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Topic: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: 747400sp
Posted 2003-08-14 19:20:15 and read 6442 times.

Pan Am was my favorite airline. I always wanted to fly them but they went bankrupt when I was 12 year old. When ever my family was traveling my parent flew American. I just would like to know how was the serve, how did it feel to ride on one of there 747 or A300. Those was my favorite planes in there fleet. Also I know there 747 flew to Europe and New York from LAX, but where Did those A300 that flew into LAX come from.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Tbear815
Posted 2003-08-14 19:31:22 and read 6400 times.

Flying on PA001 was always dependent on which leg you were on. In the early days of the 747, some legs were on 707's. In those days, PA was a dependable airline with a good product. Many times, when you were in a very foreign country, that Blue Meatball sure looked good. The Airbus bit was part of the management that killed PA. The aircraft were purchased new from Airbus and placed on various routes, however by Airbus times, PA was practically out of the Orient/Pacific. PA001 was always interesting leaving Delhi around 4am on its way to Tehran and Beirut. Sometimes Tehran to Istanbul. Faraway places with exotic names, but what an education!

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: MD80Nut
Posted 2003-08-14 19:37:43 and read 6387 times.

I flew PanAm numerous times back in the 60s and 70s, mostly on 707s and 720Bs, with a couple of 747-100 and 727-100 flights thrown in. It was a great airline, but I was fairly young and a big PanAm fan then, they were my favorite airline. They did have a bit of a "we're the best" attitude but the airline's great history would justify such an attitude. I still think their livery from the 70s was one of the best ever, simple and classy and who could forget those big blue globes on the tail?

My first ever jet flight when I was six was on a PanAm 707-121 in 1962. My last PanAm flight was in 1982 on one of the DC-10-10s they got when they absorbed National. I miss them big blue globes, man!  Crying

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Tbear815
Posted 2003-08-14 19:53:33 and read 6356 times.

Hey, MD80Nut, if you miss PA, I still a few hundred shares of the original company I'd like to sell - worthless, but I wouldn't have bought them if I didn't think they had something good going for them. Of course, I didn't know that they were going, period. Caveat emptor!

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: MD80Nut
Posted 2003-08-14 20:03:45 and read 6328 times.

LOL! No thanks, I'm still trying to unload my Eastern stock, I just know it's gonna rebound anytime now! Big grin

Hey, how about a stock swap?  Innocent

[Edited 2003-08-14 20:05:49]

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Tan flyr
Posted 2003-08-14 20:19:21 and read 6293 times.

in its' heyday, Pan Am was tough to beat. 707's to most points on the globe, a bit of the USA wherever they went.

Too many 747's in the 70's and 80's, the airbusses were a poor choice, the l-1011-500s were also..just a dozen of them...lots of MX for sucha small fleet.

Maybe they would have been better off to have ordered the 757 and 767's in the late 70's, have taken delivery in the early 80's...common cockpit, better on those long thin routes....hindsight is 20/20.

But to fly on PA in the 50's 60's and into the 70's ..they were the way to go.
(TWA was equal on many routes)..like the old ad line.."you can't beat the experience"

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: TNboy
Posted 2003-08-14 20:34:48 and read 6256 times.

My first Pan Am flight was in 1961 on a 707: - Sydney - Nadi - Honolulu - Los Angeles, and then on to Frobisher Bay (refuelling) - London. The return trip was London - Winnipeg (refuel) - Los Angeles and back the same way across the Pacific, all on 707s.

It was a great airline. In those days, many of the flights were around 60% loads on the Pacific run, with lots of room, good food and great service. I remember having my first Manhattan as a teenager - hand mixed cocktails even in economy.

