N62NA
Topic Author
Posts: 4011
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:05 am

25 Years Of Progress (?)

Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:33 pm

As we head into 2012, it's always fun to look back and see how far we have come. For example, on EWR-ORD 25 years ago AA flew DC-10s, today it's CR7s.

Yes, we've gone from this:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stefan Ottosson



to this:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andy Egloff




:-(

[Edited 2011-12-28 14:38:52]
 
VonRichtofen
Posts: 4262
Joined: Sun Nov 05, 2000 3:10 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:35 pm

True, but air fares relative to costs and inflation have gone from this: $$$$$$$$$$$$ to this: $$$
 
User avatar
beachbum1970
Posts: 88
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2011 1:24 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:55 pm

Also, from Concordes and wide-bodies crossing the Atlantic back to narrow-body 757s. One thing they got right though: NO SMOKING!
 
flymia
Posts: 6810
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 4:50 am

I agree with cabin service with food and I'm guessing leg room. But IFE is 100% better and the most important thing of all.
SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY. It has never been safer to fly on an airplane and it continues to become safer. That is what matters most. Along with much more fuel efficient airplanes I think progress has been great besides for some cabin service items. Even then first class 25 years ago is no where near as nice as first now.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
FlyASAGuy2005
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:03 am

LF also averaged 60-70% on any given segment and said DC-10s most likey continued somewhere. There are far more non-stop options today than 25 years ago and I think people don't take this into consideration when talking about a/c size. "Yesterday" there were more XXX-XXX-XXX (and even an additional XXX) than all the non-stop options we have available today. And I will have to second

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 1):

Relative to inflation, air travel has essentially gotten cheaper. $150, 20 years ago was more more money than $150 today. I can do JFK-SFO rt for $340 all in, for travel in 2 weeks. I may be of a new generaton but i'm still not sold on the whole "mainline vs RJ" thing. As long as the thing will get me there safely, I really don't care and quite frankly, I'll take a CRJ-200 on certain routes over a pakced 737 in the middle seat.
What gets measured gets done.
 
stratosphere
Posts: 1062
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:45 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:05 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 3):
I agree with cabin service with food and I'm guessing leg room. But IFE is 100% better and the most important thing of all.
SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY. It has never been safer to fly on an airplane and it continues to become safer. That is what matters most. Along with much more fuel efficient airplanes I think progress has been great besides for some cabin service items. Even then first class 25 years ago is no where near as nice as first now.

IFE may be better but thats it.... As far as first class depends on the airline. As far as travel no way is it better today. I wish I could go back in time. Travel today thanks to the radical islamists is miserable at best. I just flew last week to RSW from MEM and in MEM we have a full body scanner so I empty all my pockets take my shoes off belt off and expose myself to the scanner and I forgot a tissue paper in my pocket so now I get not only a radiation scan but now I get a full pat down on top of it.. I was so pissed and I am a pretty reasonable person and always go through the motions. I will tell you what I will not fly anymore out of MEM. I will drive to LIT or BNA or drive all together. Yeah flying is a real joy now...NOT!!!!! And what do you know about first class 25 yrs ago you are in the 21 to 25 age bracket on your profile so how can you make any kind of judgement.

[Edited 2011-12-28 21:09:47]

[Edited 2011-12-28 21:13:37]
 
FlyASAGuy2005
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:09 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 3):
Even then first class 25 years ago is no where near as nice as first now.



Please see my above post. I'm right with you but i'd have to disagree here. Heck, I can remember getting a FULL HOT MEAL on ATL-MCO. DL use to serve a small side salad alongside their awful smelling garlic lasagna. It would light up the whole a/c when they got the ovens going! Keep in mind this was just Y; a full hot meal on a 1 hr flight in Y. Domestic F use to truly be a first class experience. The "bells and whistles" has improved but the core experience is much different and very much lacking.

[Edited 2011-12-28 21:12:29]
What gets measured gets done.
 
N62NA
Topic Author
Posts: 4011
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:05 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:16 pm

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 5):
And what do you know about first class 25 yrs ago you are in the 21 to 25 age bracket on your profile so how can you make any kind of judgement.

