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seb76
Posts: 76
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 5:02 pm

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 9:32 am

I heard stories in my family of people taking Sabena flights from Brussels to Japan doing 3-4 stops to get there. During those stops, some got off, some joined, but most of the people could just stay on the plane. In those times where business class seats were not "lie flat" and IFE was not yet a thing, all still consider themselves very lucky to make those business travels and have good memories of it. Range was not the main reason for those hops. Serving several destinations with one plane and picking up people on the way to the final destination made it economically feasible for Sabena to serve far destinations for which BRU alone or that destination alone had not enough customers
For the passengers of those flights, the comfort of being able to stay on the same plane (from their domestic carrier, speaking their language) all the way instead of taking off from another European airport for a more direct flight compensated for the extra hops while removing the risk of missing connections etc... All things considered, it was probably a quite relaxing way to travel, although I heard that punctuality was not the strongest point of those flights ;-)
 
uta999
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:00 am

In the summer of 1976, we flew LHR-KUL (Subang) on a classic Qantas 742, via Belgrade, Bahrain and finally Kuala Lumpur. I think it even landed in Singapore on its way to Oz.

It took a while but enjoyed every minute.

Nice video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4RvajdD3vI
Your computer just got better
 
blandy62
Posts: 310
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:47 am

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:12 am

We used to fly like this. But don’t forget flying was a “privilege” for most people at that time and “Exonomy” class was not what it used be...
 
factsonly
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:16 am

OP QUESTION:

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

This question indicates a degree of unfamiliarity with the development of air transport, and the air travel patterns of the early 20th Century,

ANSWER: Yes, ofcourse people traveled all the way. That is how the airline industry developed - step by step, en-route stop by en-route stop.

Explanation:

Let's take a look at the development of the world's oldest long-haul airline - KLM - and how its intercontinental routes developed.

- 1920''s: The early Long-Haul flights - included hotel stops for passengers and crew along the way.

Here is the world's longest fixed wing long-haul flight in the 1920's Amsterdam - Jakarta (then called Batavia).
Check how every route segment is listed in the box on the lower left.

Image

- 1930's: KLM's first scheduled Transatlantic flight was to Latin America (Netherlands Caribbean), with 6 seater Fokker trimotor aircraft.

Image

Read all about it here:
https://blog.klm.com/klms-first-transatlantic-flight/

Or watch a You Tube film:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... e=emb_logo

- 1950's The Douglas DC4 network:

Read the history of this operation in KLM.

https://blog.klm.com/the-mighty-douglas-dc-4-skymaster/

Image

- 1960's Douglas DC8 network:

Image

- 1970's Route examples KLM DC8-63:

- Amsterdam – Frankfurt – Zurich – Lisbon – Port of Spain – Caracas – Curacao – Panama City – Quito – Lima = 1x weekly
- Amsterdam – Zurich – Lisbon – Rio de Janeiro – Montevideo – Buenos Aires – Santiago de Chile = 1x weekly
- Amsterdam – Cairo – Bahrain – Karachi – Colombo – Kuala Lumpur – Jakarta = 1x weekly
- Amsterdam – Frankfurt – Athens – Karachi – Bangkok – Singapore – Jakarta = 1x weekly
- Amsterdam – Vienna – Bahrain – Karachi – Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – Jakarta = 1x weekly

Conclusion:
By the time the B747 arrived in the 1970's, passengers knew no better then that en-route stops were part of the global travel experience.
And they did travel all the way...........
 
blandy62
Posts: 310
Joined: Tue Jul 12, 2016 12:47 am

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:17 am

Curiousflyer wrote:
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.


A bit later AoM vas doing Paris Nounea via Colombo and Sydney.
 
mchei
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:59 am

I’m German but I grew up in Brazil, in Rio to be more precise. We would fly back to Germany for family visit once or twice a year.
During the 80s we would always take Pan Am because my dad worked in American company in Brazil and they had special prices.

