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Varig- my ramblings on the subject  
User currently offlineGLENNPOWER From Brazil, joined Jul 2004, 102 posts, RR: 0
Posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3410 times:

Well this is my first post,topic"Varig",the first time i flew with Varig was in 1988 when i first came to Brasil,what an airline,fly in economy and you could eat filet migon on real plates with little salt and pepper pots and very good wines and not forgetting fantastic service from the cabin staff,this was pretty much the case through the nineties,how times change,now i know that post 9/11 has been very difficult for the aviation industry,high fuel costs etc,the well run survive and post profit while the ill managed do not.
Look at SIA,VS,BA,LH and here in Brazil Tam,all have weathered the last couple of years well.
I have been a varig smiles Diamond card holder for 2 years running and 2 years gold before that.I fly 7 or 8 times to Brazil each year with varig because they are a star alliance member,but i will be sadly changing carrier this years end to either Tam (hopefully they will join skyteam as has been touted) or with Ba.Varig these days is a company on the edge of collapse,wage delays,
planes impounded (777 in Paris 767 in Miami) indifferent ground staff many times and if you are unlucky to fly intl y class,expect a very poor service with even the odd scowl from cabin staff if you so much as dare to ask for another drink ,c class service on a par with good y class service such as Sia.MD 11 (5 just bought from swiss,who funningly are using brand new A340 on there ZRH to GRU route.whilst a great plane,in the hands of a near bankrupt Varig. all is plane to see,tatty fixtures and fittings ife if your lucky is a Brazilian film and unappetizing food.I have traveled c class many times,anyone who travels a lot c class with other carriers would know what i am talking about.the 2 777 leased new are very nice just hope that ife does not crash any more (flew a few times when they started on CPH LHR GRU route but now fly AMS CDG GRU route,the other two 777 bought from BA i have not traveled on,they fly JFK GRU,and if anybody has any info regarding f c y seating and ife system please post a reply,anyway back to moaning about RG You can send e-mails to there Smiles (ff program) centers and get no reply for weeks sometimes months and since my last e-mail in March nothing,still waiting for 7000 miles renovation bonus on my card plus upgrade vouchers which i think they no longer offer as i assume another cost cutting exercise.
I just hope that when Varig goes under,which it surely will in the next 18 to 24 months unless they strike lucky with there new routes and upturn in global traffic that Tam can quickly assume intl rights to RG routes.
Varig is controlled by the rubem berta foundation which under the control and influence of Yutaka imagawa made some fundamental mistakes,not least forcing Ferando Pinto to leave(now doing a pretty good job running a profitable
TAP.
I wish varig had the kind of management found at BA under Rod Eddington and could return to being a first class airline.
A sad and disgruntled ex Varig fan.

58 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineGaleaocumbica From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3309 times:

Hello,

I am Brazilian and I am still proud to say that Varig is a Brazilian airline.
Yes, they are facing several kinds of problem and I am not an expert to say where are the mistakes and how they will survive, of course, if they can survive what they are going through.
I agree, service is bad, FA’s not really happy in following Varig service rules, but what they can do?
Just remember if you travel Y class, you never will receive a proper service. Most airlines offer bad food, bad seats and that's it.
Yes, we do have exceptions but we can count them using our two hands.

If Varig “dies”, I am sure we will see another carriers going to the same hole.

TAM is nice but I still don’t trust them, even with new a/c’s, just because their histories and I also had a bad experience back in 2001, flying from VIX to CGH, with a hard landing under heavy storm, nervous crew, a hell. I never felt comfortable flying TAM.

So, let’s keep the faith!

I do want to see Varig flying around! I love RG MD11’s!

GaleaoCumbica


User currently offlineJJMNGR From Brazil, joined May 2004, 1018 posts, RR: 15
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3303 times:

Thanks for the consideration into turning TAM´s customer!

User currently offlineAms From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 1691 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 3293 times:

I have to agree with GLENNPOWER,

I also remembered a different kind of Meal/Inflight Service in the 80's beginning 90's. However I think that RG cabin crew is still very friendly towards its customers.


Regards,
AMS


User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 3255 times:

I have flown Varig quite often and can't believe that this airline will go under. TAM In my opinion is not a good airline and I would never go near them, this goes for VASP as well. Varig is the official airline of Brazil in my opinion and has great service and dependable planes. I hope they right the ship!

