“‘You’ll Enjoy It! You’ll Never Forget It!’: Aeroflot and the Passenger Experience in the Soviet Jet Age

Steven E. Harris, University of Mary Washington

Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 4:00pm

Smithsonian Institution (Washington, DC)

Director’s Conference Room at the National Air and Space Museum

Beginning in the mid-1950s under the new leadership of Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet Union successfully built a civil aviation industry whose lone carrier, Aeroflot, flew millions of Soviet citizens and foreigners in the final decades of the Cold War. What was it like to fly Aeroflot both inside the USSR and along its international routes that connected the first socialist state to the rest of the world? Operating in two, vastly different economies—a planned economy in the socialist world and a market economy in the West—Aeroflot tailored its advertisement campaigns and everyday services accordingly. The passenger experience of flying on Aeroflot reflected this bifurcation and the broader Soviet ideology of a world that remained starkly divided despite the many exchanges and contacts that civil aviation made possible.

For further information, please contact: Tom Lassman at 202-633-2419; lassmant@si.edu.

NON-SMITHSONIAN VISITORS MUST RSVP NO LATER THAN 48 HOURS BEFORE THE SEMINAR. On the day of the seminar, please report to the South Security Desk at the Museum’s Independence Avenue entrance. Those holding SI ID badges may proceed directly to the Director’s Conference Room on the 3rd floor.