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KentB27
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:37 pm

They often didn't fill them. As a few others have mentioned, load factor wasn't a big concern in the regulated era of US airline travel. Load factors were on average much lower back then than they are today.
 
KentB27
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Tue Jun 04, 2019 11:39 pm

DLHAM wrote:
As far as I know loadfactors back in the days were much lower on average than they are today. Am I right?


Correct. Also, back when airlines were regulated, profit wasn't nearly as much of a concern as it is today. I don't think airlines cared much about load factor back then. They were competing on service.
 
910A
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:59 am

I'm surprised no one mention the worldwide recession in the early 70's with high unemployment, high inflation, the oil crisis, didn't help the airlines or their potential customers at all.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:29 am

With people.
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Italianflyer
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:05 am

I'd venture to bet that on a per-seat basis, the operating cost of a DC10, L10 or even 747 was competitive, if not better, than 707s or early generation DC8s. Check out archived annual reports from the early to mid 70s 'oil shock' era. The management narrative was they couldn't get rid of those first gen long haul jets fast enough.
 
77H
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:07 am

citationjet wrote:
KFLLCFII wrote:
speedbird52 wrote:
How did airlines fill up large widebodies in the old days?


Non-revs.


I remember being a non-rev on Braniff's 747 from DFW to HNL. One time I remember 65 non-revs on the flight.


I saw over 100 spaceAs listed for a HNL-SFO flight last year. I think they all go out too.

77H
 
spacecadet
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 6:36 am

Fares were higher, fuel was cheaper, and most flights operated once a day. Airlines didn't have multiple non-stop transcons between the same two cities like they do now. If you wanted to fly a transcon, you took the one flight there was and that was (potentially) on a 747 because everybody had to take that flight just like you did.

The frequency thing is probably the biggest factor. Passengers nowadays want to fly when they want to fly, not when flights are available. If one airline doesn't have a flight at a convenient time and another does, passengers will just fly that other airline. So all the airlines need to schedule against each other and that means more frequency. A route served in the past by a single 747 now might need three or four 737's to do the same thing with flights scattered throughout the day. But those four 737's cost way more to operate in aggregate than one 747, so the airline needs to do whatever they can to fill them up. It's a self-destructive cycle.

In the old days we just didn't have a thought of flying at a certain time of day. The most specific you could get was the day you wanted to fly. You flew when the airline flew. So costs were lower and planes didn't necessarily need to be full. Nowadays, the passenger mentality is totally different and that more than anything has upended the business model.
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Armadillo1
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:38 am

IAHWorldflyer wrote:
if an airline wanted to do a trans-con or something almost trans-con, you needed a DC10 or L1011. .
or 707

spacecadet wrote:
. But those four 737's cost way more to operate in aggregate than one 747, so the airline needs to do whatever they can to fill them up. It's a self-destructive cycle.
.

so if some airline NOW provide cheaper midnight flight nobody to fly it?


cant find my question about overbooking.

next question about how many runways in airport at that times and now. and what numbers of flight per runway was.
 
Armadillo1
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 7:42 am

what NOW revenue ratio between F,Y and J?
and what seat available in NB at that times?
 
Miamiairport
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:23 pm

Pre 1978 in the US fares were set by the CBA and they were high enough that airlines could fly widebodies around the US 40% full and still make money. But not always. I watched a documentary the other night on YouTube from 1963 when Eastern was threatened by losses. Interestingly part of the turnaround centered around vastly improving the customer experience unlike today when airlines feel that the road to profits is all about taking away everything imaginable or at least forcing one to shell out more money.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:29 pm

Miamiairport wrote:
Interestingly part of the turnaround centered around vastly improving the customer experience unlike today when airlines feel that the road to profits is all about taking away everything imaginable or at least forcing one to shell out more money.

That is because fares/schedules were regulated. To turn around you had to convince more people to buy your tickets. Since you couldn’t just discount the tickets or fly new routes to attract more customers the standard MO was to make your service more attractive. That doesn’t mean there weren’t attempts to cut costs behind the scenes though.
 
