tu154
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:37 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:46 pm

with the recent post on PAA............good or bad.............tell me your reflection on Pan Am. As a PAA flight attendant i could go on forever about a great company to fly for. It is true..........however.............the day after we shut down, there was an IUFA (flight attendant union) meeting. It was said that "you will go on to fly with United, American, or another carrier........but you will always be Pan Am!"............which is true to this day. I fly for UAL.......but am still fiercly proud of PAA! They instilled a pride in us during training that no other airline could match today...and ever will. Please share your good thoughts about an airline that was...........everything.
FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
 
OttoPylit
Posts: 2259
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 10:58 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 2:55 pm

During Pan Am's time(I was in 6th grade when they went out of business), were there any labor/management problems that you constantly hear around the business, like there always seems to be with AA or UA? Or was it usually pretty good relations?

And if my memory serves me correctly, it seemed that the shutdown of both EA and PA were overnight and instantaneous. Within the PAA employee world, was there any indication or worry that the shutdown would be soon? I know that they had been in trouble for a while, but did anyone really think, "Tomorrow might be the last day?"

Also, does anyone know if any more former PAA 747's are still flying, or have they all met their fate in the boneyard?


The Great Clippers may belong to history, but they will always fly in our hearts!


Otto
I don't have a microwave, but I do have a clock that occasionally cooks shit.
 
tu154
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:37 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:06 pm

We really had no idea that SHUT-DOWN was imminent. As is public knowledge...we Were waiting for Delta to come thru with exit financing for PAA to emerge from ch. 11. This is in no way a cut on Delta.......Pan Ams troubles were around long before Delta was ever in the picture. We could go on forever about what really killed PAA.......management...........money..........National..........government..........deregulation................on and on. Truth is...................we really thought we would be saved and the gov't would never let us go out of business! Please don't turn this into a thread about Delta and Pan Am.........those of us that worked at PAA have our own opinions.............so let's just keep this on a memory level............what made us smile and thank god we were all PAN AM!!!
FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
 
tu154
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:37 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:10 pm

oh, BTW.....the only thing i know about the PAA 747's were they went to fly with AEROPOSTA right after the shut-down............besides that..........i think they were all turned into freighters or put out to be scrapped. I know the A310's went to Delta............A300's to Carnival and other carriers......the 727's to charters and latin american carriers.........besides that.......I think they are all gone............ Sad
FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
 
lincoln
Posts: 3133
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2004 11:22 pm

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:20 pm

I was in like 1st or 2nd grade when PAA failed so I have no first hand knowledge, however re: the exit financing from what I've read Delta had planned the exit financing and when DL announced "no money for you" PAA ceased ops very shortly thereafter.

Many of the unions -- including the one for the FAs sued Delta after that and...well, since this isn't what this thread is about... Though I have wondered why DL would have provided financing to PAA?

It's funny. I've never personally flown any of the Pan Ams, let alone the REAL one, but I have a deep respect for that airline with some feelings attached (I don't know why) that I can't attach to any contemporary airline. Maybe it's just the idealism.

BTW -- This may be a good place to ask: While browsing iTunes, I came across "PAN AM - The Sound of the '70s" (complete with PAA logo on the cover art). Most of the tracks have aviation-related names, and one of them is "Theme from Take-Off (Magic Sunset)"... Does/did this have anything to do with PAA or...?

Lincoln
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:30 pm

I will say this.

I was only 12 on 12/4/91, but I remember the profound affect it had on me.
Probably twice a week, every week, I used to go out to the airport after school with my grandparents. My first stop was always the same: the Pan Am ticket counter, to say hello/pick up new schedules/brochures (whatever was available), and then a stroll down to gate B7 to watch a B727 load for MIA or DFW or wherever. It was a ritual. Just seeing the Pan Am logo behind the counter sent shivers down my spine. I knew the employees were probably saying "what's wrong with that kid?". Did I care? Nah. I was infatuated with all things Pan Am. To be certain, I still am to this day.

