TWA1985
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Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:37 pm

Hi everyone,

I took my first flight in the 1980's on Republic and Northwest Orient. This was 1986 and I don't remember the flights becasue I was too young. I do remember my later fligths starting in late 1987 on Northwest.

I remember flying on a Boeing 747 to ORD and getting a hot meal. This is partially with help of old photos but...

My question, what was flying like in the 1980's? (From both a passenger and crew perspective)

Better than today?

Thanks,

TWA1985
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navairjax
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:11 pm

I think the three biggest differences between then and now bigger aircraft, hot meals, and the smoking section.
 
KELPkid
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:27 pm

I remember flying BOS-DFW on an AA 767 in economy, getting a delicious meal (the first time I think I ever had Chicken Cordon Bleu), and listening to Sting's first solo album on the complimentary, albeit with pneumatic headphones, in flight entertainment, and then connecting with the DC-10 flight in DFW for the flight home to ELP. Tell me that will ever hapen again...and it was all on a 9th grade class trip  Smile
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NWOrientDC10
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Tue Nov 14, 2006 3:49 pm

Quoting Navairjax (Reply 1):
I think the three biggest differences between then and now bigger aircraft, hot meals, and the smoking section.

 checkmark 

Here are some photos from the 1980's.


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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.



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Photo © AirNikon
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Photo © Howard Chaloner



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Photo © AlainDurand
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Photo © Fergal Goodman
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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.



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Photo © Frank C. Duarte Jr.
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Photo © Alastair T. Gardiner - WorldAirImages



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Photo © Frank J. Mirande
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Photo © Bruce Highland



BTW, the term "go-go" is more 1960's  Wink

Good Day  Smile

Russell
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WesternA318
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:00 pm

My first flight that I remember was in 1987 just after the merger of DL and WA. The 727 was in the Bud Lite scheme with the DL bumper sticker. Pictures from that trip also reveal an EX-Republic DC-9 with Northwest Orient bumper stickers, and an ex-Ozark MD-80 with TWA stickers.
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PanHAM
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:17 pm

Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Reply 3):

BTW, the term "go-go" is more 1960's

I'd say 70s. with the hot pants and all that.
To answer the question, YES!!!

Impossible to write down all the good memories, but on a WA DC10 LAX-HNL I once won a prize, bottle of California Champagne, because I was closest in estimating the mid-way point. The Capt. announced - the passenger in seat 5A...

times never come back, but on the other hand they did not havethe flat beds then. Every time has its advantages.
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MeanGreen
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:12 pm

Speaking of the 80's, could someone please help me locate stats about how many crashes there were in the 80's as compared to the 70's? I am writing a paper for school and I am attempting to show that deregulation influnced the rash of crashes in the 80's. I checked the NTSB and a few other sites but I couldn't find what I want.
 
doug_or
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:15 pm

Quoting MeanGreen (Reply 6):
Speaking of the 80's, could someone please help me locate stats about how many crashes there were in the 80's as compared to the 70's? I am writing a paper for school and I am attempting to show that deregulation influnced the rash of crashes in the 80's. I checked the NTSB and a few other sites but I couldn't find what I want.

Well http://aviation-safety.net/database/ should help, but don't forget to include te huge increase of number of flights after deregulation.
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falstaff
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Tue Nov 14, 2006 11:51 pm

I flew a lot with my mom and dad during the entire decade of the 80s mostly out of DEN, but my earliest airport memories were at SGF. Mostly we flew to LAX because my dad's regional sales office was in LA. We also flew a lot to PIT because my family is from there. We occasionally went to SAN, ORD, ASE, ABQ, PHX, LAS, MCO, and STL. If we went west we usually flew on United and east we flew on TWA. There were times we went on Republic, PSA, Frontier, Ozark, Eastern, Southwest, and America West, USair and Continental. I traveled with my dad a lot and I got to see a lot of airports and hotels.

One thing I remember was that that most people still dressed up a bit to travel in the 80s. I didn't see a lot of T-shirts and shorts at the airport. That could also be that we usually flew in the early am with mostly business travelers. My dad usually wore a jacket and tie.

Meals were on just about every flight. Even the short trips had donuts and coffee. In the early 80s, when I was still in elementary school, the FAs would always give me kids activity books and those cool little wings. I even had a small TWA pilots hat that a FA gave me.

I remember just about every plane was big. DC-8s, 727s, L-1011s, DC-10s, 757s. The smallest jet I ever flew on in the 80s was a DC-9 or 737. Aspen had some nice CVs. There was always lots of empty seats on some flights. I remember flying on all of those planes and many times I had a row to myself.