Later I flew a 707 Sydney - Bangkok, with just eleven passengers - then on to London via Delhi, Tehran, Beirut, Istanbul, and Frankfurt. We were hijacked in Beirut which was interesting, to say the least. The return was via New York (on one of the first 747 flights), then back on a 707 and on to Fairbanks - Seattle - Honolulu - Nadi - Sydney - Melbourne. In those days you could have multiple stopovers for the same fare. The 747 LHR - JFK was delayed for about 4 hours, and we were offered alternate flights, but decided to wait - there was no way I was going to miss the opportunity of flying the 747! I still (somewhere) have certificates from those flights - one for crossing the equator on my first international flight, and another for being one of the early 747 passengers.

I also flew them across the Pacific on a 747 from Sydney - Pago Pago - Honolulu - Los Angeles.

Service slipped as the aircraft got bigger. And the hand-mixed cocktails gave way to pre-mixed drinks in awful foil packs, and later miniature bottles. Pan Am used to place a large box of complimentary after-shave and perfume miniatures in the toilets. After one long flight, my pockets were clinking with "souvenired" small bottles of after-shave. I was just a kid  Big grin

There was always a very intense rivalry between the flight crews, and FA announcement would always specify where the crew was based. Sometimes they would even say something like "It has been a pleasure for your New York based crew to serve you today. If you are travelling further on this flight, a San Francisco based crew will be taking over", and you would always feel that they thought the new crew wouldn't be as good!

Flying Pan Am was always wonderful. I still remember getting on board a 707 called Jet Clipper Invincible or Jet Clipper Mohican and really feeling special. I would always check out the aircraft names, and it was good to sometimes have a flight on an aircraft you had flown before.

In the 707 days, interiors were in grey colors, and uniforms were Pan Am blue. With the 747s, interior fittings became a bit garish, and uniforms changed around.

I guess there won't be an airline again like the Pan Am of the 707 days, with its incredible network. But it was always something special to fly "the world's most experienced airline".
Cheers
Bill

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Skyhawk
Posted 2003-08-14 20:38:53 and read 6231 times.

To all of you who have commented, on behalf of all former and still proud of our "blue ball", Thank you. It was a privilege to fly for the company, as was said, going into a "third world" country, you certainly did feel the power of that meatball. Going into Istanbul the first time, and mind you I started with National so I wasn't exposed to this flying for them, there were soldiers with Uzi's parting the crowds in customs saying, "American crew, move". I had a ball with them, getting to every inhabited continent except Australia(that trip was usually flown by the crews based on the west coast).

But as I already said, Thanks!

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: 747400sp
Posted 2003-08-14 21:15:51 and read 6153 times.


Skyhawk


You welcome I just wish I could have flown your airline.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: IslandHopper
Posted 2003-08-14 21:22:02 and read 6127 times.

I flew on Pan Am only once, in 1989 when I was 14. It was on an old 727 with a filthy, ragged interior and grisly attendants. My headphones were broken, and my polite request for replacement was met with rolled eyes and the response "In a few minutes..." I'm still waiting.  Smile

I too wish I could have flown them back in their glory days, but towards the end in the 80s they were awful from what people say (and my personal experience).

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Skyhawk
Posted 2003-08-14 21:23:01 and read 6122 times.

747400sp-Unfortunately those days are probably gone forever. It really is a shame too, not just for the loss of PAA, but of other carriers, TWA just to mention one.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Backfire
Posted 2003-08-14 21:25:43 and read 6116 times.

Flew on a Pan Am 747 from LAX to LHR back in 1980.

My only Pan Am flight, and one of the most godawful trips I've ever taken. Nine hours on an aircraft with a broken seat arm (so no radio), a broken projector (so no in-flight movie) and cabin lights that flickered all the way there, like fluorescent lamps which are about to pack up.

At the time I flew a lot with TWA, and maybe it's unfair to judge Pan Am on a single flight but I remember TWA for its friendly service, helpful and cheerful cabin crew, and working equipment. The Pan Am flight became a standing joke in my family.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Skyhawk
Posted 2003-08-14 21:41:17 and read 6078 times.

