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Childhood Flying Experiences You Wanna Go Back To?  
User currently offlineBlackhawk144 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3671 times:


Are there flying experiences you experienced, either as a child, or a long time ago, where you really wish you could re-live the moments again?

There are times I really feel like going back in time...

For instance, I loved the old DTW terminal much more than the new one. Why? Because I had great experiences there. Same goes with MSP. I wish I could go back to the days where MSP wasn't as big as it is now...and the concourses were named after colours.

I'm talking about MSP and DTW in the 1990s. Why? Because usually every year, I would fly BOI-MSP-DCA, and sometimes we would go to DTW for other destinations I can't exactly recall. A lot of the times it was just me and my dad. We flew on NW when they had much better service than today.

I have all of these funny memories from MSP and DTW...and I have a lot of vivid memories, from when flying was much more exciting to me, than now. It really makes me sad to think about these, as I probably will never re-live them.

For instance, I have memories from eating a good meal on the BOI-MSP, and getting into MSP, when it is snowing (that's usually the time of year I flew), and we'd always have a couple of hours to watch airplanes (back then I didn't even think of photography), just watching them, and admiring them.

I love the 1990s colors of NW, because of all of these very fun memories I had. I loved the old DTW terminal, and the MSP that had the concourses named for colors (gosh I thought that was so cool).

Anybody else have vivid memories of flying experiences? Or memories that give you an opposite opinion than most, about flying (as in how I like the old NW colors better than the new, contrary to what most people think)?


23 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineEurofleetLHR From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 101 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 3661 times:

Aaaaah - the days when the Spectators Viewing area at LGW was along the roof of the domestic pier of North Terminal. The days when LTN had a viewing area adjacent to the taxiway. The days when the Queens Building at LHR had a viewing area. The days when STN had .... errrrrrm ....nothing for the enthusiast (some things NEVER change !!!).

The days when being an aircraft spotter / photographer / enthusiast / spectator did not lead the authorities to believe you are a terrorist threat.

As for a flight I would like to re-live - has to be on a Monarch Airlines Bristol Britannia, back in 1971.

User currently offline777DadandJr From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1516 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 3649 times:

Ah, a stroll down memory lane.
Let me see................
Well, I didn't expirience my first flight until I was 20. BWI-OAK on World Airways DC10. That sealed the deal though.

I guess it all started when I was about 8 years old. I was with my Mom shopping and we passed this bookstore and in the window was this huge book call "The Lore of Flight."
I begged my Mom to buy it, but it was $30.00. That was alot for a book, back in '71. But, she bought it for me as an early birthday gift. I was thrill. I never put the book down.
Then, I remember sitting in my front yard as a curious 9 year old, writing a letter to Boeing, requesting info on their new "Jumbo Jet", the 747.
Much to my surprise, about a week later, a large envelope arrived filled with info, brochures and pictures of the new 747! I still to this day, have a brochure for the 747-100F, complete with diagrams and specs. It's kind of yellow now, but I still have it.

When I was 18, I moved near BWI, and what a thrill that was. I spent so much time out on Dorsey Road, standing under the approach lights, watching the planes landing on 28.
My biggest thrill was, one morning, I'm coming home from work, past BWI, and I see Concorde.
I raced home, got my camera and went back.
As luck would have it, Concorde taxied down to 28 to t/o. I was able to stand literally behind it as she pwered up her afterburners, and took to the sky. Boy was that thing loud! Fortunately, I was about 10 feet lower that the runway, because I would have surely been blown into the weeds!

Now that I am older, and have a 9 year old son, I am sharing my aviation expiriences with him.
We have toured BWI, IAD, MDT, ORD, and SEA. There will be more to come for sure.
This past June, we took a trip of a lifetime, and went to SEA and toured Boeing. He was thrilled, as I was seeing him so excited.
I will continue to encourage his aviation hobby in anyway I can.


My glass is neither 1/2 empty nor 1/2 full, rather, the glass itself is twice as big as it should be.
User currently offlinePanAm747 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4242 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (10 years 9 months 2 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 3644 times:

(1) Visiting LAX in the days of Pan Am, TWA, and Braniff.

