lexkid12300 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 81 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6381 times:
Several years ago i fell in love with airplanes, especially the Boeing 727. I'm 23 years old, and have never actually flown on a 727. About a year ago i took my first "day trip" to get on one of Delta's DC9's and have taken 3 more trips since then. However it's still not close enough to my dream of flying on the 72'. I visited the Museum of Flight last summer and "touched" my first 727 (the AA 727 at the air park and the #1 at the restoration center) but have decided that i'll never be able to forgive myself if i don't find a way to fly as a passenger on the 727. Can you help me find a way?
As most of you know, there aren't any major US airlines flying the 727 commercially, and i'd really like to fly as a passenger on a 727 configured for people rather than cargo. So far i've found one airline, Aerosur who flies a 727 from various cities in BOLIVIA, South America. On Aerosur's website it indicates that it flies from La Paz to Sucre for 79 USD (which is a great price) but it's "getting" to BOLIVIA that i'm worried about, both financially and for my physical well being. The farthest i've ever been from my home in Rhode Island is Washington State, and thus a trip to South America seems a bit scary.
Does anyone know of a better way to fly as a passenger on the 727? Maybe another airline that ports in the US? Or maybe one in Europe? Bolivia is pretty darn far from where i am, so pretty much anywhere else in the world is closer!
I really appreciate any input. Am i nuts for wanting to do this? Am i ever going to regret going/not going? Thanks in advance.
Loran From Germany, joined Jul 2005, 485 posts, RR: 2 Reply 1, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 6285 times:
First I think your post may get more replies in the travel polls & preferences forum. I will request it from the Mods.
To the topic, I fear after you find out where the other remaining 727s are flying, you will find Bolivia being an easy destination. Uploaded in GDS are currently the following operators & routes:
- TAM Bolivia (VVI, LPB, CBB, TJA)
- InterAir Congo (PNR, BZV, JNB, COO)
- Ariana Afghan Airlines (KBL, URC, DYZ, IKA, DXB, MHD)
- Iran Air (ex-THR and IKA)
- Iran Aseman Airlines (also ex-THR and IKA)
So given your geographical situation I think Bolivia is by far the easiest. I can't recommend any of the other countries if you are not travel experienced. Bolivia should be no problem though, you just may have to schedule a couple of days as a backup if it doesn't fly daily. And as a bonus you may be able to fly the only scheduled Fokker F-27 in the world (which I am still missing).
There are still numerous cargo 727s flying around North America. I'd actually prefer to fly cargo because you should have easy access to the cockpit if you manage to get on one.
dc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 1935 posts, RR: 5 Reply 2, posted (1 year 5 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 6255 times:
Quoting lexkid12300 (Thread starter): So far i've found one airline, Aerosur who flies a 727 from various cities in BOLIVIA, South America. On Aerosur's website it indicates that it flies from La Paz to Sucre for 79 USD (which is a great price) but it's "getting" to BOLIVIA that i'm worried about, both financially and for my physical well being.
Financially, it might be a problem. Flights to SA are comparatively expensive and Bolivia isn't exactly the easiest place to get to on the continent. Plus, doesn't Bolivia have a reciprocity fee for American citizens?
For your safety... Well, if you act "naturally" I don't think that's a problem. There are worse countries to go than Bolivia with regards to personal safety.
Quoting lexkid12300 (Thread starter): The farthest i've ever been from my home in Rhode Island is Washington State, and thus a trip to South America seems a bit scary.
Well, of course, it's a bit scary going out of your comfort zone... If you'll regret it? Well, maybe you won't regret this particular occasion, but if you'll pass on all you want to do because it's scary, you might end up regretting more than you think.
Quoting Loran (Reply 1): So given your geographical situation I think Bolivia is by far the easiest. I can't recommend any of the other countries if you are not travel experienced.
Definitely not for the inexperienced. Although I hear Iran welcomes travellers well...
lexkid12300 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 81 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6060 times:
That's what i was afraid of
Do you think it would be worth my while to contact a travel agency to get ready to go to Bolivia? If i go to AAA will they look at me like i have 3 heads if i say i want to plan a trip to Bolivia? Who might know more details about it?
MEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4210 posts, RR: 36 Reply 5, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 5988 times:
Travel agents are so 20st century, it's best just to search on aa.com , expedia.com, copa.com and other websites for the best roundtrips to Bolivia and booking.com for hotels or buy/borrow a lonely planet guide and off you go.
The whole trip will be more then $1000 I think.
I know the classicjettours.com guys are looking at doing a pleasure flight in a 727-100 inside the USA , probably early 2013, which might be a little cheaper and easier.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
e38 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 274 posts, RR: 0 Reply 7, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 5721 times:
Quoting lexkid12300 (Thread Starter), "The farthest i've ever been from my home in Rhode Island is Washington State . . ."