User currently offlineMIASkies From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1343 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3244 times:

Has Varig upgraded one of their MIA routes to MD11 rather than 763?
I could have sworn I saw a Varig MD11 on approach to MIA on my way to work yesterday at about 7am.



Nothing better than making love at 35K Feet!
User currently offlineJJMNGR From Brazil, joined May 2004, 1018 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3230 times:

It is funy those who really do not know the real situation of them and keep pushing. They are living based on their glorious past...their time has gone.

What a hell is the concept of a good airline?

*Is an airline good, when it has debits of near USD3 Billion?
*Is an airline good, with a negative patrimony of another near USD2.5 billion?
*Is an airline good, when it does not pay their taxes?
*Is an airline good, when divide salaries of its employees (those that earns more than USD400 a MONTH) in to two parts due to cash flow?
* Is an airline good, when their worldwide recognized inflight service in general deteriorates considerable?
* Is an airline good when of one of their MD11 in flight to CDG had to divert in emergency to LIS because nbr 3 engine was dismantling in the air?

Official airline of a country? Hahaha...can someone tell me what is the official airline of USA?

Come on...





User currently offlineErikwilliam From Brazil, joined Mar 2004, 2152 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3233 times:

And yet someone still finnancinf Varig.Dam, I wish someone could finance me like them.....I could work for 20 years and make no money at ALL.
Vairg WAS THE brazilian carrier, was.....new times, new story, JJ is on top now, and seems that they´ll face the batle with GOL, not Varig.Vasp is just a joke  Wink/being sarcastic
Galeao, JJ is fine, maybe U had bad stuff, but thei´r fine, otherwise wouldn´t have the market share rose to 34% last month.

JJMNGR, a bit off topic but, I posted on Embraer Orders, do U guys see JJ ordering EMB´s anytime soon, since F-100´s are about to go???

Have a fine day, amigos brasileiros.



Dida, Cafu, Lucio, Roque Junior, Roberto Carlo, Emerson, Ze Roberto, Ronaldinho, Kaka, Adriano, Robinho, Ronaldo
User currently offlineDelayedagain From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3207 times:

Disappointing to read of both Varig's financial predicament & the comments on their service.

I travelled twice with them in the mid-nineties and I was bowled over by the service - easily better than BA, who were rated by most people in those days.

I've not travelled back to Brazil since then, but had no hesitation in recommending them to a colleague who travelled recently. Sadly, she was very disappointed, so it was interesting to have Glennpower's comments.

I hope they turn this around; I still have a soft spot for them.


User currently offlineJJMNGR From Brazil, joined May 2004, 1018 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3205 times:

Erik, no plans yet.

As far as we know F100 are going to leave 2005. The last Le Bouget that Mr. Rolin went, it was announced in the press that TAM had intention to order ERJ190 and A318. But till now nothing was already decided. There are no internal information about the replacement of the F100.

I will look to the other topic you posted.

Cheers.


User currently offlineRegis From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3193 times:

I agree that RG is not what it was 10 or 15 years ago. But so aren't BA, LH, AA, CO, DL etc.

Service standards in Y class have deteriorated worldwide in the last decade (with the exception of Asian carriers). One will be always frustrated in travelling coach class in 2004 and expecting the same level of service of 1988.

I fly SWISS extensively and I can tell you that their Y cabin service on long haul sucks big time (even on their brand new A340) compared to former Swissair. But times have changed and that is the new (low) standard. Live with it or fly C class.



[Edited 2004-07-14 15:08:38]

User currently offlineJJMNGR From Brazil, joined May 2004, 1018 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3185 times:

Regis is absolutely right...want comfort and good service? Fly C class....

But I have to tell you...last JUL05th I flew C class on AA and champaign was served on a "pastic glass"...not the sort of thing to expect of a C class service...



User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3169 times:


Hi!

I had the chance to fly with VARIG and TAM just a few weeks ago. I flew VARIG from Rio to Curitiba ( PP-VQZ a 737-300 ) and Curitiba to Rio ( PT-MNI a 737-500 from Nordeste ). I also flew TAM from Curitiba to Asuncion via Foz do Iguacu ( PT-MQT a Fokker 100 ) and back ( PT-MQM also a Fokker 100 ) and my comments go in this way. VARIG inside Brazil looked quite decent, I will not say it's a top quality service but it's decent, both airplanes looked quite good, clean, and in both flights they were almost full, specially the flight from Rio to Curitiba, we left after 7 pm and the plane was packed. I had a pleasant surprise flying TAM, those little Fokkers looked in great shape, very clean, they looked better than VARIG. The crews were also nice, I flew TAM Mercosur so at least some of the crew were not brazilian, in our flight back from Asuncion all the crew was infact paraguayan, very nice and very friendly! I don't agree that TAM is worst than VARIG, at least both provided me a great flying time but if we look closely to both fleets it looks for me that TAM have younger and much more modern airplanes than VARIG. The only new airplanes I saw from VARIG was a 737-800 with winglets, the rest of the fleet are 737-300/400/500's. VARIG is indeed a great account for both Airbus or Boeing to try to sell new airliners. TAM have brand new A319's and A320's and the only airplane that they might consider to change would be the Fokker 100, maybe with the A318!!!!
Regards


