August 8, 2022

The airline industry sure has changed a lot over the years, both for better and worse. Travel is more accessible than ever before, and on the high-end, premium travel is more comfortable than ever before. However, flying in general has just become another form of transportation, and isn’t treated in the same way it used to be.

This is why it’s sometimes fun to look back at what the airline industry used to be like. Most old airline stuff seems genuinely cool, but then you also have some pretty cringeworthy stuff (like the below Delta ad), which makes you realize that we’ve come a long way.

Lord have mercy…

Pan Am’s old training videos

YouTube user Pan Am Museum Foundation is uploading all kinds of retro airline videos to YouTube, including old airline ads and training videos. Arguably the most interesting are Pan Am’s training videos. In each video, you first see how a customer interaction shouldn’t be handled, and then you see how a customer interaction should be handled.

For example, below is Pan Am’s training video about how to deal with a passenger who requests an upgrade.

Then below is Pan Am’s training video about how to deal with a passenger who misses their connection.

Then below is Pan Am’s training video about how to deal with a passenger smoking in the non-smoking section of the plane.

Other interesting Pan Am employee videos

In addition to the above videos that show how you should and shouldn’t handle various situations, there are a couple of other videos I found especially interesting. For example, below is a video about Pan Am service techniques. Watching this sure reminded me that major US airlines have some room for improvement nowadays. 😉

Then there’s also a video about “Shop Talk,” specifically about how employees should be careful about what they say in front of passengers. It even talks about how employees should behave when they’re traveling as non-revs. More than just about anything else, I think this is something that many airline employees could use a refresher on.

Bottom line

I’m a sucker for old airline ads and training videos. Some I enjoy for the cringe factor, and some I enjoy because they’re genuinely pretty impressive, and a good reminder of how service at airlines should be. I find these Pan Am videos to be particularly interesting, since they present both how things should and shouldn’t be done, which you don’t otherwise often see.

Anyone else enjoy these Pan Am videos as much as I do?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

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