AA61Hvy From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 13977 posts, RR: 58 Posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 5620 times:
I was thinking back, a long while ago I was on the inter-coastal in Fort Lauderdale. I remember then I saw my first 747 classic take off. It was amazing. It was a Tower 747 (from FLL). It started off east. I assumed it was going to JFK.
Where did Tower fly? I saw some pictures on the database of them at LAX, London, SJU...Where else did they fly?
Tower Air (IATA: FF, ICAO: TOW, and Callsign: Tee Air) was a low-fare and charter U.S. airline that operated from 1983 until 2000, when it declared bankruptcy and was liquidated. The airline later competed with People Express in the high-density U.S. domestic market, but began operations with international
RJpieces From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5605 times:
I flew them JFK-MIA in 1995...I remember them flying to Paris, Tel Aviv, and Los Angeles from JFK....It is very freaky to drive by their old JFK terminal which basically just has a lock on the door as it has the feel of a ghost town.
777fan From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2442 posts, RR: 3 Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5581 times:
I once flew them and counted my lucky stars upon setting foot on land circa 1999. The "classic" 747 used every inch of runway on departure despite being no more than one third full. Two of the lavatories supposedly filled up during our flight which was amazing considering nobody used them! The food was repulsive, as was the condition of the cabin which appeared to be unchanged since the aircraft rolled off of the assembly line. The retro bulkhead panels and "No Smoking" signs were a trip! All in all, the experience resembled the prologue of a Phuket Air flight before its demise!
Wjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 4796 posts, RR: 17 Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5471 times:
Well...they had a lot of service reliability problems, and some of their old Classics had their share of difficulties, but they never had a fatal accident in 17 years of operation. About the only really good thing one can say about them.
Richierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4141 posts, RR: 6 Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5471 times:
Quoting 777fan (Reply 4): I once flew them and counted my lucky stars upon setting foot on land circa 1999.
A common Tower theme, it seems.
I had the [mis]fortune of flying them once as well. I flew JFK-CIA (Rome/Ciampino) many years ago. I've made a lot of flights with a lot of different carriers, but this flight still ranks as one of my most memorable (in terms of scary experiences). The ancient 747 shook and twisted upon takeoff: two things I will never forget about my ride in 'Sam' were the randomly intermittent flashing of the reading lights on takeoff and the bouncing and shaking of the overhead bins during some very mild turbulence upon climbout. I considered myself a survivor rather than a passenger.
The rest of the flight was, thankfully, uneventful - although it did make my PeopleExpress flight of a few years earlier seem luxurious by comparison. Whether you like LCCs or not, there is nothing like Tower Air flying today (thank God), at least in the US and Europe.
Mir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 20544 posts, RR: 56 Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 5425 times:
I also had the misfortune of flying them once, from JFK-Orly. We were seated in a bulkhead row, directly behind the bathrooms. Halfway through the flight we noticed that the carpet underneath us was saturated with a certain bluish-green liquid....
What made it worse was that my sister, who at the time was no more than a year old, was in a Tower Air-provided "bassinet" (really a cardboard box), on the floor.
Needless to say, we never flew on Tower Air again.
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
Magyarorszag From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 5411 times:
I never heard or read anything positive about Tower Air from a passenger perspective. They had, after PA & TW some of the oldest passenger B747s. One may wonder how they lasted for so long with what seems to have been a really crappy fleet and service.
Quoting RJpieces (Reply 10): I also remember my aunt telling me that she saw Pan Am seatbelts on them once....Which makes sense given where the planes came from.
Tower never flew to the UK, but Air Europe chartered one of their 747s for a summer, and the aircraft was initially in full Tower livery (ie all-white with titles). At some point they changed the titles:
Scheduled domestic flights were JFK to Miami and LA, sometimes to San Juan. The company was owned (in part) by an Israeli company, which is interesting cos Tower were one of the biggest US airlines involved in Hajj flying, several years running. And also explains their one international route of note, JFK-Brussels-Tel Aviv.
The airline were a byword for shabby inflight service and ancient, scary, clapped out planes. I know the crash in Final Destination is based on TWA 800, which was certainly a geriatric jet, but I always imagine it as Tower Air (their Tel Aviv service may also have transited Paris, incidentally) - the knackered exterior, corrosion etc. The insides of the planes were held together with electrical tape and the toilet walls were covered in grafitti. As close to a flying subway car as you can imagine.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
Dartland From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 641 posts, RR: 2 Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 5352 times:
I flew them JFK-TLV and back in July/August 1997. It was a charter JFK-TLV and a regular flight TLV-JFK. I remember the charter being pretty bad --- but the regular flight was better by comparison -- edible meals (albeit barely) and a movie (1 movie on crappy screens for the 12 hours flight).
The one good thing about them was that they shared security (and other ops also, I believe) with LY (maybe partly owned by the same Israeli company?). This meant that although service was bad, planes were old, delays were common -- you at least felt safe (from one point of view).