My favorite when I was a kid was United's DC-8s and TWA's L-1011s. My dad thought Frontier was the best and we flew several times in their 737s. My dad traveled constantly and always liked Frontier and United the best. Later, when me moved to STL he became a TWA man. Now he is a AA man, but not out of choice.

I have a neat video from a Columbia, Missouri TV station about Ozark airlines. It follows a flight from STL-Nashville-Jacksonville-STL. It is from 1982 and really is a nice piece showing airlines in the 80s.
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TWA1985
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:29 am

Falstaff:

You should post that video on Youtube.com
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TWA1985
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:33 am

MeanGreen:

I do know that 1985 is still considered the worst year for aviation disasters worldwide.

TWA1985
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VEEREF
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:35 am

But there were no PTV's back then. My God, what ever did people do to pass the time?
Oh yeah, that was before ADD!


Bring back the good 'ol days!!
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frugalqxnwa
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:43 am

Most of the flights I remember from the '80s were IAD-BOI through DEN (Stapleton, not DIA) on UA to see my grandparents. The earliest flights I remember were flying the original Frontier IAD-BOI through DEN for the same reason as above and flying DL DCA-SAN with many stops in-between. The earliest flights I remember most were in 1986 flying Republic from IAD to Siuox Falls to see my other set of gramdparents and having the NW-Republic merger taking effect while in South Dakota. One of the reasons I remember this so much is because from MSP-Sioux Falls my dad and I flew on a Convair 580, and on the return trip our flight to IAD was cancelled and we ended up flying into DCA. That was my first time on a 757.

As for what it was like, hot meals (not the cardboard stuff that is on airlines here in the US nowdays, if you're lucky), lots more airlines to choose from, lots of airline mergers, great customer service, and lots of wings for the kids.
 
B6FA4ever
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:49 am

Quoting TWA1985 (Reply 10):
I do know that 1985 is still considered the worst year for aviation disasters worldwide.

TWA1985

just because i'm being lazy...what happened in 1985? i was only 5 y/o then and into my transformers! *LOL*

2 things i remember from flying in the 80's was when i was 6 flying from LAX-HNL on an AA DC-10 not too long before landing i got motion sickness and pretty much "projectile vomited". ended up coming off the airplane in pajamas!

the other was the following year in '87 (again LAX-HNL) but this time on a United B747sp (if i remember correctly). i remember makin friends w/ some other kids as we waited for the plane to come in and when she did i was all excited cause i knew that it was a 747 and telling my new friends about it!

~B6FA4ever
 
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falstaff
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:59 am

Quoting TWA1985 (Reply 9):
You should post that video on Youtube.com

Don't know how to go from VHS to online format. I also don't really care to know. If you want a copy I can make you one on VHS or DVD and you can put it on there. I also have a bunch of Ozark commercials from the 60s-80s.
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jaysit
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:04 am

Quoting B6FA4ever (Reply 13):
Quoting TWA1985 (Reply 10):
I do know that 1985 is still considered the worst year for aviation disasters worldwide.

TWA1985

just because i'm being lazy...what happened in 1985? i was only 5 y/o then and into my transformers! *LOL*

The JAL 747 crash that killed 520; the Air India 747 bombing over the Atlantic that killed all 329 onboard; the DL L1011 crash at DFW that killed about 150 or so. All these crashes occurred within months of each other.

I think many of you are exaggerating on how wonderful flights were in the '80s. By the time the late '80s came along, inflight service on most US carriers had become abysmal - especially the 2 big international stalwarts, TWA and PanAm. Both carrier's 747s were worn, dirty, tattered; the inflight meals in Y were rapidly going from bad to worse.
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AirScoot
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:38 am

Quoting Jaysit (Reply 15):
I think many of you are exaggerating on how wonderful flights were in the '80s. By the time the late '80s came along, inflight service on most US carriers had become abysmal - especially the 2 big international stalwarts, TWA and PanAm. Both carrier's 747s were worn, dirty, tattered; the inflight meals in Y were rapidly going from bad to worse

Yes and no. Given the comparison to today's service, it was far better. From ground staff to inflight crew there were far far far fewer disgruntled employees ready to throw things at you onboard.. unless you were flying CO/EA during the dark times.

The 747's on both PA and TW weren't that bad. I don't know what memories you have, but I remember them both being just fine. I've flown newer aircraft that needed more upkeep recently than those.

It was a different time, a different mindset, and a different service level. To compare the two isn't really apples to apples since the service standards were completely different.
 
