VC10er
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Pan Am, What Was The Coolest Thing About It?

Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:39 am

Pam Am was and is an aviation icon but aside from being so huge and an "American symbol" with a way cool identity, When I flew them I was too young and never made it out of coach. So, what was I missing? What was going on in First Class? What were the seats like or the food? Did they have lounges on board on 747's and 707's? The service?
So aside from my plastic wings given to me by the pilot (who looked like Sean Connery) what did I miss?
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OA412
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RE: Pan Am, What Was The Coolest Thing About It?

Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:58 am

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
Did they have lounges on board on 747's and 707's?

The 707s did have an onboard lounge (IIRC reserved only for F class) as did the 747s in the upper deck when initially delivered. However, the fuel crisis killed the lounges, and the 747s upper deck was re-configured to Clipper Class.

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
being so huge

Interestingly enough, PA was never a very "huge" airline. Even during its heyday, it was nowhere near as large as the major domestic US carriers. They are thought of as a large airline because of their impressive list of destinations, but a lot of people tend to forget that for the vast majority of its life, PA was an international-only airline. Domestic routes were off limits to the airline until after de-regulation.
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jetfuel
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RE: Pan Am, What Was The Coolest Thing About It?

Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:12 am

First to fly the 747
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GrinddalCPH
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RE: Pan Am, What Was The Coolest Thing About It?

Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:30 pm

Never flew them,

But the pictures I have seen, makes me wish I was old enough to have experienced flying back when it was still a "special" ocassion!

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Pan-A...d=cf44d6d685b82dc60f828a465584ff6c

http://www.airliners.net/photo/Pan-A...d=cf44d6d685b82dc60f828a465584ff6c


http://www.airliners.net/photo/Pan-A...d=cf44d6d685b82dc60f828a465584ff6c

Also Check these cool inflight videos  Smilehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4nq5-fMTD4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82c_ghiOc_Q&feature=related


Daniel,

BTW, United Airlines, had a WAY cooler interior and service back in the days  

[Edited 2010-06-13 10:35:06]
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LAXintl
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RE: Pan Am, What Was The Coolest Thing About It?

Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:57 pm

Pan Am was a true airline in its day.

My first memories was seeing big large Pan Am aircraft model displays (707 usually) in their ticket offices growing up in Europe, but soon enough we were flying them.

PA's route global network stretched the world, and in many ways it was like coming home to a good fried to fly them, often in between two far flung exotic locales. I also remember making use of them intra-Europe quite a bit, and they were as competitive as any BA/LH at the time.

For meals as with the times it was extensive, and on the 747s, you were invited upstairs to dine as if it was a restaurant. No feelings of having a crappy airline meal even in Y class. Even after deregulation it was not that bad, and I recall PA had very extensive specials meals. I recall ordering a seafood one which came with lots of crab.. yum yum.

By the end I was an Platinum level flyer in their WorldPass program. While the airline was certainly beyond its hey day, its extensive schedules to Europe in particular and its quite progressive business class product (2x2x2 seats on 747s) kept me loyal.

Looking back now, I can really say that flying was a different thing those days. Everything from going and waiting your turn at ticket offices to check on schedules (which were often only a couple flights per week) and buying tickets, to the more regal process of travel which seemed to be more of an affair then simply a bus like trip from point A to point B.
I will say though todays wide availability of travel choices, and certainly reduced cost is an overall improvement. I recall paying $800 one-way JFK-LAX in the 1980s once for in Y-class for a same day booking!
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Viscount724
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RE: Pan Am, What Was The Coolest Thing About It?

Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:26 pm

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
So, what was I missing? What was going on in First Class? What were the seats like or the food? Did they have lounges on board on 747's and 707's? The service?

I liked flying Pan Am, including many flights in F class (nonrev), but their service was never among the best in my experience. I would rate their overall service as average to somewhat above average compared to most of their major competititors (I always preferred TWA's inflight service).

The upper deck 747 dining room was nice however, while it lasted. In their latter years their service went downhill with shabby aircraft and more than their share of delays. They had no money to spend on anything but the essentials then. Their computer systems (reservations, revenue management etc.) also hadn't kept pace with technology and handicapped them in maximizing revenues.

Their safety record also wasn't among the best, especially in the 1970s. They wrote off 5 707s in fatal accidents in less than 9 months in 1973-74.

Quoting OA412 (Reply 1):
and the 747s upper deck was re-configured to Clipper Class.

The upper deck on the 747SPs was first class. Was it a lounge when the SPs were first delivered? I can't remember.

One of my more memorable Pan Am trips was my first, and shortest -- HAM-THF-HAM on a 727-100 in early 1970, part of their Internal German Service to/from Berlin. The approach to city-center Tempelhof airport (now closed) was interesting, with apartment buildings not far from the aircraft.



My first longhaul flight on Pan Am was in April 1970, SEA-LHR on a 707-320B (in Y class). That was my first first flight with an inflight movie.

[Edited 2010-06-13 15:47:32]
 
LAXintl
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RE: Pan Am, What Was The Coolest Thing About It?

Mon Jun 14, 2010 12:54 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 5):
They had no money to spend on anything but the essentials then.

I very well remember under their last CEO Thomas Plaskett they launched quite a large investment to refurbish each 747 interior to the tune of a $1mil each, which was a huge investment for the time.
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toobz
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RE: Pan Am, What Was The Coolest Thing About It?

Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:56 am

In F they served the most incredible Roast Beef ever..anyone remember that?
 
citationjet
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RE: Pan Am, What Was The Coolest Thing About It?

Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:41 pm

Here is a good site for PanAm history:
http://www.panamair.org/History/history.htm
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