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departedflights
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Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:49 am

Looking at some old flight schedules, I am seeing some incredible multi-stop flights on routes that spanned the far corners of the globe.

For example.... I am looking at an OAG from 1980 and I am seeing a 5-stop Swissair flight from Geneva to Tokyo with en route stops in Zurich, Athens, Bombay, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Total travel time was over 26 hours.

This is just one of many examples I have seen like this from that time period.

I am curious if anyone who worked in the airline industry back in the days of flights like that can tell me: Did passengers REALLY fly that entire distance at once? I am assuming that passengers broke up the journey with an overnight stay during the flight and that flights like this were simply offered for the prestige of a flag-carrying airline to say they operate to just remote places

So, again... for anyone who knows... how common was it for passengers, back then, to fly on these types of routes from beginning to end.
The opinions are expressed are my own and do not represent those of anyone else, including my coworkers or my employer.
 
davidjohnson6
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:58 am

Worth remembering 3 things.

First, aircraft didn't have the enormous range that they do now.

Second, with regards to flights from Europe to Tokyo, the USSR generally did not grant rights to most European airlines to fly over Soviet territory. Some airlines even flew Europe-Japan via Alaska
Flying over the Himalayan peaks was generally avoided, so that means Switzerland-Japan had to be a VERY long way round - much farther than a single fill of the fuel tanks.

Third, long haul travel in 1980 was a big deal - business travel, wealthy people, or other specific reasons. The number of people flying Switzerland-Japan was low, so airlines would add a stop or two - hoping demand for ZRH-HKG for example might add revenue and fill many of the empty seats on a flight ending in Japan
Last edited by davidjohnson6 on Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:13 am, edited 3 times in total.
 
moa999
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:00 am

Put simply aircraft engines weren't as fuel efficient so that was the only way to fly - with lots of little hops - one reason why Aus-UK became known as the Kangaroo route.

In addition many of the middle airports didn't have home airlines so the predominately Euro carriers became in effect the home airline
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:25 am

davidjohnson6 wrote:
Third, long haul travel in 1980 was a big deal - business travel, wealthy people, or other specific reasons.


747s had been in service nearly a decade at that point. Travel (in less tightly regulated markets, anyway) had fallen significantly in price. Any 747 of the day could readily have made that journey GVA-HKG in two segments, not five. Last, I don't suspect there was really much O&D GVA-HKG at that time. The OP has found an edge case.
 
Vicenza
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:38 am

davidjohnson6 wrote:
Third, long haul travel in 1980 was a big deal - business travel, wealthy people, or other specific reasons. The number of people flying Switzerland-Japan was low, so airlines would add a stop or two - hoping demand for ZRH-HKG for example might add revenue and fill many of the empty seats on a flight ending in Japan


Whilst not as common to everyone as now, largely due to a different lifestyle, long-haul travel in 1980 was certainly NOT a big deal by any means, nor was it confined to wealthy people, or 'business travel'. Indeed, I'm curious what your other 'specific reasons' are. Stops were also a carry over from slightly earlier because aircraft simply didn't have the range without fuel stops, nor was there a great need for so much point-to-point.
 
babaero
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:46 am

late 70s early eighties did a few of the BA flights to Australia ( flight went onto New Zealand )

LHR-MCT-BOM-KUL-SIN-SYD-AKL
LHR-BAH-AUH-BOM-SIN-ADL-SYD-AKL

Tis was the days of the -100s and -200s
 
smi0006
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 2:55 am

I’d imagine it was a mix. Many pax would fly the entire way, five stops isn’t that much if you look at journeys even today, I’ve done CBR-SYD-LAX-ORD-JLN , that’s not unusual for Australians today, to Europe, US or Africa, just depends where you are in the world. Admitting Europe to Asia wasn’t as far, but it’s not that much of a killer journey. In fact airports would have been quieter and transit security probably wasn’t required, could have been more relaxing!
 
BooDog
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:05 am

When you lay out the route on a map, it makes more sense. Zurich/Athens/Bombay/Bangkok/Hong Kong is the most efficient way to get from Zurich to Hong Kong while avoiding Warsaw Pact and Chinese air space.
B1B - best looking aircraft ever.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:06 am

One word: Cargo.
Actually two: Mail and Cargo.
 