A little snippy there, no? Anyway, anyone who has even just one eye can use the a.net database and look at pics of F going back 10, 20, 30 and 40 years and compare them to today's "sky suites" and realize that F is in many ways better today than in the past.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 23213
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 3:32 pm

In addition to what FlyASAGuy2005 noted in Reply 4, I expect EWR and ORD also drew from a much larger geographic area that didn't have more convenient options for air service. The Airline Deregulation Act had also been in effect for less than a decade so I expect that travel options between city-pairs were much more restrictive then as opposed to now.
 
flymia
Posts: 6810
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2001 6:33 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:19 pm

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 5):

I said food and service WERE better back then. But you can't compare reclining seats with lie flat first class suites we have now. I know what first class was like 25 years ago because I have flown on planes which have not change in 25 years. I have seen pictures. If you read what I wrote I said service and food were better.

Again though I will take our improved safety and cheaper flights over how it was 25 years ago. A major fatal incident every year, Highjackings were not unusual, and the technology was no where near the level it is at today. It's been a give and take.
"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
 
gunsontheroof
Posts: 3226
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2006 8:30 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 5:25 pm

If you could find a way to keep widebody service on a domestic route like this with today's fuel prices/market, you wouldn't be wasting your time posting nostalgia threads on a.net. This has nothing to do with "progress"--it's simple economics. We all love domestic widebodies/supersonic pond-hops/all 747 for everything, but those days are gone forever. Don't like it?--try talking the flying public into paying at least twice what they're paying now for an ORD-EWR ticket. Let us know how that works out.
 
User avatar
PeterJ
Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2010 2:41 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:20 pm

Defining progress is a pesky thing isn't it? It is all on how you look at it. To the person who prefers a lot of frequencies, than a tremendous amount of progress has been made.

Quoting VonRichtofen (Reply 1):
True, but air fares relative to costs and inflation have gone from this: $$$$$$$$$$$$ to this: $$$

This is the biggest one to me. Air travel is no longer just for the elite. Last year I took a day trip to Los Angeles from Massachusetts, something I don't think would have been easy 25 years ago.

I will throw my two cents in on wide vs narrow body: I have flown domestically on wide bodies on UA, and AC. I suppose it felt more spacious but the experience was no different. In fact I will take a UA 319 over a ratty 767 any day.

Everything is always going to change, sometimes for good, sometimes for bad. Everyone is always going to have their own opinion. (If that weren't the case we wouldn't have reason to come on here and talk about it all the time!)
 
mikey72
Posts: 1439
Joined: Tue Oct 06, 2009 1:31 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:44 pm

Quoting flymia (Reply 3):
Even then first class 25 years ago is no where near as nice as first now.

I'm not so sure about that. The seat/suite maybe more comfortable but the glamour is gone...on any airline. Just ask anyone that was crew 25 years ago.

Actually the further you go back the better it gets....(maybe more than 25 years though you think)....

Flying is like sex - I've never had all I wanted but occasionally I've had all I can stand.
 
BMI727
Posts: 11123
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2009 9:29 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:53 pm

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 5):
As far as first class depends on the airline.

Go back an look at business and first class seats as recently as 2000 or so. We are miles ahead of that now.

Quoting Gunsontheroof (Reply 10):
This has nothing to do with "progress"--it's simple economics.

  
Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
 
ckfred
Posts: 4736
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:42 pm

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 5):
...NOT!!!!! And what do you know about first class 25 yrs ago you are in the 21 to 25 age bracket on your profile so how can you make any kind of judgement.

First isn't as good as it was 10 years ago. Now, serving carts are typical. Before 9/11, the F/As carried trays from the galley to the seats. It's been since the late 90s that AA offered filet mignon as a dinner entree in domestic first. And with the tightenting of the turnaround at airports, it's hit or miss on predeparture beverage.


Quoting stratosphere (Reply 5):
As far as travel no way is it better today. I wish I could go back in time. Travel today thanks to the radical islamists is miserable at best. I just flew last week to RSW from MEM and in MEM we have a full body scanner so I empty all my pockets take my shoes off belt off and expose myself to the scanner and I forgot a tissue paper in my pocket so now I get not only a radiation scan but now I get a full pat down on top of it.