(2) Flying to my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary in 1974 BFL-LAX-DFW-FSM on United 727, American 707, & Frontier CV-580, and FSM-FYV-JPL-MCI (all on one Frontier CV-580 flight)-LAX-BFL and a TWA 707 and a United 737. Back when flying on TWA was as glamorous as you could get!

Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
User currently offlineMADtoCAE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 3616 times:

When I flew to ATL and saw all the DL L1011s and the big black nosed plane waiting for me at the gate...

User currently offlineSpencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1642 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3606 times:

Hey, EurofleetLHR, you don't remember the carpark at STN that housed the Stansted Aviation Society's portacabin? What a spot!!  boxedin 
Actually, I kind of liked the LTN spot, adjacent to the taxiway, although the action did get a little too close sometimes!
Flights I wish I could redo would be something like the Eastern L1011 or the early 741s of British Airways, way back then. Just seemed a lot more airline like then, free face towels, the real McCoy I mean, soaps and cutlery, all that sort of thing. Yeah, those were the days!

EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlineDoona From Sweden, joined Feb 2005, 3799 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 3606 times:

Being hustled around CPH, CDG, LGW, JFK, ORD, STL, and BNA by the UM squad around christmas was wonderful. Cutting ahead in line, pre-boarding, your very own 'lounge', all of it.

And of course getting to sit there listening to the other kids complaining of having to go on TWO whole flights to visit mom or dad, having to travel from Peoria to Little Rock several times a year. And then dropping the bomb on the other kids, 'You think you have to go far? I've got to cross the damn atlantic everytime I visit my dad,' Used to love seeing their faces... Good times...


Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
User currently offlineHorizonGirl From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 808 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 3592 times:

My first time on Horizon.
It was the best thing that ever happened to me!
February 13, 2000 YYJ-SEA.
I have so many good things to say that it would make my fingers
fall off from typing so much if I listed them all!  hearts 


Flying high on the Wings of the Great Northwest!
User currently offlineAlitaliaMD11 From Spain, joined Dec 2003, 4068 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 3588 times:

Flying first class on a Air France B747-400 from JFK-CDG when I was 7.

Also flying on a American Airlines MD-11 from JFK-LHR when I was 1.

No Vueling No Party
User currently offlineLorM From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 411 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 3585 times:

Going back to the age I was able to fit in the storage bins on the side of the window seats on the upper deck of 747s at a very young age was fun. I still remember having a good ole time standing up and staring out the window into the blue yonder.

Being really young flying was very fun since the seats were huge no matter what class you were in. Also Being able to lie down flat in two coach seats when the plane was empty was great too. I used to like laying down under my parent's legs on the floor since I could fit.

Only bad part I had back then was on landing sometimes my ears would plug up and hurt when the cabin altitude went down. Parents would usually get hot paper cups I'd hold over my ears and that would usually reduce the pain. With the automatic pressurization systems today it doesn't seem like it affects young children as bad as before. I miss the damn footrests in domestic first the most though  frown 

Brick Windows
User currently offlineHighFlyer9790 From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 1241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 3572 times:

I always was attached back in the day when Virgin Atlantic still flew to ATH, we would take them from BOS through GWK. Those good ol' 747-200s were awesome. of course, it was pre-9/11, so i visited the cockpit for dawn over ireland, and even sat jumpseat sometimes. coming back, it was going to the cockpit over the north atlantic and chatting with the captain. now if you talk to a captain, he thinks your a terrorist. well, not all, but you get my point.  sarcastic 

User currently offlineLFutia From Netherlands, joined Dec 2002, 3407 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3560 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

hmm.... I've had great service when i flew KLM the last 7 times... nice hot dutch girls... great city of Amsterdam... See Buy Fly... Schiphol Airport... always a great place.

Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
User currently offlineUA777222 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 3348 posts, RR: 7
Reply 12, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3562 times:

Seeing as I'm still a child (15) I have been far more than fortunate to have the chances I have had at; 1) being a decent aviation photographer and 2) having parents whom support travel to the fullest. (allowing me to leave for days at a time with a.net photographers/friends NOT funding my trips, what work I do supports that)

Some of my recent adventures this summer have been,

OAK-LAX on Maryland One;

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Photo © Matthew Hom
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Photo © Matthew Hom

Heading out to MHV, getting ramp, and seeing this odd 727 do low passes at over 160kts for high speed tests (pictures were not allowed whatsoever at the time though taxi out was fair game)

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Photo © Matthew Hom
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Photo © Matthew Hom

Having the chance to head down to LA for two weekends in a row and both managed to catch China Airlines Worldliner 747

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Photo © Matthew Hom
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Photo © Matthew Hom

And most recently a trip to NCE/CDG with my family + girlfriend.