I don’t recall it exactly and perhaps you guys could help me with that, but these flights were multi stop as well. It was at least Rio to JFK, stopping at Miami before (not entirely sure about that) then LHR and then Frankfurt and then Bremen or Hamburg.

So GIG-MIA-JFK-LHR-FRA-HAM/BRE.

After Pan Am went down the drain, it was LH with the first A340s that brought us to Germany. Our last flight when moving back to Germany was on an VASP MD-11 to Brussels.
F70-F100-E145-E170-E190-319-320-321-735–736-737-738-752-763–742-744-333-343-ATR72-Metroliner-Saab2000-Lockheed Electra-C172-C182-C182RG-MD11
 
Cointrin330
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:23 pm

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:13 am

IAHWorldflyer wrote:
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.


The TATL routes that were multi-stop (JFK-CDG-GVA, JFK-FCO-ATH-CAI, etc...) which operated at different times and well into the late 1980s and even further into the 1990s, were not so much about range but about right sized aircraft and market dynamics, as well as the post-WWII footprint, particularly in a divided Germany, where service was restricted and limited. TWA and Pan Am entered the 1980s without the right sized planes to make some flights profitable. The 747 (and L1011 in the case of TWA) were too large for many markets. The arrival of the 767 in 1983 at TWA opened up some routes, with the A310 doing something similar for Pan Am starting in 1985. It's amazing to think that PA, TW, and later UA and AA (and DL) placed 727s in Europe for not much more than two rotations a day to feed TATL flights. Eventually, that whole model was dismantled.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:29 am

What about the current United Airlines flight 155? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_Hopper

HNL - Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
MAJ - Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands
KWA - Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands
KSA - Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia
PNI - Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
TKK - Weno, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia
GUM - Guam, United States

Would love to do this someday!
I do enjoy a spot of flying, especially when it's not in economy!
 
Cointrin330
Posts: 2016
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:23 pm

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 11:47 am

ClassicLover wrote:
What about the current United Airlines flight 155? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_Hopper

HNL - Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
MAJ - Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands
KWA - Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands
KSA - Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia
PNI - Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
TKK - Weno, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia
GUM - Guam, United States

Would love to do this someday!


Always wanted to fly this route and hope to some day. I think the UA island hopper flight is more about essential air service and US military requirements, and I wonder if it is subsidized in some way. It's a unique operation for sure.
 
midway7
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Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 10:24 pm

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 12:37 pm

mcg wrote:
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.


I believe this flight still operated in the early 80's in some form. I seem to recall as a kid seeing it in an OAG and it may have gone all the way to Chicago. I really wish I would have taken it. Would have been a fun day.

I used to take advantage of some of the tag on flights back in the 80's and 90's as a way to see more airports. Flew MCO to TPA several times on HP, OZ, and ML.
 
FCOTSTW
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 1:39 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
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


A fourth thing, if you allow me... seats were much more comfortable. Padding was thick, seat pitch was longer, and recline was good enough for a good night' s sleep. In addition aisles were larger, allowing passengers to stand and to commingle during the flight.
 
Ionosphere
Posts: 264
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:31 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!


That's the most direct route today between CBR & JLN. In 1980, it would've been something like CBR-SYD-AKL-HNL-LAX-DEN-MCI-JLN
 
MikeUniformEcho
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:33 pm

VARIG used to fly GIG-GRU-JNB-BKK-HKG in the 90s with MD-11 and 747
 
FlyHossD
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:07 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...

...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,,.


I recall a flight from IAH to PTY in which we had a passenger who lost consciousness. She had traveled from HKG-EWR-IAH to board our flight with no layovers. This occurred during one of the flu outbreaks (H1N1? 2008 or 2009, IIRC), so there was some question as to whether we'd be quarantined upon arrival.
My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
 
HANGERS
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2020 11:40 am

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 3:12 pm

My very first long haul flight was in 1994 from London to, ultimately, Hong Kong and flew Philippine Airlines from LGW to BKK via FRA. Next leg was BKK to MNL (stopover for a coupe of days) then on to Hong Kong. The return flight was HKG to MNL, change planes and then MNL via BKK, AUH, FRA and then LGW on the same plane. Transit time in MNL was only supposed to be a few hours but ended up being 12(!). I remember being dead on my feet by the time I eventually got back to London. Having never flown on a Jumbo before I managed to get plenty of take offs and landings on that trip as all sectors were on a 747.