User currently offlineJJMNGR From Brazil, joined May 2004, 1018 posts, RR: 15
Reply 13, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3167 times:

CV990,

Would suggest to you fly abroad on TAM´s A330...you will enjoy!


User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3154 times:


Hi JJMNGR!

TAM indeed gives me the feeling that they are a very well organized airline. Just to add to my experience with then, when I was waiting for me flight from Asuncion to Curitiba we got the information that our flight was delayed due to weather conditions ( our flight came from Santiago do Chile then Asuncion/Foz do Iguacu/Curitiba/Buenos Aires..... can you imagine that?!?!?!?! ), in the TAM lobby they had a small bar with all sorts of sodas, peanuts, chips, and also a man playing paraguayan music and all of us that were TAM passengers could go there and get some refreshments, very nice!!!!
If they had flights from Lisboa I think I would opt for them!!! But we still have only VARIG and TAP.
Thanks and regards


User currently offlineJJMNGR From Brazil, joined May 2004, 1018 posts, RR: 15
Reply 15, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3142 times:

CV990,

TAM had a study to fly Portugal but it is not easy to make money. VARIG looses money in Portugal for years. Fact is that nowadays, one important issue to make an airline do some money is Business class service which is very hard to find to Portugal.
There is a huge traffic of passenger to/from Brazil and Portugal but it is based on tourism and rates are not good for a third carrier.

I love to see TAM´s A332 at LIS when RG had very serious problem with the lack of aircraft and we leased ours form some period. It looked fine to me and remembered my past days working for TAP...good time in TAP, good times in LIS, must confess that I would love TAM to fly to LIS...but very hard route to make money.


User currently offlineB747FE From Hong Kong, joined Jun 2004, 230 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 3134 times:

I think Varig still has a quite good service, and of course we love garotas Brasileiras!!!


"Flying is more than a sport and more than a job; flying is pure passion and desire, which fill a lifetime"
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3104 times:

JJMNGR,

Your bias in this topic is obvious. Say you want about Varig, over the years they have been the best airline in Brazil. Their financial issues are serious and like I said I hope they can survive. I have flown a few airlines from the US to Brazil and Varig has been the best in my opinion.


User currently offlineJJMNGR From Brazil, joined May 2004, 1018 posts, RR: 15
Reply 18, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 3098 times:

NIKV69,

It is not a matter of "saying what I want"...I just posted facts. VARIG was really a great airline but form me and for many it is past.
Suggest you; to fly TAM form US to Brazil and maybe you you change...maybe.

Rgds


User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 3069 times:

How can you rave about TAM? I was just on their site, could not find a flight from JFK to GRU. When I looked at one of their international schedules some of the flights were operated by Varig! Then I went to Expedia and looked for a flight in October, almost $1000 and the flight was operated by AA! For my money taste Varig still beats all in Brazil. I can go on their site and they have great deals from NY to GRU. $600! The flight is not operated by someone else and I get a nice MD-11.

User currently offlineGaleaocumbica From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 94 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 3023 times:

Hi all!

JJMNGR

Hey, are you flying TAM for free?
Come on, let's face that Varig is going through bad situation but we all know they will survive.
At least let's have a hope!

Varig, Varig, Varig...Cruzeiro, Cruzeiro...

Do you remember this jingle?

GaleaoCumbica


User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 21, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 3000 times:

With limited experience on Varig (one flight from GRU to GIG), I've not really formed a final opinion on them... but considering the fact that 3 or 4 flight attendants were not able to bring a (plastic) cup with orange juice to my seat until about 5 minutes before we landed in GIG (on a B737-800 "filled" with about 80 passengers, not to mention that there was no snack served at all, while on TAM I always got two rounds of drinks and a (hot) sandwich on my flights between CGH and SDU (as well as a real meal on a GIG-GRU flight after being upgraded to C-Class), I can absolutely say this: I'll try Varig again, bit I absolutely prefer TAM.

