Tom in NO
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Nov 11, 1999 10:10 am

Ruminating About The Good Old Days

Mon Sep 18, 2000 4:59 am

Am I the only one out there that longs for the old days, when air travel was actually a lot of fun, and the airlines were much more colorful, and we had so many more options with the airlines?

What happened to the days of Braniff, the old National, Piedmont, Western, Ozark, Hughes Air West, PSA, Air Cal, Air Florida, Pan Am, Eastern, Texas International, the old Frontier, etc? (sigh)  

Tom in NO (at MSY)

"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
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RE: Ruminating About The Good Old Days

Mon Sep 18, 2000 6:32 am


These are just situations where heads rule over hearts. Ugly economics, friend, ugly economics. Maybe some day people will learn that there's far more to life that that ol' BOTTOM LINE. Ther are so many values and virtues that just transcend monetary value--someday we will see the right picture.

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RE: Ruminating About The Good Old Days

Mon Sep 18, 2000 8:06 am

I think it's always been economics.
It was a different world then with fewer passengers and regulated routes with no Flight attendant unions, etc etc.
What choice do you have besides the bottom line? Running an airline is a business. Some carriers do it well and with aplomb providing profits to shareholders as well as good service to passengers, while others are a flying disgrace.
Unfortunately, airlines like TWA and Continental had to go through the disgraceful financial antics of the likes of Frank Lorenzo and Carl Icahn.
Atheism is Myth Understood.
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RE: Ruminating About The Good Old Days

Mon Sep 18, 2000 8:50 am

Also, these are the good old days too. Someday we'll be saying, "Remember when Boeing and Airbus were two separate companies--and Delta and TWA existed instead of Trans-Delta?"

Our fathers remember American Airways and people like Jack Frye. They lament those "good old days."

But personally I would like to be rich, healthy and living in the US in 1962. I'd fly Delta's 880s, American's 990s, Western's 720s and PSA's L-188 Electras. My favorite show would be Dick VanDyke--and I'd live in sleepy sunny San Diego.



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RE: Ruminating About The Good Old Days

Mon Sep 18, 2000 10:20 am

Not to mention the sounds of that great era. All gone now because of a few poor misguided souls who buy near an airport then complain about the sound. Hey, that gives me an idea for a new thread.

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RE: Ruminating About The Good Old Days

Tue Sep 19, 2000 5:35 am


I'm like you in being frustrated with the fact that few on this board seem to have a desire to learn about the industry as it once was.

I'm only 31, but I can remember as a kid seeing all those multi-colored 727s parked around Terminal A at IAH. On the other side of the ramp were a bunch of 727s, DC-9s and L-1011s with Ionosphere and Carribbean blue hockey sticks painted on them. At 10:30 every night, (you could set your clock by it) my house shook as a PA 707 freighter was on short final for 14L. My most vivid memory is that of my first commercial flight HOU-STL on an OZ DC-9-40. (you could see the faded Japanese flag and reg. on the right wing) Those were the days when the word "peanuts" was most associated with TI, not WN.

Even at that time, I was interested in reading about the old days and people like Trippe, Woolman, Bob Six, Captain Eddie and many others. Although fate led me to a career outside the industry, my interest in it has never wavered. (especially after marrying a third generation airline employee)

I just wish all those kids posting the Airbus/Boeing flame wars or 50 reasons why NW should dump their DC-9s and -10s would take time to learn about how we got to where we are.

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RE: Ruminating About The Good Old Days

Tue Sep 19, 2000 6:46 am

Well, you can appreciate the older 707s and DC-8s for what they were, and understand why Braniff and National and even venerable old PanAm went under without assuming that the good old days have any relevance today. The aviation industry is in constant flux. Personally, I liked the early 80s when you had a much larger choice of widebodies for transcon flights unlike the A320s or 757s that ply those routes today. But you learn to accept the times. We may have fewer airlines, but we do have more technologically advanced planes, safer planes and cheaper fares. The average fare has gone down by 40% since deregulation factoring annual inflation.

In 50 years, who knows? We may be flying supersonic planes transcon in 1.5 hours !!!
I'll be 80, but can't wait for that !!
Atheism is Myth Understood.
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RE: Ruminating About The Good Old Days

Tue Sep 19, 2000 7:09 am

I too miss the days when air travel was an event. We got dressed in our Sunday best to fly and got pampered while on even the shortest routes. Now air travel is a process.

It all comes down to $$. We wanted cheaper flights and we wanted the government off of our backs. We got what we asked for and now we are "walking freight".

Give me a 707-320, a DC-8-50, a Super VC-10, a CV-990 and a 727-100. Throw in an Electra, a DC-6B, a Convair 580 and maybe a Super Constellation for good measure. Park me on an outdoor observation deck with a good view of the active runway and a chance to whiff some jet fuel/AVGas and hear some PW's and Wright's and Allison's.

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RE: Ruminating About The Good Old Days

Tue Sep 19, 2000 1:19 pm

I still long for the days of North Central Airlines and Southern Airways...and, yes, not to mention Republic Airlines.

Aviation is proof that, given the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible.

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