You are right Backfire, it is totally unfair to judge a company by one flight that you had with them. Yes, we did have our group of problems, but so does any large company. I too have had bad flights on them, also on your TWA, yet we continued to fly on them. I am now part of the Delta family and believe me, we have had some horrendous trips on them. So like you yourself said don't make judgements please on one trip, be that trip from the past, or should it come in the furture.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Manairport
Posted 2003-08-14 22:11:15 and read 6035 times.

Flew one roundtrip in early 1980s LHR/LAX/LHR. The two worst flights I have ever taken. Awful aircraft, awful flight attendants, awful service. I shed no tears at the passing of PanAm.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Tan flyr
Posted 2003-08-14 22:36:40 and read 6011 times.

I have a few more minutes to expand my thoughts a bit.
As I mentioned, fleet planning/purchases played a role is sapping the wealth of PA. The purchase (merger?) of National was a huge Financial error. While National had assets (routes,etc.) ,most of those could have been acquired in a few months, after de-reg was signed for a lot less, and PA could have flown anywhere domestic it chose, with more appropriate equipment.

I'd have to dig out old Annual reports, but I seem to recall some unrelated business PA got into during the late 70's/80's. Maybe someone can help refresh my memory.

A marketing agreement with a domestic airline would have been a great idea also...I've always wondered when AA and PA did the 747/DC-10 exchange, why such a marketing deal was not done.

A number of items in life are cyclical...Maybe someday we can see some sort of "prestige" carrier return.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Panamair
Posted 2003-08-14 23:45:52 and read 5948 times.

Pan Am's First Class service was THE best in the business - chateaubriand or rack of lamb cooked to your liking and carved/served to you directly from the cart (even until the very end when bankruptcy loomed), together with all the sides and toppings; lobster thermidor; eggs cooked to order for breakfast; choosing the early or late sitting for dinner at a real dinner table on the upper deck of the 747s and 747SPs....

And Pan Am had some of THE best people in the business (as well as some of the worst). Their flight attendants in the sixties and seventies had to go through intensive training to become 'hosts and hostesses' who could talk to passengers about wines, fine dining, exotic destinations; who could fold linen and napkins a thousand different elegant ways, who could set up a serving trolley at 35,000 feet in an attractive and elegant manner....

If you're lucky, you may still be able to run into a few of these real professionals when you fly Delta or United...

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: TNboy
Posted 2003-08-15 00:49:14 and read 5893 times.

Some more reminiscing. I have to say I never had a flight on Pan Am that I didn't enjoy. From memory, first class service was called "Presidential" and economy was "Rainbow".
Once during a stop at Pago Pago, on an early-ish 747 flight, the crew invited passengers to "take a walk upstairs and have a look". Some of the transatlantic crews on the first 747s were very "senior" to put it mildly, and some had a real attitude, but they were still great fun.
Sorry you never had the chance to do the Pacific run Skyhawk. The 707 flight left Sydney mid-afternoon, and cocktails and dinner were served on the Nadi leg. There was an hour to wander around Nadi terminal in the balmy Pacific night (or maybe Pago Pago, where a local group of musicians would be playing as you walked to the terminal around midnight). After breakfast, you would be greeted by the sight of Pearl Harbour on the port side on a morning approach to Honolulu. Then it was a relaxed lunch flight, with a mid-afternoon arrival in LAX, arriving at about the same time you left, thanks to the international dateline.
The westbound flight gave you a good dinner en route to Honolulu, and then it was the long, long night through to Fiji and a morning arrival in Sydney after breakfast. Always fresh ham or salad rolls in the galley on the overnight sectors, and crew and passengers who wandered around and were happy to chat and pass the time. In the early days, they did show some terrible in-flight movies, but the audio program was good. Back then, movies were only shown on long sectors. For example, on the Pacific crossing there would only be two movies. Sydney - Bangkok (10 hours) would have one movie - and it would generally be pretty awful. But I always found Pan Am to be professional and relaxing. I used to think, every time I settled into my seat for a long flight (and every flight from Australia was a long one), that I was settling in to my own little home for a day. It was a great feeling. I still have some ticket wallets (very classy), tickets, boarding passes and other memorabilia. Used up all the little bottles of Onyx after-shave though. What a nerd! In those days you walked out across the tarmac to board the aircraft. I really can't explain the thrill of walking across a tarmac towards a Pan Am 707, blue ball on the tail, and exotic name painted on the nose. It didn't matter what other aircraft were there, you felt special because you were on Pan Am. It was very sad towards the end, when the aircraft were getting older, and they were shedding routes. (I only ever flew TWA on domestic sectors in the USA but they were great!).
Tan flyr, I recall Pan Am was involved in a number of related enterprises in the 70s, such as the Intercontinental hotel chain for one. There were others but can't remember them. Gradually these were sold off.
Cheers
Bill

