jsnww81
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Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Wed Jan 14, 2004 7:26 am

For all the nostalgia buffs out there, today is the 30th annivesary of the opening of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The airport was officially opened at midnight January 13, 1974 - the first flight was an American Airlines 727-100 from Little Rock, which touched down a few minutes after midnight.

Of course, that meant the end of major flight operations at Dallas Love Field, just about ten miles to the east. The final flight out of Love was a Braniff 727 to Minneapolis, which left just before midnight. The next morning, only Southwest Airlines was left at DAL, although they relocated their operations from the north to the west concourse (former American gates).

Braniff took all 13 of its jetways from DAL to the new airport, and hung them from the gates over the next few days (they had 24 gates in their new terminal, so 11 jetbridges were ordered new.) Most of those jetways can still be found at DFW Terminal B (formerly 2W) - Braniff logos can still be seen on the control consoles as you board the aircraft.

Back then DFW was quite different from its present setup - Terminal 2W (now Terminal B) was used exclusively by Braniff. Terminal 2E (now A) was occupied by Texas International, Ozark and Frontier. Terminal 3E (now C) was home to American and Eastern, and Terminal 4E (now E) was used by Delta and Continental (Southwest was to be housed here as well, had they been forced to move to DFW.)

Hard to believe DFW is 30 years old - there are many in Dallas who view it as the most important event to occur in North Texas in the 20th century. It literally put Dallas/Fort Worth on the world map, and was the catalyst for its tremendous growth in the 1980s and 1990s (that continues today.)

I'd love to hear from anybody who was around back in 1974, when flights moved from little old Love Field to the giant, windswept "airport on the prairie."

Happy Birthday, DFW!
 
deltaffindfw
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Wed Jan 14, 2004 7:47 am


Great write-up! I will wish my home airport a happy birthday when I drive by today!
 
ConcordeBoy
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Wed Jan 14, 2004 7:51 am

It literally put Dallas/Fort Worth on the world map, and was the catalyst for its tremendous growth in the 1980s

I thought that honor went to the question of "who shot JR?"  Big grin  Laugh out loud
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
 
mopac
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Wed Jan 14, 2004 7:59 am

Braniff took all 13 of its jetways from DAL to the new airport, and hung them from the gates over the next few days (they had 24 gates in their new terminal, so 11 jetbridges were ordered new.) Most of those jetways can still be found at DFW Terminal B (formerly 2W) - Braniff logos can still be seen on the control consoles as you board the aircraft.

That's an interesting piece of information James, thanks for sharing it. Do you know exactly which gates they are? I imagine they're the ones at the dead/north end of 2W. I had a misconnect on AA/AE at DFW a few months back and spent some time scouting 2W to see if I could find any reminders of BI but failed to.
 
skaggs
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Wed Jan 14, 2004 8:00 am

I remember my Dad (Retired DAL 777 Capt) taking me to see the Braniff Concorde there. I was 5 years old. DFW is the best thing North TX has.
It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.
 
aaway
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Wed Jan 14, 2004 8:11 am

Thanks for the trip down memory lane! Though not from the Metroplex, I had many opportunites to connect via DAL...usually AA or DL to/from TT. I find it amazing the level of activity DAL had when it was the major airport of that region. During it's peak year, DAL recorded better than 400,000 ops. Even more amazing when you consider that it was essentially a two runway operation, as the crosswind was too short for air carrier ops.
Whenever I'm in the DFW area I usually make a visit to Love. For those that don't know, the former Braniff and Trans-Texas/Texas Int'l terminals have been demolished.
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard
 
ord
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Wed Jan 14, 2004 8:17 am

It's interesting how quickly DFW's layout become outdated. With deregulation and the advent of the super hubs, DFW's poor layout made connections terrible. Only six years after DFW opened, in 1980, the new Atlanta airport opened. 24 years later ATL is still considered a great design, while DFW is not.