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DL717
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:37 pm

speedbird52 wrote:
A commonly cited reason for the downfall of 747 size aircraft is that filling an aircraft of that size with passengers whilst still charging competitive prices for tickets is just too difficult. The thing is, before the days of flat bed seats, 747s used to carry more passengers, in a market that was smaller than it is now. What changed to make flying 400 passengers around become suddenly difficult to be profitable?


Route diversity. You could now expand your spoke network and didn’t have to rely on funneling everything through places like JFK or LHR etc.
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ltbewr
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:08 pm

As others noted, as to international flights and even some domestic flights, airlines would sell leftover charter seats to 3rd party agencies. Also, many airlines had same-day 'standby fares like $99-249 o/w from JFK-LHR or $69 o/w JFK or EWR to MIA from their ticket offices or even at the airport.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:17 pm

modernArt wrote:
deltadc9 wrote:
aviationaware wrote:
Another factor is that most flights back then were not even close to daily. Many were once a week, some even once a month and most topped out at 3x weekly. That has since changed.


Yes, in the early 70s even hot markets only saw a few VLA flights a day, United had only one or two daily 747 flights to Hawaii even. We had a mechanical in Honolulu with a 747 flight in 1974 and there were no other flights that day DC8 or 747. Hard to imagine now.


Hmm, was curious about your comment. On this 1976 United Airlines timetable page http://www.departedflights.com/UA061176p42.html for Honolulu it shows 10-12 747 flights a day. A 1972 timetable on the same website shows 8+ wide bodies a day from HNL. Was there a draw-down in 1974? A strike perhaps?

Thx MA


Maybe at the height of the busy season, but you typically would try to book a 747 and end up on a Super DC8.
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Elementalism
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:47 pm

speedbird52 wrote:
A commonly cited reason for the downfall of 747 size aircraft is that filling an aircraft of that size with passengers whilst still charging competitive prices for tickets is just too difficult. The thing is, before the days of flat bed seats, 747s used to carry more passengers, in a market that was smaller than it is now. What changed to make flying 400 passengers around become suddenly difficult to be profitable?



Customers wanted more flexibility. Thus two 767\787s vs one 747-400. With the 777 capacity was close but with two less engines to maintain\run. The 767\777\A330 sealed the fate of the tri and quad passenger jets.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:52 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Load factors in the regulated era were often in the 50% range. Even in the ‘80s, LF was normally in the 65%-75% range. It’s only in the last decade where it was normal for system LF to be above 85%.


Improvements in their systems have lead to better prediction models. In the past decade it is rare the flight I am on isnt nearly full. The result is better profits which opens up more markets. Right now is the best time ever for air travel imo. Lots of competition and capability to get anywhere in a reasonable time and cost.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:54 pm

You also have to consider the economic development of parts of the world. For example Pan Am had a Sydney Singapore flight that went on to all parts of the subcontinent and the ME before returning to NYC. Some flights only operated less than weekly. LH had 747s to the USA out of Hamburg even, Qantas operated them to the USA out of Townsville and Cairns, Air NZ flew them to HKG via Papua New Guinea. BOAC, and later British airways flew a tag on from SFO to Fiji and then on to Sydney. Another one that got to Perth and tagged on to AKL. For a lot of developing economies these were essential economic services, and this is in the world where barely anybody had a fax machine so they accepted they had to plan their business trips and leisure around airline schedules. They were still sending telegrams. A lot changed quickly.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:27 pm

spacecadet wrote:
Fares were higher, fuel was cheaper, and most flights operated once a day. Airlines didn't have multiple non-stop transcons between the same two cities like they do now. If you wanted to fly a transcon, you took the one flight there was and that was (potentially) on a 747 because everybody had to take that flight just like you did.

The frequency thing is probably the biggest factor. Passengers nowadays want to fly when they want to fly, not when flights are available. If one airline doesn't have a flight at a convenient time and another does, passengers will just fly that other airline. So all the airlines need to schedule against each other and that means more frequency. A route served in the past by a single 747 now might need three or four 737's to do the same thing with flights scattered throughout the day. But those four 737's cost way more to operate in aggregate than one 747, so the airline needs to do whatever they can to fill them up. It's a self-destructive cycle.