The reason we chose Philippine Airlines was price. Plenty of other options from London to the far east but that was one of the cheapest available!
 
departedflights
Topic Author
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:18 pm

factsonly wrote:
OP QUESTION:

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

This question indicates a degree of unfamiliarity with the development of air transport, and the air travel patterns of the early 20th Century.


I don't think that response was necessary. I consider myself to be familiar with all of those areas. I explained my reason for asking this question up front.

To everyone else, thank you for your worthwhile contributions to this thread.
The opinions are expressed are my own and do not represent those of anyone else, including my coworkers or my employer.
 
IAHWorldflyer
Posts: 875
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2012 7:22 pm

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 4:23 pm

FlyHossD wrote:
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...

...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,,.


I recall a flight from IAH to PTY in which we had a passenger who lost consciousness. She had traveled from HKG-EWR-IAH to board our flight with no layovers. This occurred during one of the flu outbreaks (H1N1? 2008 or 2009, IIRC), so there was some question as to whether we'd be quarantined upon arrival.


A few years back, I was flying UA on IAH-UIO. The lady next to me and her 2 kids were Ecuadorian and lived in Australia. She told me her routing was MEL-SYD-LAX-IAH-UIO with about a 6 hour layover in LAX where she went to a hotel near the airport to bathe the kids and change their clothes. The kids weren't a problem, by the time they hit my segment, they slept most of the way.
 
incitatus
Posts: 3376
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 1:49 am

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 5:11 pm

departedflights wrote:
(…)

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.


This is indeed a super interesting topic and I appreciate you brought it up. For a very long time long-haul was mostly multi-stop. It looks as if in 1960s to 1980s aircraft range had enabled fewer stops, but the airlines did not take advantage of it in many routes. I think it could be an array of factors:
- No demand
- Cargo was much more important than people
- Established thinking placing large value on traffic between other nations
- Desire to hang on to fifth freedom rights
- Lack of analytical sophistication inside airlines to adjust their network to potential demand
- Passengers placed low incremental value in fewer stops

Growing up in Brazil I watched Lufthansa in the 1980s fly 747s FRA-GIG-VCP-EZE-SCL. When I flew it, there we people from all stops. Prior to that time, LH used DC-10s with an additional stop in Dakar. Stops didn't deter direct travel and the Chile traffic endured the 4 stops.

Pre-jet age this whole thing was a lot more painful with more noise, more vibration, less pressurization, more stops and a lot more travel time. Strangely called "Golden-age". I assume many would take the trip end-to-end, and if they weren't up for it, they could always go on a ship over two weeks.

In 1929 NYRBA inaugurated service from Miami to Buenos Aires with Consolidated Commodore flying boats. It only flew during the day, so overnight stops were Port au Prince, St John's, Port of Spain, Paramaribo, Belem, Fortaleza, Salvador, Rio, Porto Alegre. That was 10 days. Add in multiple other stops every day. It sounds like the adventure of a lifetime.
I do not consume Murdoch products including the Wall Street Journal
 
PI4EVR
Posts: 117
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:02 pm

In 1970 I flew QF from JFK to NAN via SFO and HNL. My flight originated in LHR and terminated in MEL after NAN and SYD stops.
A gentleman sitting across the aisle from me was dressed in a suit including a coat he never removed and sat bolt upright the entire time I was on the plane with him.
He had originated in LHR and was going to SYD. I remember he ate very little but drank can after can of beer/ale the entire flight. I commented to him at one point the dinner was quite good if he was hungry and he responded "I never eat anything on an airplane." I doubt the man closed his eyes the entire time from London to Sydney so booze did help sustain you (or numb you) on long haul multi-stop flights.
 
