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Anchorage Fuel Stop In The 70´s & 80´s  
User currently offlineSQ773 From Spain, joined Apr 2005, 197 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

Hi there,

I was at home looking at some timetables that I treasure from the 70´s and 80´s and a question came to my mind : Did all the passengers have to deboard the plane while in ANC ?

I do not know why, but I still find this stop fascinating...While flying from Europe / US East Coast to Japan or Korea, you had to make a fuel stop in Alaska... By that time, Alaska seemed such an isolated place to be... Afterwards, some companies switched ANC for SVO, and with the arrival of the 744, ANC was finally bypassed.

I also wonder it the airlines had 5th freedom between Europa and ANC...

Rgds

SQ773

39 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9276 posts, RR: 29
Reply 1, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8172 times:

I did that on JAL NRT-ANC-HAM and yes, we had to deplane at ANC. There was a transit hall with some duty free shops and I bought frozen king crab legs, which survived the 6 hour flight pretty good.

Not sure if JAL had 5th freedom rights, that was not relevant to me. LH could carry pax to ANC and IIRC they had stop-over rights as well, a passenger arriving from Germany could stay in ANC for a couple of days and then continue to NRT and even from there to OSA.



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineSQ773 From Spain, joined Apr 2005, 197 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8065 times:

I figure out that the hall had to be somehow very crowded , right ? Because most of the flights from Europe arrived in a time frame of 2-3 hours...Same had to happen with the eastbound flights I guess

User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1481 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 8013 times:

Quoting SQ773 (Thread starter):
While flying from Europe / US East Coast to Japan or Korea, you had to make a fuel stop in Alaska... By that time, Alaska seemed such an isolated place to be... Afterwards, some companies switched ANC for SVO, and with the arrival of the 744, ANC was finally bypassed.

In those days almost all flights between Europe and Japan operated via Anchorage. But a few were able to operate over the faster trans-Siberian route stopping en route at Moscow.

And there was also a slower "Silk Route" service operated by JAL. It operated ex-LHR and a few other points (I remember taking this routing ex-Cairo with a JAL DC-8/62 in the mid-1970s) and Tokyo which touched down numerous times in cities like Rome, Teheran or Karachi, Delhi, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

I remember that ex-LHR, BA used a B707 while JAL operated a DC-8/62 fpr the Tokyo route via Moscow.

At the time it was rumoured that the Soviets would not allow wide-bodied planes to stopover in Moscow for refuelling because they did not want their citizens to know that the West was capable of making a large plane like the B747.

As you say, the routing from Europe via Anchorage ceased when the Russians granted more overflying rights over the trans-Siberian route.


User currently offlinejfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8325 posts, RR: 7
Reply 4, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7980 times:
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The "stopping" in from teh US east coast is greatly exaggerated, why ? The 747SP, Pan AM did JFK NONSTOP to NRT in 1977(8). NW stopped many flight in SEA and ANC, but by 1983 it had 747-200B's capable of nonstop ORD and JFK to NRT.

Europe was a different animal, it was ANC or Moscow. The USSR limited the amount of SVO to its politcal favorites. By 1990 with teh 744 arriving ANC became unnecessary but the ultimate was the USSR's ending. By the late 1980's BA was flying nonstop daily from NRT to LHR. Russia had discovered the rewards of charging overflight fees to teh western airlines, a practice that continued for years after the USSR's fall at USR era prices.


User currently onlinePanHAM From Germany, joined May 2005, 9276 posts, RR: 29
Reply 5, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7971 times:

Yes, it was crowded in that room, but much more comfortable than the only other transit room I know in the US and that's the crappy "lounge" in LA where they put ANZ passengers en route from Europe to AKL. No one would be surprised if armed giuards were standing outside there.

The silk route was operated by LH and other Euopean carriers as well. LH did besides the polar route f.i. FRA/ATH/KHI/BKK/HKG/NRT



E's passed on! That parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker!
User currently offlineCitationJet From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 2432 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 7661 times:

I remember flying JFK > ANC > Tokyo on Japan Airlines DC-8 (-62?) in the mid 70's. It was about 7 hours for each leg. We got off in ANC to stretch our legs. The gift shop didn't seem that small, compared to the 14 hours in a DC-8. I think it was dark when we landed.
We went Tokyo to Hong Kong in a 747, with the famous checkerboard approach to Kai Tak.



Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
User currently offlinerolypolyman From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 7585 times:

I flew CRK-DNA-ANC-LAX-STL on a FT 747 in 1982 (military charter). We cleared customs in Anchorage during refuelling at about 3 am. The crew asked us to collect our carry-on items and deboard. We filed through to a long hallway, where US Customs & Immigration officers poked through our luggage by hand, asking if we had certain items in our possession, and so forth. We rejoined the 747 and at that point it was a US domestic flight.

The funny thing is that if anyone was trying to bring in contraband they could have just left it on the plane. I guess customs was more of a formality back then.

ANC is not totally bypassed these days.. for cargo operators it makes more sense to not use fuel to transport fuel, so shorter sectors are favored.


User currently offlinejunction From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 766 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 7454 times:

Quoting SQ773 (Reply 2):
I figure out that the hall had to be somehow very crowded , right ?

From 1970-1979 the hall would have been very crowded because it was a much smaller terminal in use for international transit flights. A 747 was longer then the concourse itself. However, in 1980 a much larger international terminal opened, which is still in use today. It has at least 8 widebody capable gates, and the transit lounge covers an entire concourse. The "new" international terminal only got full use for about 10 years, and now there are only two or three international passenger flights using it daily.

By the way, the domestic terminal at ANC is very nice. One of the nicest terminals in the country with an excellent indoor observation deck that oversees most of the airport operations.


User currently offlinetxjim From United States of America, joined May 2008, 241 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 7331 times:

Quoting SQ773 (Reply 2):
I figure out that the hall had to be somehow very crowded , right ? Because most of the flights from Europe arrived in a time frame of 2-3 hours...Same had to happen with the eastbound flights I guess

It was not too bad, especially if you went to the bar on the 2nd floor of the terminal. Good view of everyone deplaning and a better view of the snow-covered mountains.


User currently onlinescbriml From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2003, 12464 posts, RR: 46
Reply 10, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 7078 times:
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I flew Heathrow to Tokyo on BA in 1979 via Anchorage. Made for a long flight, but was a pretty cool place to break the journey. I remember disembarking, but can't remember if it was compulsory.


Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana!
User currently offlineDavidByrne From New Zealand, joined Sep 2007, 1644 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 7014 times:

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 3):
And there was also a slower "Silk Route" service operated by JAL. It operated ex-LHR and a few other points (I remember taking this routing ex-Cairo with a JAL DC-8/62 in the mid-1970s) and Tokyo which touched down numerous times in cities like Rome, Teheran or Karachi, Delhi, Bangkok and Hong Kong.



This JL route survived at least until the 1980s and even went wide-body at the end. I flew LHR-ROM-AUH-BKK-NRT on a JL DC10 in September 1983, but even by that stage it seemed to be a bit of an anachronism to have so many stops.



This is not my beautiful house . . . This is not my beautiful wife
User currently offlinemilesrich From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1995 posts, RR: 6
Reply 12, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 6987 times:

I flew ORD-ANC-HND in March of 1974, NW 3, a DC-10-40. In 1972, my folks made the trip and it was a 707-351B/C then. JAL was operating 747-146's LHR-ANC-HND, but flight via SVO were operated with the DC-8-62, as reported above because the USSR prohibited wide bodies from landing there. Anchorage was a busy place then, as almost all Japan to Europe flights stopped there, even though it was way out of the way, because of the preference for wide body aircraft.

User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25117 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 6890 times:

Quoting milesrich (Reply 12):
Anchorage was a busy place then, as almost all Japan to Europe flights stopped there, even though it was way out of the way

ANC was actually the shortest routing other than the trans-Siberian route, which not all carriers had access to and some intentionally didn't use it due to the high Soviet overflight fees.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 1):
I did that on JAL NRT-ANC-HAM and yes, we had to deplane at ANC.

My first two transpacific flights from YVR to HND on a CP Air DC-8-63 in 1970 or 1971 and on a CP Air 747-200 in 1974 both made fuel stops at ANC (westbound only) due to winds and cargo loads, although both flights were scheduled as nonstops. All passengers were required to stay on board during the fuel stop.