The fact that, after sending in a report about some service inconsistencies that I experienced on my last flight back from Brazil, I got upgraded to Fidelidade's Red (top) Card status (I was a Blue (middle) status member before).

Unfortunately, the card hasn't really helped me - since the meetings in Brazil that I had to attend have ended for the time being, and it'll probably take until next year before I'll be back in Brazil again... by which time I'll have the basic membership again...

Too bad...

Nonetheless - after experiencing TAM on four longhauls (two in Y, two in C after being - THANK YOU TAM!!! - upgraded), they're absolutely my preferred choice in that direction.

Varig would have to give me a really good deal for me to cross the Atlantic with them.

Regards,
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineHALFA From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1353 posts, RR: 15
Reply 22, posted (10 years 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 2958 times:

In the past year I have flown Varig LAX-GRU-GIG-GRU-LAX (twice), GIG-SSA-GRU, and countless CGH-SDU-CGH. I have also taken TAM MIA-GRU-GIG-GRU-MIA.
All of my flights on both RG and JJ have been on time, and all flights provided very friendly and efficient inflight service. I continue to be impressed by the Brazilian carriers standard of inflight service as compared to their North American counterparts flying the same routes. (CO, DL, AA, UA, AC).
I can honestly say, I have had no complaints with either carrier.
What I have found interesting though is that on several occasions, I have gone to the Varig ticket counter in CGH to purchase a ticket to SDU at RG, and was then placed on an JJ flight to SDU.
I will again be flying back to GIG with RG via MEX in two weeks and I am looking forward to it.

Aloha



Don't mess with Texas....We just may do that!
User currently offlineArcano From Chile, joined Mar 2004, 2406 posts, RR: 24
Reply 23, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 2906 times:

Funny how this is becoming another "vs" type of thread, no RG vs JJ.

It's a fact that RG is in very bad shape, and JJ is doing greatly. I honestly believe JJ will become the most important carrier of Brazil. But it's not yet... JJ has some things to achieve first: more destinations (Europe and North America mostly), larger fleet.
Besides, after JJ get that, and if RG survive (I also think they will), there is a tradition in world aviation, a heritage that RG had buildt for 75 years. It's like Pan Am: Continental can do it fine... but it will never have the place PanAm left...RG has carried Brazil flag all over the world. That's something JJ have to achieve and not look at it as it doesn't matter.

JJMNGR is right, USA has not a flag carrier, and there is no need for it actually, but Brazil does. As in Britain; Virgin is quite an airline, but is not a flag carrier. Or Australia before Ansett failure, or Germany, Japan, Spain, Ireland, Israel, etc. There are many cases where the "other" airline become more popular, but it never gets the place of "National Carrier", because there is something more behind that title.

But again; I think the "business oriented" mentality of TAM will "win" the battle; they are adding more flights and it seems thet are walking the right path. But after all; why have to be a battle? Brazil is large enough for to afford 2 international carriers, for the pride of all Brazilians.

Arcano



in order: 721,146,732,763,722,343,733,320,772,319,752,321,88,83,744,332,100,738, 333, 318, 77W, 78, 773 and 380
User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (10 years 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2852 times:

Personally, I don't think there is any chance of TAM overcoming Varig. As bad as Varig's money situation is. Most of the people I know in Brazil won't go near TAM. Whatever the case I think Varig is here to stay.

