Click on photo to enlarge....courtesy of National Geographic Magazine. I did a little more research and found that N1042V which appears on the tail was the Clipper Morning Star. C/n 15942 was delivered to Pan Am on 30 December 1949. I was 26 years old then.
Johan, Not too much I can contribute to the discussion as my entire time was military flights. We had a separate operating system than did the commercial airlines. We did not serve meals on company china as we used prepacked box lunches which usually contained a couple of sandwiches and some fruit. There was no such thing as reserved or first class seating. All seats faced rearward and were occupied on a first come first serve basis. Accidents back in the Golden Days were more likely than in modern days due to the difference in construction techniques and materials used.
We had no jets and only recip engines. Some were better than others; depending on who made them.
I think our safety was probably on a par with that of the railroads which were slowly being replaced by the airplane.
I flew the Pacific mostly and for seven years I made a weekly flight between Tokyo and Travis AFB. We would depart Tokyo on Saturday night at 2000 hours, fly to Midway arrive in time for breakfast and refueling and then head on t0 Hickam. Leave Hickam and arrive Saturday afternoon at 1430 hours at Travis. Our return trip was on Wednesday with flight from Travis to Hickam to Wake Island and back to Haneda.
During that seven year period I only had one engine failure. We had to shut down #4 due to excessive oil consumption. Never lost a passenger or had any one injured due to turbulence. Smoking back then was permitted, and visits to the cockpit by passengers was welcomed. I think the Prof was somewhat onesided in his condemnation of a developing mode of transportation. MATS was the only service that could issue flight insurance to the passengers just like the commercial airlines did.