880dc8707
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:14 am

In 1968 I flew Pan AM JFK-LHR-FRA-IST. At least it was direct vs connection, and most seats were full, but, but many psgrs got off while new ones got on keeping us pretty full all the way.About half deplaned in IST, I dont know how many new psgrs there were.
 
Gangurru
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:04 am

We certainly did fly such long routes in one go.

A few times I flew routes like Brisbane-Sydney-Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-Abu Dhabi-London on British Airways 747-100s. It was getting on for 30hrs of travel.

Oh, sometimes I was also an unaccompanied minor between 7 and 11 years old.

The whole time was spent on the plane as I wasn’t allowed off the aircraft at the tech stops. I was trusted to behave “like a grown up” by the crew, told not to go near open doors and I was rewarded with the run of the aircraft during the turnarounds.

During one turnaround, an aristocratic first class passenger even invited us kids forward to dance In the more spacious cabin. He and his wife ordered champagne and heartily agreed with the stewardess who said “Remember this life lesson lads, if you’re awake at 3am you’ve either got to be working or dancing.”

It was a different era of travel.
 
departedflights
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:10 am

davidjohnson6 wrote:
aircraft didn't have the enormous range that they do now.


I understand that, but as someone else, said.... the 747 was in service at the time AND the DC-10 was also flying... so long range trips were possible.

Interestingly enough, on the SAME city pair (Geneva to Tokyo) at the same date, Swissair also offered a 2-stop flight option that went Geneva to Tokyo via Karachi and Hong Hong and took a mere 19 1/2 hours compared to the 26 hours on the other route.

So shorter routes WERE possible.

moa999 wrote:
Put simply aircraft engines weren't as fuel efficient so that was the only way to fly - with lots of little hops - one reason why Aus-UK became known as the Kangaroo route.

In addition many of the middle airports didn't have home airlines so the predominately Euro carriers became in effect the home airline


Again... there were other shorter options possible but I do think you have a point with your second comment. Airlines like Swissair may have been operating as the "hometown" airline of en route nations.

MIflyer12 wrote:
747s had been in service nearly a decade at that point. Travel (in less tightly regulated markets, anyway) had fallen significantly in price. Any 747 of the day could readily have made that journey GVA-HKG in two segments, not five. Last, I don't suspect there was really much O&D GVA-HKG at that time. The OP has found an edge case.


As I said, I used this one Swissair flight as an example. There are plenty of other 5-stop long-haul flights from that same era that I could cite... Look at Qantas in the same time era: QF flight 15 operated Sydney-Melbourne-Darwin-Bangkok-Athens-Belgrade-Paris.

Did anyone truly plan to go all the way from Sydney to Paris on this route?

As I said... I can see the POLITICAL reasons for these routes.... but again.... my curiosity is whether not anyone actually traveled these routes from beginning to end.
The opinions are expressed are my own and do not represent those of anyone else, including my coworkers or my employer.
 
departedflights
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:15 am

Gangurru wrote:
We certainly did fly such long routes in one go.

A few times I flew routes like Brisbane-Sydney-Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-Abu Dhabi-London on British Airways 747-100s. It was getting on for 30hrs of travel.

Oh, sometimes I was also an unaccompanied minor between 7 and 11 years old.

The whole time was spent on the plane as I wasn’t allowed off the aircraft at the tech stops. I was trusted to behave “like a grown up” by the crew, told not to go near open doors and I was rewarded with the run of the aircraft during the turnarounds.

During one turnaround, an aristocratic first class passenger even invited us kids forward to dance In the more spacious cabin. He and his wife ordered champagne and heartily agreed with the stewardess who said “Remember this life lesson lads, if you’re awake at 3am you’ve either got to be working or dancing.”

It was a different era of travel.


THAT is not only a great story but it actually does answer my question! So yes.... you were booked from BNE to LHR on a routing that took 30 hours! Incredible! You have provided the best answer to m question! Thank you!
The opinions are expressed are my own and do not represent those of anyone else, including my coworkers or my employer.
 
Gangurru
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:23 am

departedflights wrote:
As I said... I can see the POLITICAL reasons for these routes.... but again.... my curiosity is whether not anyone actually traveled these routes from beginning to end.


I sure did and many others who needed to fly in one go did.

I saw a post on a Facebook group about a guy who flew SQ SYD-SIN-BOM-BAH-GVA-PAR-LON in one go.

