Matt D
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Would You Fly In That Plane?

Wed Jan 05, 2000 6:34 am

Is it just me, or do airlines no longer care about their image and perception with the public? For the last few years, I've been seeing some pretty dilapidated looking jets that are dingy, soiled, and in desparate need of a wash. I've seen USAir planes with letters and paint missing, Delta planes with bare metal exposed-looking like the plane was sandblasted. American and United with hydraulic fluid trails on the tails. Granted, I'm sure that these planes wouldn't be flying if they weren't airworthy, but they look so neglected and awful. I've seen planes that because of soot, dirt, chips, scratches, letters missing, fluid leaking from the tail, and the like-well I'd be embarrased to fly it. And to the impressionable public....well it just LOOKS bad....any thoughts?

RE: Would You Fly In That Plane?

Wed Jan 05, 2000 6:44 am

What incentive do these airlines have to care about image? If it flies, its making money.

Airlines like AA, DL, CO, UA, NW have little to worry about losing market share as long as they can keep to acceptable minimums of service and as long as no one particular airline rocks the boat by providing superior service. And as long as they don't crash, John Q. Public doesn't give a damn.
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RE: Would You Fly In That Plane?

Wed Jan 05, 2000 7:03 am

Hi Matt D. I have an interesting fact about that. In the summer of 1998 I was flying from Albany to Seattle with United so I had to stop in Chicago and Denver. well when we arrived to Chicago ( in a good old 727-200 ) I just looked to a taxiway and there was United DC-10-10 still with old livery but looked extremely ruff and with the livery really well worn, with some of the engine panels already with new livery ( we could see because they were dark blue ). We left the 727 and we looked for our boarding gate to fly to Denver, when I found out the gate guess what plane was ready to fly us? Yes that same DC-10 that I saw a few minutes earlier. It was a good flight, of course the plane looked ( and endeed was ) old but I was happy to fly it because now I know that a few months latter he left to be converted as a MD10 freighter, so it was worth of it, registration of that DC-10? N1811U!
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Hey Man Lay Off USAir

Wed Jan 05, 2000 7:52 am

Just because a airline has accidents or paint looks bad that don't mean you can degrade it even more you have to give these airlines some credit for trying.
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Wed Jan 05, 2000 8:02 am

Ironically UPS' planes always look like they have just been waxed and rinsed, although they have nobody but parcels and packages to impress. Even the classic B747s and DC8s look pretty good for their age.

Matt D
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For USAir Re:USAir

Wed Jan 05, 2000 8:11 am

My statements do not single out USAir, or any other specific airline for that matter. I simply stated a cold, hard, cruel fact: I've seen many planes (USAir included) that were dirty, dingy, missing paint, letters, and looked shabby. I am not saying anything good, bad or indifferent pertinent to the efforts of these airlines. I was only trying to raise some awareness to the substandard appearance of many of their planes.
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It's [almost] The '90s

Wed Jan 05, 2000 9:08 am

I agree that aircraft have become increasingly 'dingy' over the past years. I have a picture, downloaded from this site, of a collection of UPS 747s looking, as Boeing727 stated, pristine and beautiful - as an airliner of any significance, such as the jumbos, ought to.
On the other hand, I have a photograph I took myself at ORD of an American 727 with the tail decals missing, and I've seen in my day none to few with their letters scraped either partly or completely off. American, which bought Reno Air, has simply plastered white paint over the 'Reno Air' on the sides of their MD-90s, so we now have 'nothing air but white and ugly'.
I agree, the airlines aren't being very impressive with their fuselages, especially for all the artsy new effects they keep coming out with!
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RE: Would You Fly In That Plane?

