Old airlines, the old ways

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by pilotod, May 17, 2012.

  1. pilotod

    pilotod Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I was listening to a podcast today on the way home from work and really like this guy's stories (Bill Duffy, Thoughts from the Flight Deck). He mentioned Pan Am...the series that you can watch on iTunes. The days when you could go in the cockpit and the glamour of flying....they were certainly different than today.

    I just started thinking about how I flew as a kid. I don't remember if it was Delta or not that flew from Houston to Pensacola but I would fly by myself....maybe I was 10 or 12....to see my grandparents. I don't know how often people let their kids do that anymore since we're so paranoid about people. Anyway, that podcast also made me think, and I've wondered about it when I fly commercial, do airlines let kids go check out the cockpit or do airlines give out wings or decks of cards anymore?

    I'd like some wings and a deck of cards. It would just bring back something for me and maybe my kids might think that's cool to get something like that from a pilot in an airline. I don't know if my kids actually think it's fun or not when we fly. Maybe we just don't get excited about the whole mess anymore as a collective group.

    I was also thinking about the airlines that are no more. Eastern...maybe that's the one I flew going east from Houston. Of course Pan Am. I don't know if I ever flew that. Then there was Texas Air...I think that's what it was called before Continental bought them. Are there any websites that can bring back the old airlines, pictures or memories of them? I guess I'm feeling nostalgic.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  2. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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  3. Larryo

    Larryo Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Jay,

    Yes, airlines are a loosing proposition... and if one looks at the profit and loss, if you tally up the whole thing since the Wright Brothers, there has been a loss, prior to 9-11.... and after 9-11 the loss was again as much as all time for the airlines. Folks really do not know how to run an airline business.
     
  4. John Baker

    John Baker Final Approach

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    I remember when all stewardesses were downright cute. You could pack loaded, and nobody cared. You could get blitzed out of your scull while going where you were going, I think it was like a buck a drink. They fed you an interesting meal, and gave you free snacks.

    You could decide to go someplace on an impulse and just drive over to the airport and be in the air in half an hour. I was sitting in a local bar, and decided I would go see my girlfriend in Rocky River, Ohio. No problem, just drove to the airport and was on my way.

    Not so anymore. It is such a hassle, I haven't flown commercial since before 9-11. Even then, the flight attendants looked like female Russian steelworkers, or if they were male, floral arranging was probably their hobby, all were well past forty.

    They have taken all, every bit of it, all the fun out of flying. Probably why I bought my own airplane. Sadly though, the flight attendant is still old.

    -John
     
  5. pilotod

    pilotod Pre-takeoff checklist

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  6. Meliss

    Meliss Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Southwest does. ;)
     
  7. Threefingeredjack

    Threefingeredjack En-Route

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    The airline I miss is Braniff. Those wild colors on their 747s, and the fact if you were flying military standby and they had an open seat in 1st Class that's where they put you. Great food too!
     
  8. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The thing you forgot is perhaps the single most important change: We could fly to SO many more locations!

    Just think, it used to be possible to fly from Corpus Christi to Austin. Or from Iowa City to Chicago. Our parents and grand parents had FAR more commercial flying options than we do today.

    Now, to get to Corpus Christi from Iowa City, you have to fly from Quad Cities (an hour away from Iowa City) to Dallas, catch a flight to Houston, and THEN fly into Corpus. It's a completely effed up system, with all of the other problems you described.
     
  9. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Actually, Texas Air was holding company for Texas International Airlines (formerly, Trans-Texas Airways), and it was Texas Air that bought Continental, not the other way around. CO was in dire financial straits, Texas Air bought, saved them.

    But it was not what you might call a marriage made in heaven; while head man Francisco Lorenzo was a financial whiz, he was not what you would call a "people person," and he has been banned from ever participating in the airline business again.
     
  10. HerrGruyere

    HerrGruyere Line Up and Wait

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    When I was a kid, I always enjoyed the quick tour of the flight deck and the presentation of wings and a handshake from the captain.

    Even at my age now I'd probably still get a kick out of that.
     
  11. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    Their ONE 747? LOL
     
  12. John Baker

    John Baker Final Approach

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    It probably is not so far into the future where the only airline available to the public will be owned and operated by the government.

    They are regulating and taxing the airlines out of business just a little more each year. The cost of fuel will be the primary death knell, then the direct assault on their customers by the TSA will probably get those evil capitalists out of the business for good.

    Think about a 300 pound flight attendant axing you to fasten your seat belt. No more first class or business, we will all be equally comfortable packed into coach only, for a flight we had to book months in advance in order for TSA to do a background check and examine our reason for traveling.

    There will of course still be first class accommodations, but they will be reserved for officials only.

    -John
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  13. Threefingeredjack

    Threefingeredjack En-Route

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    ??? Pretty sure they had more than one. The ramp at HNL usually had one or two on it daily. I used to fly the shore of Mamala Bay out bound on my daily patrols, before they built the reef runway, (yeah I'm that old :D ), and you could see the big crayons siting at the gates.
     
  14. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    "financial whiz" my a$$.

    More like a "rape and pillage" pirate.
     
  15. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    For now. Wait until their labor costs shoot through the roof, like is inevitable. They're just the flavor of the day
     
  16. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    According to Wiki, they did have more than one.