A Pan Am plane was the first plane I ever remember seeing. I used to call it the "plane with the big blue ball on the tail". That was probably around 1982. Of course PA left MSY from 1985-1987, but they came back in '88. And I was at the airport for the "inagural". May 1988 I remember it fondly. The plane was late arriving into MSY and we couldn't wait any longer. As we drove down the access road towards Interstate 10 there she was...in all her glory, a 727 touched down on runway 1. I got a great view of her. Pan Am was back. It was a hell of a feeling.

God I have some great memories. I even remember little obscure details, such as the big sign that was hanging over the PA counter in MSY saying: "NONSTOP CHARLOTTE $79.00." That was, of course, flight 578 (MSY-CLT-JFK) and 579 on the return.

So on that fateful day in 1991 I had just come home from school and was watching the 5pm local news when the reporter reported that Pan Am shut down. They had a live crew at the airport. It had just happened to be a day that I wasn't there. That was probably for the better...I don't know if I could have kept back the tears if I was there in person.

I could just go on and on and on...but I won't. R.I.P Pan Am, you are missed!
 
747400sp
Posts: 3900
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:27 pm

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 3:30 pm

I always remember those big 747 clippers coming in to LAX.
 
clipperhawaii
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sun Dec 26, 1999 3:35 pm

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:01 pm

Pan American World Airways was THE carrier across the world. There was nothing like them and never will be. They taught the world how to fly.

The big blue ball lives on in so many of us with such great memories.

Pan Am

First in the Caribbean
First in the Pacific
First on the Atlantic
First around the world.

Hard to top that!


"You Can't Beat The Experience"
 
MSYtristar
Posts: 7543
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:09 pm

Just to add to my above posting, I never once stepped foot on a Pan Am aircraft. The passion I had/have for the airline is something I cannot really describe, but over time, as I have learned about the history of the airline and its legacy, it has really made it all the more meaningful.
 
INTENSS
Posts: 310
Joined: Mon Aug 30, 2004 9:25 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:31 pm

I was 13 when Pan Am shut down but am a fellow Pan AM die-hard (is anyone else here seeing a pattern?).

Where do we get it from? What is the lure of that blue meatball? I could chalk it up to my father working for PA at JFK in the 60's.....but it's much more than that.

My early PA memories come from watching the LGA action. Just remember 727's for the shuttle and domestic ops. My first "enthusiast" trip to JFK was to the PA WorldPort in Sepetmber of 1991. I'm glad I went when I did....little did I know a few months later would have been too late. I grabbed some WorldPort brochures and took in all the sites of the international terminal, domestic, and rooftop garage.

Unfortunately for me I went at the wrong time of day - too early. The only aircraft I was able to get shots of was a lone 727, a few A310's, and a Dash 7. I missed the heavies. I now wish I would have stayed longer to get the 747's/A300's. I did get one 747 on arrival.....and then I left thinking there would be plenty of more chances.

I kept the newspaper clippings from a few months later - the end of an era. I was also at LGA the day after Delta took over the shuttle.

A few years later after I was at college in Florida I went back to JFK and made the most of PA II - not missing this chance at all. My father was on the inaugural PA II flight from JFK to MIA and back. And most recently I worked at SFB, able to be near that blue globe. But there is no replacement for the original.

My dedication to "The Chosen Instrument":

http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=383815
http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=383279
http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=382142
http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=383256
http://www.jetphotos.net/viewphoto.php?id=383272

Not the originals....but still nice to see.

-Rich
 
Spike
Posts: 1110
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Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:35 pm

They went bust. What on earth was so good about an airline with such bad management? I really don't see what all the fuss is about.
 
tu154
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:37 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:39 pm

hey spike...............take your bad mood out of here................better yet....keep it in the UK where it belongs..............you never will see what all the fuss is about..........you never experienced Pan Am! Those that never did get it.........never will, so don't try
FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
 
rerj37
Posts: 14
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2001 10:25 pm

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:40 pm

I just saw the movie about Howard Hughes, THE AVIATOR.
Juan Trippe features fairly prominently, but what struck me was Trippe's office (in the Chrysler Building, I think) and the fabulous decor. Later they had their own Manhattan skyscraper - is it still called the Pan Am building? - and helicopter service to the airports.
I flew Pan Am for the first time in a DC-6B in Europe sometime in the 50s, on a 727 over the Russian Zone to Berlin in the 60s. and later took the inaugural 747 to Australia in 1970. I took a nonstop 747SP from LAX to SYD later - that was fun, with an on-board lottery on the arrival time!

