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Southern Airways And National Airlines  
User currently offlineDc863 From Romania, joined Jun 1999, 1591 posts, RR: 2
Posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 2464 times:

Anyone else here on the forum fly on Souther or National back in the 70s? I enjoyed flying on both these carriers several times, just curious if anyone else has too. I thought Southern's use of the Smiley Face on the noses of their DC-9s was a nice touch. National had some of the prettiest stews back then.

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 7456 posts, RR: 20
Reply 1, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 2395 times:

I flew National alot during my childhood. My last trip was in 1977, a very quick 20 minute from TPA to SRQ. Best damn paint scheme ever!!!!!!!!! Smile

I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
User currently offlineBluemeatball From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 187 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 2377 times:

I flew on SOs 404s several times on the GSP-ATL or ATL-GSP segments. I greatly enjoyed the 55 minute trip. Once or twice I flew the segment with a DC-9 and it wasn't quite the same.

As far as NA, I've flown them twice. First was Jan of 1965; a DC-8 from HOU-MSY-MIA. The second was a 727-30 MSY-MOB-PNS. Those segments were very short with the PA announcements partially recorded and only soft drinks even in F class. This trip was June of 1977.

User currently offlineSkyhawk From United States of America, joined May 2001, 1066 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2363 times:

Dc863-on behalf of all of us former"stews" from National, I thank you for the complement.

Bluemeatball-As for the recorded announcements, what do you think that the 757's, 767's, etc. have today? Many, if not most aircraft have recorded announcements. In the past, at least at National, we were staffed with a minimum cabin crew. Most of the time on the 727's we had 3, if we were lucky we got #4 on the 235 type. Not often though, consequently to do a live demo in front and in two places in the back a recording was necessary. As for the service, think of the amount of time you were in the air on those legs. In the back we were still expected to do a full cabin of sodas with just 2 people working. To get that done we had to ice down 110 glasses every time we were on the ground to be able to get that done. We stowed those glasses on trays in any cabinet we could find. That was in the days before the coming of beverage carts. Somehow we got 14-16 glasses on a tray, and you had a choice of coke or 7-up, if you wanted ANYTHING else, you waited until the rest of the cabin got finished and was lucky if you got it then. On top of getting the sodas served, we had to pick up 110 glasses and all of that in just a matter of minutes. Remember, your flight time may show 30 minutes(for example), but take away the taxi times on both ends and the last minute or so before touchdown and you can figure for yourself wasn't much time in the air. Not complaining believe me, I had an absolute ball! The second flight you mentioned by the way, was MOB, MSY, PNS, PFN, TLH, JAX, SAV, ORF, PHF, CHS, DCA, JFK. All of that in one day. That's right, 11 landings. What a life!! Things sure did change when PanAm took over, but I wouldn't change those days for a thing.

User currently offlineSoupthansa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2362 times:

I flew Southern on June 4, 1979 on flight 469. It was a scheduled nonstop Atlanta - Memphis flight but we flew a North Central DC-9 and we made a stop at Huntsville. North Central and Southern were married on July 1, 1979 and adopted Hughes Airwest on October 1, 1980. The family lost the house on 1 October 1986 and Northwest became the new landlord.

User currently offlineExitrowaisle From United States of America, joined May 2000, 266 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2353 times:

To any of you former National employees, I have been trying FOREVER to find pictures of National Airlines cabins from the 1970s. So far, nothing on the web or anywhere else. Any idea where I can get photos, or can you at least describe the decor for me? Thanks! Never flew either Southern or National, but my grandmother used to fly to Florida every year, down on Eastern, back on National, every time!

User currently offlineBoeingfan From United States of America, joined Aug 2001, 385 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2349 times:

Flew both National and Southern right up to the end (mergers with PA and RC respectively.)

Southern had some of the best TV, radio and print advertising in the mid/late 70's. "No one is second class on Southern." With captions like "stewardess peal me another grape." and "I'll get ya a can a tuna in the air." These were to demonstrate the different First vs. Tourist class of other carriers. Great company, staff and service! 33" seat pitch standard in coach on the DC-9's.

National was a very kid friendly airline back in the early '70's, they had puzzles and inflight kits. On longer flights you could count on a trip to the cockpit. "National Airlines says, you're gonna have a great flight." "We turn Florida into an airline." "Fly the SunKing." Not to mention the styrofoam airplane glider the flight attendants would pass out.

Those were the days, when flying was fun, and airline staff were happy to go to work. Unlike today, when you hear, and see everyday, your co workers leaving the building, for good.

Good post! BF

User currently offlineDc863 From Romania, joined Jun 1999, 1591 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 2338 times:

Your welcome Skyhawk, your airline was truly an A+ in my book. My first transatlantic flight with National was onboard one of your DC-8s from MIA-LHR. The First Class service was something special, particularly when the stew came with the dinner cart and cut the roast beef right in front of you. It was always service with a smile. I had the opportunity to fly BOAC from MIA but never did I always chose National. "Is This Anyway To Run An Airline? You Bet It Is!"
Boeingfan those Southern commercials are truly hilarious they seem more appropriate today then yesteryear!

User currently offlineDvk From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1058 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2303 times:

My very first flight was on a Southern Airways DC9 in the spring of 1974, from Huntsville to Atlanta, en route to Jacksonville, FL. It was a fun and exciting experience. I still miss the Southern name. Ironically, my connecting flight was on Eastern.

I'm not dumb. I just have a command of thoroughly useless information.
User currently offlineType-rated From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 20 hours ago) and read 2264 times:

I flew Southern Airways quite a bit in the 1970-74 time frame. I was on their MDW-MEM-GLH-MLU-MSY flight, getting off in MLU. It was operated with DC9-10's and later DC-9-30's. This was before MDW really got busy again.
Their service was pretty average for the time, but they did get in a nice meal on the MDW-MEM segment. They had a large secondary hub at MEM. There you could see their various DC-9's and their Martin 404's. In 1974 or so they updated their livery to a more stylish blue color.
One item to note is the landing at GLH (Greensville, MS). The airport was an old army training base and the "terminal" at the time was an old Quonset hut. (They built a small terminal there in 1975, I believe). The airport did not have a tower or "advanced approach". So SO would fly in the DC-9 and do a VOR approach or even do a visual approach! On a clear day you could often see a DC-9 entering the pattern on downwind and then calling out the turn to base and final on the Unicom frequency! I did one of my private cross countries there. On this particular route they would land, unload and take off again as quickly as possible.
One of my most memorable flying experiences happened on this route as well. It was on the MDW-MEM leg, we were far out on final to MEM and the engines were still at flight idle and we were just gliding in. I was waiting for power to be applied and it just didn't come up. We crossed the river and still no power was added, just gently gliding along. Then just about a mile from the threshold just a tad of power was added and then a perfectly greased on landing. As I was studying my commercial ticket at the time I went up to the cockpit to ask about the approach and to compliment the pilot on such great skill. It turned out the Captain was their most senior pilot! He definently knew how to fly that 9'!

User currently offlineDc863 From Romania, joined Jun 1999, 1591 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (13 years 7 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2246 times:

Type-rated interesting story, those ol' salts sure knew how to fly back then. I had a similar "glide-in" approach in the Spring of 1972 from Orlando-TLH on a Southern DC-9-15. Maybe it was the same pilot!

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