The reason for the Super 80 name is that the plane was called, originally, the DC-9-Super 80, in part because it had far greater range than the other series of DC-9s.
I think AA
called them Super 80s, because of the DC-10 crash at ORD
. If AA
could avoid putting "DC" anywhere, then people might not realize that it was from the same factory as the DC-10s.
-80s have been very profitable for AA
, because they are are very flexible and reliable. Because of AA
's finances, they are going to be around for a number of years, especially since TW
's fleet is rather young. It's possible that the aircraft delivered in the early and mid 80s might be retired within the next few years and replaced with some model of the 737NG, but the vast majority of the fleet will in AA
I don't like the MD
-80s on long-haul flights from ORD
to say LAX
, or LAS
. The planes don't have IFE, and the overhead bins on the MD
-80s are smaller than those on the 737s and 757s. And my understanding is that the first-class galley is not capable of meal service as elaborate as on the 737s, 757s, and 767s.
But, even with the coming reduction in MRTC, they will still have legroom that is above the industry average, and the coach seats are better than on UA
, and CO
As for food service, I saw an interview with Gordon Bethune in the WSJ in the last month or two. He thinks once the industry has gone through its shake-out (i.e., Chapter 7 for some carriers), the legacy carriers will be better able to price fares to match their costs. So, food service might return, simply as a means of differentiating the legacy carrers from the LCCs. It won't be as elaborate as when the airlines made money in the late 90s, but it will be better than peanuts and pretzels.