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United's Caravelle Service  
User currently offlineJoemugg From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 61 posts, RR: 0
Posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 8267 times:

Does anyone recall UAL's Caravelle service from Chicago to NYC in the 1960s? I'm speaking of the "gentleman only" flights which featured a Playboy style cabin environment. Apart from loving this a/c, I'm also curious as to how the service was, and how long the routing remained intact.

48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 1, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 8155 times:

The flight went to EWR.
Before the Jets, the flight was a DC7 from LGA to MDW. This was Aug of 1959 per a UA schedule.
Then in the early 60's, a Caravelle was used and the airports were EWR to ORD.
safe

[Edited 2007-12-30 18:33:28]


If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineBananaBoY From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 1587 posts, RR: 22
Reply 2, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7938 times:

According to the book "The Age of Flight" published by Pace Communications...

A men-only service started in 1953 between Chicago and New York. It was designed to attract the hard-working "executive" on their way home to greet "the little woman." Amenities on board included complimentary slippers, cigars, stamps and so on, as well as gifts like cuff links, letter openers, golf balls and cigarette lighters. They were then served a full steak dinner.

It was a successful promotion and so United launched this service to selected Los Angeles - San Francisco flights, as well as adding a second aircraft to the Chicago - New York route.

When a woman was not allowed to board a flight, she filed a complaint with the Civil Aeronautics Board. After 10,500 flights, the service was brought to an end in 1970.


The book makes no mention as to the type of aircraft serving the route.



Mark



All my life, I've been kissing, your top lip 'cause your bottom one's missing
User currently offlineCaljn From United States of America, joined Oct 2007, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7809 times:



Quoting BananaBoY (Reply 2):
A men-only service started in 1953 between Chicago and New York. It was designed to attract the hard-working "executive" on their way home to greet "the little woman." Amenities on board included complimentary slippers, cigars, stamps and so on, as well as gifts like cuff links, letter openers, golf balls and cigarette lighters. They were then served a full steak dinner.

What a fabulously intriguing marketing concept!  bouncy 

Clubby and sexist simultaneously...how times have changed!


User currently offlineOrion737 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7780 times:

How many seats were UA Caravelles fitted out with?

User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 7706 times:



Quoting Orion737 (Reply 4):
How many seats were UA Caravelles fitted out with?

Sixty four seats all two and two and F class.
. UA had twenty of the model V I"s with the modified cockpit windows. For UA, they were made
bigger then the regular Caravelle cockpit windows.
From my experience working around airports, my personal opinion is that the Caravelle was the loudest of commercial jets on taxi and takeoff except for
the Concorde.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineJoemugg From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 61 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7539 times:

Thanks for the great feedback. I was unaware UA flew twenty of these a/c... wow. They look cool but they also look like gas-guzzlers... i.e. 'heavy.' Sixty-four seats... let's bring that back! (well, Privat, Silverjet, EOS) I'm surprised Travolta, Inc. doesn't own one. Also, it goes to show the temperature of the culture when it takes 10,000 plus cycles before the courts enforce discrimination. Can you imagine turning away a fare today based on gender alone? Though we've come close in our time what with this new nebulous 'dress code' that is sometimes enforced, sometimes not (and, not entirely for prudery's sake.) I imagine there is some Caravelle memorabilia still floating about...

User currently offlineCF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 1131 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 7508 times:

This was a unique chapter in aviation. However, I'm told that the Caravelle First Class was tight compared to the DC-8 (37" pitch vs. 40") and fairly narrow seats, probably on the scale of Virgin's Premium Economy (good for coach but not true First Class). Still, the Caravelle had a great charm.

The steak dinner must have been nice.

As for Caravelle noise, I believe that even back in the day, authorities at DCA (Washington National) fought tooth and nail to keep Caravelle flights to a minimum on account of the racket made by the twin RR Avons. Maybe someone can elaborate.

