Eastern1985
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Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:01 am

Hi,

I am just curious as to the various memories you all have (Even other peoples memories or experiences) in regards to Northwest Orient in the 1980's...
 
b741
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:04 am

My first jet flight. YWG-MSP-ATL-MCO. Funny how the great 727 tri-jets are gone yet the DC-9 still soldiers on.
Being Bilingual, I Speak English And Aviation
 
Tod
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:08 am

MSP - LAX on a 742 non-revving in F with only one other pax in F and sleeping flight attendants. After the meal service, it was like "here is where we keep the booze and snacks, help yourself or wake me if can't find something".

I was 18 years old and livin' large. drunk 

Tod
 
MAS777
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:15 am

Delayed at Kuala Lumpur long enough to see a Northwest Orient 747 Classic land after midnight and park at a gate in front of me at the old terminal of Subang Airport in Kuala Lumpur - those were indeed the days!
 
whisperingiant
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:06 am

Hi Eastern1985

I haven't posted for so long; I visit tonight to research a completely different subject, and instead I find my dream thread!

I did most of my international flying on NWA's varied (and in some cases, less than gracefully ageing) fleet as a youngster in the 1980s. My dad also flew hundreds of thousands of miles from the 1970s to the 1990s as a business traveller. His work was based in Minneapolis and we lived there from 1982-1985.

Particularly strong memories:

1. The launch of NWA's direct MSP-LGW service (flts 44 & 45) in 1980. Dad gave me a commemorative button badge (which I've dug out to look at, right now!) which I probably wore to school, knowing me

2. Emigrating to the USA in March 1982. We left on flt 45 from LGW, passing the grounded fleet of the newly-bankrupt Laker on our way. We sat in the upper deck (special treat) which was business class and featured a short-lived (my later research tells me!) layout of single and double seats and only about eight of them. The a/c was a 100 series; the upper deck had been converted from the three-window config. We still have a number of souvenirs from that journey, not least the freshen-up kit boxes and NWA-logo'd bars of soap.

3. Flying on a 727-200 to Phoenix in 1984- the food was an excellent curry followed by superb ice-cream. NWA had their catering moments- and this was one of them.

4. The return journey from Phoenix. Dad had got us upgraded to F and the a/c was a DC-10-40. The unbelievable sound of the three P&Ws pushing us down the runway and the steepness of the t/o. I think of that flight and the lovely breakfast we had everytime I hear "Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina & The Waves, which was the biggest hit on the in-flight stereo system. I visited the cockpit at the end of the flight and was amazed at the space compared to a B747, which I'd seen during that 1982 flight.

5. Several transatlantic journeys in 747-100s and -200s. We used to refer to N601US as the Patchwork Quilt, a reference to its then predominantly-natural finish upper fuselage, which showed off its mods and repairs very well! On one occasion, we were in Coach but my sister and I talked nicely to an NWA purser and he took us on a tour of the a/c including the pointy end and the upper deck. One one occasion in 1985 I scored some great pics of the Greenland icebergs from the door window of an NWA 747.

5a. The seat frames and armrests were never the same type all the way down a 747. The seats always seemed to be purloined from a variety of a/c. the interior panels were original 1970-issue, as were the galleys.

5b. Smoking sections. Thankfully a distant memory now, but NWA's awful "autumn print" interiors included a section for smokers, which was horrible.

5c. The night bar. You went down to a rear galley during the movie and one of the smoking stewardesses would break away from the group fug and make you a soft drink.

5d. The little menu cards in Coach class. I still have a couple from 1985/1986. Bizarrely, I also have a small brochure showing the complete seating plan for an NWA 747 of the time.

6. The local radio and TV ads in Minneapolis of the mid-80s: "Northwest Orient Airlines - the world is going ourrrrr wayyyy!" Dad forever referred to them as North Worst.

7. The NWA-Republic merger. I still have mailer sent to my frequent-flying dad announcing the merger. After it happened, I found that one of my school bus friends was the son of a senior exec at the new airline, which was cool.

8. Returning to the UK in 1987. Everything had changed except the tatty, autumn-leafiness of the NWA 747 which brought us home!

Hope that makes you laugh. More if I remember it!

Cheers

---wg---
"So quiet, you can hear the fizz in your drink..."
 
trex8
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:42 am

Nothing Worse, just kidding!!
But 11 years living in the Twin Cities certainly makes you appreciate other airlines!
 
Eastern1985
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 8:43 am

Hey Whisperinggiant:

Very funny indeed. A great read!

I just have one question...

The menu cards, was how many choices were offered and were these only given out on international flights?