In the old days we just didn't have a thought of flying at a certain time of day. The most specific you could get was the day you wanted to fly. You flew when the airline flew. So costs were lower and planes didn't necessarily need to be full. Nowadays, the passenger mentality is totally different and that more than anything has upended the business model.



Not usually correct. Yes, there were some city pairs that had limited service, like once a day, but that generally wasn't the case. Major routes had multiple flights and arguably more competition, i.e. routes like MIA-JFK/LGA/EWR where you had Eastern, National and Northeast with multiple daily DC8's, CV880's, etc., ORD-LAX/SFO with American, TWA, and United with multiple flights, and even smaller routes like MSY-LGA (Delta and Eastern, each with at least two daily nonstops), SEA-LAX/SFO where you had the same thing with Western and United. The same generally held true throughout the country, with at least two airlines on a route. Where you had a "one flight a day" type of schedule, it wasn't that different from today, on routes like SYD-HNL-LAX (the stop was required because the planes couldn't make it nonstop) on Pan Am or Qantas, SFO/LAX-ANC-HND on Japan Airlines, Northwest, or Pan Am (again the stop was required due to aircraft range concerns). In the early '70's, all of the major international airlines bought 747's; many decided pretty quickly they couldn't fill them, so they sold them (American, Continental, Delta come to mind in the U.S.; Iberia, TAP Portugal, Sabena, Swissair, and SAS in Europe, just to name a few) and substituted smaller DC10's or L1011's. But on the major routes, there were multiple daily flights.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:39 pm

Revelation wrote:
In the days of old, as a New Englander, pretty much every flight I made would involve a wide body leaving a NYC airport.

My first ever business trip was in the mid 80s NYC-DFW-AUS with NYC-DFW on a DC-10 wide body.

Now there are plentiful NYC-AUS non-stops on narrow bodies instead.


My first jet flight in 1975 was CLE-ORD on a Northwest DC-10 wide body.

The last time I flew that route is was on an Embraer Regional Jet.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 3:59 pm

jfklganyc wrote:
Back in the old days, Everybody going to Europe from the United States connected thru New York.


This is not entirely true. European airlines served ORD, IAD, LAX, SFO, IAD, BOS, and MIA. (James Bond famously flew on an LH 707 from AMS-LAX, which was a real-life flight.) Unsurprisingly, these remain the biggest gateways. What you didn't get was gateways such as DEN, ATL, DFW, PDX, etc.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:09 pm

Q wrote:
I can't image that United 747-200 flew Chicago to Hilo daily non stop!

Doubt anyone ever flew ORD-ITO nonstop daily. (UA just had 747-100s then.)
 
UpNAWAy
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:32 pm

Did Airlines fill B747s? Wasn't load factors in the good old days around 50%?
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:40 pm

That's when the piano bars/lounges starting appearing on 747s instead of seats. And marketing gimmicks like TWAj's "Foreign Accent" flights - stewardess uniforms were made of paper and came in 4 varieties - Italian toga, British pub server, Manhattan penthouse party hostess, and French mini-dress. Other airlines had their own marketing promotions to get seats filled.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:02 am

jaybird wrote:
That's when the piano bars/lounges starting appearing on 747s instead of seats. And marketing gimmicks like TWAj's "Foreign Accent" flights - stewardess uniforms were made of paper and came in 4 varieties - Italian toga, British pub server, Manhattan penthouse party hostess, and French mini-dress. Other airlines had their own marketing promotions to get seats filled.

In other words, one way airlines filled up large widebodies in the old days was:

Image

Image
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:10 am

Well I was talking to a colleague today who did some revenue work for AA in the late 90's, and he said they used to REALLY overbook flights (like, 50% over real capacity). And then at the gate, if most pax showed up, AA would start giving generous compensations for those who volunteered to offload. I don't know if this is really on topic, but I was surprised, specially because today overbooking is not really massive (say, 5% even months before the date).
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:29 am

N14AZ wrote:
OlafW wrote:
N14AZ wrote:
today Avianca flies from/to FRA every day, just as an example.


they are just codesharing on a Lufthansa flight

Okay, thanks for the correction. I will look for a better example.