User currently offlinePITrules From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 3152 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 6751 times:

Anyone have any traffic data showing how many international passengers on average booked ANC as a final destination? ANC was listed in the timetables and the airlines had stations there so I imagine one could book ZRH-ANC on Swissair for example. I'm curious how many people on average actually traveled to ANC on each of the major int'l airlines.


FLYi
User currently offlineairbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4268 posts, RR: 51
Reply 15, posted (4 years 1 month 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 6686 times:

Quoting jfk777 (Reply 4):
Russia had discovered the rewards of charging overflight fees to teh western airlines, a practice that continued for years after the USSR's fall at USR era prices.

They still practice that today!



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineMH017 From Netherlands, joined Apr 2005, 1687 posts, RR: 31
Reply 16, posted (4 years 1 month 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 6516 times:

Quoting PITrules (Reply 14):
the airlines had stations there so I imagine one could book ZRH-ANC on Swissair for example.

In the late 70's, I flew AMS-ANC on KLM DC-10-30 and returned on a SABENA DC-10-30 ANC-BRU...both flights to/from Tokyo...

If I remember correctly, I was one of 7-8 passengers deplaining at ANC, the rest continued with KLM to TYO...



don't throw away tomorrow !
User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1481 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 1 month 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 6204 times:

Quoting DavidByrne (Reply 11):
This JL route survived at least until the 1980s and even went wide-body at the end.

Yes, in the mid-1970s I remember taking a JL B747 ex-LHR to DEL (via Rome and either Teheran or Karachi) then picking up the same flight for DEL-BKK. JL had traffic rights. I returned BKK-LHR using the same JL service.

The flight took longer but in those days JL's B747s provided 9-across seating in Y class with what seemed like at least 34 ins of legroom.


User currently offlinerg828 From Brazil, joined Jan 2004, 582 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (4 years 1 month 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 6019 times:
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In the late 70s my family used to fly GIG-LIM-LAX-ANC-HND/NRT on Varig´s flight 830. I was a kid back then but in ANC I recall that pax were allowed to either remain on board or wait in the terminal. We always opted to stretch our legs as the entire flight was a real grinder. I remember the stands that sold King Crab legs (expensive!) and this huge stuffed Polar Bear standing in the hall, you could even make out the bullet entry hole in the bear´s shoulder. I have pictures of it somewhere..
There I remember seeing several Western AL aircraft, and an LH707 taxiing past. Once at HND a BA VC-10 parked right next to us. HND was a beehive back then with both Int´l and domestic flights, really crazy.



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User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25117 posts, RR: 22
Reply 19, posted (4 years 1 month 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 5808 times:

Quoting LondonCity (Reply 17):
The flight took longer but in those days JL's B747s provided 9-across seating in Y class with what seemed like at least 34 ins of legroom.

It wouldn't have been more than 34 inches. That was the usual standard on international flights in those days and was the maximum Y class pitch permitted under IATA agreements.


User currently offlineKL808 From United States of America, joined May 1999, 1584 posts, RR: 2
Reply 20, posted (4 years 1 month 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5779 times:

I remember flying CI on the TPE-ANC-JFK-AMS route.

The days with those multiple stops where great. Did a bunch of silk run routes too such as

AMS-DXB-BKK-MNL



AMS-LAX-MNL
User currently offlinebaw716 From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 2028 posts, RR: 27
Reply 21, posted (4 years 1 month 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5747 times:

ANC has a fairly good size international terminal that was used for the flights in transit. Usually passengers were offloaded so the aircraft could be cleaned and catered for the onward journey. If the flight had traffic rights to/from ANC, then passengers were required to "transit" ANC (e.g. go through US immigration/customs, then reboard). If not, then transit passengers were held in a clean area (this is from memory over 20 years ago so I'm a little fuzzy). I just remember SAS having traffic rights CPH-ANC-NRT and the flight had to make a "full stop" at ANC even though the flight number showed a through flight CPH-NRT. Of course, at that time, there was the CPH-SVO-NRT flight as well and those pax


David L. Lamb, fmr Area Mgr Alitalia SFO 1998-2002, fmr Regional Analyst SFO-UAL 1992-1998
User currently offlinePyrex From Portugal, joined Aug 2005, 3982 posts, RR: 28
Reply 22, posted (4 years 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5394 times:

Quoting junction (Reply 8):
By the way, the domestic terminal at ANC is very nice. One of the nicest terminals in the country with an excellent indoor observation deck that oversees most of the airport operations.

