its first Boeing 747 -400, we look back at what it was like flying in the 80s.

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The Boeing 747-400 in British Airways Landor livery, in 1989

Back in 1989 the first class tickets were half the price compared to today and an economy flight from London to New York’s JFP would have set you back $470.

However, it’s not just the flight prices that have changed.

Cabin Crew Uniforms

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The uniforms before BA joined forces with ex-Chanel and Givenchy designer Julian MacDonald

The BA uniform has changed dramatically since the 80s. Back in 1989 before BA joined fores with ex-Chanel and Givenchy designer Julian MacDonald, the women were wearing red, white and blue-striped shirt with a black belt around the wait with either grey trouser or over-the-knee skirt along with a long jacket and a blue hat and black block or stiletto heels.

The men were wearing red, white and blue-striped ties with grey trousers and a navy jacket. Perhaps not the most exciting uniforms. As MacDonald said at the time of the redesign;

‘The old uniform made the cabin crew look like someone’s old granny queuing for a bus, because it was so unflattering’
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A grey over-the-knew skirt was part of the uniform for women

The Food

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Banana Curry and ice-cream ‘bombs’ were popular in the 80s

So what were we tucking into at the dinner service in the 80s? Business and First class passengers would have been served chicken breast in curry sauce warmed with vermouth and brandy, garnished with bananas, mushrooms and shallots and finished with toasted almonds as a main. For dessert they would have been served a strawberry and vanilla-flavoured ice cream bomb or a classic dessert including a selection of cheese and fruits.

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The food served on BA in 1989 versus 2014

 

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BA’s inflight magazine in 1989

 

What do you remember most from flying in the 80s?