Yesterday I was flying back to New York from DFW
and I had to be dropped off a couple dozen yards ahead of the curbside check-in area in the middle of Terminal C. I wasn't checking a bag, so I just walked into the the first entrance I saw, which I thought would lead me to the stairs to the gate level.
Some renovation work was being done in this area, which seemed to contain a stop for the employee-only tram linking the terminals. (I'm not even sure if such a tram still exists -- I thought that the old DFW
tram system -- not Skylink -- was more extensive than just the TrAAin, but from what I'm finding online, apparently not.) While I was down there, I saw some TrAAin cars speed by; sure enough it didn't stop at this station.
As it turned out, there weren't any stairs in this particular area, only the tram stop and an elevator. By the time I discovered this, I was standing at the elevator and not entirely sure I was someplace I was supposed to be but, what the hell, I decided to take the elevator up to the gates.
While waiting for the elevator, I turned around and saw an old brown plastic sign with white vinyl letters. In large letters it advised that the current terminal was an AA
terminal, but in smaller letters below, said "METRO, SUNBELT, CHAPARRAL."
At first it wasn't apparent to me that these were airlines. I had never heard of a single one of them. But sure enough, these were all airlines that used to serve DFW
. And if the source I found is correct, it looks like Chaparral became American Eagle, whereas Sunbelt and Metro were somewhat less successful.
But the really remarkable thing is that it looks like this sign must have dated from before 1984, when Sunbelt ceased operations (again, according to my Internet source -- correct me if I'm wrong on this). I thought it was amazing that this relic still existed in a forgotten corner of DFW
. (Though considering they were renovating that area, that sign probably won't be around much longer. I wish I had gotten a picture, but I didn't have my camera on me.) Really, about the only thing that could have made it better is if it was a large sign pointing the way to the Braniff, Eastern and Pan Am gates.
I was flying on an ex-TWA 757 last week, and the beverage cart still had TWA printed on the side, though I'd have to say that the Metro-Sunbelt-Chaparral is a somewhat more impressive testimonial to the unexpected longevity of corporate identities.
What are some other remnants you've seen of airlines that are long gone?
New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune