By Rain Noe
April 28, 2017
While the experience of driving is better today than it was fifty years ago, flying commercial has become worse. That has given rise to a rather bizarre, nostalgia-driven restaurant in Los Angeles: The Pan Am Experience, where people pay $300 a head to sit in a reconstructed 1970s-era 747 and have a 4.5-hour, six-course meal with caviar and booze.
The experience is meant to evoke the days when flying was a luxury and chances were slim that you’d get your teeth knocked out on the tarmac in Chicago. The stewardesses carve your food up for you in the aisles while you studiously avoid eye contact.
Speaking of stewardesses, judging by the photos, one of their hiring prerequisites is apparently physical attractiveness. As part of the experience they also put on a mid-meal “fashion show” where they walk the aisles in authentic flight attendant wear from different decades.
Copies of magazines from the ’70s are on-hand, and there are even prop cigarettes that blow smoke.
What we’d love to see, in another 50 years’ time:
– The evening begins with a 2.5-hour security line
– Patrons may be barred from entering the aircraft due to their apparel
– Others are randomly selected for ejection, but can opt to fight against mixed-martial-arts-trained interlopers in an effort to retain their seat
– Oversized pets are loaded into the cargo hold, while passengers take bets on which will and will not live through the experience
– Customers can load cowboy hats or bulky coats into the overhead compartment, to enjoy the experience of inconveniencing paid actors who are loudly told they must check their carry-on because there is no more room
– Customers can suddenly recline their seats in order to shatter a laptop sitting on the tray table behind, producing a satisfying crunching noise
– Customers are encouraged to remove their shoes and socks, and extend their feet into the row ahead of them
– Male customers are encouraged to dispense with aim while using the lavatory
The Pan Am Experience is booked up until July, and they’re eyeing Las Vegas and New York for second and third locations. You can learn more about the company’s origins in this AdWeek article.