Well, AV owns BOG-MUC non-stops and does that five times a week with 787s if you're looking for an AV example. Conversely, LH still manages to fill up their 747s between FRA and JFK / EWR, and JFK doesn't even have a UA presence. Likewise, MIA is another example where LH and AV both manage to fill wide bodies every day in spite of UA being relatively weak there.

Revelation wrote:
In other words, one way airlines filled up large widebodies in the old days was:

Image


Woohoo, what's with the Bubble top helmets of the two FAs on the sides? Did those come standard?
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jaybird
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:24 am

Revelation wrote:
jaybird wrote:
That's when the piano bars/lounges starting appearing on 747s instead of seats. And marketing gimmicks like TWAj's "Foreign Accent" flights - stewardess uniforms were made of paper and came in 4 varieties - Italian toga, British pub server, Manhattan penthouse party hostess, and French mini-dress. Other airlines had their own marketing promotions to get seats filled.

In other words, one way airlines filled up large widebodies in the old days was:

Image

Image


OMG how could I forget about the Braniff Air Strip - all those layers and the bubble hellmuts! And yes - lots of hot paints - Southwest, PSA too, yeah? Times they have changes!
 
ikramerica
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:36 am

Lufthansa wrote:
You also have to consider the economic development of parts of the world. For example Pan Am had a Sydney Singapore flight that went on to all parts of the subcontinent and the ME before returning to NYC. Some flights only operated less than weekly. LH had 747s to the USA out of Hamburg even, Qantas operated them to the USA out of Townsville and Cairns, Air NZ flew them to HKG via Papua New Guinea. BOAC, and later British airways flew a tag on from SFO to Fiji and then on to Sydney. Another one that got to Perth and tagged on to AKL. For a lot of developing economies these were essential economic services, and this is in the world where barely anybody had a fax machine so they accepted they had to plan their business trips and leisure around airline schedules. They were still sending telegrams. A lot changed quickly.

We were on a same plane service 747SP JFK-SFO-HKG-SIN PA back in the day. I don’t know if it continued onward or not.
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ikramerica
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:39 am

AtomicGarden wrote:
Well I was talking to a colleague today who did some revenue work for AA in the late 90's, and he said they used to REALLY overbook flights (like, 50% over real capacity). And then at the gate, if most pax showed up, AA would start giving generous compensations for those who volunteered to offload. I don't know if this is really on topic, but I was surprised, specially because today overbooking is not really massive (say, 5% even months before the date).

This is because change fees were sometimes nothing, same day standby/rebooking was free, and companies would book their executives on the last 3 flights of the day with the knowledge that they could rebook the fare for the two flights he/she didn’t take.
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:49 am

ua900 wrote:
Woohoo, what's with the Bubble top helmets of the two FAs on the sides? Did those come standard?

That was still the Apollo Era, and art imitated life.

https://www.messynessychic.com/2015/01/ ... stripping/ is a saucy (yet still safe for work) article which says:

Emilio Pucci used ‘Jetsons’ space-aged themes and one of his most peculiar designs for the airline was surely these plastic space helmets. The clear plastic bubbles were introduced by Braniff as the “RainDome”, to be worn by hostesses between the terminal and the plane to prevent their beehive hairstyles from being ruined by the elements. However, the “RainDomes” were scrapped after only a month because the helmets cracked easily, there was no place to store them on the aircraft, and jetways at many airports made them unnecessary.


The aircraft were saucy just like the FAs:

Image
Wake up to find out that you are the eyes of the world
The heart has its beaches, its homeland and thoughts of its own
Wake now, discover that you are the song that the morning brings
The heart has its seasons, its evenings and songs of its own
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:06 am

LH707330 wrote:
IAHWorldflyer wrote:
Another thing that I'm surprised no one has mentioned is that the narrowbodies of the '70's did not have the range that they do today. The old 737-200s and 727-200s could only fly about 1400 miles if full. Thus, if an airline wanted to do a trans-con or something almost trans-con, you needed a DC10 or L1011. SEA-ATL was an L1011 flight on Eastern and Delta back then, and only a couple times a day. Same goes for something like DTW-LAX. Today, you have multiple daily flights on A320s and 738's that have plenty of range.