Miamiairport
Posts: 668
Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:14 pm

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 8:46 pm

Well I would think people from the era would look at a typical Spirit flight today and think "do they really fly like that?"
 
chrisair
Posts: 2155
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2000 11:32 pm

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:25 pm

Heck not that long ago I'd do a Southwest routing that took eight hours: TUS-LAX/SAN-SJC/OAK-PDX (or SEA). Also had one that would do TUS-ABQ-OAK-SEA-GEG. Nonstop these are 2.5 or 3 hours.

I learned I could ask a pilot to grab food for me if they were doing a food run for the FAs at a stop.

PI4EVR wrote:
In 1970 I flew QF from JFK to NAN via SFO and HNL. My flight originated in LHR and terminated in MEL after NAN and SYD stops.
A gentleman sitting across the aisle from me was dressed in a suit including a coat he never removed and sat bolt upright the entire time I was on the plane with him.
He had originated in LHR and was going to SYD. I remember he ate very little but drank can after can of beer/ale the entire flight.


Australians are crazy, crazy people.
 
Yflyer
Posts: 1730
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 4:05 am

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:25 pm

factsonly wrote:
OP QUESTION:

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

This question indicates a degree of unfamiliarity with the development of air transport, and the air travel patterns of the early 20th Century,

ANSWER: Yes, of course people traveled all the way. That is how the airline industry developed - step by step, en-route stop by en-route stop.


This post reminded me -- Several years ago I came across some reproductions of vintage airline ads, probably from the 1930s or very early 1940s. They touted travel times like "New York to Miami in only 8 hours!" and "Fly down to Rio in 3 days!" By modern standards those travel times seem almost painfully slow (the flight time to Rio being measured in days rather than hours particularly stuck with me). But at the time, compared to travel time by train or ship, those times surely would have seemed fast.

And of course a train from New York to Miami would have stopped at other cities along the way, too. I would assume a ship going to South America would have stopped at other ports along the way, too. People were used to making multiple stops along their journey back then.

By the way, thank you for posting those route maps. Those were fascinating.
 
e38
Posts: 720
Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 10:09 pm

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

Mon Jul 06, 2020 10:59 pm

something that has not been mentioned, but during the time frame we are talking about—1980s and earlier—airlines did not have nearly as many aircraft in their fleets as they do today. So, if you were a European airline, for example, and wanted to serve many destinations in the Middle East and Asia, the limited number of aircraft you had served multiple destinations along the way. This was just the way it was done and yes, people just accepted the travel time—they didn’t know any other option.

In the late 1970s I travelled from Los Angeles to Houston and the flight stopped in Phoenix, Tucson, El Paso, and San Antonio. I think the frequency was twice daily. Now, all these destinations are served nonstop from LAX, some with much greater frequency, but airline fleets are much larger and can support nonstop service to many more destinations.

e38
 
Skyguy
Posts: 507
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 1:55 am

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

Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:49 am

As has been adequately covered above, there were many, many international long-haul flights that had multi-stop itineraries due to the variety of reasons mentioned above. However, what does not appear to have been mentioned was the experience for the passengers and crew. I was in a kid in the 70's and 80's and with my family working in a different country from our home country meant that life as an expatriate included one or two trips back to your home country for vacation. This meant hopscotching around the globe and the accompanying pain and pleasure that came with it.