Also, did the coach headsets, to your recollection, have the new stereo sets or were they the old "tube" style?

Thanks for the great reply!!!

Eastern1985
 
SingaporeBoy
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:20 am

Beautiful 747-200 parked at Haneda during the early 70s.They always had the same spot..directly infront of the open air viewing gallery.I used to go there as a 9yr old to spot planes and always wondered what it was like inside that jet...especially the upstairs.
 
N501US
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:29 am

I remember how NWA paid quarterly dividends to investors every quarter for years!! Those were truly "the days"
Fools and thieves are well disguised in the temple and the marketplace.....
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:13 pm

The Saabs to Memphis. And that cute boy who worked at the Airlink counter. Wait a minute. He's still working there.
 
oneskyjet
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:53 pm

I used to fly them a lot from Boston where they had a hub in the early '80s. Nonstops to Europe as well as to a number of Florida cities.

They had a frequent flyer program where they gave you a coupon book with 20 coupons in it. Every segment you flew they took a coupon - 2 if you were in first class. After they had taken all 20 coupons you could get a free ticket. The best part was that you could hop around their network and earn free tickets really fast. I remember flying BOS-DTW-ORD-MSP-DFW rt just to burn coupons One round trip and you were half way to a free ticket.

Richest frequent flyer plan there ever was. Unfortunately they got rid of it and went to miles
 
megatop
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 3:26 pm

In August 1979 I was flying CPH-JFK-DTW.

Northwest Orient had just started the Scandinavian service. The flight from CPH to JFK was a B747-200. It was only 9 abreast in economy class. The seats was typical 70's style. They ware orange ! As it was my first intercontinal flight and my first B747 flight, I was very impressed.

The flight from JFK to DTW was on a DC10-40. Remember that the DC-10 was grounded after the Chicago AA DC-10 crash. So the DC-10 flight was just a day or two after the DC-10's taken to the air again. Many people was not very happy about going to DTW in a DC-10. But the flight was just very good.

Regards

Megatop
 
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 5:04 pm

Quoting Whisperingiant (Reply 4):
NWA-logo'd bars of soap.

I had (lost them somehow  Sad ) those as well. I think the brand name was "Camay". Incidentally, the sense most closely related to memory is the sense of smell/odor.

Quoting Whisperingiant (Reply 4):
"Walking on Sunshine" by Katrina & The Waves, which was the biggest hit on the in-flight stereo system.

That's interesting. Was it on a 1985 flight? In 1982, on a long but very memorable and enjoyable flight; PHL-DTW-MSP-SEA-ANC (DC-10-40), I heard "Don't You Want Me, Baby" - Human League and "Heart Attack" - Olivia Newton John. In August 1984 on a SEA-LAX flight, "Somebody's Watching Me" - Rockwell was playing as the DC-10 was circling Los Angeles

Quoting Eastern1985 (Reply 6):
Also, did the coach headsets, to your recollection, have the new stereo sets or were they the old "tube" style?

I remember the "tube" style on DC-10 flights (please describe the difference between New and tube style), I always flew in coach. The headsets were distributed in cellophane/plastic wrap with the Northwest Orient Logo. The message "This headset was sterilized for your protection" was also printed.

I experienced "Regal Imperial Service" on the MSP-SEA leg of my August 27, 1982 journey from PA to Anchorage, AK (I was 16 yrs. old, then). Interestingly, the headphones were collected upon arrival at SEA but not distributed on the flight to ANC (to this day, I can't understand why, maybe a shortage of headsets or something. Also, there were no head sets on the PHL-DTW-MSP portion of the flight; just MSP-SEA). The pax who boarded were a bit disgruntled at not having headsets while some who were on the flight when it landed at SEA did (I turned my head set in as requested). I didn't care. Flying on a DC-10-40 at age 16 - alone was, well, something else  Smile. This is a good trip down memory lane, indeed  Smile

http://cgi.ebay.com/Rare-Old-Northwe...dZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

http://cgi.ebay.com/Northwest-Orient...dZ1QQcmdZViewItem#ebayphotohosting

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Mr. Eastern1985, your posts, thus far, have been great  bigthumbsup . Keep up the good work!  Smile

Good Day to all  Smile

Russell
Things aren't always as they seem
 
amhilde
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 6:45 pm

I was very young, but flying every summer ANC-ORD is one of the reasons Im a big airplane person today.

NW took us to Anchorage when we moved there from Kohler, WI in 1979. I was only 2, but according to my mother, the future mayor of Anchorage (who was sitting next to her) helped hold me when she had to get things together before and after the flight.