In those days, the connecting hubs were weaker with many services only operating once or twice a week. If you missed a connection you could be stranded for days. The multi stops offered more certainty.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 7:30 am

smi0006 wrote:
I’d imagine it was a mix. Many pax would fly the entire way, five stops isn’t that much if you look at journeys even today, I’ve done CBR-SYD-LAX-ORD-JLN , that’s not unusual for Australians today, to Europe, US or Africa, just depends where you are in the world. Admitting Europe to Asia wasn’t as far, but it’s not that much of a killer journey. In fact airports would have been quieter and transit security probably wasn’t required, could have been more relaxing!


I once flew DUB-BUD-AMM-BKK-SYD and back using points and paid for flights. It's long, but it's doable. Last time it was DUB-LHR-ARN-LHR-HKG-SYD which was even longer. The things I'll do for cheap business class fares!

departedflights wrote:
davidjohnson6 wrote:
aircraft didn't have the enormous range that they do now.


I understand that, but as someone else, said.... the 747 was in service at the time AND the DC-10 was also flying... so long range trips were possible.

Interestingly enough, on the SAME city pair (Geneva to Tokyo) at the same date, Swissair also offered a 2-stop flight option that went Geneva to Tokyo via Karachi and Hong Hong and took a mere 19 1/2 hours compared to the 26 hours on the other route.

So shorter routes WERE possible.

moa999 wrote:
Put simply aircraft engines weren't as fuel efficient so that was the only way to fly - with lots of little hops - one reason why Aus-UK became known as the Kangaroo route.

In addition many of the middle airports didn't have home airlines so the predominately Euro carriers became in effect the home airline


Again... there were other shorter options possible but I do think you have a point with your second comment. Airlines like Swissair may have been operating as the "hometown" airline of en route nations.

MIflyer12 wrote:
There are plenty of other 5-stop long-haul flights from that same era that I could cite... Look at Qantas in the same time era: QF flight 15 operated Sydney-Melbourne-Darwin-Bangkok-Athens-Belgrade-Paris.

Did anyone truly plan to go all the way from Sydney to Paris on this route?

As I said... I can see the POLITICAL reasons for these routes.... but again.... my curiosity is whether not anyone actually traveled these routes from beginning to end.


Even better is Qantas flight 580 - the famous Fiesta Route - https://travelupdate.com/intrigue-glamour-qantas-flight-580/

SYD-NAN-PPT-ACA-MEX-NAS-BDA-LHR. Now that is a long way to get to London! I'm pretty sure people would have flown the entire route.
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
Toenga
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:10 am

babaero wrote:
late 70s early eighties did a few of the BA flights to Australia ( flight went onto New Zealand )

LHR-MCT-BOM-KUL-SIN-SYD-AKL
LHR-BAH-AUH-BOM-SIN-ADL-SYD-AKL

Tis was the days of the -100s and -200s


Conversely I flew from LHR to Auckland in DC10 in 26hrs with stops in LAX and Tahiti only in 1976. The 747 200s made the islands stop redundant a couple of years later.
 
richcandy
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:27 am

Yes, but remember that 15 year prior to 1980 most people traveling from say Europe to Australia went by ship and that was often a three week trip with multiple stops. So even in the 1980's a multi stop 30 hr trip was seen as a step forward.
 
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PepeTheFrog
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:56 am

departedflights wrote:
For example.... I am looking at an OAG from 1980 and I am seeing a 5-stop Swissair flight from Geneva to Tokyo with en route stops in Zurich, Athens, Bombay, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Total travel time was over 26 hours.


I went to Australia recently, total travel time was some 24 hours. So yes people did and still do it. Overnight stay is just a waste of time.
Good moaning!
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:26 am

Perhaps was it already mentionned but European airlines then also flew to the Far East by heading west through ANC, like ZRH-ANC-NRT
 
smartplane
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:30 am

Toenga wrote:
babaero wrote:
late 70s early eighties did a few of the BA flights to Australia ( flight went onto New Zealand )

LHR-MCT-BOM-KUL-SIN-SYD-AKL
LHR-BAH-AUH-BOM-SIN-ADL-SYD-AKL

Tis was the days of the -100s and -200s


Conversely I flew from LHR to Auckland in DC10 in 26hrs with stops in LAX and Tahiti only in 1976. The 747 200s made the islands stop redundant a couple of years later.