Wed Jan 05, 2000 9:53 am

I would chalk up much of this to the competitive nature of today. (deregulation?) Whether it's aircraft wax jobs,hot meals in coach on 500 mile flights,or maraschino cherries in your ginger ale--all have fallen victim to the desire for cheap(er) airfares. Airplanes that fly aggressive schedules have little time for frequent trips to the beauty parlor. It's still done,just not as frequently. I run in to situations where,say,an A/C gets it's radome bashed in by a bird strike and needs to be replaced and the only radome in stock is still painted in the "old" paint scheme,which looks garishly out of place installed on a "new" paint scheme A/C. They need this plane now,or yesterday. Obviously it's more important to have an A/C cover the schedule than the appearance. The paint job would have to be deferred until the next maintainence opporotunity when/where it can be done. Or repairing a hydraulic leak (or R&R-ing a leaking component). The streaks can be cleaned later if the A/C is needed right now. There are programs in place to assure appearance standards,but sometimes time constraints mean that items that are not safety related are temporarily deferred. A record is kept so that all appearance issues will be addressed.
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RE: Would You Fly In That Plane?

Wed Jan 05, 2000 11:14 am

UPS is just like that about their equipment, there was a time when UPS would wash their trucks every day after the route was over, and it was the drivers responsibility, they have eased on that rule now, but its still rather often, and the same went for their plane, but not sure about every day, but more often than others i believe...


RE: Would You Fly In That Plane?

Wed Jan 05, 2000 11:26 am

USAirways 'new' planes look good (as in the new colors), but definatley some of the old DC-9's and MD-80's look very crappy! After a while it will give an airline a bad image reputation!'re in New old USAir 737-200 comes in with black smoke all over it and all the stuff you described...and right in line after it is a N696DL (a Delta 757) in the new colors...if you keep up with Delta, you would know that this plane is brand-spanking new!

Regardless of the size and type of aircraft...which looks better?

If Steve and Chaniqua went to Phoenix, and when they landed on their old United DC-10 with the old colors, and upon landing they see the AW Arizona Cardinals 757, and the colorful AW Arizona 757, not to mention the unique Southwest SHAMU...I think next time they might book on AW or SW...because the average people think that a certain plane looks cool!

USAirways A330
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RE: Would You Fly In That Plane?

Wed Jan 05, 2000 11:34 am

As for UPS, I don't think I have ever seen a dirty UPS truck! it is part of their image to look clean. Their planes, and trucks, are their image.

As for dirty planes, I too have flown on some of them and seen others. I agree with others on this thread that its competition, deregulation. Planes dont make money on the ground. Also, cleaning people are another expense that can be cut.

I have noticed that airlines that have new paint schemes tend to clean and maintain the NEWLY painted planes more than the older ones. This may be due to the fact that the newer paint colors represents the company's image better than an old jet or the old colors. For example, most of Delta's new painted jets look good - even the 727s. But the ones with old paint are allowed to remain- including one 757 that I saw last year that looked like it had a sandblasted nose. With Southwest, the NGs are the ones that they want you to remember, not the 737-200s, so a lot of those are dirty.

That's just my theory. Anybody else agree?
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RE: Would You Fly In That Plane?

Wed Jan 05, 2000 1:13 pm

To some degree. It's not uncommon to have less attention lavished on a paint scheme that's due for a phaseout and be scheduled for a new livery. A/C out of heavy mtc checks are still being repainted and polished in the old US Air scheme even though they may be scheduled very soon for a trip to Mississippi to be painted in the USAirways paint job.
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RE: Would You Fly In That Plane?

Thu Jan 06, 2000 3:46 am

I agree that some airlines are profit hungry, and will fly anything that flies, irrespective of its condition, but take a look at British Airways - their planes are in pristine condition and the paint is regularly renewed. They had beautiful artwork on tails, but are now replacing them with union jack red and blue.

Back to shabby aircraft - they are not just unclean, but smell of vomit, and feel unsafe to fly - with creacking sounds, here and there, chewing gum on the floor, wobbling seatbacks and luggage bins that don't close properly.

Unfortunately, the economists command the airline - they don't care about tidyness, they just want money making, flying buses.
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RE: Would You Fly In That Plane?

Thu Jan 06, 2000 9:19 am

You're right the worst looking planes that come into ORD are USAir. Especially the 737-200 that goes to CLT. The DC9s are better. The cleanest looking in ORD are the Air Canada A319s and the Canadair-flying to/from Ottawa(YOW)
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