MSYtristar
Topic Author
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Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

Vanguard Airlines

Tue May 18, 2004 1:06 pm

I just wanted to see if any of you had any memories of good old Vanguard that you'd like to share? As i'm in the process of moving, i've been going through a lot of old books etc. in my closet and well, I stumbled upon all my old training manuals (and lots of pictures) from Vanguard's CSA training class back in June 2001.

I had some good times with that airline. I met some great people and flew too much for my own good. It was great getting the chance with work with classic aircraft: 737-200's, MD-80/87's, and even 727-200's for a month and a half (that was when NJ leased some TransMeridian 722's for select routes, inlcuding MSY-MCI, MCI-LAX, etc).

Overall, Vanguard offered a good product, especially with the integration of the MD-80 series aircraft into the fleet. It was a sad day indeed when they shut down.

So bring on those those Vanguard memories...good and otherwise.  Smile


Steve/MSY
 
MSYtristar
Topic Author
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Wed May 19, 2004 2:46 am

Perhaps the title of this post should have been "Remembering Vanguard" to spark more interest...or perhaps it was a lame subject to begin with.  Smile


Steve
 
TWFirst
Posts: 5752
Joined: Wed Apr 19, 2000 5:30 am

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Wed May 19, 2004 3:32 am

I remember when Vanguard began flying MSP-MDW, subleasing one of TW's old gates on what is now the F concourse at MSP. Not long after they began flying the route in the mid-90's, I was talking to my best friend on the phone one Saturday morning. He lived in Chicago, and he was really wishing I could be in Chicago that night to party. So I said, wait a sec, called Vanguard and found out they had a flight leaving in a half hour, with a round trip price of $124. I clicked back over to my friend and told him to pick me up at Midway in 90 minutes. He said "WTF"??? And I said, I'll be on Vanguard. I threw my toiletries and a pair of underwear in a bag and raced to the airport (lived about 10 minutes away). Parked, flew threw security, and ran to the gate (obviously this was WAY before 9/11). Bought the ticket at the gate and was on the plane 20 minutes after hanging up the phone. That was a very memorable trip because my friend's car broke down, and we kept pushing his car through busy intersections in Chicago.... sometimes spontaneity isn't all it's cracked up to be.

But the Vanguard flight on the 737 was great!
An unexamined life isn't worth living.
 
4jaded
Posts: 246
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 7:31 am

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Wed May 19, 2004 5:59 am

I flew Vanguard Airlines FLL-MCI-LAX and it was actually ok. The first leg was an MD80 and I upgraded and was pleased with the snack and the service. MCI was an interesting airport to make a connection in. You only had to walk 50 feet to get everywhere there it seemed. The MCI-LAX portion was a 737 and I did not upgrade. The flight was neither great nor bad actually very uneventful. My bags arrived as they should have and I had no issues with them at all. Overall it left me with a good memory. I was sad to hear that several weeks later they shut the doors and flew into the history books. I had seen some of the plans they had prior to this and I am sure that many peoples hopes and dreams were crushed.
RIP to Vanguard
 
sq452
Posts: 994
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 4:49 am

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Wed May 19, 2004 12:32 pm

I remember how they got bloodied up in Cincinnati when they moved in...unfortunate  Sad

They moved in offered RIDICULOUS fares to CVG and then Delta matched and ran them out of town, then DL raised their prices back up...when B6 comes to Cincy (someday) I hope it is for good!
SIN > CVG > BOS
 
nwa man
Posts: 1752
Joined: Mon Jun 07, 1999 3:24 am

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Wed May 19, 2004 12:42 pm

TWFirst - $124? You got robbed!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy (yeah, I know it was last minute, but)...

During the height of their fare wars with NW, you could get a round trip to MDW for $58 on either airline, and it wasn't much more expensive to get to MCI.

They fought valiantly, but in the end, their lack of a clear corporate vision did them in, as did the fact that they chose competition against airlines that will defend their home turf to the death, especially NW (MSP-MCI, MSP-MDW) and AA (DFW-ICT). Sad to see them go, as fares in all of their former markets have risen astronomically.

RIP Vanguard indeed.


Regards,

N-Dub
Create your own luck.
 
DLKAPA
Posts: 7962
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2003 10:37 am

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Wed May 19, 2004 12:43 pm

I remember when they shut their doors. Here in denver, there were no other airlines, IIRC, that took in the stray pax, and the airline did nothing for them.

Not to start flame or anything,

My mom had to fly them once. Average so-so trip.