I flew 3-5 times a year to the US and Europe in the late 70's and 80's. The DC10 could and did fly direct to LAX.

More than once BA asked for volunteers to stay behind in India when I was flying to LHR (747's), due presumably to weight and temperatures.

These were the days when NZ to UK airfares were 'managed' by NZ, QF, SQ, BA and CX. Worthwhile booking a one way ex-NZ to LHR, then booking a return flight from the UK if you were a regular traveller and had overseas funds.
 
FlyingHonu001
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:26 am

Here is some examples of KL's ICA scheduling to Asia/Australia back in the 70s before direct long haul was in use. A quick stop in Anchorage or some multi-stops throughout Asia-Pacific and the Middle East for example was quite common then.

https://m.facebook.com/groups/103963142 ... 6596080475
 
mxaxai
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:45 am

departedflights wrote:
I am seeing a 5-stop Swissair flight from Geneva to Tokyo with en route stops in Zurich, Athens, Bombay, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Total travel time was over 26 hours.
...flights like this were simply offered for the prestige of a flag-carrying airline to say they operate to just remote places.

I don't think it's necessarily "prestige". There was a lot less code-sharing than today and travel volume was also somewhat lower than today. You couldn't serve each destination daily, and you couldn't serve one asian hub only and expect your JV partner to distribute passengers.
At the same time, there was demand for convenient flights to Tokyo, Hongkong, etc. The alternative would have been to buy a ticket from BA, KL, ... and add at least one stop and a change of aircraft in a foreign country. With Swissair, you and your luggage could remain onboard similar to a modern non-stop flight.
 
brilondon
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:24 pm

In Canada Air Canada I flew a flight for fun from Halifax to Victoria with multiple stops. It flew from Halifax to Victoria with stops in Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, London, Windsor, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Vancouver and arriving in Victoria. It's was not as fun as I thought it would be, but it's off my bucket list.
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Gonzalo
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:52 pm

smi0006 wrote:
I’d imagine it was a mix. Many pax would fly the entire way, five stops isn’t that much if you look at journeys even today, I’ve done CBR-SYD-LAX-ORD-JLN , that’s not unusual for Australians today, to Europe, US or Africa, just depends where you are in the world. Admitting Europe to Asia wasn’t as far, but it’s not that much of a killer journey. In fact airports would have been quieter and transit security probably wasn’t required, could have been more relaxing!


You're spot on. I live in northern Chile and a couple of years ago I visited Bora Bora in French Polynesia. My trip was ANF-SCL-AKL-PPT-BOB and then the return was BOB-PPT-IPC-SCL-ANF. Was a three airlines journey, with an overnight stay at PPT on my way to BOB. If i count the twelve hours stop at PPT and a short visit to the Skytower in Auckland, my trip from A to B was around 53 hours !!.

Rgds.
G.
Last edited by Gonzalo on Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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mcg
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 12:55 pm

So, in the 70's NW had a flight SEA-GEG-MSO-GTF-BIL-BIS-MSP It arrived shortly before midnight in MSP and was operated with a 727. From there I connected on to a 747 to finish my journey at ORD. I presume the first flight was somehow a result of the regulatory environment and the second was to move the aircraft to where it was needed. I took this flight (starting in MSO) several times.
 
MareBorealis
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 1:05 pm

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
Perhaps was it already mentionned but European airlines then also flew to the Far East by heading west through ANC, like ZRH-ANC-NRT


Finnair was the first western European airline flying non stop to Tokyo, starting the HEL-NRT service in 1983. At first they couldn't use the Siberian air space, their DC-10 (with extra fuel tanks) took the longer polar route.
 
trex8
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 3:33 pm

In the 70s my dad worked in HK, Taiwan, Japan and mom was working in London or back home in US. I routinely flew HKG-BKK or somewhere in India- usually DEL or BOM, and sometimes stops in both; somewhere in Gulf, usually BAH in those days, then LHR. Going to US west coast, HK-TPE/TYO-HNL- was the norm. And often in a 707/DC8!
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:05 pm

On the BA B742 that flew through volcanic ash on BA9, weren't most of the passengers London-originating bound for Australia? (There was a crew change in KUL.) That flight was routed LHR-BOM-KUL-PER-MEL-AKL (after the volcanic ash incident, the flight diverted to HLP in Indonesia).