You mean the current Alaska Airlines one, correct? If so, you are right, it is very nice (not many restaurant options, mind you) but the one used by US/CO/DL/F9/etc. (I believe it's called the South Terminal) is pretty bad. When I was there last year NW did fly out of the Alaska Airlines terminal, so I wonder if DL is doing that as well now.

Quoting rolypolyman (Reply 7):
ANC is not totally bypassed these days.. for cargo operators it makes more sense to not use fuel to transport fuel, so shorter sectors are favored.

You are right. I remember seeing 3 Evergreen Airlines 747Fs land within an hour and park right in front of the Alaska terminal, along with other freighters from Korean Air, China Airlines, Asiana, etc.



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User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1481 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (4 years 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5253 times:

Quoting baw716 (Reply 21):
ANC has a fairly good size international terminal that was used for the flights in transit. Usually passengers were offloaded so the aircraft could be cleaned and catered for the onward journey. If the flight had traffic rights to/from ANC, then passengers were required to "transit" ANC (e.g. go through US immigration/customs, then reboard).

When I flew AMS-ANC-HND (HND=Tokyo Haneda) with KL in the mid-1970s I remained in the transit area. It was quite spacious, something akin to what you would find at an international airport. And yes, I too remember the huge stuffed Polar Bear on display (see Reply 18).


User currently offlinecarbon787 From United States of America, joined May 2010, 71 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (4 years 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5228 times:

We lived in Japan all of the 60's and into the mid 70's and when we flew back to Germany for vacations we always flew via Anchorage, on the way to Frankfurt, and had to de plane.
There were no air bridges so it was stairs and walk to the terminal buildin, I have old b&w photo's of me and my mum standing infront of an LH 707-300 series.
I seem to remember a big grizzly or polar? bear in the main terminal. Can't say if it was crowded, was too young at that time  


25 Bellerophon : Sadly, I flew one of the last Westbound sectors (ANC-OSA) that BA operated out of ANC, in late 1992. I know most passengers did get off in ANC, but I
26 Post contains images chootie : ..What sweet memories!!! I had the oportunity to do some relief work in ANC 1988 for LH. I was the only passenger service/sales representative at the
27 traindoc : In April 1975 I flew SFO-HND-HKG on Pan Am. Due to headwinds and cargo we had to refuel in ANC. We did not deplane and were on the ground about an hou
28 GentFromAlaska : My dad mentioned to me he flew from BNA to South Vietnam in the mid to late 60's on a military charter. I recall him mentioning it was Eastern Airline
29 AirBuffalo : EVA Air's EWR-TPE service still stops in ANC on the wetbound leg. The clock time for this flight is over 19 hours which suggests they're on the ground
30 ZANL188 : How do you know the airplane wasn't customs inspected at the same time you were?
31 Post contains images NWOrientDC10 : ANC was called "The Crossroads of the World", then. I'm wondering if this is why PA had flights to/from FAI instead of ANC; JFK - FAI - Tokyo and rev
32 Viscount724 : Pan Am didn't have traffic rights to ANC prior to deregulation if my memory is correct. Their Alaska network was limited to Juneau, Ketchikan and Fai
33 milesrich : Elmendorf AFB has been around since 1940. Eastern operated DC-8-63's on MAC charters to Nam. If the flights left from McChord or Travis, then I would
34 N328KF : Tell that to FedEx and their 777s, but that is a newer development.
35 2travel2know2 : On the subject of ANC, Alaskan fuel stops, was Nome ever used as a fuel-stop too between Europe and Japan?
36 frmrCapCadet : I arrived in Fairbanks early in the summer of 1964, there were bands and dignitaries (not for me!). One of the earlier flights from Europe to Asia was
37 MH017 : OT for ANC here, but, what about this DC-10-30 trip on PR in 1978: AMS-FRA-FCO-KHI-BKK-MNL change flight (same aircraft) MNL-SYD; it took me more tha
38 Viscount724 : No. The longest runway at Nome is only 6,000 ft.
39 eta unknown : BA 747-136 LHR-ANC-NRT in 1984. Just about every carrier had ANC traffic rights, but we remained in the airside departures area of the terminal- I don
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