I agree. Once I got one thigh patted down after going through the body scanner, and I had removed everything from my pockets, including such non-metallic items as my Chapstick and my hankerchief. My guess is that a seam in my pant leg was rolled over about halfway down, and the screener or machine saw that as some kind of anamoly.
 
LAXDESI
Posts: 2775
Joined: Sat May 14, 2005 8:13 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 7:46 pm

Nearly thirty years years ago, I flew MAA-SFO RT on PanAm for about $1,000. I had to fly MAA-HYD-DEL on Indian Airlines, with an overnight stop in DEL due to late arrival of flight. I then took the DEL-stop in Pakistan-FRA-LAX-SFO on PanAm. It was one long flight as we missed the FRA-LAX flight due to late arrival of DEL-FRA flight and had to stay overnight at FRA(at PanAm's expense).

I am sure one could get RT MAA-SFO for about $1,800. Assuming an average inflation rate of 3% over the last 30 years, the current fare in real terms is less than what I paid nearly thirty years ago. This is before one assigns value to time lost on multi-stop flights.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 23213
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 8:49 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 14):
(Domestic) First isn't as good as it was 10 years ago.

So true.  
 
RamblinMan
Posts: 785
Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:57 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:12 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 14):
First isn't as good as it was 10 years ago.

Who cares? The only routes long enough where it even matters are ones where they use international birds anyhow. And you can talk about better service and catering all day long...guess you need that when you have to sit up for 10 hours because the flat-bed seat won't be introduced for a while.

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 5):
And what do you know about first class 25 yrs ago you are in the 21 to 25 age bracket on your profile so how can you make any kind of judgement.

Nope, clearly nobody can form any kind of opinion on anything they did not experience first hand. This is why nobody knows anything about the Civil War, or believes any part the Bible.  
Quoting N62NA (Thread starter):
on EWR-ORD 25 years ago AA flew DC-10s, today it's CR7s.

And I don't care for CRJs of any variety either, but when you can fly that route roundtrip for around $120 all-in, I really couldn't care less.
 
ORDJOE
Posts: 648
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 2:27 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 9:36 pm

I will say international F or J has been as good as it has ever been (at least on foreign carriers). On flyertalk there is a thread where people either scanned or transcribed the menus from flights in the good old days (even F menus on airlines that no longer offer F like PR, KL etc). In all honesty it is very similar to what is offered today. Lounges are far better today than back in the 60's.

You have to understand though that what the airlines did back then was unsustainable into more modern times, health care was nothing, retirement obligations were low, and the biggest factor JET FUEL. Crude was usually less than $20 (in 2010 dollars) a barrel until the 70's. Ticket prices have stayed the same but one of the biggest expenses essentially quintupled these years, somthing has to give. It is also for that reason why they do not fly half empty wide bodies on relatively short domestic routes.

There were aspects to flying back in the day that were awesome ( I would love to be able to smoke after a nice dinner in F), but I would rather have a sustainable industry where regular people like me can afford to fly to all reaches of the globe.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 10:03 pm

Quoting ckfred (Reply 14):

I fly domestic first quite a bit and to be fair, I've never seen any carrier I fly on pull carts in the aisle to serve food. It can take quite a while to get served on a 757 or 767 but its still about perception.
What gets measured gets done.
 
User avatar
Stitch
Posts: 23213
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:26 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Thu Dec 29, 2011 11:48 pm

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 19):
I fly domestic first quite a bit and to be fair, I've never seen any carrier I fly on pull carts in the aisle to serve food. It can take quite a while to get served on a 757 or 767 but its still about perception.

I've seen desert carts brought out, but never for the appetizer / meal. As you noted, those are always served directly by tray from the galley.
 
delimit
Posts: 759
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:08 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Fri Dec 30, 2011 12:01 am

Weird. Cart service is considered more refined by many, unless you are referring to pre-prepared all on one tray with racked trays a la Y carts.

Having an array of dishes that you mix and match from is a bit old-fashioned. I think that actually appeals to a lot of people.

