There were meals
They weren’t good meals, mind you, but it was food. You could typically expect a soggy croissant with rubbery turkey and some wilted vegetables, or roughly what they’ve been serving at SUBWAY since the advent of the $5 footlong. But at least you didn’t have to sit next to the guy who brought Panda Express' extra-spicy shrimp curry on board, nor did you have to stock up on Combos at the newsstand for a cross-country flight.
Music was only available through in-flight radio or your Walkman
Which meant the decision about which Motley Crue tape to bring was especially crucial. Or, accidentally grab your "Long Lonely Summer" mix from three years ago, and you could've been stuck listening to the same 14 Adult Contemporary songs on a fake “radio station” hosted by John Tesh.