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Photo © Matthew Hom
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Photo © Matthew Hom

Oh and I'm due out of SFO in about 2.5hours for a last min. Mileage run + photography trip to DEN for the day. This should be very fun as I hear the DEN guys are very very nice! See here for more information!

Take care and great topic + forum!


"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
User currently offlineZKSUJ From New Zealand, joined May 2004, 7233 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3550 times:

Yea I have a few as well.

AKL-SIN-ZRH and FCO-SIN-AKL in 2001. Was good

User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5601 posts, RR: 32
Reply 14, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3549 times:

When I was a boy my first flight was in a Convair CV-990 "Coronado" with Swissair from ZRH to ATH. As I remember it was great flight. The Convair "Coronado" was an amazing aircraft. I think it was the fastest airliner at its time.

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Photo © Kjell nilsson
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Photo © Urs Ruf - Euro Airport Photography

User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 3
Reply 15, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3540 times:

Quoting EurofleetLHR (Reply 1):
Aaaaah - the days when the Spectators Viewing area at LGW was along the roof of the domestic pier of North Terminal. The days when LTN had a viewing area adjacent to the taxiway. The days when the Queens Building at LHR had a viewing area. The days when STN had .... errrrrrm ....nothing for the enthusiast (some things NEVER change !!!).

Mate, I couldn't agree more (although surely you mean along the roof of the South Terminal?)!!

Personally I miss the days when flying from any of London's airports was exciting rather than stressful! The days when you knew you'd arrived at the airport by the screaming of all the jets heading into the sky and by the smell of the jet fuel that filled the air. And when you actually felt you were at an airport rather than a shopping mall with planes. And the days when you appreciated being able to fly, even if you (or your parents!) had saved all year to be able to afford the cost of the flight, no matter how long or short the duration of the flight you were about to take!

Having said all that, I do appreciate how accessible flying is these days, after all, if it weren't, I wouldn't be able to travel as much as I do - it's just that to me, it's no longer the exciting event that it used to be.

Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineChristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 980 posts, RR: 8
Reply 16, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3522 times:

There's something evocative about the stale smell of cigarette smoke and peanut oil that reminds me of my childhood years (1970s) non-revving with my parents and often winding up back in or near the smoking section of the plane.

Yes, remember smoking on airplanes? Sounds bizarre now, doesn't it?

Of course, I don't want to get back to this experience - keeping in mind the thread title - but it is an early memory related to flying that is really hard-wired into my brain.

Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3383 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 3517 times:

How about flying from MOB to MSY (a 25 minute flight at best) in Economy on the old National Airlines, and getting warm sweet rolls and coffee/juice BEFORE takeoff! This was back in the '70's....

Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlineReifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1563 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3514 times:

I used to live in Japan because of my fathers work and we always flew CX from Fukuoka to HKG and then to FRA.
That was in 1988, the used L1011, I hated them because they had no IFE.
Then we moved to Indonesia and always flew CGK-HKG with Stop in SIN. That was in the early 90's operated by 743. I loved the stopover in SIN, they gave us a transit card and as a kid I always ran to the places were they put things like Lego etc for Kids to play. I always went back at the last call though.

Then they put a direct HKG-CGK on L1011, and as I told you I hated them...
No I would love to have them back and fly with them again.

I also loved CX, they always offered big backpacks full of games and drawing things, logbooks etc for us kids we were... and as my father was regular traveler on diamond status I was upgraded once to First Class for a 744 flight from HKG to FRA. That was really great as the 744 was brand new and those were the times when Cathay had First-Class seets with electronic control... No PTV though  Smile

I also loved the green colour-scheme and Kai Tak with the odd black plastic floors. We always stayed at the Regal Airport Hotel with the cool bridge there. We always ordered rooms with Airport and runway views and there were those 2 channels with the arrival- and departure times... So I spend the day pushing my nose against the big window and looking for planes to land and to start...