Nearly 40 years later, prior to COVID-19, QF is desiring to fly almost all of the Kangaroo Route virtually nonstop, with just one gap between JFK and LHR. NZ until a few years ago did have a round-the-world service, although very few flew more than two segments...AKL-LAX-LHR-HKG-AKL. (HKG-LHR was canceled after NW12, and LAX-LHR was set to be canceled at the end of NS20, which would have been replaced by AKL-EWR.)

Regarding flights to the Orient, AY was the first airline to fly nonstop from Europe to Japan (HEL-NRT). AY could have overflown Soviet airspace, but Japan wanted the detour, and so some DC-10-30s were outfitted with extra fuel tanks.

Also related to the topic...when was the first nonstop flight between the USA and Australia, if it was before the northern winter 1989 schedule? (VH-OJA was delivered to QF late in the summer of 1989, ferried PAE-SYD - the long way via LHR.)
 
USAirALB
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:28 pm

Even today, 4-5 segment itineraries are relatively common (and quite often the only way) to get to some antipodal destinations.

I have a friend from ALB whose family lives in PER. He regularly does ALB-ORD-LAX-SYD-PER. He is looking forward to QF launching ORD services, allowing him to do ALB-ORD-BNE-PER.
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ClassicLover
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:31 pm

aemoreira1981 wrote:
Also related to the topic...when was the first nonstop flight between the USA and Australia, if it was before the northern winter 1989 schedule? (VH-OJA was delivered to QF late in the summer of 1989, ferried PAE-SYD - the long way via LHR.)


It looks like Sydney to Los Angeles was non-stop two days a week from 29 April 1979 - http://www.departedflights.com/PA042979p23.html - Friday and Sunday on PA816.

They were one stop in the other direction though - http://www.departedflights.com/PA042979p12.html.

Apparently it began in December 1976 though, with a route of SFO-AKL-SYD-SFO, but I can't confirm it. Just going from another old a.net post someone wrote in here - https://www.airliners.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=584047
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
arcticcruiser
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 4:34 pm

PepeTheFrog wrote:
departedflights wrote:
For example.... I am looking at an OAG from 1980 and I am seeing a 5-stop Swissair flight from Geneva to Tokyo with en route stops in Zurich, Athens, Bombay, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Total travel time was over 26 hours.


I went to Australia recently, total travel time was some 24 hours. So yes people did and still do it. Overnight stay is just a waste of time.


To each his own on that. On a leisure trip I would for sure take a couple of nights somewhere along the route. On business with a lie flat seat might be different, but our max deadhead duty is 20 hrs. So a nightstop in any case.
 
Thibault973
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:02 pm

I am not that old (32) and I remember pretty well multi-stops flights being the norm when travelling within Brazil just 20 years ago. I flew NAT-REC-MCZ-SSA-BSB then onward to GYN-CGB. The stoppover in BSB was a whole day ! We would often travel from FOR to BEL and direct flights were far from the norm, with most of them stopping in SLZ and some even in THE. Varig, Vasp and Transbrasil all operated milk runs POA-FLN-CWB-CGH-GIG-VIX-SSA-AJU-MCZ-REC-NAT-SLZ-BEL-MAO.
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:20 pm

USAirALB wrote:
Even today, 4-5 segment itineraries are relatively common (and quite often the only way) to get to some antipodal destinations.

I have a friend from ALB whose family lives in PER. He regularly does ALB-ORD-LAX-SYD-PER. He is looking forward to QF launching ORD services, allowing him to do ALB-ORD-BNE-PER.


He could also drive down to New York and fly JFK-LHR-PER.
 
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BN727227Ultra
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:22 pm

davidjohnson6 wrote:
Worth remembering 3 things.

First, aircraft didn't have the enormous range that they do now.

Second, with regards to flights from Europe to Tokyo, the USSR generally did not grant rights to most European airlines to fly over Soviet territory. Some airlines even flew Europe-Japan via Alaska


The collapse of the USSR combined with the 744 really killed ANC passenger traffic. Back in the day, Anchorage was the place to be for planespotting heavy metal. (Redoubt volcano played a hand, too...)
 
workhorse
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 5:28 pm

In the early 90's SU used to fly SVO-DXB-SIN-KUL-SIN-DXB-SVO on an A310 with crew change at DXB and SIN.

