The problem is purely one of perception - I would not be surprised if passengers (regular passengers, not plane freaks) were asked which plane they thought was more modern, and were shown pictures of a B737-200 and a Dash 8-400Q, if most (or at least the majority) would identify the B737-200 as the more modern one.
The perception is that turboprops look similar to DC3s and similar props (well... ok... not the plane itself, but the powerplant), so they must be about as old.
Perception is an interesting thing... and people are so easily fooled...
There was once the following problem at a German airport (I think it was CGN
) - this was sometime shortly after the Birgenair crash in 1996...
The passengers were waiting to board a charter flight to Turkey when one passenger noticed the Russian letters at the front of the plane - it was a Tupolev 154... immediately "identifying" this as one of those "old and unsafe Russian planes", the passengers (or most of them) refused to board - so the airline offered to transfer them by bus to DUS
, from where they had another flight, operating on an A300 - the passengers agreed, because they all preferred to fly on a modern plane.
The Tupolev 154 was around one year old (not sure how old exactly - but it was quite a new plane at the time)... the A300 was almost 20 years old.
Perception... what a nice thing...
[Edited 2005-01-06 17:04:05]