Chris, so what? If you would like to fly aboard a Boeing 727 and there is an airline in Bolivia that flies them, then GO for it. Not just for the flight on a 727, but the whole experience of traveling to Bolivia. Shop in the markets of La Paz, visit the ancient capital of Sucre, hike through the Andes, travel aboard a Bolivian railroad, ride a papyrus boat across Lake Titicaca. What a magnificent adventure. Don't stay in the United States just because "the farthest you've ever been is Washington state." There a whole world out there waiting to be discovered! Take a friend with you, travel is more fun when you can share the adventure.
Chris, you also said, "If i go to AAA will they look at me like i have 3 heads if i say i want to plan a trip to Bolivia?" No they won't. They will say, "What a magnificent adventure. Let's get started planning this!"
I think AAA is a great place to start to collect books, maybe some tour brochures (to give you an idea of what attractions to visit), and information.
SQ25J (Reply 4) stated, "only keep in mind when departing Bolivia and returning to US.....you might be questioned by DHS as to "purpose of your trip"........
I doubt they would even ask; American tourists return to the U.S. from Bolivia every day. And, if DHS personnel did question the purpose of your visit, you simply reply, "Tourist."
Loran (Reply 1) stated, "There are still numerous cargo 727s flying around North America. I'd actually prefer to fly cargo because you should have easy access to the cockpit if you manage to get on one."
However, in the United States, unless you are an active employee for an airline, I don't think regulations will allow you to fly aboard a 727 freighter. However, you might check with A.net member "tb727;" I think he flies 727s for a cargo operator in Michigan and might be able to provide you with better guidance on how to get a ride aboard an all-cargo 727.
And, if you don't think you would enjoy Bolivia, consider an adventure to Congo and/or South Africa. A four hour flight aboard an InterAir 727 from Johannesburg to Brazzaville would give you considerable time to enjoy the flight aboard the 727.
jetblue32 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 78 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 5590 times:
Having visited Bolivia a few times myself, I highly recommend it as an off the beaten track destination. Having only visited Mexico and Canada before then, it was a little bit of a culture shock to me at first, but turned out to be one of my most amazing trips ever (otherwise I wouldn't have gone back 2 more times later). While you're at it, if you fly into or stay in La Paz and have a couple of days to spare, I highly recommend the bus trip to Coroico (about 3 hours away), and stay at the Hotel Esmeralda, www.hotelesmeralda.com; it is a nice, cheap resort with a million dollar view, and the owners are very nice and accomodating. Yes, airfare is high, and yes, there is a reciprocity fee ($135, last I checked), but once you are there, it is a cheap destination where your dollar goes far, and it is well worth the money for the experience. If you are flexible about when you travel, fares should come down significantly around mid-August or so, when peak season is over, and Boliviana de Aviacion (recent Bolivian start-up carrier) begins service to MIA, adding more competition. And yes, as Loran summed up above, you will have the opportunity to fly the 727 with TAM Bolivia or Aerosur.
tb727 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1461 posts, RR: 4 Reply 9, posted (1 year 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 5564 times:
Quoting e38 (Reply 7): However, in the United States, unless you are an active employee for an airline, I don't think regulations will allow you to fly aboard a 727 freighter. However, you might check with A.net member "tb727;" I think he flies 727s for a cargo operator in Michigan and might be able to provide you with better guidance on how to get a ride aboard an all-cargo 727.
Thanks! Yeah if you move a horse outta LEX we can take you
lexkid12300 From United States of America, joined Mar 2011, 81 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (1 year 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5294 times:
Thanks for the motivation and assurance guys, i'm definitely feeling more confident now! I've made contact with the folks at classicjettours.com and they are in fact chartering a 727-100 (with original engines!!) to fly in early 2013. I've been put on their mailing list, and they will be sending me an e-mail as soon as reservations begin. If i'm able to do that, it'll be awesome especially since it's in the US, i'll be flying with fellow 727 lovers, and it'll be a 727-100! But if that fails, here i come Bolivia. The more i think about it, the more excited i become.
e38, you're completely right. I should go for it! And after doing a little more research, i've discovered there's actually a lot to do in Bolivia! And jetblue, thanks for sharing your personal experiences in Bolivia! It's nice to be able to hear that this trip has been done before, and that you're on this site to prove it!
I'll try my best to get on the 727 being chartered by my fellow aviation-nuts at classic jet tours, but if i can't i'm confident that a trip to Bolivia would do me a lot of good. I'll be bringing my aviation loving (it took time, but i got here there!) girlfriend along with me in either case, so we could make a nice trip out of it. She's come on all of my 4 DC9 trips and actually enjoys it! Such beautiful memories, i hope to have them forever!
Thanks again for all the advice and motivation everyone, i feel a lot better about it after getting your input! I'll update with any information once i find out what the plan is!