Bingo. Until the 757/767, the L10 and DC10 were the smallest trans-con capable machines that were still somewhat viable with 1970s oil prices. This whole thread makes me wonder: had they not expected the 747 to become a freighter after SST EIS and thus sized for 2-wide containers, would Boeing have made it the size of an A340 and sold a lot more?


The Boeing 707 was also a TATL bird, although I'm not sure if the DC-8 was doing much TATL. That said, the Boeing 757-200 was never imagined to be a TATL bird at first. But Continental decided to deploy its birds on thinner European routes, followed by TWA. This is why UA is able to fly EWR-LIS year round. I'm actually amazed that the 737 has become an entry-level TATL bird now, along with the A321neo.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:00 am

aemoreira1981 wrote:
LH707330 wrote:
IAHWorldflyer wrote:
Another thing that I'm surprised no one has mentioned is that the narrowbodies of the '70's did not have the range that they do today. The old 737-200s and 727-200s could only fly about 1400 miles if full. Thus, if an airline wanted to do a trans-con or something almost trans-con, you needed a DC10 or L1011. SEA-ATL was an L1011 flight on Eastern and Delta back then, and only a couple times a day. Same goes for something like DTW-LAX. Today, you have multiple daily flights on A320s and 738's that have plenty of range.

Bingo. Until the 757/767, the L10 and DC10 were the smallest trans-con capable machines that were still somewhat viable with 1970s oil prices. This whole thread makes me wonder: had they not expected the 747 to become a freighter after SST EIS and thus sized for 2-wide containers, would Boeing have made it the size of an A340 and sold a lot more?


The Boeing 707 was also a TATL bird, although I'm not sure if the DC-8 was doing much TATL. That said, the Boeing 757-200 was never imagined to be a TATL bird at first. But Continental decided to deploy its birds on thinner European routes, followed by TWA. This is why UA is able to fly EWR-LIS year round. I'm actually amazed that the 737 has become an entry-level TATL bird now, along with the A321neo.



Well the A330 was only suppose to be for high frequency shuttles up to 4 or 5 hrs. In the beginning I think was only EI that used it from Ireland to the east
coast of the USA and that was about as far as it went. Nobody ever saw it doing Europe to Asia or Latin America, or even further from DTW to PEK. I think airbus has
realised the potential of such an aircraft. A lot of airlines didn't want to introduce an ageing type into their fleet, (not an issue if they were already long term operators minimal costs to add extra) but there's lots of potential routes for say, A321LR all around the world that may get started. GLA and EDI to new places in North America, IST to some secondary subcontinent cities, Jetstar making some of its Asian beach resorts go daily, Air Asia into north China and Japan... lots of potential.
 
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N14AZ
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 9:05 am

ua900 wrote:
N14AZ wrote:
OlafW wrote:

they are just codesharing on a Lufthansa flight

Okay, thanks for the correction. I will look for a better example.


Well, AV owns BOG-MUC non-stops and does that five times a week with 787s if you're looking for an AV example. Conversely, LH still manages to fill up their 747s between FRA and JFK / EWR, and JFK doesn't even have a UA presence. Likewise, MIA is another example where LH and AV both manage to fill wide bodies every day in spite of UA being relatively weak there.

Another example might be VARIG. They flew from/to FRA with their B747's but I don't remember how often. Nowadays, there are daily flights, I think (not so familar with that part of the world and its Connections).

And another example might be Air India, who flew their B747's reguarly to FRA. But was it daily? I am not sure. Nowadays it's a daily Dreamliner-connection.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:48 pm

zeke wrote:
I think they found using the doors was the best way to load and unload them.


:rotfl: :rotfl:
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:51 pm

MGC1191 wrote:
With people.


:rotfl: :rotfl: I was thinking cows myself :lol:
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william
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 1:58 pm

AtomicGarden wrote:
Well I was talking to a colleague today who did some revenue work for AA in the late 90's, and he said they used to REALLY overbook flights (like, 50% over real capacity). And then at the gate, if most pax showed up, AA would start giving generous compensations for those who volunteered to offload. I don't know if this is really on topic, but I was surprised, specially because today overbooking is not really massive (say, 5% even months before the date).