I must say we flew so much on CX that I was proud to state them as my favourite airline... But the last time I had a flight on them was 10 years ago  Sad

User currently offlineGRZ-AIR From Austria, joined Apr 2001, 574 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (10 years 9 months 1 week 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 3505 times:

Jump Seat rides on MD-83, B737, A300, A321

Full Motion Level D A330 Sim Flight!

First Class rides in US B767 and A330

Actually I loved all of my flights till now..
Especially the ones about 15 years ago to the states on Delta, NW, Swissair, Lufthansa, AUA, US etc..


When I joined A.net it was still free, haha ;).
User currently offline777klm From China, joined Apr 2005, 567 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 3482 times:

Actually I still am a child... So I liked my jumpseat rides on the KL 772's.

Next flight: AMS - BCN - EZE
User currently offlineZRH From Switzerland, joined Nov 1999, 5601 posts, RR: 32
Reply 21, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 3474 times:

When I was 16 we flew from ZRH to JNB on a Swissair DC 10. Till Nairobi the captain was the father of one of my class mates so we could stay in the cockpit for almost the whole flight. We experienced the sunrise over the Nubian dessert. This was very impressive. At these days the Swissair's DC 10s only had 8 seats abreast in economy. I miss really these old days  old  with much more room in economy (no such cattle carriers as they all are in our days) and the possibility to visite the cockpit.

User currently offlineBrokenrecord From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 772 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (10 years 9 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 3471 times:

My best memory was the trip my family took to Toulon, France, when I was 12 (1994). We drove from our home in Virginia Beach, VA to a friends house in Northern VA, who drove us out to Dulles the next day to catch our flight to Paris. We were flying Air France, on an A300, A330 or A340 (don't remember which, perhaps someone with a timetable could look up a flight departing IAD at around 1830 for CDG), and this was still in the time when you had a gate number printed on your boarding pass, and this gate entered a people-mover, which drove you directly to the plane wherever it was parked on the ramp. Two people movers on both sides of the plane loaded business and first up front, and four loaded coach (two at the doors behind business, and two at the back of the plane). I also recall the flight having a smoking section. Myself and my sister, who is two years older than I, could not sleep because we were too excited about the trip, and although we were being very quiet so as to not disturb the other travellers, we were awake the whole night, so flight attendants kept bringing us various things to play with to keep us entertained, even though were content enough to try to play card games with French playing cards.  Smile

Upon disembarking at CDG, we then had to take a bus to Orly in order to make our connection to Toulon. The ride was slated to take about 30 minutes, and took about an hour to the best of my recollection. We barely made it to the flight to Toulon, but we made it. This flight was on an A320 I believe, and my sister and I were seated in the window and middle, with a business man seated on the aisle. This gentleman happened to spill his coffee into his lap and spent the entire flight in the loo. He only emerged upon the call to return to seats for landing. At this point, my sister and I had been awake for quite a few hours, but our young bodies handled it masterfully until about 2000 hrs., when we both hit the brick wall, and pretty much had to be carried into the hotel rooms my parents had.

I don't remember much about the return trip, so lucky for you guys, you don't have to hear about it.  Smile

User currently offlineAlphafloor From Chile, joined Jun 2004, 1277 posts, RR: 35
Reply 23, posted (10 years 9 months 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 3455 times:

Back in 1982 I traveled from GVA to JFK on a Swissair 742 with my parents and my little brother on business class, I was 11 years old. It was my first time in a jumbo ever and I was overexcited ! I remember exploring the cabin, looking outside of the window of the last rear R-door when my father asked "What do you try to look at ?", "I'm trying to see the contrail !" I replied, he then laughed out loud ! Arriving at JFK was a big shock to me, I never saw an airport full of heavies.

My second childhood flying experience I have nice memories was the first flight with a Swissair DC10 the same year, Geneva-Dakar-Rio de Janeiro-Buenos Aires-Santiago.... loooooong trip with plenty of take-off's and landings ! I traveled with my little brother to see my grand father. The highlight of this trip was passing over the Andes...

Good old times...  old 


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