Also, I think it's pretty hard to make generalizations as US/EU domestic and international service levels have diverged so sharply. I think that was much less the case 25 years ago.

[Edited 2011-12-29 16:03:55]
 
stratosphere
Posts: 1062
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:45 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:36 am

Quoting N62NA (Reply 7):
A little snippy there, no? Anyway, anyone who has even just one eye can use the a.net database and look at pics of F going back 10, 20, 30 and 40 years and compare them to today's "sky suites" and realize that F is in many ways better today than in the past.

Yep agree sky suites are cool but that is international first..But I stand by my statement travel was better in the past. I cant stand flying anymore and that wasn't the case when I was flying in the 70's and 80's.
 
stratosphere
Posts: 1062
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 12:45 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:57 am

Quoting flymia (Reply 9):
Again though I will take our improved safety and cheaper flights over how it was 25 years ago. A major fatal incident every year, Highjackings were not unusual, and the technology was no where near the level it is at today. It's been a give and take.

Will agree technology has made travel safer. We have TCAS and GPWS and great autopilot systems now. But we had hijackings way back then but it was pretty straight forward they wanted to go to Cuba and were not looking to down the aircraft like today. I don't know all I know is for me it is not fun anymore. Even airplanes today are boring all twin jets. I am glad I got to ride the 707's and DC-8's and the L1011 and DC-10 and 727. I remember you could go anywhere when I worked for NW it was mainline a/c now today it is all RJ's. Nope flying today you can have it....
 
FlyASAGuy2005
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Fri Dec 30, 2011 6:30 am

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 23):

Ill take it . And to much contention of others, my favorite a/c is the CR7. Nothing sweeter than hearing those engines spool up then down to idle from the outside if your close. It gives off a very distinctive hum/shrill noise that I can't even describe but guys that are around the 7s/9s will know what I'm talking about.
What gets measured gets done.
 
PITrules
Posts: 2109
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 11:27 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Fri Dec 30, 2011 7:32 am

Quoting N62NA (Thread starter):

Care to look at those pics again?

In the DC-10 pic, I see 8 across seating with no overhead bins for the poor souls confined to the middle section. Overall, 2 bins per 8 people across. Whereas the CRJ has 2 bins for every 4 people across. Furthermore, I know I can intentionally stuff the crap out of my bags on an RJ flight, knowing full well it won't meet carry on criteria.. only to have it tagged so I can meet it plane side by the time I get off - as opposed to going to baggage claim.

Plus the seats look more comfy, and everyone has either an aisle or window on the RJ
FLYi
 
FlyASAGuy2005
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Fri Dec 30, 2011 1:47 pm

Quoting PITrules (Reply 25):
Care to look at those pics again?

In the DC-10 pic, I see 8 across seating with no overhead bins for the poor souls confined to the middle section. Overall, 2 bins per 8 people across. Whereas the CRJ has 2 bins for every 4 people across. Furthermore, I know I can intentionally stuff the crap out of my bags on an RJ flight, knowing full well it won't meet carry on criteria.. only to have it tagged so I can meet it plane side by the time I get off - as opposed to going to baggage claim.

Plus the seats look more comfy, and everyone has either an aisle or window on the RJ

"Roll-aboards" did not even exist at the time this pic was taken. The only thing going in those bins were coats, hats, purses, and briefcases. So, centerline bins were not needed and was a new concept.

[Edited 2011-12-30 05:49:53]
What gets measured gets done.
 
tharanga
Posts: 426
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:29 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Sat Dec 31, 2011 2:12 am

Why do people get so emotional about taking widebodies? The comfort of your particular seat is more important than how wide the plane is. After all, people were flying long haul in 707s in the days that people are nostalgic for.
 
N62NA
Topic Author
Posts: 4011
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:05 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Sat Dec 31, 2011 5:34 pm

Quoting tharanga (Reply 27):
Why do people get so emotional about taking widebodies? The comfort of your particular seat is more important than how wide the plane is. After all, people were flying long haul in 707s in the days that people are nostalgic for.

Not so.