Every summer we flew home for a few months, and it had to have been ORD because I remember Ohare parking quite clearly and its still the same today. I remember the flights being long, I remember a staircase on the plane a few times- so it must have been one of the 747s. I also remember the old bulkhead seats, the headphones, and the horrible movie screens, which at the time seemed so cool. I must have received a pin at some time from an F/A because i still have it!
Hang on tightly, Let go lightly
 
Billy
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:04 pm

I took a trip to the US using their unlimited standby tickets that they sold in Europe. $298 got you as many rides on NW in a calendar month as long as you arrived on an international ticket. It also covered PSA so I went up and down the West Coast. It also covered Canada so I got to go to YEG and YYZ too.

We used to time flights at meal times as they still served decent food.

You had to be flexible as I often did not get to where I was headed, but I managed about 20 flights in a two week period.

The way flights are packed nowadays I cannot see this working anymore.
 
flynlr
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 7:33 pm

1988 going from narita to SFO i was 1 of about 50 peeps on a 742 I had about 5 dollars to my name and the stewerdas kept bringing me free beer for the flight.
needless to say I took a whole center row to myself and crashed after a lot of booze.
The Right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed
 
ImperialEagle
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:31 pm

In the early 80's airline competition within the state of Florida was really hot. Air Florida was really leading the pack in frequency, but the LC's weren't having any of it if they could help it. You could always find a big bird to fly on between Florida city pairs for the same price as Air Florida was getting for a ticket on one of their DC-9's or 732's.

I was living in Tampa at the time and would commute to MIA often. NW was using DC-10-40's between TPA and MIA at AF airfares! Yeah baby! The '10's had fairly good load factors southbound but were rarely full northbound.

The take-off (blast-off) from MIA NEVER dissapointed. It was the closest thing I ever had to a ride on the Space Shuttle! (Well, except for some flights on the 720B's but thats another story!) Awesome!! Oh the deck angle!

If we were really lucky we got to thread our way through some kool thunderstorms along the way----one could always count on it when arriving in TPA late on a summers afternoon. WOW what a ride! (The AF L-188's were great for that too!).

Those were the days!
"If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough!"
 
masseybrown
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:33 am

I flew business class from Manila to New York in the early 80's. The Manila-Tokyo leg was fairly basic - a slightly bigger seat and no crowds; the meal service was unspectacular. Tokyo to New York was much better; the business section wasn't crowded and NW gave us (myself, wife, and two small children) the whole upper cabin on a 747-100, to keep potentially obnoxious, screaming kids away from the regular folks. Food was quite good and so were the kids, who thought of the plane as a giant playpen.

I remember that biz class was only $110 more than economy and definitely worth it.
 
whisperingiant
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:20 am

Eastern1985:

Yeah, the menu cards were used on international flights and featured two choices of entree!!

The headsets were the tube type and, as NWOrientDC-10 says, they were handed out (for a fee!!) in bags with NWA logos and the sterilised message.

Later headsets were of the electronic type and my dad used to save them for me to plug into my personal stereo. There was a time when Regal Imperial pax used to get electronic headphones and coach pax still got tubes! They ran two different systems for a while, I'm sure.

Sadly, I no longer have any tube headphones and the only remaining pair of 'proper' ones I have are JAL ones.

NWOrientDC-10:

It was 1984 and Katrina - unbeknown to us - had won the Eurovision Song Contest or something like that! I don't still have the inflight mag from that flight to confirm!

The soap may well have been Camay - bloody well smells strong enough! - but as I only have three bars left I'm loath to unwrap one to find out. The reverse side of the wrapper reads:

" SERVING THE U.S.
(Including Alaska and Hawaii)
CANADA - THE ORIENT - EUROPE"

To anyone still interested:

I can recommend "Flight To The Top" by Kenneth D. Ruble and "Northwest Orient" by Bill Yenne, for the NWA fan's bookshelf.

A quick glance into the boxfile in which I have preserved some 1980s inflight menus revealed that I have three of the ones Eastern1985 asked about and a number of other NWA ones from Regal Imperial First and Business Class which my dad saved for me.

Bizarrely, (Eastern1985, I do hope you laugh at this!) opening the boxfile revealed that I'd saved a plastic meal tray, with an NWA-logo'd sheet of paper on it. I'd forgotten about that...

More bizarrely, I seem also to have an NWA 747 safety card. Er, oops.

Even more bizarrely, I still seem to have an unused pack of 'Northwest' logo'd paper drink napkins in my bottom desk drawer. They date from around 1987.

I'm getting worried about myself here!!

