CF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 887 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 9562 times:
Western Airlines flew a single DC-10-30, N821L on a short-lived DEN - London service in 1981. I have very little info on the cabin configuration of this aircraft, interior design, etc. Was there a dedicated business class cabin? Did they opt for a sleeper-type seat in First? I have googled this topic but there seems to be very little in the way of a photographic record (that I could find). This is surprising, since it must have been a big deal for them. Any help or info is appreciated.
n901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 406 posts, RR: 0 Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 9477 times:
I was young back then, but I remember it being a Teal color, and my Dad (who was a WAL AMT) told me it was the Air New Zealand interior. I got a pic somewhere, but that's what I remember. I forgot to add, I also think it was in a standard F/C Y setup wit 2-2-2 and 2-5-2. Flew on it once, and saw it a few times in the hangar ( Back then my Dad you to take us to work to look at airplanes ) Sorry, I could not be more helpful.
CF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 887 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 9410 times:
Thanks for the info. (Judging from your s/n, I'm not surprised you could answer this). The TE cabin has been photographed here and there, but I thought it would be cool to find one when it was flying for WA. I believe there was a small 2x2x2 F class up front, with manual legrests. It did indeed have a bluish seat cover. The economy cabin was 2-5-2 in various yellow, green and blue wavy patterns. At the time WA's own DC-10s were leaning to the orange red and purple 70s look.
n901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 406 posts, RR: 0 Reply 3, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 9324 times:
Also WALs DC-10 F/C had the Big Swivel Seat, that could be turned. I still remember seeing guys playing cards and watching Jonny Carson in F/C while it was on overnight checks. Funny, I still have 3 Y seat sets in that color ( My Dad bought a bunch of seats when WAL upgraded the seats, and made a club house with them ) I could only get to a seat cushion to photo the seat bottom from my storage shed.
greggariouspdx From United States of America, joined Jan 2012, 57 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 9212 times:
WA also flew HNL-ANC-LGW for a short time. I lived in Juneau, AK for a time in the 1980's and scored an upgrade to F from the JNU Station manager on the ANC-LGW legs, which flew almost empty. I remember F as 2x2x2 in blue leather with manual footrests. While not all that special by today's lie-flat standards, I also remember it being a comfortable experience with great, personalized service. On the return LGW-ANC segment, I had F all to myself and slept most of the way.
viscount630 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 230 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7980 times:
I was actually interviewed to be a Customer Services Rep' for WA at LGW not long after the service started. The person doing the interview did not exactly sell the idea to me as even she was despondant about future loads, although she said part of the new job would be to promote the service more in Europe and give it a badly needed boost. I was quite relieved not to to be offered it!
kaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12179 posts, RR: 35 Reply 9, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 7819 times:
When did WA stop using DC10s? Did they survive as far as the DL merger; I have seen photos of DL DC10s, but I think these were from the early 70s, when DL acquired DC10s to cover for the late arrival of their first Tristars.
viscount630 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2005, 230 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 7697 times:
Quoting kaitak (Reply 9): When did WA stop using DC10s? Did they survive as far as the DL merger; I have seen photos of DL DC10s, but I think these were from the early 70s, when DL acquired DC10s to cover for the late arrival of their first Tristars.
Several WA DC-10s were taken over in the DL merger. The earlier DL DC-10s were leased from UA in the early 70s to help cover late L1011 deliveries (I think?) For a while, DL was the only operator of all wide-bodies then available, B747, DC-10 and L1011.
n901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 406 posts, RR: 0 Reply 11, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 7649 times:
Western used the DC-10 till the end. In fact the Last Western flight was a DC-10 from HNL to LAX. It took off as Western, and Landed as Delta. I think it was flt 568 ( could be wrong on the flt number, it been a long time ago). Delta then used the DC-10 to HNL untill around 1990ish. I was there on the Last Delta DC-10 flt out of HNL, it was ship 783 - N907WA. The easy way to tell the old Delta DC-10 from the WAL DC-10 in Delta service is the black nose. If the whole nose is black and swoops back to the stripe ( like the picture I took), then its a Wally bird. If the nose is white with a small black dot, is the old Delta DC-10. HTH
It was neat working the same acft that my Dad had worked on, and being able to compair the DC-10 and L-1011 side by side. Both were Good aircraft, and I miss both of them, and I miss HNL.
