Saw this post regarding BNA to GSO, and went back into my old flight logs, and back in November 1980, I flew on a Piedmont 727-100 from BNA to GSO (and then connected in GSO to a Piedmont 737-200 to BOS
Wow! This post really takes me back. Loved Piedmont Airlines. Back in the mid 80s they had the longest flight out of BNA to DEN (Stapleton). Always had to make sure the fuel truck was topped off for that one because it was always took around 5000 gallons. This was the old terminal before there was a virtual endless supply of fuel coming out of the ground from a hydrant system and they used a 727. I still have an empty can of Piedmont Punch among my Airline memorabilia. Thanks for the Memories.
What was it like working at BNA during the hub days? I was living in Detroit at the time, but visited BNA often until I moved to Franklin in 2000. Many of the AA flights I took between DTW-BNA always had GM executives visiting the Spring Hill plant. I just remember C Concourse being 727 and MD-80 galore. I did see the 757 at C23 at one point.
You are correct in that the C Concourse was nothing but MD80s and 727s. There was a Pan Am 727 or 737 that would depart from C4 around 9 a.m. and come in sometime around 9 or 10 as an RON. but other than that American had all of the C Concourse. There was a 757 that departed from somewhere around C10 going to SJU and the 767 that went to LGW that would come into the IAB at the end of the A concourse and then either be towed over or taxi over to C11 or C12 for departure. The departure to SJU was interesting because it was the first time I ever heard boarding announcements announced in English and Spanish at Nashville. I was used to that from spending a lot of time at FLL in MIA when I was younger, but it was new for Nashville and now days Nashville is so much more of an international City.
When the American Airlines Banks were coming through Nashville it was very busy, but when they were between Banks it was kind of dead. I think it's a lot cooler now because things are kind of spread out and it's just kind of constantly busy. I can remember departures lined up for 20R that extended from the end of that Runway and up taxiways T1 and T2 and then around the turn and across the connector between B and C. The company I worked for for was working flights for TWA, United and some other airlines and at the time it seemed like American would put their flights first because they were in control of the ramp control tower. There would be times that our flights would land and it would be 20 minutes before they got to the gate because of the American departures backed up. I'll be honest, TWA Pilots were awesome and even though we would try to get them out there to beat the American rush, they were content to just take their time and happy to tell us dirty jokes over the headsets while we were waiting for pushback clearance. Looking back, this could have been been some of the demise of TWA.
The airport employee shuttle was a mess back in those days. Sometimes you would have to wait for the second or third shuttle before you could even get on. A lot of times it would be standing room only and we would be standing on the stairs to that bus with them trying to close the door with people pressing against it. It was a real PITA.
The American Eagle ramps were a real cluster! Of course they had all of the space off of the end of the D Concourse that is being built now but they also took gates at the end of the B Concourse and the current remote area / Penalty Box was built with them in mind. They would shuttle people from the end of the B Concourse out to the remote area. American Eagle was mainly flying Merlin Metro liners, jet streams and some ATRs. Very dangerous ramp when you have a lot of turboprop propellers spinning around. I would say they probably had just as many, if not more flights than American Mainline did.
The one thing that I missed the most after the demise of the AA hub was the employee cafeteria. Not sure if anybody has ever been to a Speedline cafeteria in ATL but it was similar to that. Chicken sandwich with cheese and fries what's the number one item on the menu and for breakfast the sausage gravy and biscuits were top-notch. Sure, we got discounts at the restaurants in the terminal but there weren't as many choices to choose from as there are now. You can only eat hot dogs and nachos for so long. LOL.
I've got a lot of interesting stories from my time at the airport back then if anyone is interested. Any thing from people getting killed on the ramp to just interesting things that I got to experience. Back then we're used to refer to the ramp as a wonderful outdoor Arena of fun.