Robin Johnson
 
Spike
Posts: 1110
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 1:08 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:42 pm

No bad mood mate, just can't see what all the fuss about Pan Am is. It was pretty average on my flight with them - Delhi to Hong Kong.
 
tu154
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:37 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:48 pm

This happens to be a thread to share our positive experiences with Pan Am.........maybe you did'nt read the first topic i posted. if you have nothing positive to say............don't say anyting at all or start your own thread if you wish..........what did your mummie teach you?
FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
 
tu154
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:37 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:54 pm

SPIKE......

As I read my thread starter......i see that I wrote "good or bad" experiences with PAA. I extend my apologies to you. I am sorry you had a average flight with PAA.........and I appreciate your experience............as well as your input.
 Sad
FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
 
PA101
Posts: 312
Joined: Sun Jan 16, 2005 10:28 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:55 pm

My first two flights to America were on Pan Am, back in 1989 and 1990. Spike is right so far, by that time, PA's flight were hardly average, with not enough food-choices on boards, some old and beat-up aircraft, a dirty and dark Worldport at JFK - however,

It was PAN AM!

Even to me, as a 9- and 10-year-old at that time, Pan Am was something special. It was the American flag carrier, and one of the most famous names around the world.

Besides, by that time, they even knew, they weren't that great anymore. I remember a German-TV ad in the late eighties, were a popular German actor (Manfred Krug) was boarding a PA flight to Berlin and joking, what kind of service he could expect for the low fare he paid...

Especially to Germans, they were somewhat a German airline too, with their flights from Berlin to many German airports (I remember seeing a PA ATR at the airport of Sylt - an island in the Northern Sea).

At TXL they have a small memorial plate for Pan Am, acknowleding the great service they provided to the city during hard times.

So they are gone, but they won't ever be forgotten!
 
searpqx
Posts: 4173
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2000 10:36 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:10 pm

Spike - The fascination with Pan Am isn't about it's service, it's about the history. I can't argue that by the end the service was mediocre (not through lack of trying by the employees, it all just felt very tired) and some of the planes were looking a little ratty, but that's not what people are talking about. They are talking about the carrier that bore the US Flag around the world and opened up aviation in vast tracks of the world. They are talking about an airline that was built and run by one of the giants of aviation history, and arguable one of the most colorful characters ever to run an airline. They are talking about an airline that was literally 'first' in so very many different ways, and laid the ground work for much of today's global air network. You can't talk about commercial aviation history without talking about the significant role that Pan Am played.

Pan Am to many, especially in the states, was the closest the US will ever come to having a 'National' airline. Even if you didn't know squat about airlines and airplanes, you know who and what Pan Am was, and you recognized their planes. The loss of Pan Am was emotionally comparable to what most Brits would experience if BA suddenly shut down, or perhaps what the Belgians felt with the loss of Sabena.

Now that I'm done waxing poetic - I'm going to go look at my old PA timetables.  Big grin

Duane
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
tu154
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:37 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:15 pm

seapdx.........welcome to my first respected user............. Sad
FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
 
Spike
Posts: 1110
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 1:08 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:38 pm

Well we could all go on and on about BCal, TWA, BOAC, or UTA or Court Line for also being 'firsts' in many ways. Pan Am was no different in its days but it sure didn't have any management stucture (see 'Catch Me if you Can' for example). Also, its so called 'golden days' seem to be much more in the 707 era than the L-1011, DC-10, 747, A300 days.
 
tu154
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:37 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:47 pm

ok,....... ignore him..............tell me, what did you like about Pan Am..........
FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!
 
searpqx
Posts: 4173
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2000 10:36 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:52 pm

You're absolutely right, we could go on about all those airlines - each contributing to the history of commercial aviation and each important in their way. BUT - this thread is about Pan Am - so, if you don't want to talk about Pan Am, I'm not quiet sure why you're in this particular thread?
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"
 