CF-CPI From Canada, joined Nov 2000, 887 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6317 times:
If you include the one-off DC-10-30 N821L with the New Zealand cabin, WA had a total of four cabin designs in the DC-10s during their life 1973-87. The pic from WALmsp is the delivery interior, and at the time they had that geometric pattern that WAL employes called 'rainbow' . The F class was a bright red - very attractive actually - and was probably Hawaii-inspired. From what I know, the red and blue design that N901wa posted was adopted fleet-wide in F class sometime in the 1970s. Somewhere I have a picture of the economy cabin of a Boeing 720B from that period, and it was a red/orange thing. I was told by a former WA f/a that the DC-10s eventually got the same treatment. I think the idea was a Mexican fiesta look, but of course the 1970s were know for the bright cabin colors. Shortly before the DL merger, WA had opted for a more conservative blue and grey look inside (as others have mentioned). I'm told that DL operated those -10s in the WA cabin design, despite painting all of them in the widget very quickly. However, WA featured had featured those 'carpeted' designs on the real bulkheads of both F and economy which featured the big red 'W' prominently, and these were removed by DL. Anecdotally I was told that an employee in LAX maintenance took one home with him (after removal from the aircraft), and was terminated by DL.
ogshelly From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 26 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 5731 times:
Whenever I hear or read about Western Airlines, I remember the beautiful wide body painted white with the big red W that crashed early in the morning in Mexico city's airport. It was a shock to many, as it was the early bird arriving from LAX. The pilot was flying his last flight prior to retirement, rest in peace, he perished in that accident. It was back in the 70's, I was in college. My apologies if I change gears.
Prost From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 452 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5126 times:
Seeing the economy cabin of the DC-10 with only 8 abreast looks very comfortable. The lack of Overhead bins over the center seats really opens up the cabin as well. When K started with NW there weren't OH bins in the center, either, but there was a strange garment bag hanging mechanism that went up into the ceiling at doot 3. Does anybody know if WA had that as well?
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 23251 posts, RR: 23 Reply 16, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 5067 times:
Quoting cschleic (Reply 13): Didn't that route start with a 707, before switching to a DC-10?
As far as I can tell, Western had disposed of all their 707s before the LGW routes started. They acquired the ex-NZ DC-10-30 specifically for the DEN-LGW route and used the DC-10-10 on the HNL-ANC-LGW route. If memory correct, the DEN-LGW flights operated LAX-LAS-DEN-LGW.
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 23251 posts, RR: 23 Reply 18, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4836 times:
Quoting cschleic (Reply 17): Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 16):
As far as I can tell, Western had disposed of all their 707s before the LGW routes started.
I was thinking back that they leased a 707 short term until the DC-10 started service, but could be wrong.
To launch a new route like that with a 707 would have been a big mistake, as everyone expected a widebody on transatlantic routes then. I can't think of any carriers still using narrowbodies on US-Europe routes then except Icelandair and probably a few charter operators.
RWA380 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2610 posts, RR: 4 Reply 19, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 4815 times:
Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 16): As far as I can tell, Western had disposed of all their 707s before the LGW routes started. They acquired the ex-NZ DC-10-30 specifically for the DEN-LGW route and used the DC-10-10 on the HNL-ANC-LGW route. If memory correct, the DEN-LGW flights operated LAX-LAS-DEN-LGW.
Everything you stated is accurate, I just reviewed some old WA timetables and you are 100% correct, good memory!
n901wa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 406 posts, RR: 0 Reply 22, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 4552 times:
Wow CF-CPI you are bringing back memorries. I know the guy, and lucky he got in trouble, but he didn't loose his job I know of 3 surviving W Panels, and I wish I had one.
Hey Prost, I wanna say they did have the closet at 3 L/R in the cross way fwd side like the MD-11 had. I will check my WAL DC-10 books in my rollaway at work when I get back. It might be awhile. But I am sure it did. In fact the part nbr for the drive motor for the hanger on the MD-11 was the same part nbr on the MD-11, and came in a WAL box
Its a shame Western canceled the order for the 767. The Model I saw looked good in the W paint
AY104 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 505 posts, RR: 7 Reply 24, posted (1 year 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4453 times:
Quoting Prost (Reply 15): Seeing the economy cabin of the DC-10 with only 8 abreast looks very comfortable. The lack of Overhead bins over the center seats really opens up the cabin as well. When K started with NW there weren't OH bins in the center, either, but there was a strange garment bag hanging mechanism that went up into the ceiling at doot 3. Does anybody know if WA had that as well?