American Airlines came very close to building parallel terminals on DFW's west side in the late 80s/early 90s to mimic ATL. It is even mentioned in several of AA's annual reports at the time. At the same time, some/all of the east horseshoes (2E, 3E, 4E) were to be torn down so Delta could build a long terminal also. But when American was asked to take care of most of the bills they decided against it. Essentially they would have paid for Delta to become more competitive, so it never happened. It is all very interesting.
 
thomasphoto60
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Wed Jan 14, 2004 8:33 am

Ohhhhhh...I have so many fond memories of DAL. My first flight was from MSP/MDW to DAL as an infant in late 1960, my first 747 flight BN's 'Big Orange' from DAL to HNL in 73 and the many transfers on many BN flights to and from MSP to HOU/IAH during the mid/late 60s to 73.

I just wish there were more DAL pics in the DB from the 60s up until it's closing.

Thomas
"Show me the Braniffs"
 
aaway
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Wed Jan 14, 2004 8:47 am

"American Airlines came very close to building parallel terminals on DFW's west side in the late 80s/early 90s to mimic ATL..."
...At the same time, some/all of the east horseshoes (2E, 3E, 4E) were to be torn down so Delta could build a long terminal also."
Well, not quite. AA would have had to fund some of the construction costs. Quite true. However, AA was deathly afraid of DL expanding it's ops by taking over 2E if AA had left it. The DFW Board would not agree to AA's demand that 2E be torn down with the advent of a new AA/DFW terminal complex.
"The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one." - Elbert Hubbard
 
LoneStarMike
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Thu Jan 15, 2004 4:51 am

Did anyone happen to see AA's press release that they released today? (January 14, 2004?)

American Airlines Celebrates 30 Years of Commitment and Service to North Texas As DFW Airport Marks Anniversary

Wednesday January 14, 12:48 pm ET American Remains the Airline of Choice in Texas FORT WORTH, Texas, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Thirty years ago today, just minutes after midnight, American Airlines Flight 341 from Memphis and Little Rock landed on an airstrip at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport, officially becoming the first carrier to bring passengers to the brand new airport on the outskirts of Dallas and Fort Worth.

rest of press release

Nice except that the anniversary was yesterday, AA.

LoneStarMike

 
aa61hvy
Posts: 13021
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Thu Jan 15, 2004 4:55 am

I think they are having a water cannon salute for one of the planes, presumably a AA 777
Go big or go home
 
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ramprat74
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:04 am

Do you know exactly which gates they are? I imagine they're the ones at the dead/north end of 2W

When I was working at DFW. Gate 2, 3 and 4 in 2W all have Braniff logos in the jetways. Gate 4 was a 747 gate for them. I'm pretty sure AA torn down those old jetways and put in new ones when they added gates to terminal B.
 
adh214
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:21 am

As a Dallasite, I think DFW is a wonderful design. It is prefect for O&D traffic, we have multiple security check points so one line never gets too long, and with the new train on the roof it will be even better for connections. I love DFW.

Andrew
 
jsnww81
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Thu Jan 15, 2004 5:31 am

I'm not sure which of the 2W gates still have the Braniff jetways.

I do recall seeing a photo of Terminal 2W shortly after it opened, and only about half of the jetways were the standard DFW brown color - those were the ones that BN ordered new. The rest were white with orange around the doors - that's how BN had them painted when they were installed at Love Field.
 
ssides
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RE: Love Field/DFW - 30 Years Ago Today

Thu Jan 15, 2004 6:23 am

As a Dallasite, I think DFW is a wonderful design. It is prefect for O&D traffic, we have multiple security check points so one line never gets too long, and with the new train on the roof it will be even better for connections. I love DFW.

I agree wholeheartedly. For O&D traffic, DFW is great. In most cases, you can pretty much walk straight from your gate to the baggage claim to curbside. It's a piece of cake. Unfortunately, living in AUS I have to connect through DFW often, and it's not that easy. The TrAAin absolutely sucks. However, I have seen the design for the SkyLink system, and it will be absolutely awesome. Connection times will be a fraction of what they are now, and with the new International Terminal D being integrated into it, I think DFW will soon be one of the premier international airports in the world -- if it isn't already.


"Lose" is not spelled with two o's!!!!

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