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Tbear815
Posted 2003-08-15 02:40:10 and read 5808 times.

First class was "The President Special." Coach was Rainbow. Later on, business was Clipper. Side businesses were Corporate Jets, work at the Kennedy Space Center, Intercontinental Hotels, and others. Pursers on Pan Am carried Silver carving tools, bowls, and other fancy odds and ends to use in FC. Seems that if these things were taken off in foreign countries, they may never be seen again. Pan Am's galleys were set up where food was boarded in bulk pack and portioned by the F/A's. It seems that this way kept the food fresher (I guess less area exposed to foil, saran, cabin air, etc.). One thing about boarding a Pan Am flight - you always had the excitement that you were traveling Internationally (with the exception of HNL and SJU). It was Pan Am who started all the multi-language PA announcements. Belonging to the Clipper Club was status. And the Clipper Club always treated you well. Of course, you were a member. And, of course, the Clipper names. Juan Trippe wanted his airline to simulate the great ships of the day. In those days, every airline named their a/c. Pan Am - Clippers, United - Mainliners, American - Flagships. That's why PA cockpit crew wore white hats, not blue. They set the stage for the glory days of the airlines along with TWA. Now both are history....

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: SIN747
Posted 2003-08-15 02:42:10 and read 5801 times.

I remember flying PA 1+2 numerous times on the JFK-LHR and HNL-HND-HKG sectors. I can still remember the amazing sound of those big JT9 fans on take-off...what music! I also remember the original interiors, their colors, and the 3-4-2 seating in Y. I also remember the HND stops and the amazing cleaning crews dressed in white uniforms that groomed those aircraft spotless in no time at all...they took such pride in their jobs. Finally, I remember that they served amazing tangerine sherbet after dinner was served ex-HND.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Bluemeatball
Posted 2003-08-15 02:45:49 and read 5788 times.

I flew on several 707s, 720Bs , 727s, and acouple of 747s in the 60s and 70s. I enjoyed those flights immensely. All of my flights were in coach and the service most of the time was good. A couple of times I was the only occupant of a row so could pull out the arm rests and lie down for a nap.
In regards to other operations, PA owned and operated the Intercontinental Hotel chain along with a "budget" branch of Forum Hotels. They also operated PA services which helped other airlines. They also were a contract operator at Cape Canaveral for a missile range system. They connected with someone in Europe to have a rent-a-car business. I do miss the PA timetables.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: AA777MIA
Posted 2003-08-15 02:54:59 and read 5771 times.

My first Pan Am trip was on a Pan Am A310 from IAD to LAX. It was great! The flight attendants were okay, nothing special, but had a blast, was by myself, sitting in smoking, had the 3seats in the middle, LOL (I was 19 at the time). The movie was Beaches, remember getting up at the end to hit the lav, and there were all the flight attendants with their make up running down their faces from the movie, it was hysterical. Flew the shuttle alot, the shuttle girls were a trip, LOL.. Only once did i fly on the 747, it was okay, nothing special to write home about. I remember the day they closed their doors, it was very sad to see so many crewmembers crying....