Ahhh, I remember those days..........You could game the system and earn free trips that way, if were not in a hurry to get to your destination.
 
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:15 pm

william wrote:
AtomicGarden wrote:
Well I was talking to a colleague today who did some revenue work for AA in the late 90's, and he said they used to REALLY overbook flights (like, 50% over real capacity). And then at the gate, if most pax showed up, AA would start giving generous compensations for those who volunteered to offload. I don't know if this is really on topic, but I was surprised, specially because today overbooking is not really massive (say, 5% even months before the date).


Ahhh, I remember those days..........You could game the system and earn free trips that way, if were not in a hurry to get to your destination.


Also was a good way to get free upgrades on some airlines. Since seat assignment was done at check in, you just had to check in at the last minute and you either got an upgrade (since all seats in Y were assigned or you got a nice voucher). I flew international business class a few times thanks to those upgrades.
 
VC10DC10
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 2:28 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
I'm not sure if the DC-8 was doing much TATL.


It may be worth pointing out that the DC-8 was used extensively on transatlantic service by Air Canada, KLM, SAS, Swissair, Iberia, Alitalia, and Pan Am. In fact, until the advent of the 747, it was the only transatlantic jet for AC, KL, SK, SR, IB, and AZ.
 
aarbee
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:30 pm

Revelation wrote:
ua900 wrote:
Woohoo, what's with the Bubble top helmets of the two FAs on the sides? Did those come standard?

That was still the Apollo Era, and art imitated life.

https://www.messynessychic.com/2015/01/ ... stripping/ is a saucy (yet still safe for work) article which says:

Emilio Pucci used ‘Jetsons’ space-aged themes and one of his most peculiar designs for the airline was surely these plastic space helmets. The clear plastic bubbles were introduced by Braniff as the “RainDome”, to be worn by hostesses between the terminal and the plane to prevent their beehive hairstyles from being ruined by the elements. However, the “RainDomes” were scrapped after only a month because the helmets cracked easily, there was no place to store them on the aircraft, and jetways at many airports made them unnecessary.


The aircraft were saucy just like the FAs:

Image


WOW. Thanks for the info. I was wondering what's that science fiction space helmet doing out there

:)
Love the AIXes
 
citationjet
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 6:02 pm

modernArt wrote:
Hmm, was curious about your comment. On this 1976 United Airlines timetable page http://www.departedflights.com/UA061176p42.html for Honolulu it shows 10-12 747 flights a day. A 1972 timetable on the same website shows 8+ wide bodies a day from HNL. Was there a draw-down in 1974? A strike perhaps?
Thx MA


The 1973 oil embargo and OPEC.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1973_oil_crisis
Boeing Flown: 701,702,703;717;720;721,722;731,732,733,734,735,73G,738,739;741,742,743,744,747SP;752,753;762,763;772,773,788.
 
beerbus
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Thu Jun 06, 2019 7:18 pm

At NW we generally had good LF's on the 747's in TPAC service.

As others have written, there was less competition. In the 80's, the only non-stop flight to Japan from the USA other than the west coast was from Chicago on NW3, ORD NRT.

How many carriers are on that route now?

And of the passengers on that limited competition flight- half the traffic was connecting traffic to BKK, HKG, SHA, SIN, KUL, TPE, MNL,and SEL.

There was plenty of ethnic and business traffic in each of those markets. And NW had tight relationships with "consolidators" in each overseas market to build loads via their bucket shop operations.

Many of the consolidators in Chicago for example, had NW ticket stock, entirely bypassing the ARC/Travel Agency reporting network. They'd write the ticket, collect the tariff, subtract their base commission- and pay us the net directly. If they hit specific revenue/passenger goals, they would receive an additional back-end commission check.

NW also solicited refugee traffic from Cambodia, Viet Nam, and Laos for "fill-up" east-bound traffic. We supplied a lavatory mock-up to the camps where the traffic originated, so refugees would know what an aircraft lavatory looked like, and how it worked..... ( no squatting, and close the door!)

In any event, NW had good 747 LF's until the advent of expansion of traffic rights to foreign flag carriers, and the development of aircraft like the 777 that could overfly NRT.
 