Spike
Posts: 1110
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 1:08 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 5:54 pm

As you asked, I did like the blue world logo. I also loved the metal sweet tin that they gave me (which I still have to date - i keep foreign coins/notes in it) and I liked the fact that almost all the crew were from somewhere else than the home base.
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 6:56 pm

Funny, when I read that other thread, even though it was about other Pan Am planes, I recalled one of the first times I had seen a 747 in real life, while sitting in the cold and windy seats of Candlestick Park near SFO, and it flew overhead, with the big blue globe on its tail. Planes didn't usually fly over the stadium from west to east, nor that low, and I was excited to see it in flight above me, whatever the reason it had.

The day Pan Am shut down, I heard the news on the radio in my hotel room in Amsterdam. Ironically, that trip I'd taken United over the route via Heathrow that Pan Am had sold them earlier that year. The news took me by surprise, because I thought it might survive, even for a little while longer. Later that same trip, while driving from the west of England to London, I passed an exit for Lockerbie out of the blue. That made the sense of loss somehow greater.

I can understand people thinking "so what, it's just an airline." You just had to be there. If you had any glimmer of love for aviation, seeing someone off on a trip on Pan Am was an event ... they were going somewhere special. You couldn't fly them in the lower 48, until later in their years. When you had a ticket on Pan Am you were going to London, Paris, Tokyo, Bombay, Rio! That's something we just take for granted now, in busses in the skies, not great airliners that opened the doors to travel worldwide.

It's true Pan Am's service and schedules suffered near the end, and when I flew overseas I usually took TWA. But I still consider myself lucky I was able to fly a number of times on an icon of the golden age of flying. Somehow, it made me a part of that history.

When I was indulged to get some time up on the observation deck in the old Central Termnal, or in the parking lot near the runways, coming across any of these at SFO would have made for a fine day of spotting:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bob Garrard
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Bob Garrard



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ito Noriyuki
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon



Cheers.  Smile

[Edited 2005-02-14 11:01:30]
International Homo of Mystery
 
xaphan
Posts: 90
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2003 11:09 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 7:29 pm

My first flight on PAA was on a DC 6B "Super Six Clipper" IDL-BDA. After that flew another DC 6B MIA-HAV and returned on a CV 240 with boarding through aft door. What I loved most were the Clipper names. Most carried names of real clipper ships, and I could never get the image out of my mind of one of those magnificent ships, sails set, a bone in her teeth, heading out for points unknown. My biggest disappointment was never getting to fly on a Boeing Stratacruiser. My favorite ship name was DC 10 30 Clipper Celestrial Empire, which has religious significance to me.
The Chosen instrament will be missed,
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 7:35 pm

Later they had their own Manhattan skyscraper - is it still called the Pan Am building?

No, it was sold to the insurance company MetLife in 1981 and rebranded with their name.  Sad

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pan_Am
International Homo of Mystery
 
atcrick
Posts: 719
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2004 1:05 pm

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 8:08 pm

Searpqx said it perfectly. Pan Am is all about history and being the American flag carrier to the world! The Pan Am Blue Ball was as widely recognized arund the world as Coke. Even though it wasnt the original Pan Am, I used to love working in the control Tower down in Guantanamo Bay in 2002 when Clipper came in twice a week. First day it would drop people off and continue on to Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. The next day it would reverse the operation operating Puerto Rico, Guantanamo Bay, Navy Jacksonville, and ending up in Navy Norfolk. I think almost anybody that has been in aviation for any length of time must have fond memories abotu Pan Am. I most certainly do.


Atc Rick
natch!!
 
dtwclipper
Posts: 6668
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 3:17 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:29 pm

I had many friends at the blue meatball, especially at HQ in New York.
My first trans-Atlantic flight was on a PA 747. I will never forget the service we had in First Class. The upper deck set up as a dining room.

I remember seeing the PA Worldport at JFK in the evening circled by huge tails as the aircraft got ready for their evening departures, it was magic. Sure there were bigger airlines, but there was always a special mystic about Pan Am.