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Wedgetail737
Posted 2003-08-15 03:34:23 and read 5743 times.

I flew in a 747SP from SFO to LAX. It was 2-1/2 hours late, but the attendants were nice and once the flight got off the ground, the service was good. It's hard to judge an airline on a 50 minute flight.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Flymia
Posted 2003-08-15 03:42:03 and read 5737 times.

I flew Pan Am Air Bridge and i really did not know much about airlines then so it really flet normal but i was 7 then

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Groundstop
Posted 2003-08-15 04:25:12 and read 5711 times.

I basically grew up on a Pan Am plane since my father and mother both worked there at JFK and then MIA. My father was there until the end on 12/4/91. In those days, my dad would put on me on a flight (a lot of times in the cockpit jumpseat!) from MIA to TPA, MCO, NAS, PBI, CLT/RDU. I remember when they ran the A300 and A310 to TPA from MIA, 4 or 5 times daily. I remember moving from New York to Florida in 1986. Every weekend, we would fly back and forth on the L1011's. Real apple pancakes for breakfast, best ever. In 1990, I flew from MIA to LAX on a 747-121, down to SAN on a DH7, up to LAX on a 73s, on to SFO on an AB3, and back to MIA on a 747-121. While I was young, I do remember Pan Am as having some of the finest employees I've ever known.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: BGIplanefreak
Posted 2003-08-15 04:44:57 and read 5668 times.

I flew on Pan Am's A300s four times on their routes between JFK and Barbados (BGI) in the early 90s just before they went belly-up. Service was okay, nothing amazing, but then, it's difficult to find an airline these days with amazing service anyway. I do miss Pan Am though, it was such an icon.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: WGW2707
Posted 2003-08-15 05:15:54 and read 5633 times.

Darn, reading all of these posts is depressing in a way-it is AMAZING how even since the 1980s customer service on the airlines has gone downhill. The most torturous part of all is reading "Pan Am's First Class service was THE best in the business - chateaubriand or rack of lamb cooked to your liking and carved/served to you directly from the cart (even until the very end when bankruptcy loomed), together with all the sides and toppings; lobster thermidor; eggs cooked to order for breakfast; choosing the early or late sitting for dinner at a real dinner table on the upper deck of the 747s and 747SPs...."

BLAST! You can't get that kind of service these days, even in First Class. I would rather have that then a Sleeper Seat. Who needs to sleep when you can dine?  Smile

In any case, it beats the heck out of Southwest.

-WGW

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Motorhussy
Posted 2003-08-15 05:47:51 and read 5605 times.

It felt great!! And it was before so much of the world came to hate America. A simpler, somehow more innocent era. Back in the 70's only European flag carriers were the target for terrorist groups. When we traveled the world as a family in mid '73 (I was 7), everyone had to be frisked before going onboard due to both the Bader-Meinhoff and Red Army Faction threatening to take out Lufthansa and Alitalia planes.

There wasn't any warning for Lockerbie 'though. Allah will make sure they burn in Hell for their sins.

Back to Pan-Am!! On our family trip, we traveled the world exclusively on Pan-Am and TWA - both, sadly are no longer with us. Pan-Am on all the inter-continental flights and TWA within the US and inside Europe. Their staff were incredibly friendly to both adults and kids. The food was superior to Air New Zealand and Qantas (I'm a New Zealander and am sure that wouldn't be the case these days - quality onboard US airlines has plummeted). And they had the latest aircraft.

The first 707 I ever flew on was a Pan-Am one from Auckland to San Francisco via Papeete and Los-Angeles. LAX was fog-bound so we went straight to SFO, arriving early so our courtesy coach wasn't there to meet us.