One day in DXB a "fresh" crew gets on board and makes a PA to pax who, for a large part of them have flown all the way from KUL and have already seen two takeoffs, two landings and three different crews: "Ladies and gentlemen, we are happy to welcome you on board of our flight bla bla bla"... Then a pax who probably had a couple of beers too much yells: "HELL NO! WE are happy to welcome you on board of OUR flight!"
 
nry
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:19 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
davidjohnson6 wrote:
Third, long haul travel in 1980 was a big deal - business travel, wealthy people, or other specific reasons.


747s had been in service nearly a decade at that point. Travel (in less tightly regulated markets, anyway) had fallen significantly in price. Any 747 of the day could readily have made that journey GVA-HKG in two segments, not five. Last, I don't suspect there was really much O&D GVA-HKG at that time. The OP has found an edge case.


So, ironically, the 747 was the first aircraft that set us on a path to P2P flying.
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IAHWorldflyer
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:25 pm

Not only Asia-Europe routes were multi-stop. In the 1970's, TWA would fly something like JFK-ORY-FCO-ATH. Many European cities beyond FRA and Paris were not non-stop, and were operated as tag on's from those "hubs" only a couple days a week. Yes, people would fly the whole segment, often much further, if say their journey started in say Chicago, or Denver.
 
atuchan
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:32 pm

Yes, I use to fly Southern Route to and from Europe to Japan a lot when I was studying at a boarding school in Switzerland in the 80's.
I remember taking SR flight GVA-ZRH-ATH-JED-KHI-HKG-NRT and JL from NRT-OSA. They were really long flights and if I remember correctly, I was not allowed to get off at JED and KHI (middle of night anyway).
 
ltbewr
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 6:53 pm

Sometimes, multi-stop flights were operated even if non-stops were around as offered service to those intermediate stops, to change crews for long hauls and sometimes cheaper. In Summer 1989, I traveled EWR-LAX on AA, (the internal USA flights were on frequent flyer points I had), a 5 hour layover where I went to a nearby shopping mall to replace a broken carry on bag, then QF LAX, with stop in HNL, stop and change of plane in AUK, to SYD. Was slow getting off the ground in LAX due to runway construction and screw up with a check bag but pax missed flight. Total time EWR-SYD -over 25 hours.
A week later flew from SYD to Cains, Qld. 5 days later Cains-Townsville-AUK with a 12 hour layover in AUK, then AUK non-stop to LAX, a few hours later AA LAX-EWR. AUK-EWR flights about 17 hours total. not including LAX transfer time.
The flight I got was a special deal that allowed multiple flights/stops so long as going in one direction. Got a lot of AA points then, used them for a flight EWR-LAX-EWR in 1992.
 
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FiscAutTecGarte
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 9:54 pm

I once had to fly Harligen TX to Tucson AZ on four planes on WN (actually is only about 18 months ago). Extenuating circumstances...a flight from McAllen on other carriers was not available that day. At the point, your luggage is handled by hand written tags. Interesting. I saw the inside of 5 airports that day.
learning never stops...

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Jomar777
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:18 pm

departedflights wrote:
Looking at some old flight schedules, I am seeing some incredible multi-stop flights on routes that spanned the far corners of the globe.

For example.... I am looking at an OAG from 1980 and I am seeing a 5-stop Swissair flight from Geneva to Tokyo with en route stops in Zurich, Athens, Bombay, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Total travel time was over 26 hours.

This is just one of many examples I have seen like this from that time period.

I am curious if anyone who worked in the airline industry back in the days of flights like that can tell me: Did passengers REALLY fly that entire distance at once? I am assuming that passengers broke up the journey with an overnight stay during the flight and that flights like this were simply offered for the prestige of a flag-carrying airline to say they operate to just remote places

So, again... for anyone who knows... how common was it for passengers, back then, to fly on these types of routes from beginning to end.


one question for you... sorry for the ignorance... where can you find these routes??? I always wanted to research about them and the old times of flying but cannot get anything on it...
 
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seat55a
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 10:44 pm

I remember being disappointed on a vacation to Australia in 1981 that the QF service from SFO to SYD made a tech stop in HNL. I had heard that QF had 747 SPs which would have been able to nonstop...I had no idea that they were actually used - maybe even only acquired - for service WLG to Australia. Quite a niche market that was.