On one trip through South America, two days after Lockerbie, we flew PA JFK-GIG-EZE, and then MVD-GIG after a month in Argentina. We had flown all over on Areolinas, but I can't tell you how cool it was to see that 747 in MVD. It was somehow a sense of the US in a far away place. One of my greatest disappointments on that trip was falling asleep right after takeoff on the GIG-JFK flight and missing dinner.

In New York I flew PA to Europe as often as I could. I felt I needed to support them in there efforts to survive.

I know exactly were I was when 103 went down, and called my friends at PA.
I shared with them their shock and horror as the news developed.

I also felt close to the company as my friends at the blue meatball shared their shock at their shrinking company, first the PA Building, Intercontinental Hotels, The Pacific and then Europe.

I started to read all I could about the history of PA, and after the fall saved all the clippings in the papers, as if saving an obiturary of a dear friend.

I sad now!

Compare New York Air, the Airline that works for your Business
 
panamair
Posts: 3892
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2001 2:24 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:45 pm

To anyone who loves aviation, Pan Am is a name that cannot be ignored. Without Pan Am, there may not have been a 707 or a 747; without Pan Am, transpacific flying may not have been possible until much later....in its series of Firsts, Pan Am shaped a lot of the aviation world; its legacy is tremendous and many, including rivals, will acknowledge that if they had to name one airline that had the most influence on commercial aviation in general, it would have to be Pan American World Airways! Pan Am's route map was an absolute beauty to behold, especially with its spread around the world (hence its slogan in the '70s - "You call it the world, we call it Home") with destinations ranging from Tehran to Denpasar to Guam to a host of African destinations (Dakar, Monrovia, Lagos, Douala, Contonou, Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam, Accra, Abidjan, etc.).

My first Pan Am flight was PA841 from SFO to MNL via HNL and GUM on a 747-121 in 1976. Between then and 1991, I managed to accumulate over 360,000 miles, many of those coming from the very end. Even towards the end, Pan Am's international First Class still maintained quite a bit of its original luster...there was still lobster thermidor and chateaubriand carved to order from the cart (as opposed to the microwaved filet on AA or UA in international First today). Pan Am had some of the best employees out there as well as some of the worst. Their staff were worldy and experienced, but at the same time, could also be arrogant and aloof.

Even though it's been more than 13 years since Dec 4 1991, I still miss the Blue Meatball. The only way that one can still hope to experience some of the magic of the old Pan Am is to fly Delta or United and hope that a few of those ex-Pan Amers will be working the flight...you can usually spot them a mile away, with their napkin folding, their careful preparation of the serving trolley, the string of pearls, or the myriad number of foreign languages they speak...

Pan Am.....Gone But Not Forgotten
 
leelaw
Posts: 4520
Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 4:13 pm

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 9:45 pm

Tu154:

Perhaps you might consider composing your future posts with standard punctuation. IMO, it would make your contributions easier to read and comprehend.

Thanx
Lex Ancilla Justitiae
 
TACAA320
Posts: 7153
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:03 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:06 pm

I have great memories about PA [the old one]. Those unbelievable 727, 707 and 747 beauties. Nevertheless, their in flight service, even in J and F was quite average, specially their last years.

I'm wondering, if PA was still alive, do they have Airbuses in their fleet? Which ones? Dreaming is for free anyway...
'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind'. Albert Einstein
 
zrs70
Posts: 3471
Joined: Sun Dec 10, 2000 4:08 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:28 pm

Seeing that PA DID have Airbuses in their day, it's not that far of a leap to think about were they still alive.
18 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2017
 
Spike
Posts: 1110
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 1:08 am

Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:46 pm

Looking at the old Pan Am route maps is like looking at a chart of American friendship though the decades. Look how many places PA used to serve and constast it with how many places USAF have since bombed. Its quite shocking to the by-stander!
 
TACAA320
Posts: 7153
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:03 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Mon Feb 14, 2005 11:56 pm

Zrs70

"Seeing that PA DID have Airbuses in their day, it's not that far of a leap to think about were they still alive."

You're absolutely right. And the most unforgivable thing is that my last trip with them was in an Airbus.