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The first 747 I ever flew on was Sydney to Nadi in Fiji - I was six and way too excited. That was a very circuitous trip to Western Samoa - we were living in Canberra, Australia, so took a TAA (another airline no longer flying) 727 to Sydney, then the Pan-Am leg. After overnighting in Nadi we took an Air New Zealand DC8 to Pago Pago and then a Polynesian Airlines HS748 to Apia, Western Samoa.


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Once, my father, sister and I were offloaded from a Pan-Am 707 in Honolulu heading to Pago Pago. The plane crashed on final approach with my brother watching as he was at the airport to pick us up. He was quite traumatised thinking we were on board.

I miss the spirit of Pan-Am - they were so often the first to do things. A friends of mine had a preferential customer booking for their first voyage to the moon - I was very jealous.

My mother used to take Pan-Am's Clipper flying boats from Auckland to Nausori Bay in Fiji to connect with a TEAL Catalina to Samoa in order to get home from boarding school. They had a dining room with tables, white linen and china at meal service. Mind you, apparently your ears were still ringing two days later.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Tbear815
Posted 2003-08-15 11:40:47 and read 5533 times.

It's wonderful to reminisce, but there is a common thread to this posting and many others; the deteriorization of genuine care for the passenger, or guest, or customer, whatever you want to call them. By talking about "the old days," maybe we could spark a movement industry-wide regarding change. The airlines still have a lot of wonderful people working for them. You have to look to the head of the airline for direction. It seems some of them don't have a clue of what they're doing/did/going to do, but they sure think they do. Remember - "Golden Parachute." "I screwed this airline over big-time, so give me my money/check/stock option (or any combination thereof) and I'm outta here!"

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Mats
Posted 2003-08-15 13:55:02 and read 5490 times.

Tbear815 hit the nail on the head. Even domestic sectors felt truly international. I remember flying LAX-HNL in the early nineties, watching the purser greet passengers in multiple languages and bowing when a Japanese passenger would board.

It was fun to fly JFK-LAX, for example. It would almost always be a 747, and the flight would always be coming from or going to someplace interesting.

Another amazing part of Pan Am was the intra-German service. I remember flying from Berlin/Tegel to Frankfurt. It was unusual to have a US airline with an entire operation within another country.

Security got tight after 103, but not that tight. I remember the news stories about how Pan Am's bomb sniffing dogs were actually just ordinary dogs.

I once had a free system-wide ticket on Pan Am (got bumped). I was living in Australia then and Pan Am went bankrupt before I could use it. But I remember sitting with my family and flipping through the timetable... Karachi... Ankara... Bucharest... Dakar... Helsinki... Sao Paulo...
(My mother suggested using the ticket from Buffalo to Rochester for the sake of amusement.)

At the end, things deteriorated... delays, cancellations, etc. Terminal 2 & Terminal 3 at JFK became absolute hell holes (remember the Kosher restaurant?) Although service on board was still good, ground services were a nightmare. I remember being VERY impressed when Delta took over at JFK. Lines disappeared, the carpet got cleaned, and staff were friendlier.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Skyhawk
Posted 2003-08-15 14:27:16 and read 5446 times.

Tbear815-You mentioned the white hats that the cockpit wore. Back when Teheran was evacuated, the flight crew that went into that place was a Pan American crew(cockpit and cabin). They were all told to change into their "civies" on the plane so that nobody on the street would know they were a plane crew. You see, the previous crew had been shot at because of the white hats.

Also, when the Marine barracks were bombed in Beirut, the planes used to take out American citizens were Pan American. They took crews that were supposed to overnight in Rome and re-routed them to do a Beirut "turnaround". I did one.

Did you all know that according to our contracts that we (the cabin crews) had status as 2nd Lt.s if taken hostage as P.O.W.s? Don't you think that indicated we as a company went into many unsavory situations?

As I said before, in a large company you will ALWAYS find people that are not nice, in fact downright surly, but to all of you that have made derogatory comments, please accept my personal apologies for what you had to deal with. I just wish you could have had the chance to fly with me and some of the wonderful people I was privileged to work with. I'm sure if you had, you would feel differently now.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: TNboy
Posted 2003-08-15 14:40:47 and read 5414 times.