If you put an AA flagship suite in an ERJ-135 you would still realize you are in a very narrow tube. A standard coach seat in a widebody is a standard coach seat in a more spacious setting - something almost as wide as most people's living rooms.

Psychologicallly, there is a big difference.
 
sandyb123
Posts: 750
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:29 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:21 am

Quoting ckfred (Reply 14):

Maybe on north amercican domestic but in the rest of the world (especially in the east) this isn't the case.

I personally feel that flying in all cabins is better than it was, although I have no personal experience past about 20 years I can remember).

The airport experience has changed a lot. Both security wise and commercially.

Sandyb123
Member of the mile high club
 
tharanga
Posts: 426
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:29 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:26 am

Quoting N62NA (Reply 28):

Not so.

If you put an AA flagship suite in an ERJ-135 you would still realize you are in a very narrow tube. A standard coach seat in a widebody is a standard coach seat in a more spacious setting - something almost as wide as most people's living rooms.

Psychologicallly, there is a big difference.

So people hate flying in private jets?

I think a CRJ-700 in a two-across cabin would be quite a nice ride.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree.
 
N62NA
Topic Author
Posts: 4011
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:05 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Sun Jan 01, 2012 12:32 am

Quoting tharanga

So people hate flying in private jets?

I think a CRJ-700 in a two-across cabin would be quite a nice ride.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree.

There's private jets...


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Chris de Stefani - airphototicino




and then there's private jets:



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © David Channon




But you're right. It's a very subjective call.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sun Sep 23, 2007 4:55 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Sun Jan 01, 2012 4:38 am

Quoting N62NA (Reply 31):

...and then there's private jets

Ha!! Child's play.. Trump hasn't quite graduated to Roman's level 
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Eerebout Stefaan

What gets measured gets done.
 
UAL747
Posts: 6725
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 1999 5:42 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:03 am

You could also say we've gone from this:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dave Mills - Visual Approach



to this:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Stuart Lawson [Airplane-Pictures]


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Sam Chui


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andrew Hunt - AirTeamImages


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gabriel Savit - AirTeamImages



As for aircraft size, while many of us here are nostalgic about the days when you could fly a DC-10 on an ORD-PHX flight with United when it wasn't even hub-to-hub, but the market has gone toward frequency over capacity. This started in the US and is melting all over the world. Not to mention airlines are having to watch wasteful spending more than ever after deregulation. Advances in aircraft have made them many times more economical, many times more safe, hardly ever a crash, and more comfortable to fly in, ie moving maps, personal TV's, inflight WiFi, bars again on planes, the worlds most powerful engines while also being the quietest and most fuel efficient. I'd say we've come a LONG way in 25 years and it will only get better. It may still be a flying tube with wings, whatever size, and it may be smaller on some markets, but it is the consumer who has driven the industry, you and me, not manufacturers or airlines.

UAL
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
nonrevman
Posts: 1258
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2001 6:33 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Sun Jan 01, 2012 9:30 pm

Quoting N62NA (Thread starter):
Why do people get so emotional about taking widebodies? The comfort of your particular seat is more important than how wide the plane is. After all, people were flying long haul in 707s in the days that people are nostalgic for.

The widebody probably provides the illusion of more space since it is such a large airplane compared to the rest. You are right though, they offer no more space in the seat than a narrowbody. The luster of flying in a widebody soon fades, especially if you are in a middle seat on a long flight.

I have traveled by air since childhood, therefore have experienced quite a few of the changes in the airline industry. My main observations:

(1) International first/business travel is much improved, especially in the seat itself. The IFE is great, and the ability to fully recline is valued. I remember when the first class seats for transoceanic were no different than the ones for domestic first class.

(2) The food quality seems to have declined, at least on US carriers. In an effort to cut costs, the airlines seem to have trimmed the quality of food served, even in first class. As a poster noted, filet mignon has all but vanished.

(3) Speaking of food, I too remember the meals served on ATL-MCO flights, and can even remember breakfast being served on morning AUS-DFW flights. This is now unheard of in the US. Elsewhere in the world, meals on short flights are still around.

(4) Travel in coach has drastically declined with the exception of IFE. When I was a kid, you had free checked luggage, assigned seating with a choice of almost any unbooked seat, a meal on a flight of any significant length, pillows, blankets, playing cards, and the whole attitude towards air travel was different.

