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How Did It Feel To Fly Pan Am 1  
User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3617 posts, RR: 2
Posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 6368 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.

40 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineTbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 6326 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!

User currently offlineMD80Nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 929 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 6313 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

Fly Douglas Jets DC-8 / DC-9 / DC-10 / MD80 / MD11 / MD90 / 717
User currently offlineTbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 6282 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!

User currently offlineMD80Nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 929 posts, RR: 8
Reply 4, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 6254 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]

Fly Douglas Jets DC-8 / DC-9 / DC-10 / MD80 / MD11 / MD90 / 717
User currently offlineTan flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1908 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 6219 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"

User currently offlineTNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 19
Reply 6, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 6182 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".

"...every aircraft is subtly different.."
User currently offlineSkyhawk From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1066 posts, RR: 3
Reply 7, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week 1 hour ago) and read 6157 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!

User currently offline747400sp From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 3617 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week ago) and read 6079 times:


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

User currently offlineIslandHopper From United States of America, joined Feb 2003, 327 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week ago) and read 6053 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).

User currently offlineSkyhawk From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1066 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week ago) and read 6048 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.

User currently offlineBackfire From Germany, joined Oct 2006, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week ago) and read 6042 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.

User currently offlineSkyhawk From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1066 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (11 years 1 month 1 week ago) and read 6004 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.

User currently offlineManairport From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (11 years 1 month 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5961 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.

User currently offlineTan flyr From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 1908 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (11 years 1 month 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 5937 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.

User currently offlinePanamair From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 4910 posts, RR: 25
Reply 15, posted (11 years 1 month 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 5874 times:
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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...

User currently offlineTNboy From Australia, joined Mar 2002, 1131 posts, RR: 19
Reply 16, posted (11 years 1 month 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5819 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.

"...every aircraft is subtly different.."
User currently offlineTbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (11 years 1 month 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5734 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....

User currently offlineSIN747 From Singapore, joined Aug 2003, 59 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (11 years 1 month 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5727 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.

User currently offlineBluemeatball From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 177 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (11 years 1 month 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5714 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.

User currently offlineAA777MIA From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 686 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (11 years 1 month 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 5697 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....

User currently offlineWedgetail737 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 5910 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (11 years 1 month 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5669 times:
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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.

User currently offlineFlymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7175 posts, RR: 9
Reply 22, posted (11 years 1 month 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5663 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

"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineGroundstop From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 611 posts, RR: 6
Reply 23, posted (11 years 1 month 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5637 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.

User currently offlineBGIplanefreak From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (11 years 1 month 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 5594 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.

25 Post contains images WGW2707 : 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
26 Post contains links and images Motorhussy : 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
27 Tbear815 : 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 g
28 Mats : Tbear815 hit the nail on the head. Even domestic sectors felt truly international. I remember flying LAX-HNL in the early nineties, watching the purse
29 Skyhawk : 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 Amer
30 TNboy : Yes, Skyhawk, on our flight, after the unsuccesful hijack, we took on some bleeding, bandaged and injured passengers. I remember that one FA in partic
31 Jacques60 : 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 dres
32 Tbear815 : 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 arou
33 Jr : 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
34 Plugger : 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
35 Tbear815 : 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 gu
36 Panamair : 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 t
37 Post contains images LOT767-300ER : 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
38 Skyhawk : 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
39 Yqfca : 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 fl
40 Clipper471 : 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 w
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