    They started with a single (N601BN, the 100th 74 off the line) and then added some 747SPs.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Branif...70s_redesigns.2C_and_the_747_comes_to_Braniff
     
  17. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Exactly, ever since Herb left, SWA is just becoming another major, no better or worse than the others.
     
  18. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't think anyone still hands out plastic wings or cards (at least not on any domestic flights).

    But, for nostalgia, you can find a ton of that stuff on ebay. Wings, cards, blankets (back when they put the airline logos on them)...etc
     
  19. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    Not a US carrier, but as of roughly 3 years ago, Emirates would hand out cards if asked. Or they would just offer (which is how I got mine, which are still in the plastic). Not sure about the wings.
     
  20. RotorAndWing

    RotorAndWing Final Approach

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    I flew ANA out of HKG to Narita in January. They still give put the playing cards and other stuff for kids.
     
  21. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    I could have given Emirates a try on this trip, but 19 hours to SIN from SEA on UA through NRT trumps 29+ hours on Emirates through Dubai. Even at $500 less, it just wasn't worth the abuse on the bod.
     
  22. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    Call me educated.
     
  23. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    You haven't flown Emirates yet. They're what US airlines were like before deregulation.

    But, yeah, an extra ten hours. Sheesh!
     
  24. Wingsofglass

    Wingsofglass Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I doubt that they still have cards but Delta lets my kids sit in the cockpit during boarding and gives them wings. Probably doesn't happen on every flight but everyone I've been on recently this has happened.
     
  25. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I think they had as many as five or six flying at one point, when they were serving Hawaii daily from DFW ( as they had done for years), London, Frankfurt, Paris, and several far-east destinations. It was this wild and wacky over expansion that did them in.
     
  26. Lance F

    Lance F Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    and Braniff flew Concord. THAT was special.
     
  27. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    If you call a paper lease flying, sure. It was never their airplane, nor was it ever operated without a BA crew on board, AFAIK.
     
  28. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Rocky and Western. And the original Frontier. Maybe even the new Frontier before they got bought by Republic.
     
  29. pilotod

    pilotod Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'll remember that next time I flip a coin for an airline. My kids would probably squeal with joy if they got to sit in the cockpit and get some wings.

     
  30. Lance F

    Lance F Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Not true. Braniff crews flew the planes. A very elite group of very lucky pilots.
     
  31. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    Sorry, forgot about that, although I seemed to recall that they had to have a BA pilot onboard for insurance reasons though. In any case, I don't think I'd call them lucky, as they really didn't get to use the airplane how it was built to be flown. Additionally, they allowed the company to bleed cash.
     
  32. Chip Sylverne

    Chip Sylverne En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Fear is the poison of our lives.
    Classiest airline I ever flew was out of ORD. Midwest Air I think it was. Overstuffed leather seats, real silver, real glassware, REAL FOOD, good wine. Not just beautiful FA's but extraordinarily so. This was in the early '90s. Ticket was a few extra bucks, but man, comparing that to what airline travel has become brings tears to my eyes. Whole bird was all one business class.
    I'm glad I had the experience, because it'll never be that way again.
     
  33. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That was Midwest Express, based in Milwaukee. R.I.P.

    Classiest airline I've flown in "the modern era" is, by far, Lufthansa. Pretty stewardesses, comfy seats, real food, real silverware, free (good German) beer, on a 13-hour flight. Needless to say, we arrived in Munich very, very happy. :lol:

    And THEN we went to Octoberfest! :yikes:

    My first flight, ever, was on a (then new) Boeing 707 jetliner in 1963. Wow -- I was only 5 years old, but the service was memorable, even to a little kid. I got to see the cockpit, I met the Gods who were flying that enormous bird, and watched as the gorgeous stewardesses lit my mom's cigarettes... The service was stunning.

    Of course, the downside is that we were on our way to my grandma's deathbed, and my dad probably shelled out $200+ per ticket -- the equivalent of over $1500 today!
     
  34. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Lufthansa has always been good.

    [​IMG]
    "In 3D"
     
  35. Jay Honeck

    Jay Honeck Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cool!
     
  36. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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  37. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    I remember the days before deregulation. I've only been flying commercial since 1969. :D

    Ah, yes. The original Frontier. That was a good airline.
     
  38. Lance F

    Lance F Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Not always the best, IMHO.
    I was president of the US office of a German company some years ago. With a business class ticket fom ORD to FRA one night my Lufthansa flight had an eqipment change, and the seat assignments had to be redone. In those days there were still smoking seats, and Brunhilde at the counter gave me one. I looked her in the eye and said "this is not what I booked, and it is not what I want." Basically she responded in a very Germanic way, take it or leave it.
    Well I took that flight, but immediately moved all the company's transAtlantic business to American.
    Lufthansa's attitude that nigHt cost it hundreds of thousands of dollars, and I've got a lifetime American platinum AAdvantage card.
     
  39. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I wouldn't count on that.....since the BR, AMR leadership is reneging on all sorts of "lifetime" deals.





    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
     
  40. Lance F

    Lance F Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Wouldn't be the worst thing in the world if I lost it. The only thing I use it for is to get into the short TSA line at airports that have one for 1st class and premium frequent flyer members.