(5) I do remember air travel to be prohibitively expensive for many, especially in the 1970's. When someone traveled, it was a family experience even for those not flying. Remember when the whole family left or met you at the gate? Even if you were not flying, the experience of going to the airport was exciting for many. Picking up Grandpa was a great excuse to go to the gate and have a look around. In the last ten years, I think that neither the airfares nor the service provided has improved. Ancillary fees now charged were supposedly meant to provide an opportunity for people who do not need the "extras" to get a lower fare. This has not seemed to happen. I would dare say that adjusted to inflation, pares are higher now, even without considering the extra charges for services that were once complimentary.

(6) Once upon a time, you could fly twice the speed of sound over the Atlantic and get there in a few hours. Now, this is not possible. I only mentioned this because I have not seen the Concorde aspect mentioned  

Overall, I would say that progress or regress really depends on where you sit and the airline you have chosen.
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Sun Jan 01, 2012 11:33 pm

Quoting nonrevman (Reply 34):

(6) Once upon a time, you could fly twice the speed of sound over the Atlantic and get there in a few hours. Now, this is not possible.

It's absolutely possible. It's just economically out of reach of nearly everyone. People keep bringing Concorde up as some kind of example of technology issue today; it's *purely* an economic problem.

Tom.
 
tharanga
Posts: 426
Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:29 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Mon Jan 02, 2012 12:06 am

Quoting nonrevman (Reply 34):
The luster of flying in a widebody soon fades, especially if you are in a middle seat on a long flight.

Agreed - I thought the middle seat of the middle section on a 2-5-2 economy section in a L-1011 was quite miserable, so having that gone seems like progress to me.

Also, it takes some time to board and unboard a widebody - that time is fine when the flight time is relatively long, but on a shorter flight, it seems silly.


In terms of progress, I'd like to see a comprehensive comparison of airfares between the present day and earlier eras. I've seen some basic comparisons based on average fares, but a lot gets lost in averages - wildly differing fare buckets, levels of services, etc. Though the basic message seems to be that flying is cheaper now than it ever was in the 1960s and 1970s, even allowing for bag fees.
 
delimit
Posts: 759
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:08 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:33 am

The perception of decline of Y has far more to do with full cabins than it does with the lack of amenities. Flying Y is miserable because nowadays it's always so damn full. And many of my fellow passengers are honestly not people I'd choose to spend 5 hours with normally.

Back in the glory days the only time you saw full planes were the holidays.

The food was generally terrible (although I do remember Pan Am doing a fantastic deli spread in one of the galleys on the LAX - JFK red eye), even if it was free. The free drinks were nice for those of us who can handle their liquour. I do miss those. Seat pitch wasn't much better then than it is now.

The crews were friendlier, but then they had time to be. A full plane doesn't leave the crew much time to socialize.

And as for filet mignon, they always over-cooked it anyway. And don't get me started on lobster...
 
N62NA
Topic Author
Posts: 4011
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:05 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:55 am

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 35):
It's absolutely possible. It's just economically out of reach of nearly everyone. People keep bringing Concorde up as some kind of example of technology issue today; it's *purely* an economic problem.

I believe he was saying the same thing as you.

Quoting tharanga (Reply 36):
I'd like to see a comprehensive comparison of airfares between the present day and earlier eras. I've seen some basic comparisons based on average fares, but a lot gets lost in averages - wildly differing fare buckets, levels of services, etc. Though the basic message seems to be that flying is cheaper now than it ever was in the 1960s and 1970s, even allowing for bag fees.

OAG, July 1, 1976 (all fare round-trip, one way is half of fare shown)

NYC - LAX:

F $602
Y $396

NYC - MIA:

F $308
Y $206

SYR - PHL:

F $106
Y $74

IND - STL:

F $108
Y $76

SEA-DEN:

F $294
Y $196

I have no idea how to adjust for inflation, but at least these numbers are a start.
 