But --- kudos to Tower -- if they flew those age old 747s for 17 years with never an accident -- they must have bee doing something right!
Just goes to show that no matter how ugly the plane -- doesn't mean it's a safety risk.
Petazulu From United States of America, joined Jan 2003, 701 posts, RR: 1 Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 5279 times:
They were so scary! I flew them once on a cheap fare JFK-ORY roundtrip. I almost did not get on the return flight. It was the ONLY time in my lifetime of flying that I was genuinely concerned about my safety. The 747 we were on was shockingly old and had missing pieces, tape, rattles and rolls, etc.
Kudos to Boeing for building such a sturdy craft- because surely their 17 year run was an accident waiting to happen. A yea ror so after I flew them, they did have an accident (not fatal) where one of their 747's nose gear collapsed on landing or taxi (can't remember) at JFK.
The terminal in JFK was basically a cargo hanger. I think there may have been a hot dog vendor and a news shop. HUGE crowds with nothing to do but wait for delayed planes.
I do remember that the employees themselves were quite nice (inspite of all the obstacles to success they had).
Dogfighter2111 From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2004, 1968 posts, RR: 1 Reply 22, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5250 times:
Quoting Cedarjet (Reply 15): Tower never flew to the UK, but Air Europe chartered one of their 747s for a summer, and the aircraft was initially in full Tower livery (ie all-white with titles). At some point they changed the titles:
Actually, they did in 1998. I am looking at their 1998 website which shows under reservations that they flew to London.
Donzilasse From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 244 posts, RR: 0 Reply 24, posted (7 years 4 months 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 5181 times:
I remember that in 1991 or 1992 I flew with Tower Air from GOT (Gothenburg, Sweden) to Fort Lauderdale. I believe that it was a scheduled flight but some Scandinavian travel agencies bought charter chairs on the flight. The flight was okey at that time. My second experience with Tower was on a flight from FLL to JFK and that was not a good experience. They had at that time only two people for check-in and we therefore ended up to be an hour and a half late out of FLL. Because, of that I missed my connection with KLM to Amsterdam and had to run back and forth between KLM's terminal and the Delta terminal in order to instead get on a later Delta flight. Many people were in the same situation (about 10 or so). The KLM flight was still at the gate but they refused to once again open the door to the plane so that we all could make the flight. That was the last time I used Tower as well as KLM.
25 Ualcsr: Oh God, Tower Air!!! I never flew them personally, but our check-in counter was very close to theirs and we frequently got the "Tower Air canceled my
26 LN-MOW: They've come a long way since then! Took this at VCV last week. Incidentally I talked to an AMC Master Sargeant the other day and he told me that Tow
27 Wjcandee: OUTSTANDING!! And yet AMC kept using them and suspending them and reinstating them and suspending them and reinstating them and then finally terminat
28 ORDTerminal1: does anybody remember seeing a poem dedicated to Tower Air that was reminscent of "The Night Before Christmas"? It was so clever, if anybody knows whe
29 Charlienorth: They flew military charters into MSP in the early to mid '80's,usually with the old Big Orange N601BN,I remember when it had to divert because Volk Fi
30 JAM747: I believe Air Jamaica leased one in the late 80sor early 90s That was my first and only time I flew on a 747-100. I did not know it was leased from To
31 Thomasphoto60: Your kidding.......Wow! I have many fond memories of '601' when she flew for a REAL airline. You know, it's really sad to think that Braniff's 'flags
32 VTNYC: My one and only flight on Tower (JFK-MIA) was memorable because it was the only aborted landing I have experienced in my life. On final approach to Mi
33 Richierich: Please see my pic of '601' in Reply 18... At the time I flew her, I thought she was an ex-Pan Am bird based on the generic color scheme. I guess I di
34 BH: Back at my old job we did the ground handiling for them, always late,rollers and the tires in the compartment didn't work. Don't get me started on the
35 Charlienorth: It was strange being in the cockpit of 601 and thinking "this is where it all ended,"the stories of Capt. Charles Lamb and his crew. Should have been
36 Comet4b: In Canada we had an airline Worldways we always used to enjoy making fun of. Once when I was flying to PIK with my wife and 4 kids(ok so I flew them a
37 Mats: Tower Air (or "Towers Air" as it was called by the Carey Bus Drivers), was notorious for its long lines at check-in. The lines in New York would be so
38 Coyoteguy: OK, here is some positive stuff... they were CHEAP.... I flew on them several times when I was living in NYC but needing to get 'home' to MIA or back
39 Wjcandee: Yeah, that's right, actually. Brain cramp on my part. The female I was thinking of was our Congresswoman, Carolyn B. Maloney, whose staff wrote an ex
40 DAirbus: Ah yes, Tower Air. That brings back some memories. My family and I flew Tower Air JFK-MAD back in 1988 when we went to spend the summer in Spain. I do
41 LTBEWR: The main business of Tower Air was the JFK-TLV route, as the designated 'discount' airline for that route (like Israir today). I never took them, but