The domestic US part of that itinerary was TWA, ALB-PIT-SFO through service on 707, the ALB tag was seasonal for a couple years I believe and the 707 was a novelty in ALB.
 
terminalc
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:18 pm

Dec 1968 I flew from Houston to Singapore to visit my father. I think the JAL route was SFO-YVR-ANC-TYO-HKG-BKK-KUL-SIN. The return was SIN-BKK-HKG-TYO-HNL-LAX. I was 17 & had no idea that it should be any other way.
 
Kent350787
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:19 pm

My family was never wealthy enough for overseas travel as a kid, but I learnt a lot about weird routings from friends who travelled. The trips were almost always to the UK or LA. I wondered for a while whatever happened to Bahrain, which was a major tech stop to Europe in the 70s.

Australians have always had to fly medium haul to leave the country, mutli-stop long haul to Europe or the US. You people fomr the US and Europe/UK are funny :)

We've been flying SYD-NRT-JFK/BOS a bit, did SYD-HKG-BOS on our last trip. The travel time is what it is, and at least we avoid US domestic.
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Curiousflyer
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Sun Jul 05, 2020 11:56 pm

UTA, a French airline that was later taken over by AF, used to fly to Noumea in the Pacific in the 80s with a route that could be as long as CDG-BAH-SIN-CGK-SYD-NOU. The plane could go back or continue to PPT, LAX and back to CDG. I have flown CDG-BAH-SIN-CGK-NOU in 1982. My family spent two years there and in 1984 we flew Air New Zealand NOU-Stop 1 day-AKL-HNL-LAX-stop 3 days-Greyhound-San Luis Obispo-Greyhound-3 days in San Francisco- then BA SFO-LHR-CDG.
 
airbazar
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:07 am

departedflights wrote:
Looking at some old flight schedules, I am seeing some incredible multi-stop flights on routes that spanned the far corners of the globe.

For example.... I am looking at an OAG from 1980 and I am seeing a 5-stop Swissair flight from Geneva to Tokyo with en route stops in Zurich, Athens, Bombay, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Total travel time was over 26 hours.


Still a heck of a lot faster than traveling by ship which is how people traveled before the airplane :)
 
DBCooper
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:53 am

I used to regularly fly 2 single aircraft TWA long haul routes:
SFO-LAX-HNL-GUM-OKA-TPE-HKG (707-331)
SFO-PIT-BDL-BOS-Santa Maria, Azores-LIS-MAD-FCO-ATH-CAI (707-331)

Seat pitch was a lot more generous back then as was the in flight service.


-DBC
 
rbretas
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 6:24 am

Not single aircraft, but some of my recent flights between East Asia and South America had 5 stops and 35h in total. For example ITM-NRT-LAX-MIA-GRU-RIG, or MMJ-NRT-HKG-ADD-GRU-RIG. Cheapest options from Southeast Asia can be even longer.
 
FluidFlow
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:14 am

departedflights wrote:
Looking at some old flight schedules, I am seeing some incredible multi-stop flights on routes that spanned the far corners of the globe.

For example.... I am looking at an OAG from 1980 and I am seeing a 5-stop Swissair flight from Geneva to Tokyo with en route stops in Zurich, Athens, Bombay, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Total travel time was over 26 hours.

This is just one of many examples I have seen like this from that time period.

I am curious if anyone who worked in the airline industry back in the days of flights like that can tell me: Did passengers REALLY fly that entire distance at once? I am assuming that passengers broke up the journey with an overnight stay during the flight and that flights like this were simply offered for the prestige of a flag-carrying airline to say they operate to just remote places

So, again... for anyone who knows... how common was it for passengers, back then, to fly on these types of routes from beginning to end.


The GVA-ZRH Segment or vice versa was present in a lot of Swissair long haul flights back then. Now this segment is of course flown with small aircraft to feed the Long-Haul Network but back then it was absolutely common to make this segment and then continue on with the same aircraft.
 
69bug
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:08 am

Worked for a ground-handling company in SIN and Sabena operated a DC-10 combi from SIN to BRU via KUL, BKK, BOM, AUH..I was in the cargo dept and from what I remember they only carried Europe load with no traffic to KUL/BKK/BOM and AUH apart from company material.

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