I don't think Western had the garment bag mechanism, although I worked for them at YVR from 1975 to 1987, when we merged with DL.
Exciting times in the 70s (can't remember the exact date). When I started with WAL at YVR in 1975, we had a daily LAX "Spaceship" service. You are right, the 8-abreast seating was very comfortable. About the same size seat as a 737 F-Class seat, maybe a bit narrower.
The excitement continued, when we were awarded the YVR-HNL route. DC10, daylight flight there and back. The 8-abreast seating was great for the 5hour flight. Non-revving, when we couldn't get in F, was still a most comfortable flight in Y. A couple of times, I even had the middle seat, but it was still comfortable. The centre group of 4 seats was more like 2 pairs of seats, with about a foot of space between the 2 pairs. What luxury! And the meals were excellent as well. I remember coming back from HNL, a dinner service, and in Y there was a choice of Mahi-Mahi and another entree as well. Delicious!
The HNL service also had complimentary Mai-Tais, served from a "Steaming Volcano" set up on one of the service trolleys. The "steam" being made by dry ice. Those flights were always lots of fun, and they had fantastic crews as well.
F-Class had wonderful service, menus, and a vivid blue and red porcelain. There were also special wicker glass holders, for hot after dinner coffee drinks prepared by the flight attendants.
Although we enjoyed working for Western, and travelling on Western, I don't think any of us really realized at the time how good we had it. Things have changed so much since then, including the behaviour of the travelling public.
I remember we also had a YVR-PDX flight, twice daily, which continued on to SFO or LAX. The flight at 11:30 was admittedly over the lunch hour, and we had complaints that there was no meal. It was only a 45min flight. Still, Western ended up providing a small snack tray at one point with little sandwiches that were distributed with the beverage service. We did not even have competition on that route, yet Western wanted to provide the service. At least until the 80s when times started to get bad.
I apologize for getting off the topic. Please forgive an old guy and his ramblings! It is a pity that the Londoner service never proved a success. There was also a "Canadian" service, when Western inaugurated service to Vancouver in the early 70s, with a special tea service.
Great thread this, with all the memories!
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
25 OzarkD9S: Nothing to forgive! Great story, it's the insight of experiences such as yours that make this site what it is. Thanks for sharing.
26 Viscount724: Western's YVR service started a little earlier - sometime in 1967. It was part of a batch of new Canada-USA route awards announcd in 1966 which also
27 longhauler: Thanks for that, and I agree completely. Western's service was great, and very unique! I remember the Smoking Volcano that they wheeled down the aisl
28 AY104: Thanks, Viscount724. Soon after my post, I remembered that I flew Western in 1967 or 1968 to SFO! And the Canadian service was called "Royal Canadian
29 maxpower1954: I was a DC-8 F/O and captain for Arrow Air from early 1982 to 1985, and I have remember flying with crews that had operated this flight on a wet leas
30 Tomassjc: I remember that day well, October 31, 1979, because it was my hire date with Mexicana Airlines at LAX. At sad event indeed. Interestingly, MX leased
31 greggariouspdx: As I mentioned in my previous post in this Forum, I lived in Juneau, Alaska at one time and I loved Western's service into the Alaskan Capital. I was
32 milesrich: No, it was just a tradename. Spaceship as in NASA. It was space age, as it was Western's first and only wide body jet. American's DC-10's had just as
33 RWA380: Didn't CO have the "Pub" on their DC-10's?
34 type-rated: I remember those were heavily advertised on flights from ORD-DEN and ORD-LAX. I can't remember if those flights continued on to HNL or not. They were
35 milesrich: Yes, they had lounges in First and Coach on the Tens. On the 747, the lounge, like with other carriers at the time, was upstairs. I flew on the CO DC
36 Lono: I remember I was working operations doing the weight and balance for this flight in ANC December 1982 and the flight was full. Problem was the fuel re