DLKAPA
And all at once the crowd begins to sing: Sometimes the hardest thing and the right thing are the same
 
N901FRwolf
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu Apr 08, 2004 11:11 pm

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Thu May 20, 2004 2:46 am

I disagree DLKAPA. I worked reservations when Vangaurd went under. We had a standby policy for Vanguard customers who were stranded in places we served.
Frontier - A Whole Different Animal (Beach ball - check, Suntan lotion - Check, thong - check)
 
citationjet
Posts: 2259
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2003 2:26 am

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Thu May 20, 2004 2:56 am

I have flown for over 40 years in everything from a DC-3 to a 747, and the hardest landing I have ever experienced was a Vanguard 737-200 into Midway. I swear the pilot never flared, he just flew it straight into the ground. Needless to say, the cockpit door was closed as the passengers departed.
Lots of passengers made comments on that landing. It was as if the pilot was ex-Navy and trying to catch the second wire on the aircraft carrier.
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,737,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773.
 
elwood64151
Posts: 2410
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2002 10:22 am

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Thu May 20, 2004 3:00 am

The MCI-LAX portion was a 737 and I did not upgrade

You couldn't upgrade on our 737s. Did you see the guy trailing the potable water cart? That was me. If it really was a 737 to LAX just a few weeks before shut-down, then it had to be the last time we sent a 737 to LAX, and I worked mail/water that day.

During the height of their fare wars with NW, you could get a round trip to MDW for $58 on either airline, and it wasn't much more expensive to get to MCI.

Those were 21-day advance purchase fares. I worked at RES when that fare war was going on. It was a pretty hot flight.

I remember when they shut their doors. Here in denver, there were no other airlines, IIRC, that took in the stray pax, and the airline did nothing for them.

Actually, a lot of airlines got in trouble for that. Every airline accepted ATSB grant money following the terrorist attacks. Part of the requirements for taking that money was to accept the passengers of airlines that went out of business after the money was distributed (hence Midway didn't apply). But when NJ went under (the first to do so after the disbursements), many airlines chose to not honor that part of their bargain.

However, Frontier, National, and some of the other LCCs took on NJ passengers without question. I know one Legacy carrier took them, but I don't remember which one. Each airline was allowed to charge $25 and could refuse a passenger if space wasn't available.

In addition, NJ worked out programs with other carriers (remember those LCCs I mentioned?) that took on the pax on a standby basis at no charge.

By the way, the airline did nothing for the employees or stockholders, either, until this past January, when the employees got about half of their last paycheck (including me).
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it in summer school.
 
uadc8contrail
Posts: 1636
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2003 1:23 am

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Thu May 20, 2004 3:10 am

elwood,
I know ual accepted them,bad part was that they were ground handled by another airline(great plains)and they actually did nothing for the pax that showed up that morning, they all seemed to kinda move over to the DL and UAL tkt counters,


msytristar,
NJ still has some equipment laying around in COS
bus driver.......move that bus:)
 
canoecarrier
Posts: 2569
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2004 1:20 pm

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Thu May 20, 2004 5:21 am

I used them to get back from MCI-SEA. I even got a pass for my girfriend at the time to fly MCI-Laguardia that day. I think it was July 1st or 2nd, '02. She got the last seat on the Laguardia flight, and commented how nice the seat pitch was on the MD-80. I was upgraded on the SEA flight. I enjoyed the flight, but I remember the gate agents dressed a little unprofessional. I'm not saying they did anything wrong, but if Vanguard had a dress policy it wasn't being enforced the day I flew them. I do miss the convenience they offered if you were going to MCI from anywhere, right now I'm stuck with the only non-stop being a daily WN flight.

I had interviewed for a management position with them about a week before. Having worked in the Midwest for some time at a regional GA airport I had a number of friends that were pilots for NJ. I called one up after the interview and he warned me not to take the job, which I didn't. Unfortunately, one of the best decisions I ever made professionally. I was sad to see them go. They made the right decisions too late. The move to the MD-80 fleet should have been done a couple years earlier, and they had a habit of rotating CEO's. MCI was a difficult place to have a hub for a "hometown" airline.

Interesting to hear what compensation the employees got. I went to their website after they ceased operations and remember the quote "employees will be allowed a supervised visit to gather their personal belongings" It was something like a week after they stopped flying.
The beatings will continue until morale improves
 
deltadude8
Posts: 553
Joined: Fri Feb 18, 2000 12:09 am

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Thu May 20, 2004 6:08 am

I took the MCI-FLL portion of the flight 4-6 days before they announced cease of opps. I was stranded in FLL but DL got me home for somewhere around $20...I live in KC and will miss the FLL direct flight always...
 
alexinwa
Posts: 867
Joined: Fri Sep 29, 2000 2:08 pm

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Thu May 20, 2004 10:34 am

What day did Vanguard shut down???
You mad Bro???
 
MSYtristar
Topic Author
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Thu May 20, 2004 10:40 am

7/31/02 if i'm not mistaken. I pushed back our 6:20pm departure and then got called into the office for a conference call. About fifteen minutes later, I was told not to report to work the next day.


Steve
 
dixiedelta
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 20, 2004 11:13 am

RE: Vanguard Airlines

Thu May 20, 2004 11:38 am

My first flight alone was with Vanguard. I was flying MSP-ATL-MYR. 737. I remember that the service was very good and the people onboard were very nice, and gave me extra snacks since I was young and traveling alone on the almost empty plane. It's too bad that they closed down. Did they fly anywhere else from MYR? I don't remember.