NYCAAer
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 3:25 am

I started flying with AA in 1989. We were just beginning to expand internationally to Europe, and the 767-300 was considered state of the art. We had DC-10s flying all over domestically, and we staffed the 727-100 with 5 F/As if there was a meal service.

I flew often on flights to Europe as the "premium," now known as the "purser." We had expensive wines and caviar. The meal service in First Class back then was 7 courses. Even the service in coach was nice. We had menus, hot towels, china, linens and silverware in coach. The steaks we served in coach were the size of what we serve in Business Class today. Every coach tray set-up had shrimp cocktail or smoked salmon as appetizers.

It was considered prestigious to be able to work the European flights. We had a stricter dress code for F/As working Europe flights. Male F/As had to wear the vest under the blazer, and the short sleeve uniform shirts could not be worn. Female F/As had to wear the skirt with the blazer, dresses and pants were not permitted, and it was preferred that they wear the uniform hat.

Although some things have declined, such as food quality, poor flight attendant grooming and service standards, some things have improved. PTVs and the advent of the 777 with the Flagship Suite in First Class come to mind. When I work the 763 nowadays, it seems antiquated and cramped compared to the 772.
 
Coronado990
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:05 am

Ah...the 80's weren't that special. Seemed like a transition period with way too many mergers. Now the 1960's and 1970's pre-reg...that's another story. In the beginning of the jet age...who needed IFE? Flying on a big ol' 707 was about as much excitement my poor little body could handle.  bigthumbsup 
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SmithAir747
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:22 am

Even though I did not start flying commercially until 1993, I still followed commercial aviation very closely during my childhood throughout the 1980s.

I still have the Northwest Orient 747 ads that were in my National Geographics (I saved those ads)! Back in the 70s and 80s, the ads focused on the planes. Pan Am was my favourite airline back then--because of the 747 and the globe livery. I even thought Pan Am flew 747s from my hometown airport (FWA)! I still remember the "jellybean" Braniff 727s and the "Big Orange" ("Fat Albert") 747. I still remember the twin red stripes of TWA. Back in my day, many airlines were still flying DC-8s and 707s.

In the mid-1980s, I made several visits to my local airport, FWA, with my family (once to see off a foster brother to his new family). Back then, FWA's terminal was small; it only had two jetway gates and four ground-level regional gates (housed in a clear glass cube, a gate on each corner, and you could see the sky as well as 180 degrees around the apron). FWA was served by the big carriers--USAir, Piedmont, United, American, Northwest, and most of all, Delta. I used to see 727s, DC-9s, MD-80s, and early regional aircraft (Avro RJs, BAe146s, Dash-7s, etc) with Air Wisconsin, United Express, etc. I also saw lots of Burlington Air Express green-topped DC-8s and cargo 727s (Fed Ex, etc).

I started flying in 1993, on ancient DC-9s with Continental (still in the golden and meatball scheme) and TWA, as well as ancient TWA 747s JFK-MAD in 1994. I still remember the red-carpeted, guitar-shaped concourse at JFK T5. On my first flight (with CO, in 1993, IND-IAH-HRL return), I was given a set of plastic wings by a CO flight attendant on the 727 from IND-IAH! I still have those wings!I was flying on ancient (or at least vintage) aircraft well into the late 1990s, such as an AA 767-200. Even in the 1990s, flying was MUCH different from today! Back then, you still had hot meals on domestic flights (re, the AA 762 I flew ORD-BOS in 1995), bulkhead-mounted projector screens (in the TWA 747 and AA 762 flights I took), and best of all, anyone could go through security into the concourse itself. I remember, during my college days in the late 1990s, spending long "lay-overs" between classes going out to FWA and just roaming the terminal and watching the few flights (by then, all regionals) come in and depart!

Even in the 2000s I have had some tastes of the past while flying! When I first moved to England in 2004, I arrived in London (LGW) on an old, well-worn USAirways 767-200, complete with the old projector-screen-on-the-wall IFE.
More recently, I have experienced Delta's transatlantic inflight meals--with printed menus--on their 767-300s (with the old interiors, to boot). Sadly, in 2001, I flew on one of the last TWA flights. On that flight (Mom and I were on a mother-son-bonding trip to Florida with a cruise tossed in), the seatbacks held AA "American Way" magazines (not TWA Ambassadors) with the message "Welcome TWA Passengers" on the cover. It was kind of wistful for me, because I had flown TWA once before, back in 1994, on their 747 to Spain from their JFK landmark of a terminal.

So many memories!

SmithAir747
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
 
SmithAir747
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 5:23 am

Even though I did not start flying commercially until 1993, I still followed commercial aviation very closely during my childhood throughout the 1980s.

