Posts: 1466
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 1999 10:52 am

Southern Airways And National Airlines

Mon Oct 07, 2002 1:36 pm

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.
Posts: 6711
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 12:22 am

RE: Southern Airways And National Airlines

Tue Oct 08, 2002 8:43 am

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
Love Trumps Hate
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Oct 18, 1999 10:44 am

RE: Southern Airways And National Airlines

Tue Oct 08, 2002 10:00 am

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.
Posts: 1011
Joined: Sat May 19, 2001 12:23 pm

RE: Southern Airways And National Airlines

Tue Oct 08, 2002 11:22 am

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.

RE: Southern Airways And National Airlines

Tue Oct 08, 2002 11:23 am

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.
Posts: 239
Joined: Sat May 06, 2000 2:32 am

RE: Southern Airways And National Airlines

Tue Oct 08, 2002 11:41 am

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!
Posts: 369
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2001 1:47 am

RE: Southern Airways And National Airlines

Tue Oct 08, 2002 11:43 am

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

Posts: 1466
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 1999 10:52 am

RE: Southern Airways And National Airlines

Tue Oct 08, 2002 1:16 pm

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!
Posts: 1017
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2000 12:18 am

RE: Southern Airways And National Airlines

Tue Oct 08, 2002 9:39 pm

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.
Posts: 3901
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 1999 5:18 am

RE: Southern Airways And National Airlines

Wed Oct 09, 2002 12:52 pm

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'!
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
Posts: 1466
Joined: Fri Jun 04, 1999 10:52 am

RE: Southern Airways And National Airlines

Wed Oct 09, 2002 1:52 pm

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!