Goodwill to all,

--+-+-wg-+-+--
"So quiet, you can hear the fizz in your drink..."
 
spartanmjf
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:27 am

Your choice of white wine or champagne served with sushi as a part of a special MENU on a flight from DCA to BOS in, I think, 1987 - the aircraft was a brand new 757.
"Nuts to the man in 21D!"
 
chrisjake
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Sat Jul 15, 2006 8:47 am

my memories go back into the '70s. my best friend's father was a NWO mechanic at CLE. i remember them flying DC-10's into CLE from ORD, BOS, and PHL. how BIG they looked from the ramp!

i also remember them having a route called the "Polar Express" or something like that. it was middle of the night 747 service between MSP-MKE-DTW-JFK and back. i could be wrong here, but i think it may have only operated during the winter months thus its name. flights 221/220 i believe.

Northwest Orient Airlines, the world is going our way!


chris
 
FI642
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:38 am

My first memory of Northwest Orient, was a DC-10-40 diversion, seeing that
plane on the ramp in the rain, and thinking "wow what a neat airline."

I do remember they told the passengers they could get off- but not their bags.
.... this was in 1983, so there was no PPBM.

OH, and the TV commercials bragging "We wash our planes every 90 days."
737MAX, Cool Planes for the Worlds Coolest Airline.
 
RC135U
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Sat Jul 15, 2006 10:06 am

Quoting ImperialEagle (Reply 16):
(Well, except for some flights on the 720B's but thats another story

Always loved those NW 720Bs - seemed to leap into the air. For a short time in the late 60's or early 70's (maybe someone here can find a timetable) they had 5 abreast in coach. It was wonderful.
 
Tango-Bravo
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:07 am

My NW flights during the 1980s:

1981 MSP-LAX 747-135 (ex-National)
1981 SFO-MSP 727-100 ("redeye" flight)
1982 MSP-GFK-YWG 727-200
1984 MSP-MDW 727-200
1987 MSP-PHL DC-9-31 N919RW (ex-Republic in hybrid interim livery)
1987 PHL-MSP 727-200

My overall travel memories on Northwest in the '80s are of basic, reliable airline service where the service in flight and on the ground was nothing special, albeit adequate and predictable. Staff were widely reputed to have indifferent attitudes toward customers although I remember staff that were efficient and professional. Likewise, people in the MSP area (where I lived throughout the 1980s) were mostly indifferent about Northwest, with some having more negative opinions of the airline they called "Northworst."
 
theLUREnyc
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Sat Jul 15, 2006 11:54 am

I was a FA for a regional carrier back in the 80s and when we used to pass thru BOS and LGA, seeing NW planes (just across from us in BOS) and in LGA (in the same terminal as us) in the wild hybrid schemes that were a cross between RC (both old and their newer liveries) and NW could be very entertaining.

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And, not that I saw it in BOS or LGA, but MAINLINE NW flying this:

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But when I saw the first DC-9 in the true NW livery (of the time, the "classic" one, i thought ... WOW-that looks hot!

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masseybrown
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:22 pm

Quoting Tango-Bravo (Reply 23):
Staff were widely reputed to have indifferent attitudes toward customers although I remember staff that were efficient and professional.

So do I. That indifferent attitude does seem to be their current reputation; but I don't know, since I haven't flown them in a long time.
 
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flybynight
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:35 pm

I'll never forget the hot red headed flight attendent I spoke to a lot on a long flight from JFK to Narita. The 744 was brand new too. I believe the flight was in 1989.
Heia Norge!
 
stirling
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RE: Your Memories Of Northwest Orient In The 80's

Sat Jul 15, 2006 4:42 pm

My very first experience with Big Red came, trying to avoid Big Red.

My home at the time was Grand Forks ND, and for whatever reason, like all the big airlines, there were a few odd routes here and there.
For Northwest Orient, it was the Grand Forks-Winnipeg route.

My destination: London, but the routing through MSP and JFK, with some interline comedy thrown in for good measure, the fare came to over $900; a lot of money for a kid in 1983.

A clever travel agent advised me that if I combined NW with NordAir and Air Canada, and some more stops too....I could have a fare of around $700.
I jumped at the chance....even though the money equalled one and half times my monthly salary.....yet, keen shoppers today can still find a transAtlantic fare of the same price.

That was the first time, and last time I ever flew Big Red, 28 minutes across the prairie to save over $200.

The event is vivid in my memory because of the news that day being KAL007.

As for the NW flight, I could sit where I wanted, and the flight attendants didn't come round to collect the rubbish before landing. Other than that, a very unremarkable flight.
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