Boy have things changed in terms of flying. Remember when you used to be able to arrive less than thirty minutes before boarding and there were no luggage restrictions? Nowadays, we have to arrive 2-3 hours early in order to allow enough time to get through various security checkpoints. We have to have proper identification and are subjected to tons of luggage restrictions, as well as a U.S. Air Marshall on board most flights. But back in the good old days, things were so different. Check out these stats:
- Carry-on luggage was not x-rayed until 1973.
- Prior to 1970, you weren’t even required to show an ID to check in for your flight!
- There were forty airplane hijackings in 1969. One source puts this number at eighty-two.*
- Checked luggage was not searched or x-rayed until 1988.
- Despite these hijackings, the first plane brought down by a bomb did not happen until 1988. It was a Pan Am plane on flight over Lockerbie, Scotland.
*Only one of these hijackings remains an unsolved mystery. The hijacking of Flight 305 Northwest Orient Airlines by DB Cooper, who demanded $200,000 and two parachutes. He jumped out of the plane and was never found. For more on this story and the top ten hijackings see http://listverse.com/2012/10/27/top-10-us-airline-hijackings-of-the-sixties/