The MPAA awarded Airplane! a PG rating upon its release in 1980. A PG rating? Really? That seems generous for a movie with suggestive language, brief nudity (if you were paying attention), and, uh, some minor drug use.
At the time, however, the MPAA didn't even have a PG-13 rating; it jumped straight from PG to R. So we guess it makes sense.
All things considered, Airplane! does a pretty remarkable thing, especially compared with the comedies of today: it manages to be funny without being massively crass or offensive. Still, we think Airplane! deserves a PG-13 rating by today's standards, given its penchant for the "s-bomb," as well as the nudity and drug use.