Also, I believe the west coast playboy flights were not Caravelles. I have read that UA only brought the Caravelle as far west as Omaha in regular ops. Again, maybe and expert can confirm.

Joyeux Annee dans La Belle Caravelle!


User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 8, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7453 times:



Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 7):
I have read that UA only brought the Caravelle as far west as Omaha in regular ops. Again, maybe and expert can confirm.

Yep, that's a fact. There have been sightings of the Caravelle at Stapleton in Denver but those were probably charters.
In the early 60's, Denver was not on the UAL sched for Caravelles. UAL sent the plane to MSP, MLI, DSM and OMA as the "western"
cities for the Caravelle. MKC was a stop for 720's, 727-100's and an occasional DC 8.
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6902 posts, RR: 7
Reply 9, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7437 times:



Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 1):
Before the Jets, the flight was a DC7 from LGA to MDW. This was Aug of 1959 per a UA schedule.

I'm guessing neither UA nor anyone else ever scheduled a DC-7 into LGA.


User currently offlineIsitsafenow From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 4984 posts, RR: 23
Reply 10, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7416 times:

[quote=Timz,reply=9]I'm guessing neither UA nor anyone else ever scheduled a DC-7 into LGA.

The scheds at that time used codes for equipment. The UAL DC 7 was a triangle with a dot in the middle.
I can check the sched again when I get home, but it did lv LGA in August of 59. FYI the front of the sched read
in large letters..

COMING SOON..........DC 8 JETS
safe



If two people agree on EVERYTHING, then one isn't necessary.
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6902 posts, RR: 7
Reply 11, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7395 times:



Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 10):
it did lv LGA in August of 59

Agreed-- they moved to EWR when it became a Caravelle, presumably.


User currently offlineType-Rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7394 times:



Quoting CF-CPI (Reply 7):
As for Caravelle noise, I believe that even back in the day, authorities at DCA (Washington National) fought tooth and nail to keep Caravelle flights to a minimum on account of the racket made by the twin RR Avons. Maybe someone can elaborate.

I can attest to the fact that those engines were very loud.
We had a boy scout camp somewhere north of ORD in 1961-62 or so. One morning we were awoken by this very loud sound. Sure enough a Caravelle coming in for a landing overhead. It must have been at 1,500 ft or so. Every time a Caravelle came in for a landing I swear the ground shook. Much louder than even a BAC-111 or a G-IV.

In 1972 while at DEN-TK UA had a Caravelle sitting on the ramp across from the old Frontier hangar. We got to go out and take a tour of it. The things I remember about it was the triangular windows, the racks of vacuum tube radios between the cockpit doors and the actual flight deck and how sharply raked that windows were from inside the cockpit. I have some photos of it, I'll have to dig them out.

I had also seen UA Caravelles sitting at the gates at MKE in the mid 60's too.


User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7375 times:

There is a picture of me when I was very little at BDL with a United Caravelle in the background


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineImperialEagle From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 2630 posts, RR: 22
Reply 14, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 7346 times:

The whole idea behind this special MDW-LGA (? or EWR) "Sky Lounge" service came about during the DC-3 era, where UA fitted out DC-3's with two abreast seating for 14 pax. And this service was gender friendly. The seats would all recline and swivel . Way kool for that day and time, and totally uneconomical. It didn't last too long.

In about 1953, UA offered some (unkn.quantity?) Convair 340(s) in an "Executive" configuration with swivel chairs sofas/beds and other first class ammenities, I don't remember the details of how it was used, just that it existed. I'm thinking both MDW-LGA and LAX-SFO had this service, and it was "Men Only" by then. Perhaps a UA graybeard  old  can give us the details? I think eventually this service also included some four-engined equipment but I don't recall the type----at least on the MDW-LGA portions----likely -7's for speed.

As for those wonderful Caravelle's my only real exposure to them was at ATL.



"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5120 posts, RR: 28
Reply 15, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 7297 times:

This thread is no good without pics! I wonder if the Museum Of Flight, or any other aviation museums have considered adding a Caravelle to their artifacts?