Yes, Skyhawk, on our flight, after the unsuccesful hijack, we took on some bleeding, bandaged and injured passengers. I remember that one FA in particular was in tears, and kept her sunglasses on for the first hour of the flight - but it didn't affect the service. In fact, immediately after takeoff from Beirut, they came around with drinks, and whatever we ordered, we got double, with the comment, "Take a few, you need them!" The passengers always came first.
And yes, Tbear815, you are right. I am going to start a thread in a minute to see what the GOOD things are about today's airlines!
Cheers
Bill

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Jacques60
Posted 2003-08-15 19:16:56 and read 5319 times.

Had a few flights on PAA in the seventies, including one on a very special day : HND/LAX on a 747SP on bicentennial day (1976 of course)
All crew dressed in full 1776 gear etc Fantastic ! As the plane was full with many military stationed in Japan the "ambiance" was cheerful to say the least and I talked a couple of them into asking the F/A for a better drink than plain Coke to celebrate the event : our "group" got champagne even served in paper cups...it was a welcome in Economy !
I agree with Panamair : their F class was superb, in any case on the 741 MNL/GUM/HNL/SFO I flew.
Those were the days....

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Tbear815
Posted 2003-08-15 19:55:03 and read 5264 times.

PA was VERY picky about who they hired. You really had to be "prime" to go to work for them. I applied as a F/A in the early 70's. I had traveled around the world extensively (knew many different cultures), speak 4 languages (an International airline with many foreign nationals as pax), and was young, healthy, willing to relocate, and a college graduate. All the things they looked for in staff. Went through 3 interviews, a physical, and testing only to be turned down. For me, all the people I met with PA were terrific. Only one instance of lousy attitude. Purser on a 707 from SYD to DPS. SFO based, had been flying for about 23 years, unmarried, and I later found out she was the "bitch" of SFO. Somehow, she got the job! Out of countless flights on the blue meatball, only one bad apple. I wish we could all say that about the industry today. Even after UA took over the PA routes in the Pacific, the PA F/A's absorbed into UA were setting examples for the UA inflight crews. UA had always been superb on their Hawaii service - some of the PA additions only made things better! Oh, blue meatball, where are you now that we need you?

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Jr
Posted 2003-08-15 20:15:53 and read 5244 times.

Flew them a few times in 86 and 87. Including a business class (Clipper class as they called it if I remember right), roundtrip between India and the US. (DEL-VIE-FRA-JFK-BNA-JFK-FRA-BOM). I was just a kid, but they are among my fondest childhood memories. I still have the junior pilot wings, and playing card sets from those trips. Sure beats the heck out of what we have for airline standards in service today. Its sad to see united mismanaged down to what it is today ...

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Plugger
Posted 2003-08-15 20:29:42 and read 5218 times.

When I was a young boy (1957) I remember the Stratocruiser from Honolulu to Guam, we were going to visit the place where my father had been stationed during WW2. Soon the jets were to take over that run, I was lucky. The Boeing 370 Stratocruiser was luxury beyond anything flying today.
They had berths like the old trains used to have so flat-seats were un-necessary. The flight attendants were intelligent, courteous and there to serve the passengers with genuine smiles and efficiency. The food was lavish and the adults seemed to enjoy hanging out in the little lounge on the lower level, playing cards and guffawing loudly. A good time was had by all. It was civilized air travel.

747-400s and 340s are far more technologically advanced and much quieter and faster than the Strats and probably more comfortable but they aren't luxurious like the grand old props. I don't miss those slow days but the memories of the inflight service stick in my mind.

Pan American was one of the most glamourous carriers in the world then and up until the 747-100 period when it began to lose its grip on quality service, but it was still the premiere carrier of the United States.

