One of my friends sent me a Qantas print ad via Facebook about something called a Qantas Relaxachair. I imagine he saw my post about the BOAC VC10 ads and thought I’d like it.
I enjoyed both the ad and the laugh at something so ludicrous as a Relaxachair and it inspired me to look further into the Qantas advertising of the era. It certainly didn’t disappoint!
So Here’s The Relaxachair!
Billed as the World’s Most Comfortable Jet Ride, you can chill out with a cigarette at 32,000 feet and relax. This is the Qantas first class seat on the Boeing 707 in the 1960s.
Hugely amusing is the fact that the separate adjustable leg rest is touted as a major selling point. Apart from what appears to be extra recline, this resembles a seat in premium economy today.
Qantas Super G Constellations
Nights of dreamless sleep in your Sleeperchair on board the Qantas Super Constellation in the 1950s. Consider how loud these piston aircraft are, I would be amazed anyone got any sleep at all.
A full Sleeperchair is available for every first class passenger and remember, on the Pacific route there are a limited number of sleeping berths. Also, meals to remember nostalgically long after you’ve landed… count me in!
Hey You, It’s A Roo!
Qantas print advertising had to feature a kangaroo at some point and here it is. The kangaroo is complaining that the Qantas 707 can leap to Australia five times per week and is smoother, shinier, roomier and better upholstered than she is.
Also mentioned are five course teas, three hour feasts and the world’s most considerate coddling! That’s what you should expect flying with them in 1970.
The 1,800 Mile Meal
You really need to have a laptop to read this one. The text is essentially food porn in a written form. “First come your cocktails, crisp and chill. Then the morsels of crayfish, nestled in their beds of ice.” There’s much more than that, and I’m already in a sweat.
It all finishes with English cigarettes and sweets and the fact that 1,800 miles will have passed. I really enjoy eating when I fly so this really sounds like my kind of thing.
Just like many airlines of the era, the stewardesses featured prominently in the advertising. In the case of this Qantas print ad, it also has a large dash of colloquial Australian language included too.
Grouse is certainly still used in some parts of Australia, but “that’s drum” meaning that’s the truth is not. There are a few more in the text. It’s like a history lesson for me, this one.
Around The World In 1956
Lockheed Super Constellations inaugurated around the world services with Qantas and this 1956 ad tells you just how much it costs. That’ll be 547 Australian Pounds please. Australia didn’t switch to the dollar until 10 years later.
You can fly in luxury 20,000 feet up and if you want to fly first class, it is £684. This is all quite a lot of money for that time, so only the super rich could do this.
Where Can You Fly With Qantas?
In the late 1950s, the Qantas print advertising mentions Canada, South Africa and Rome. Last time I checked, Rome wasn’t a country, but no-one seems to mind here.
Destinations are certainly made to look very glamorous in the artistic paintings here. I wonder how many people arrived where they were going and found it to be totally different. I especially like the fact there is no traffic at the Colosseum!
A World Of Colour And The Pilots
On the Kangaroo route to London you can experience a world of colour by stopping off along the way at no extra cost. Singapore and Rome are explicitly mentioned and Singapore remains a the main stopping place even today.
According to the other ad, Qantas pilots fly every mile twice, once on paper and once when they actually take you. Quite reassuring for the nervous flyer, I’m sure!
It is always fun to see airline advertising from the past, especially reading the advertising copy. They just don’t write ads like they used to.
Enjoyably, the Qantas print ads are similar to what was popular at the time around the world. I’ll be hunting down my very own Relaxachair as soon as possible and perhaps it will still have its very own leg rest!
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Featured image copyright Qantas Heritage Collection via Aussie Airliners.
All other images copyright Qantas.