Sorry.
'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind'. Albert Einstein
 
dl021
Posts: 10836
Joined: Fri May 21, 2004 12:04 pm

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 12:27 am

I rode Pan Am 707's and 747's back in the day from JFK to ORY and then CDG and always felt it was like I was flying the official United States airline.....

I remember when they shut down and I saw the idle aircraft at the terminal in New York as I was pulling into the Eastern terminal and the sadness I felt then. It was as if we had failed at something big, to see the real American airline....the one that carried our flag everywhere....even to the oppressed lands behind the Iron Curtain. It came at the end of the Cold War and seemed to be another mark in the passing of an era.

The last airport sign I saw for Pan Am was at Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten and there was a podium at the American gate that had a big Pan American globe on it. I guess it was kind of symbolic, they started in the Caribbean, and that was the last I saw of the original.
Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
 
Clipper002
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:24 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:30 am

As a 29 year veteran of Pan Am, I could probably go on for hours about all that took place during my employment. Instead I 'll try to answer some of the questions that arose in earlier threads.

Pan Am and its' unions had a fairly good relationship. The one time that there was a great falling out is when the TWU went on strike and shut down our entire catering operation. Pan Am made one call to Marriott and then proceeded to dismantle all of its' flight kitchens world wide. Without the kitchens, there was no longer any need to have any catering personnel and they were all laid off.

Pan Am senior management was a joke from the late 70's on. We had Najeeb Halaby, former head of the FAA for a while and he had absolutely no knowledge of how to run an airline. Next came Bill Seawell and his huge ego. He probably was the most disliked of all of the Pan Am presidents but lasted 8 years, which is second only to Juan Trippe. Ed Acker succeeded Seawell and looked like he was going to be a real winner. He already had a great reputation from his days at Braniff and Air Florida. Alas, it was not to be. It seemed Acker could not figure out what the Pan Am route system should look like and was forever opening and closing stations. When all else failed, he imposed a 10% pay cut to the entire work force. It only went downhill from there with assets such the Intercontinental Hotel chain and the Pacific routes being sold off just to be able to make payroll. The grand old airline was only a shadow of itself when the Atlantic routes were sold off to DL.

Those of us stationed in MIA at the time were actually given "contracts" to work for Pan Am II. This little airline was to concentrate on the Caribbean with MIA aas its' base. All this as AA was strenghteing their strangle hold on MIA. The financing for Pan Am II was coming from DL as part of the Atlantic route authority takeover, but finally they too saw the flow of money going out in record numbers and on December 4th decided to pull out of their support role.

Actually we had been planning for a shutdown for over 6 montrhs prior to the end. Most of us definitely saw it coming for years, but also felt the the government would pull off another "Chrysler" and resurrect the airline. It would not have worked. There were just too many things that had gone wrong over the past 12 years.

Now as I am about to retire from my 41 year career in aviation, I look back and only smile. I wouldn't have changed one thing and count myself to be very fortunate to have had the life that I have lived from my first day on the job in 1964 right up until now. I never "had" to go to work, I looked forward to it.

Rgds,
Ed
Ed
 
NeptunesCar
Posts: 97
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2003 2:47 pm

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:55 am

Growing up my family only flew Pan Am, because our family was all over the world. To this day it seems strange to see DL UA and AA overseas, because that was Pan Am territory. I distinctly remember many times as a child being invited into the cockpit after landing where Skygods would let me sit in the captains seat and show me around the controls. And Ill never forget going to JFK and SFO and seeing 747s going off to all corners of the world. On long flights to Europe Id hang out in the galley talking to the crew who were always eager to tell this kid about their recent layovers in HKG, TYO and ROM. And poring over their routemaps was an indication of things to come, even to this day when I visit a new country I can remember dreaming about visiting it when I saw Pan Am served it long ago. (Delhi, Saigon, Rio, Bali) My last flight was on a 727 from LAX to SFO in Sept 91, and I remember the crew talking about their fears for the future, some close to tears, it really showed their dedication to Pan Am, that shined right thru to the end.
You call it the world, we call it home. Pan Am.
 
OttoPylit
Posts: 2259
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 10:58 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 1:59 am

Wow Clipper,

That answers a lot. I never remembered hearing of bad relations and haven't really heart any former PAA employees tell me that there were bad relations, so that is a sign of good management/labor dealings.