The last time I flew PA was from Paris (Orly) to Chicago via JFK and it was a wretched shadow of its former glory. The FAs were surly, the seats old and lumpy and the food awful. Conversely the flight continuing on to Chicago on an L1011-500 was excellent. It was Halloween in 1983 and the FAs were dressed-up for the occassion. Tinkerbell served my martini and her assistant, a wicked old witch, brought me my dinner, some things haven't changed that much in that regard. It was the same problem faced by the airlines today, inconsistency. They lost loyalty from their old customers long before Lockerbie happened. That tragic event was the death-nell for Pan Am. A sad day indeed.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Tbear815
Posted 2003-08-15 20:49:37 and read 5189 times.

I do believe that the people responsible for the assassination of Pan Am have been barred from being involved in any way in the airline industry. I guess it's just a slap on the wrist to these guys. They literally ruined many people's lives and just couldn't care less. Ah, the joys of greed!

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Panamair
Posted 2003-08-15 21:22:25 and read 5159 times.

A few more anecdotes about the best of the Pan Am people and spirit - a good friend of mine was a JFK-based f/a for PA (and now with Delta) -towards the end, when things were getting really shabby, she even brought Time and Newsweek magazines from home to distribute to the passengers because there were not enough magazines to go around First and Clipper...talk about dedication to the blue meatball and caring about passengers. There was another JFK-based PA f/a (now also with Delta) who would collect unused slipper socks or eyeshades (still in their plastic wrappings) after a flight, bring them along with her on future transatlantic night flights to distribute to the pax. just in case there were not enough amenity kits to go around....

The Pan Am bunch were always eclectic, worldly, and had a great sense of humor. One story I will always remember (and it's a hoot depending on your sense of humor) concerned a purser on a flight from India. One of the passengers in First Class handed him her baby and asked him to change the baby (baby was crying and obviously needed attention). He promptly went back to Economy, borrowed another woman's baby, came back to her with the other baby and said with a straight face, "Here ma'am, I've changed your baby"...he promptly got suspended of course...

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: LOT767-300ER
Posted 2003-08-15 22:27:33 and read 5115 times.

Although I wasent even on the face of this world during the Pan Am glory days I would be a dream of mine to fly them. I do have my grandfathers photos at Warsaw Okecie of Pan Am 707s sitting between the Tupolevs and ILs...To me the Big Blue Meatball always symbolized freedom and greatness.

While walking around in the old part of Key West, FL this January I almost missed this historic point where it was all born. A small sign to remind us what Pan Am was and what it had symbolized.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Skyhawk
Posted 2003-08-16 02:41:33 and read 5052 times.

Panamair-The story you told "happened" to many people. And BTW, the story is that the woman asked a female FA to "change my baby" and the reply varied from "Into what?" to "Zap, he's a toad". Yes,yes neither of which are really funny now, but back then when you have over 300 people all asking for the EXACT same thing to each of the 15-17 FA's, it can become unnerving. Boy, do I ever miss those days(I really do seriously!!).

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Yqfca
Posted 2003-08-16 07:52:57 and read 4994 times.

In 1978 I flew with a 747 from AMS to LHR. There I changed planes to another 747 to Washington. (The 747 AMS-LHR went on to JFK).
On the way back I flew from Washington to LHR and got stranded there.
Pan Am discontinued their flight LHR-AMS and so I had to buy a ticket to get back to AMS from LHR out of my own pocket.
Needless to say, it was the last time I flew Pan Am.

Topic: RE: How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1
Username: Clipper471
Posted 2003-08-16 15:20:17 and read 4936 times.

Once, my father, sister and I were offloaded from a Pan-Am 707 in Honolulu heading to Pago Pago. The plane crashed on final approach with my brother watching as he was at the airport to pick us up.

The Pago Pago accident that occured Jan-1974 was Clipper 806. The flight was on a routing eastbound, AKL-PPG-HNL-LAX


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