N62NA
Topic Author
Posts: 4011
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:05 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:38 pm

Thanks to a.net member VonRichtofen here are what those 1976 fares would be in today's U.S. dollars:

NYC - LAX:

F $2,377
Y $1,563

NYC - MIA:

F $1,216
Y $813.53

SYR - PHL:

F $418
Y $292

IND - STL:

F $426
Y $300

SEA-DEN:

F $1,161
Y $774




And these days, the fares are (no advance purchase, roundtrip)

NYC - LAX:

F $6,218
Y $1,044

NYC - MIA:

F $1,870
Y $1,329

SYR - PHL:

F $1,728
Y $1,008

IND - STL:

F $1,055
Y $739

SEA-DEN:

F $1,020
Y $472
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 3948
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:57 pm

Quoting stratosphere (Reply 23):
Will agree technology has made travel safer. We have TCAS and GPWS and great autopilot systems now.

Thankfully, accidents like PSA 182, Aeromexico, DL 191 and AA 965 will probably never happen again in the developed world.

Yeah, and now it's EGPWS (as in "Enhanced") which is even better. Don't forget Predictive and Reactive Windshear systems too. And the industry isn't standing still. There have been numerous improvements in procedures and training, such as for on-board smoke/fire/fumes events (I personally helped develop this).

Right now, teams are working on technologies to prevent Runway Incursions (e.g. LIN, TFS), Wrong Runway Takeoffs (e.g. TPE and LEX) and Runway Excursions (e.g. KIN).

I don't like a lot of things these days like baggage fees and declining customer service in some cases, but there sure has been a lot of progress in the last 25 years for the most important thing - safety.
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Posts: 4991
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:12 pm

Quoting N62NA (Reply 39):
And these days, the fares are (no advance purchase, roundtrip)

But hardly anyone buys the walk-up fares you listed today. They are 2x to 4x the fares purchased by the vast majority of travelers, which are in discounted fare buckets that were not available back then. The difference in real travel costs for normal people is staggering, and is the biggest improvement from then to now.

Quoting flymia (Reply 9):
improved safety

   We're not paying enough attention to this one. With the rate of accidents in the '60s and '70s, a frequent flyer could expect to die in an air crash. Today, in first-world countries, the possibility is extremely remote even if you fly weekly or more.

Quoting N62NA (Thread starter):
For example, on EWR-ORD 25 years ago AA flew DC-10s, today it's CR7s.

But with vastly increased frequency, giving the passenger much more schedule flexibility.

Quoting beachbum1970 (Reply 2):
One thing they got right though: NO SMOKING!

     

I still have horrible memories of how I smelled after TATL trips in the '80s.
 
N62NA
Topic Author
Posts: 4011
Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2003 1:05 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:18 pm

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 41):
But with vastly increased frequency, giving the passenger much more schedule flexibility.

25 years ago AA had 6 nonstops EWR-ORD, 2 of which were DC-10s, 2 MD-80s and 2 727-200s. Today it's 8 CR7s.



Quoting seabosdca (Reply 41):
But hardly anyone buys the walk-up fares you listed today. They are 2x to 4x the fares purchased by the vast majority of travelers, which are in discounted fare buckets that were not available back then. The difference in real travel costs for normal people is staggering, and is the biggest improvement from then to now.

Yeah, but I figured in order to do an apples-to-apples I had to go with the full fare F/Y of today.
 
doulasc
Posts: 753
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:12 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:34 pm

if flight meals in Y,flying Delta,Eastern and TWA in my younger years in the 1970s.People complained about
airline food. I always thought meals were very satisfactory. for example on Eastern in Y, I had pancakes with apple topping,
baby smoked sausage links and a fruit garnish along with orange juice and coffee, I liked it,better than you would get at a diner. Delta and TWA had satisfactory meals also, But those days are gone, In 2009 flying Continental from ABQ-IAH morning flight I got beverage service and a muffin. for the flight from IAH-CMH it was lunch time and got a lunch box with a small sandwhich,chips and a cookie. sure its not what it use to be but I am not going to complain.
 
User avatar
seabosdca
Posts: 4991
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:33 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:38 pm

Quoting N62NA (Reply 42):
25 years ago AA had 6 nonstops EWR-ORD, 2 of which were DC-10s, 2 MD-80s and 2 727-200s. Today it's 8 CR7s.