I do know that initially, there was supposed to be some kind of financing to come from Delta to PAA, but was cut at the last minute for some reason. Seems once PAA started selling off routes, the axe started coming down. What kind of agreement was made between PAA and DL as far as employees, as there is a code in Delta's nonrev priority code for "eligible former Pan Am employees?"
I don't have a microwave, but I do have a clock that occasionally cooks shit.
 
avek00
Posts: 3186
Joined: Mon Oct 25, 2004 5:56 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:15 am

"Pan Am senior management was a joke from the late 70's on."

Some would argue that PA management was a joke since before then:

1. The massive 747 order (and the resulting losses from the glut of capacity) almost single-handedly bankrupted the airline;

2. Over the years, PA management had allowed its labor structure to become extremely inefficient and expensive, leaving the airline at a disadvantage to well-oiled and more efficient competitors; and

3. Little attention was given to the need for a strong domestic network to feed the international operation.

Live life to the fullest.
 
dtwclipper
Posts: 6668
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2003 3:17 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:20 am

"3. Little attention was given to the need for a strong domestic network to feed the international operation."

May we assume that you understand the historical position Pan Am was in regarding domestic routes.

PA was not allowed to fly domesticly and it had been a goal of PA manegment over the years to aquire them. Mergers and aquistions were the only way to go about it, and it wasn't until the NA merger, comming shortly on the heals of deregulation that gave PA a domestic network. NA did not fit the needs of PA, and that was a mistake, however, they needed something and they needed it fast!


Compare New York Air, the Airline that works for your Business
 
Clipper002
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:24 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:34 am

The 747 order in and of itself was not the problem, it was the timing that was way off. The economy took a huge tailspin just before the delivery of the first a/c. The rest of the 747 story is history.

As I said there were not too many run-ins between the unions and management and I heartily agree that there never was a plan enacted to streamline activities. For instance a Catering person could only handle 3 moves per shift. That meant only 3 trips from the hangar to the line and back for an entire 8 hour shift. Then we had things known as the "quick hour", where an employee would stay 10 minutes beyond the end of their shift to handle something and get paid for an additional hour. The company was full of this type of thing.

The domestic operation was given a very high priority, but neither the CAB nor Congress would allow Pan Am any access to any domestic routes at all. The final answer came when Pan Am had to buy out NA for 3 times what it worth just to get into the domestic market.

The employees at JFK were all retained by DL as were most of the overseas folks. All of us at MIA were let go. The ironic thing is that now, some 13 years later, my wife and I live in Peachtree City. GA which is also home to numerous folks who we both worked with at JFK in the 70'2 and 80's. DL took them on and then they transferred down here to ATL. It's a small world.

The financing of Pan Am II was supposed to be underwritten by DL. But, it didn't take the DL execs too long to see that we were hemorrhaging money on a daily basis. That plus the fact that we only had our 727's and A300-B4's to go up head to head against AA didn't really sit in our favor either. A lot of people are still pissed at DL for backing out at the last minute, but I always felt it was the right business decision to make. It would have only prolonged the inevitable and cost many more millions of dollars.

Ed
Ed
 
panamair
Posts: 3892
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2001 2:24 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 2:43 am

"Pan Am senior management was a joke from the late 70's on."

Some would argue that PA management was a joke since before then:"

Actually, I would argue that Tom Plaskett (who helped create the first frequent flyer program - AAdvantage) who became CEO after Acker was a decent guy who tried his best to turn Pan Am around. Unfortunately, by that time, things were already quite broken beyond repair, and coupled with uncontrollable world events, it was too late for Pan Am.

Plaskett came on board around 1988 and immediately went around patching up the worn-out facilities and improving service. He hired more f/as and started focusing on expanding MIA because the Latin American routes were certainly more profitable than the brutally competitive transatlantic. In fact, Pan Am was actually making an operating profit for the first three quarters of 1988, until that fateful day-Dec 23-when PA103 went down over Lockerbie. 1989 was spent trying to recover; 1990 started out promisingly enough as well...that is, until the Gulf War pretty much killed travel in Pan Am's key markets....and the rest is history...

