Passenger etiquette in 1953 banned wide brim hats

August 22, 2018
These hats were as wide as was allowed on airliners in the 1950s.

In 1953 airline passenger etiquette was not about using bad language but ladies not wearing wide brim hats that would annoy other passengers and not to tip the hostesses.

And you could only have 4.5kg (10lbs) of carry-on but you could check-in just 15 minutes before departure!

The problems with passengers were such that the in 1953 the Australian Courier Mail in Brisbane published an article highlighting what was the correct etiquette on an aircraft.

The article started;

“Most airline companies give their passengers a written briefing on the plane tickets. Even so, there are still lots of people who manage to do the ‘wrong thing’. Here are some of the ‘right things’ to do when traveling by plane.”

Passengers were told not to ask for impossible meals and not to tip the hostesses

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Here is the list;

  1. Be early. If passengers are taking advantage of the airline’s bus from the city to the aerodrome they should arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time of the bus departure to have tickets checked and baggage weighed.
  2. If passengers go directly to the aerodrome they should report 15 minutes before the departure time of the plane departure time for the same reason.
  3. No more than 10lbs (4.54kg) of personal baggage should be carried by the passenger. This is a Department of Civil Aviation instruction form safety’s sake.
  4. Those who to try to beat the airways by carrying heavier parcels sand overweight briefcases could endanger the lives of everyone on the plane. Heavier articles should never be placed in the racks above the seat. They could fall on the passenger’s own head or worse still on someone else’s.
  5. It is not a good idea to take bunches of flowers interstate. The Agricultural Department is not happy about this as there is always the possibility of introducing a local plant disease into another state.
  6. Don’t smoke on the tarmac or approaching the aircraft. Men should not smoke cigars or pipes when the aircraft is in flight. This has a nauseating effect on other passengers. Cigarettes are permitted.
The Courier-Mail article. Credit: Via Gordon Terrill
  1. Take notice of the instructions in the aircraft regarding the fastening of seat belts and the all clear to smoke.
  2. When passengers are directed to their seats they should sit down quickly and not clutter up the aisle taking coast and hats off – wait till all passengers have been seated.
  3. Women should not wear wide-brimmed hats likely to inconvenience the passengers sitting alongside nor should they have a great collection of parcels, coat, umbrella, over-flowing onto the other seat.
  4. Unless you want all your belongings washed in beer or spirits don’t pack bottles of liquor in your suitcase.
  5. Don’t worry the hostess unduly. She is very busy. On the other hand, if a passenger feels ill the hostess should be called before the worst happens.
  6. Don’t ask for impossible dishes to be served during meals and don’t tip the hostesses.
  7. When the plane lands passengers should not crowd around the doorway waiting for the passenger steps to put down.
Smoking was very popular in the 1950s.