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
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!