I still have the Northwest Orient 747 ads that were in my National Geographics (I saved those ads)! Back in the 70s and 80s, the ads focused on the planes. Pan Am was my favourite airline back then--because of the 747 and the globe livery. I even thought Pan Am flew 747s from my hometown airport (FWA)! I still remember the "jellybean" Braniff 727s and the "Big Orange" ("Fat Albert") 747. I still remember the twin red stripes of TWA. Back in my day, many airlines were still flying DC-8s and 707s.

In the mid-1980s, I made several visits to my local airport, FWA, with my family (once to see off a foster brother to his new family). Back then, FWA's terminal was small; it only had two jetway gates and four ground-level regional gates (housed in a clear glass cube, a gate on each corner, and you could see the sky as well as 180 degrees around the apron). FWA was served by the big carriers--USAir, Piedmont, United, American, Northwest, and most of all, Delta. I used to see 727s, DC-9s, MD-80s, and early regional aircraft (Avro RJs, BAe146s, Dash-7s, etc) with Air Wisconsin, United Express, etc. I also saw lots of Burlington Air Express green-topped DC-8s and cargo 727s (Fed Ex, etc).

I started flying in 1993, on ancient DC-9s with Continental (still in the golden and meatball scheme) and TWA, as well as ancient TWA 747s JFK-MAD in 1994. I still remember the red-carpeted, guitar-shaped concourse at JFK T5. On my first flight (with CO, in 1993, IND-IAH-HRL return), I was given a set of plastic wings by a CO flight attendant on the 727 from IND-IAH! I still have those wings! I was flying on ancient (or at least vintage) aircraft well into the late 1990s, such as an AA 767-200. Even in the 1990s, flying was MUCH different from today! Back then, you still had hot meals on domestic flights (re, the AA 762 I flew ORD-BOS in 1995), bulkhead-mounted projector screens (in the TWA 747 and AA 762 flights I took), and best of all, anyone could go through security into the concourse itself. I remember, during my college days in the late 1990s, spending long "lay-overs" between classes going out to FWA and just roaming the terminal and watching the few flights (by then, all regionals) come in and depart!

Even in the 2000s I have had some tastes of the past while flying! When I first moved to England in 2004, I arrived in London (LGW) on an old, well-worn USAirways 767-200, complete with the old projector-screen-on-the-wall IFE.
More recently, I have experienced Delta's transatlantic inflight meals--with printed menus--on their 767-300s (with the old interiors, to boot). Sadly, in 2001, I flew on one of the last TWA flights. On that flight (Mom and I were on a mother-son-bonding trip to Florida with a cruise tossed in), the seatbacks held AA "American Way" magazines (not TWA Ambassadors) with the message "Welcome TWA Passengers" on the cover. It was kind of wistful for me, because I had flown TWA once before, back in 1994, on their 747 to Spain from their JFK landmark of a terminal.

So many memories!

SmithAir747
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made... (Psalm 139:14)
 
charlienorth
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 6:57 am

Quoting Coronado990 (Reply 18):
Ah...the 80's weren't that special. Seemed like a transition period with way too many mergers. Now the 1960's and 1970's pre-reg...that's another story. In the beginning of the jet age...who needed IFE? Flying on a big ol' 707 was about as much excitement my poor little body could handle.

Got that right,mainline props into small cities,club seating on UAL's DC8's,more first class seats,amenity kits on domestic flights...plus the big iron.
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TWA1985
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:30 am

Jaysit,

There was also the Eastern DC-9 that crashed in South American, the Midwest Express crash outside Milwaukee, and the jet (Airline name I can't remember) that crashed carrying troops back to the U.S.

Oh, and the plane full of gamblers out west (Another Airline I cannot recall).

Oh, this is not a crash- But the hijacking of TWA 847

TWA1985
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charlienorth
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:38 am

Quoting TWA1985 (Reply 22):
Jaysit,

There was also the Eastern DC-9 that crashed in South American, the Midwest Express crash outside Milwaukee, and the jet (Airline name I can't remember) that crashed carrying troops back to the U.S.

Oh, and the plane full of gamblers out west (Another Airline I cannot recall).

Oh, this is not a crash- But the hijacking of TWA 847

TWA1985

The EAL crash in S.A. was a B727,The Electra crash in Reno was a gambling junket returning to MSP,I worked for the ground handling co. in MSP at the time,it was Superbowl Sunday,I had to wait for the inbound flight,but the arrival time getting pushed back,my sup sent me home before I hit double time,that morning when I woke up their was a note from my mom asking about a charter plane crash ??? had to turn on the TV to hear all about it.
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
aerokiwi
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:39 am

Notice how everyone had cheatlines back then...ahhhh bless.
 