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6902 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7217 times:



Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 14):
In about 1953, UA offered some (unkn.quantity?) Convair 340(s) in an "Executive" configuration ... I'm thinking both MDW-LGA and LAX-SFO had this service, and it was "Men Only" by then.

If you mean nonstop-- I suspect UA never scheduled CV340s nonstop MDW-LGA. Got doubts about LAX-SFO, too.


User currently offlineHNL-Jack From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 820 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7196 times:

I worked in passenger service at ORD when we introduced the Caravelle, the first twin jet in domestic US service.

"The Executive" was a men only flight that offered big steak dinners, cigars and even Playboy Magazines. Initally, flights flew between ORD and LGA leaving at 5 pm in both directions. The service was so popular that a second flight was added between ORD and EWR. They were always packed and frequently oversold.

Primary cities that recieved Caravelle service were CLE, EWR, LGA, DCA, ORD, DSM, OMA MSP, PIT, BDL and MKE. I believe the Caravelle was also employed on some former Capital routes south from CLE and PIT. Maintenance checks for the aircraft were performed in SFO, so we would have an occassional equipment substitution between ORD/DEN and DEN/SFO.

Indeed the Caravelle was noisy. The sound was a high pitch whine and ear plugs were an absolute necessity around the ramp, particulary in cold weather. It was a magnificent aircraft to fly on. Very quiet inside the cabin with nice large triangular windows for viewing.

Ahhhhhh...the memories of the good old times.



Grew up in the business and continued the family tradition.
User currently offlineTimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6902 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 7147 times:



Quoting HNL-Jack (Reply 17):
Maintenance checks for the aircraft were performed in SFO, so we would have an occassional [Caravelle] equipment substitution between ORD/DEN and DEN/SFO.

Anyone have access to Airport Activity Statistics for the 1960s? As I recall Caravelles were known to appear at DEN, but I don't remember them listing SFO.


User currently offlineGlobalflyer From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 953 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6897 times:

ImperialEagle: you state "As for those wonderful Caravelle's my only real exposure to them was at ATL."
Do you know where UA flew the Caravelle's from ATL? Wonder were these routes from the old Capitol Airlines? Those must have been the days... Thanks.



Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
User currently offlineEASTERN747 From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 561 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6897 times:

I had several opportunities to fly the AF Caravelles within Europe during the early seventies. F/C was limited to 8 seats I believe. I can remember the door was very low, and even at 6' I had to stoop down. I was in 1A at one time and my legs were clearly in front of the door. In those days, first class passengers had their own bus and boarded thru the front. Coach was boarded from the rear only.No jetways. The oddest thing I remember was there were no reverseal of engines. Just speed brakes and the regular brakes. There was no door to the cockpit, just a curtain..........

User currently offlineGALLEYSTEW From United States of America, joined Dec 2007, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6835 times:

I have a dear friend who flew the Caravelles and is still flying with UAL. DAMN things had canvas slides to evacuate during emergencies. beautiful bird........love any t or T tail aircraft!!


All Posts are my opinions only.
User currently offlineEgcarter From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6835 times:

I flew the UA Caravelle EWR-ORD-EWR back in 1972. I believe that the "Gentlemen Only" service had long been retired at that time.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25989 posts, RR: 22
Reply 23, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6820 times:



Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 20):
The oddest thing I remember was there were no reverseal of engines. Just speed brakes and the regular brakes

Early Caravelle models also had a braking parachute for use on short or slippery runways.


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Photo © Lars Söderström
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Photo © Jan Olav Martinsen



The 6R like those operated by UA was the first Caravelle model with thrust reversers.


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Photo © Bob Garrard
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Photo © Bill Armstrong



User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5120 posts, RR: 28
Reply 24, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 6734 times:



Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 23):
Early Caravelle models also had a braking parachute for use on short or slippery runways.

