Selling air travel in the 1950s was a challenge – against competition from ships and trains which were, until the late 50s, cheaper.
Airlines turned to status as one way of selling the concept that air travel was the way to go.
American Airlines touted that young children looked up to their fathers if they traveled by air in this advertisement.
The copy said:
In addition to the practical advantages of time and money, there are some personal reasons for favoring travel by air. Not the least of these is the open admiration that air travelers received from family, from neighbors even from the crowd at the airport. A boy likes to look up to his father – and fathers would be less than human if they did not enjoy it.
Trans World Airways, now part of American Airlines, targeted the young man on the move UP with this copy;
That air of success about so many young businessmen traveling TWA – there is a good reason for it. They’ve learned early that success is in the air…that the way to go places in business is to go places for business – fast and often! TWA is made for order for that.”