25 JJMNGR : NIKV69 TAM´s gateway in the US is MIA and the domestic routes to connect in MIA are served by AA. In the beginning of TAM
26 NIKV69 : So I should book a flight to MIA and then fly to GRU? Give me a break, TAM has a very limited schedule. NY has tons of people that need to fly to SP.
27 JJMNGR : I also think it is said when AA arrives in GRU and transfer its POA, OR BSB, OR CWB passengers to TAM...I also do same question...why they do not have
28 NIKV69 : Who cares about AA? I am talking about Varig. For you to represent TAM as the new airline of Brasil with not one single non-stop from JFK-GRU is funny
29 JJMNGR : My friend, good luck with RG!!! I don´t care also if you never fly TAM in your life and preffer to fly to GRU with BA via LHR...or AF via CDG or JL v
30 Pdpsol : Hey NIKV69, I live in NYC and flew the JJ-codeshare JFK-GRU-JFK flight on AA metal last March and was very satisfied with their service. I've flown AA
31 NIKV69 : I never said TAM needed it. I said that if someone is going to say TAM is this great airline they should at least have non-stop service with their OWN
32 JJMNGR : Incredible...imagine that every airline must serve all cities in the world with direct service to be a great airline...its a joke...this airline doens
33 NIKV69 : I didn't say every airline. Stick to the facts please. You post nothing but TAM propaganda. TAM is great, TAM is the new airline of Brasil. Varig is i
34 Pualani : I am flying MEX-GRU on RG this month and this thread is already making me dread the flight. No PTVs in Y, substandard food, rude f/as. I suppose I wil
35 Leskova : Just means a Brasil based carrier that is said to be great should at least have non-stops to SP from LAX, JFK etc. Why? If they make more money only f
36 NIKV69 : Not make money? Are you kidding? I have flown probably 20 times JFK-GRU and trust me there wasn't an empty seat on any of those flights! Whether it wa
37 Pdpsol : uhh... NIKV69, Gee, perhaps there's a REASON JJ does not fly JFK-GRU; maybe the route does have plenty of O&D traffic, but it is low-yielding traffic;
38 Post contains images SafetyDude : Speaking of Varig, how do you pronounce "Varig"? I have heard people say "VER-ig" (imagine a Jewish pronunciation of "where" for "VER") but I have als
39 The777Man : I flew on RG's new 777 (PP-VRB) in Jan02 LHR-GRU and had a great flight. The flight wasn't very booked which was great for me to have 3 seats for myse
40 Donzilasse : For the fans of Varig I can say that they absolutely were a class airline but, that this was now a long time ago. With the extreme debts of Varig I ha
41 JJMNGR : KIVK69, I don´t think that flights full os pax means profitability. Maybe the flights are all full os pax because of low fares.... I flew CO GRU/EWR/
42 Arcano : SafetyDude: In Portuguese, as in Spanish, vocals have only 1 sound. Although, when Brazilians say it, they add a "i" at the end. So, It sound somethin
43 NIKV69 : I believe the correct pronunciation is just how it is spelled. I don't think Varig is going anywhere. I feel in time they will get out of debt. Their
44 JJMNGR : TAM do not have many routes as VARIG because there is no market for both in most of these destinations...the exceptions are to MIA, to CDG and Mercosu
45 LVZXV : I totally empathise with GLENNPOWER's words. VARIG in the '80s and early '90s were something else, and as I've said before, the food was excellent. Ho
46 Post contains images Arcano : JJMNGR:Arcano, SCL is like a traffic reported by the controllers to be same FL separated 3 miles visual...we can report traffic in sight! Sorry my fri
47 LVZXV : Arcano: No I'm not! Though I was stung by a vicious jellyfish! ¿Recibistes mi email? XV
48 Donzilasse : To JJMNGR I just have to say that you can stand tall and be proud over your company. They are doing a great job! To all the people who think that it i
49 Arcano : XV: Sip, lo recibi. Too bad that jellyfish wasn't poison enough... BTW as for your comment: "though in Latin America, such an eventuality can never be
50 JJMNGR : Arcano, What I meant is that SCL is ahead!!! We can see from our A320 cockpit! I flew LAN many times and enjoyed...don´t worry. I won´t be critical
51 HALFA : We need more service from the West Coast of the US to Brazil! RG's 4 weekly nonstops from LAX-GRU are always full and are nearly impossible to get sea
52 JJMNGR : HALFA No plans for this year for more intl. expansion routes. The very near plan is to start SCL. For the next year, that´s going to depend...be sure
53 BA : JJMNGR, What conclusions were made about BEY-GRU service? Why don't you think it will be exploited? Regards
54 MAH4546 : I also think it is said when AA arrives in GRU and transfer its POA, OR BSB, OR CWB passengers to TAM...I also do same question...why they do not have
55 NIKV69 : TAM having service from LAX-GRU? They don't even have service from JFK, how are they going to have service from LAX? TAM seems to want to have very li
56 LVZXV : Arcano: AR was bailed-out by A7 (Air Plus Comet) who flushed the airline's colossal debt accumulated during SEPI management (1992-2001) down the toile
57 Leskova : NIKV69, is there some law that airlines that want to serve LAX have to serve JFK as well??? If TAM thinks they can make money on GRU-LAX (which, judgi
58 NIKV69 : I never said they weren't. I just said that Varig in my opinion is a better bet internationally than TAM. Anybody can have a very limited schedule and
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