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jetjack74
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:09 am

Quoting VEEREF (Reply 11):
But there were no PTV's back then. My God, what ever did people do to pass the time?
Oh yeah, that was before ADD!

Actually AA, did have a PTV's in first class called AstroVision in the 70's and 80's. They were closed circuit TV's mounted in the lower back of the seat in front of you. They were terrble, and vaguely worked right, but that was the first attempt at the PVS
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NZ8800
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:24 am

I was rather little when I took my first flight in 1984 but I remember how the Fokker Friendship screamed its way in and out of Hokitika Airport lol...
And the bright orange seats!

There was no meal service (that was 1987-2003ish) - you got a small wrapped bag of crackers and cheese, tea or coffee, or some ghastly fluid pretending to be juice. I think it was the same on the main trunk 737s too.

Internationally was another story... Christchurch to Brisbane on the Air New Zealand 747 going over, and the Qantas 747 coming back. Proper meal, cutlery, glass, and if I remember rightly, not as crammed into the aeroplane as today.

The next flights in 1990 on Continental's DC-10 Auckland-Honolulu-Los Angeles, were utterly horrible... stuffy hot aircraft, bumpy flight with toilets that did not flush with predictable results... etcetera. On the other hand, it was exciting to be going to Disneyland, and America, and how exotic the American accent sounded and the hostesses were always saying "sweetie" at me... or were they Flight Attendants by then?
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spacecadet
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:25 am

My first flight was in 1976. During the early 1980's and through most of the decade, I flew across the country several times a year - usually alone (I was a kid).

I remember a *lot* about flying in the 1980's. Of course, 1980 was the year that I had my one big in-flight mishap, as the DC-10 I was flying in blew an engine on takeoff (just after the type certificate had been reinstated after AA191 too). So it wasn't a great start to the decade for me.

Flying in the 1980's was better in some ways than now and worse in others. I would say it was a pretty extreme difference in both directions.

Ways it was better:

* Larger planes that were a lot less full. More room to move around.

* Nicer flight attendants, generally also more professionally dressed than now. We still called them stewards and stewardesses, and some of them still wore hats with their uniforms!

* More civilized passengers. Fares were higher and not everybody could fly whenever they wanted, so passengers tended to be more well-off than they are now - a lot of plane passengers these days would have been taking the bus in 1980. Less crowds and nicer crews also meant less aggravation and aggression on the part of passengers. People also still dressed up to fly - this started changing around the latter half of the decade.

* Meals on every domestic flight longer than about 2 hours or so. Flying one-stop through Chicago from EWR-SFO, I would usually get two meals.

Ways it was worse:

* A lot less non-stop service. It was often hard for me to get a non-stop flight from EWR to SFO or OAK. There weren't many available. Usually I'd have to fly through Chicago or even Minneapolis.

* Higher fares - at least when adjusted for inflation.

* The food, honestly, was REALLY bad. It's true they served you meals but I'd almost hesitate to even call them "meals". The 1980's was really the low point in airline food quality. You'd get a little tiny bowl of half-frozen spaghetti with a piece of stale bread and that was dinner. And it was like the kind of spaghetti you'd get in a public high school. It was terrible. Food quality now is much, much better - if you can get it.

* No PTV's. IFE consisted of one movie if you were lucky, on a screen at the front of the cabin, and only on long flights. There was no choice as to what movie it was. There were also radio channels, which were all on an endless loop of about 10 songs each.

Overall I think flying was better in the 1980's - I think having more room to move around, nicer passengers and nicer crews makes all the difference. I can bring my own IFE, I can even bring my own food, but I have no control over how much space I have or whether I'm sitting next to a bunch of jerks. But there are definitely some ways that flying is better now.
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Prinair
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 10:25 am

It was very different. I worked at EA during the 80s and I remember 757s staffed with at least 6 flight attendants, 727s with 5, L1011 and DC10 with 10 and DC9s with 4. I remember serving filet mignon dinners to coach passengers on relatively short flights (DCA-MIA DC9-51). I always enjoyed walking thru the cabin shortly before landing handing out mints and kiddie wings. So nostalgic now...
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WesternA318
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RE: Flying In The Go-Go 80s!

Wed Nov 15, 2006 4:17 pm

Quoting PRINAIR (Reply 28):
worked at EA during the 80s and I remember 757s staffed with at least 6 flight attendants, 727s with 5, L1011 and DC10 with 10 and DC9s with 4.

How many on the A300s?
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