Oh wow! That is awesome. How long did it take to put the parachute back? Was it done by the mechanics or by the ramp crews? Also, did a parachute ever deploy during flight, or could it have been used in the event of say a midair collision? Too cool!



I Am A Different Animal!!
25 ImperialEagle : Oh, they were on the old CA routes for sure, to CLE,PIT,IAD,PHL,BHM,MOB,MSY,JAX, and MIA . I was able to determine that UA did offer a CV340 in an "E
26 Timz : I was wrong--in 6/59 and 10/59 the men-only flight was a DC-7 LGA-MDW; by 4/60 it had reverted to DC-6B. Initially it was LGA-MDW; when Caravelles to
27 Post contains links and images Viscount724 : I found the following in another thread from 2003 referring to braking parachutes on SAS Caravelles. SAS had mechanics trained to re-pack the chutes
28 HNL-Jack : I stand corrected, it was ORD - IDL. They moved from Midway with the introduction of the Caravelle. In fact, I believe UA operated DC-6-B's betweem b
29 Joemugg : The parachute connection is ... almost unbelievable in this day and age ... that is, on a routinely scheduled civilian flight; however, with that said
30 Post contains links 3201 : There's at least one other a.net thread on this: All-male United Airlines Flights In The 60s (by Incitatus Jul 31 2006 in Civil Aviation)
31 Earlj : Those were the good old days! Flying on the Caravelle between EWR and PIT was absolutely great! UA's competitor was doing the same route with a Convai
32 LesMainwaring : My aunt was a FA with UAL for 35 years, beginning in 1967. She was stationed at SFO for the first year or two and then DCA and later IAD for the durat
33 M404 : I've seen one or two instances of a UA Caravelle charter into LAS about 1965/66. I've always been a fan of the asthetically gorgeous plane after many
34 N5014K : You're right. The Caravelle was a common sight at BAL (now BWI) in those days. Seems to me most of those flights did go to PIT and CLE. It was noisy
35 Milesrich : The Caravelle Executive Flight first operated, ORD-IDL on July 1, 1961, and shortly thereafter was shifted to EWR. In fact, the Caravelle was the firs
36 CF-CPI : I spoke to spotters who grew up in the DC area and remember the Caravelle days. They swear that UA did operate them there, but airport authorities we
37 Viscount724 : Interestingly, for an airline that had no international routes then other than SEA-YVR, UA Caravelles were named for cities in France with the name in
38 SMXOOPC : UA also operated Caravelle service ORD - TOL in the late '60s. I remember non-reving with my family on UA from SFO to visit my wife's family in Findla
39 F9Animal : Great info! I had no idea this was ever used on commercial aircraft. Very interesting!
40 Isitsafenow : Hey Guy, you're right again...darn it........After going through a dozen old UA scheds, I see no Caravelle scheduled into Moline...but I did find the
41 RJNUT : I remember the Cincinnati Bengals woudl charter one and it I would go see it parked at Downtown KC ariport when they played the Chiefs!
42 Milesrich : UA Caravelles served not only Atlanta, but brought the first Jet service to former Capital cities such as BHM, MOB, and TYS. Now has anyone found any
43 Isitsafenow : MR...I don't recall the Caravelle serving Michigan stations on the UA sched except for DTW. I know MSU football took the Caravelle on charters a few t
44 Timz : April 1966.
45 Tango-Bravo : As for United's "men only" flights from Chicago to New York... their December 1, 1968 timetable (columnar format) shows flight 212 departing 5:00pm, a
46 Timz : Four a day into DCA in 1/69-- one each from CMH, BUF, ROC and BAL.
47 Post contains images Legacy135 : I never flew the Caravelle as a pilot, I actually just made it to a passenger ride on it, back in 87 on a CTA Caravelle from ZRH to LGW. To your ques
48 Post contains images Isitsafenow : Yep....in my May 1st, 1969 OAG ...there they are! And a trophy for TIMZ.... safe
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