AtomicGarden
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:10 am

klakzky123 wrote:
william wrote:
AtomicGarden wrote:
Well I was talking to a colleague today who did some revenue work for AA in the late 90's, and he said they used to REALLY overbook flights (like, 50% over real capacity). And then at the gate, if most pax showed up, AA would start giving generous compensations for those who volunteered to offload. I don't know if this is really on topic, but I was surprised, specially because today overbooking is not really massive (say, 5% even months before the date).


Ahhh, I remember those days..........You could game the system and earn free trips that way, if were not in a hurry to get to your destination.


Also was a good way to get free upgrades on some airlines. Since seat assignment was done at check in, you just had to check in at the last minute and you either got an upgrade (since all seats in Y were assigned or you got a nice voucher). I flew international business class a few times thanks to those upgrades.


Some examples he gave me: first call, fly an hour later in biz/first. Second call, fly tomorrow in b/f and spend the night at a hotel paid by the airline. Third call and so on, same things but get a free ticket to fly anywhere. Who would mind?
You killed a black astronaut, Cyril! That's like killing a unicorn!
 
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jfklganyc
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:55 pm

That wasnt special...it went on all the time...and still goes on.

Free roundtrip ticket and F on next flight...sometimes a meal voucher

Today, they replaced the roundtrip ticket with a credit...which, frankly, is better.

The “free”ticket anywhere had a lot of restrictions...for instance, Delta didnt allow you to book it until a few days prior.

Airlines routinely overbook flights today and the compensation from 30 years ago (free flights/upgrades/meal vouchers/hotels) are still in effect
 
georgiaame
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:15 pm

Ah, the question brings me back to the good old days of being a poor, starving medical student in Europe, in the days of transatlantic youth fares. (Think $200 rt, unrestricted ticket, other than no stopovers on the way). How did they fill those planes? Well, sometimes they didn't. Best flight was Milan to JFK, TWA 747, probably around 1973/4. 9 passengers on board, 3 of whom were up front in first class. 6 in economy, which included me. Flight attendant requested that I move from the "B" compartment up front to the rear of the plane for take off and landing. Of course I complied, looking very quizzical. It would be decades later, fond reader of this blog that I am, that I was able to understand just why the pilots needed to make that request.
"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
 
twaconnie
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:21 pm

KentB27 wrote:
DLHAM wrote:
As far as I know loadfactors back in the days were much lower on average than they are today. Am I right?


Correct. Also, back when airlines were regulated, profit wasn't nearly as much of a concern as it is today. I don't think airlines cared much about load factor back then. They were competing on service.

And not being concerned about profit is probably why their out of business to day.
 
COSPN
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:46 pm

Also no FeDex ,UPS, CargoLux ... lots of routes made money on cargo like the old CO MEL-AKL-HNL-LAX....
 
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millionsofmiles
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:32 pm

Q wrote:
A long time ago, I can't image that United 747-200 flew Chicago to Hilo daily non stop! Today is none! Maybe cheaper fares and hotel cheap in Hawaii than today expenses.

Q


747-100.

UA only had two 747-222s, which they purchased specifically for JFK-NRT in 1987. The 747-122 operated the erstwhile ITO-ORD service.
 
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millionsofmiles
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:42 pm

timz wrote:
Q wrote:
I can't image that United 747-200 flew Chicago to Hilo daily non stop!

Doubt anyone ever flew ORD-ITO nonstop daily. (UA just had 747-100s then.)


In the mid-70s, UA operated a 5 day a week 747-122 eastbound ITO-HNL nonstop. The flight originated in HNL.
 
timz
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:51 pm

In 1975-77 the ITO-ORD nonstop was Friday only, then in 1978 UA said it would be daily eff 9 June -- still eastward only. No nonstop in the 10/78 timetable.
 
cloudboy
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Re: How did Airlines Fill up Large Widebodies in the Old days?

Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:20 pm

The other factor people are forgetting is that overhead costs were lower. In some cases this was due to fewer requirements, both technical and safety related. Turn around times were longer, so you needed less ground crew. Companies did not spend so much on back office functions, and in particular trying to maximize revenue and cut costs - yes those savings add up, but so don't the costs. And lastly, you spent a lot less on IT costs.
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