Fair point. But this market is the worst-case scenario: one that has been increasingly dominated by stronger competition (UA/CO and now the new UA). Frequency has gotten much better over time.
 
AADC10
Posts: 1507
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 7:40 am

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:14 pm

Quoting N62NA (Thread starter):
Yes, we've gone from this:

Note that the DC-10 is eight abreast. While 25 years ago was a few years into deregulation, there was a steady slide toward 1991. There was a bounce back in the 1990s then decline again since 2001.

Quoting mikey72 (Reply 12):
Actually the further you go back the better it gets....(maybe more than 25 years though you think)....

There seems to have been an a series of arcs during the jet age, punctuated by a series of political events. Airlines that did not have jet service or were slow to transition compensated with additional services. The first jet arc ended during the oil embargo. The second ended with deregulation. The third ended at the first Iraq war and the most recent ended on 9/11/01. We are paying a lot less in airfares and as you should expect, we are getting a lot less service. For a while the legacy carriers cut fares and service eroded behind it so passengers were getting better value but the race to the bottom has mostly halted with the end of free-falling fares. We get what we pay for.
 
n92r03
Posts: 362
Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 10:46 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Wed Jan 04, 2012 1:50 am

I'm with all of you who remember flying a DL L-1011 from TPA to ATL or even LAX to SAN, those were the days. But, there were no 30 minute turns either. Or how about the AC 747 in the winter from YYZ to TPA?

What I have not read in this thread is the difference in people from then to now. I don't believe that suits and ties are necessary to travel as I believe in "dress comfort" as in slacks/jeans and a long sleeve shirt, but the way many people dress/carry themselves today is horrendous and just adds to the entire downgraded experience.

Yes, going through security is not too pleasant but honestly I have never had an issue as I make sure I'm prepared and usually help the person in front or behind me. A lot of people don't know what to expect...a little help goes a long way.

Being able to go safely to/from anywhere in the continental US for $400 or less with 1 or no stop is a deal.
 
Viscount724
Posts: 19065
Joined: Thu Oct 12, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:41 am

Quoting seabosdca (Reply 41):
Quoting N62NA (Thread starter):
For example, on EWR-ORD 25 years ago AA flew DC-10s, today it's CR7s.

But with vastly increased frequency, giving the passenger much more schedule flexibility.

Based on the February 1985 OAG (27 years ago) there were actually more daily flights (all carriers combined) EWR-ORD than today (27 vs. 23). And there were 6 widebodies a day in 1985 so total capacity was probably higher than now.

Feb/85 schedules EWR-ORD:

People Express - 13 daily (12 727-200, 1 737-100/200)
United - 6 daily (2 747-100, 3 DC-10, 1 DC-8-71)
American - 5 daily (1 767-200, 3 727-200, 1 MD-80)
TWA - 3 daily (2 727-200, 1 727-100)
 
doulasc
Posts: 753
Joined: Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:12 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:46 am

Quoting n92r03 (Reply 46):

I agree with you.In the 1950s when you traveled by air you had to dress like you were going to church.Today people get on the plane dressed for the beach.T shirt,shorts and sandals. Me I like to wear decent pair of blue jeans, a collard shirt and sneakers. Not dressed like I am taking the Greyhound bus.
 
BoeingGuy
Posts: 3948
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 6:01 pm

RE: 25 Years Of Progress (?)

Wed Jan 04, 2012 2:51 am

Quoting doulasc (Reply 48):
I agree with you.In the 1950s when you traveled by air you had to dress like you were going to church.Today people get on the plane dressed for the beach.T shirt,shorts and sandals. Me I like to wear decent pair of blue jeans, a collard shirt and sneakers. Not dressed like I am taking the Greyhound bus.

Yeah, or a skimply rock and roll muscle shirt showing some dude's tatoos all over his shoulders. Don't some people have a little bit of pride and respect in themselves?

I agree with the previous comment. At my extreme worse on a backpacking trip, I may wear REI hiking pants and a clean Patagonia base layer shirt and a windbreaker.