Plaskett tried to merge Pan Am with Northwest when NWA came into play (don't remember whether it was '88 or '89). Their networks were complimentary (NW strong in Asia and domestically while PA was strong in Europe and Latin America) and Plaskett was able to secure financing up to around US$3.6 billion to put in a very credible bid. They could use the tax benefits from Pan Am's accumulated losses over the years as well. As we all know, NWA selected Al Checchi's group's offer.....who knows, if the merger had been successful, Pan Am may actually still be around today!
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:00 am

Quoting Spike:
Look how many places PA used to serve and constast it with how many places USAF have since bombed. Its quite shocking to the by-stander!


We get your point already that anything un-British is of personal offense to you. Repeating your glum viewpoints in this particular thread only makes you appear similar to the "Ugly American" that has been characterized overseas for too long. We shall endeavor to repost your comments from this thread into any thread where Americans are accused of raining on the parade of the A380, or any topic where there's a discussion of the operations of BA or AF in a country where their colonial heritage caused tyranny and death. Fair deal?

Thank you.
International Homo of Mystery
 
panamair
Posts: 3892
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2001 2:24 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:20 am

Spike said "Look how many places PA used to serve and constast it with how many places USAF have since bombed. Its quite shocking to the by-stander! "

What a ridiculous statement! I challenge you to name all these places (other than Saigon and Kabul) that were on PA's route map that the USAF has since bombed!
 
Algoz
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 3:58 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:24 am

I too worked for a few glorious years for Pan Am, until we were sold to United (and look where we are now - it's like deja vu). It's very difficult for anyone who wasn't part of the Pan Am family to understand the feelings of those who worked for this once glorious airline. Whenever I meet a stranger who worked for Pan Am too, it is like meeting a family member you never knew. Sounds corny, but it's true - if you were to poll people who worked for Pan Am the overwhelming majority would tell you the same. But, as earlier posts mention, it ended because of appalling management, and a failure to adapt to the changing world of aviation. Sad, but true. I don't hark for the "good old days" cos you can't get them back, but it doesn't stop me feeling proud to have been a part of aviation's greatest pioneer.
 
Clipper002
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:24 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 3:43 am

Panamair,
I agree with you about the plastic man. He was a good guy who came along too late.

Ed
Ed
 
CougarAviator
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2004 5:07 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 4:15 am

It seems Pan Am went south, once Trippe retired.

The deal for National was a back breaker as well.........

I love Pan Am!!!!

In fact, my license plate number is N747PA!!
Failure is not an option.....
 
Tan Flyr
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2000 11:07 pm

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:37 am

Pan Am! The Chosen Instrument! For several decades (mid 30's- mid 50s) PAA was as influential in many parts of the third world as the US Embassy was, if there was one in some locations.

My folks went to Italy on a belated 30th anniversary in 1978 on PA..They were so impressed with the 747 and PAA.
We had friends that had relatives in Tehran during the 1979 revolution. They were so thrilled to see that blue globe on that 747..that was their ticket home.
I have a cousin whose wife's' father was a captain for PAA in the 60's and 70's. Flew all over the world as a kid and teenager. PAA had respect in most places of the world in those days. In many instances PAA was the link to the rest of the civilized world.

There will never be another like PAA, but she lives on in all of us that have a love of commercial aviation.
 
GdJet16
Posts: 41
Joined: Fri Oct 29, 2004 5:52 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 5:57 am

TU154...thank you very much for starting this thread... I am always interested in learning more about Pan Am, as I consider them to be the greatest airline that ever flew.. They were truly the flag carrier of the United States
 
tu154
Posts: 338
Joined: Fri Dec 17, 2004 1:37 am

RE: Pan American World Airways

Tue Feb 15, 2005 6:33 am

http://www.airchive.com/SITE%20PAGES/TIMETABLES-PAN%20AM.html



great site with a history of Pan Am routes, timetables etc.
FIRST ON THE ATLANTIC.....FIRST ON THE PACIFIC.....FIRST IN LATIN AMERICA...FIRST 'ROUND THE WORLD.....PAN AM!!

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