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10 Vintage Airline Ads That Give You The Travel Bug

Let’s be blunt, air travel today is more associated with Orwellian TSA screeners than the fun and excitement of traveling to a foreign destination. So we though we’ve turned back time and show you some of the ads of the jet set era of the 1960s and 1970s, when travel was a glamorous activity.

One of the most memorable creative minds of this era was David Klein, who created a series of advertisements for TWA in the 1960s. Each of the six posters below is evocative, connecting the city in question to its own glittering personality. The brand positioning is simple, and the message is immediate: Fly TWA, and you’ll see land in these destinations.



Outside of the TWA stable, though, most other airlines chose to align themselves with destinations and their promise, as well.


This United Airlines advertisement from 1955, designed by Stan Galli, is very similar to the TWA series above, as it reflects the healthy, tanned beauty of southern California.


This 1960s Pan Am advertisement plays off the mod-era youth culture, promising the swinging sixties in England. We love the use of the round Pan Am logo as the young beauty’s mole.


This Japan Airlines advertisement, also dating from the 1960s, has a very different tone from the one above, but is just as explicit in its message. Positioning itself next to the traditional and highly-regarded service industry, JAL makes the connection clear for the consumer.


For lesser-known destinations such as the far-flung New Zealand in the 1970s, airlines did a great deal to help create their nation’s identity in the eyes of the global traveler. Though the imagery here is not very impactful. This Air New Zealand ad helped position it with other South Pacific islands, making it an exotic getaway for those in the northern hemisphere.

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