Firstly, these were not daily flights, the would operate 2-4 times a week and often not visit the same transit locations on the way to their final destination in the same week, so if a flight was going from LHR to SYD, one of the stops maybe SIN on of the of the flights and later on the same week the same flight would stop in KUL or SXB or some other place instead. This meant if you were connecting flight to get to another destination, you may end up more than 24 hours in transit or sometimes even up to 3 days or longer on layover. Frequently, these layovers would be footed by the airline, they would put up the passengers in a hotel till the next flight to their destination. I know of several people that would plan their trips in such a way that they literally got to see the world on layovers paid for by airlines by carefully constructing itineraries. Fun for sure! But not anymore. For the crew too it was interesting, they could be out of station for a week or more, or even two weeks bouncing between destinations back to base, This was because they would do 2 legs of a 5-6 leg flight, have a layover in the city they arrived in for whatever number of days it took for the next flight to arrive which could be 2 days to even 5 days. This factor alone added to the "glamour" of flying for flight attendants and air crew as they got quite generous down time in decent hotel (well, depends where they were of course) and this was part of the allure of flying for staff as they truly got to see the world. I heard from one old time ex-FA about all the touring and sight seeing that went on during the 3-4 day breaks in lush locations in the Far East, South America etc., when lots of romance happened too as well as debauchery too, there was one major chain hotel on the outskirts of Miami airport which was legendary for shenanigans among air crew as many airlines would put up their staff during layovers there.

For passengers the long flights were a drag compared to today. There was little to do on board except read material you brought with you or borrow magazines on the rack at the front or rear bulkhead, a movie was played depending on the length of the sector (old airline timetables even indicated with the movie projector symbol if a movie was going to be shown on the sector), and they were not the latest movies but you also had no choice. Sound was played through those plastic tube headphones which some airlines gave for free or you could buy for $1-2, wasn't great quality but you had a handful of music channels to listen to in an endless loop which you invariably got tired of after a 26 hour flight. Add to that, there was virtually no pre-selecting seats, so it all depended if you were early to checkin and got an aisle or window, or else you got the middle, and then, there as the smoking section. I remember being stuck on a flight from LAX to NBO on Pan Am which had endless delays and ended up taking 40 hours, sitting in the seat in front of the smoking zone in Y on a full flight with a fog of smoke constantly around us, you couldn't escape it.

Finally, it was the food. Some airlines did a better job of it than others (still true today it seems), TG food I recall as being fantastic, but generally speaking, it was pretty bad. I once had 5 leg flight to BKK from JFK where every sector I got served the same chicken dish, by the 4th time I had enough of it and asked if there was anything else but sadly the FA said there was a screw up and somehow they only had a few beef meals, so she came back with a plat and pair of tongs, picked up the piece of chicken (leg/thigh) from my tray and said to eat the remaining vegetables and she'd bring me extra dessert! By the time you got off you were heavily jetlagged (not flatbeds in J like you have today, in fact in the 1970's there was no J like we know it now), tired, cranky and in need of a stiff drink. But on the other hand, you came away with many stories, you met interesting people and you bonded wiht your seat mate if you were fortunate enough, that was the bright side.

So, for all of those who like to complain about their nuts not being served warm enough in J on today's flights, you have no idea what it was like on these old bouncing multi-leg flights where with bad weather and technical delays a trip from the US to the Far East could end up becoming a 48 hour nerve jangling affair. Which is why it helped if you had a strong sense of adventure to survive and enjoy these flights as travel was not nearly as efficient and reliable as it is today.

Sorry for the long post!
"Those who talk, do not know, and those who know, do not talk."
 
ikramerica
Posts: 15100
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 9:33 am

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

Tue Jul 07, 2020 2:49 am

PA flew the SP JFK-SFO-HKG-SIN, which I took as a kid, both directions with the family. We also took the Sikorsky flight EWR-JFK to connect to JFK.

So 1 hr, then change aircraft, 5.5 hours to SFO, refuel and wait in PA Clipper Club for 2 hours, 13 hours to HKG, deplane, go through security with film destroying xrays, reboard after 60 minutes, 4 hrs.

My mom did that with a 6 year old, 11 and 14 in tow. My Dad flew BA the other direction as he was flying on Business.

It was about 28 hours.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
TWA902fly
Posts: 3131
Joined: Fri Dec 31, 1999 5:47 am

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

Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:25 am

factsonly wrote:
OP QUESTION:

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

This question indicates a degree of unfamiliarity with the development of air transport, and the air travel patterns of the early 20th Century,

ANSWER: Yes, ofcourse people traveled all the way. That is how the airline industry developed - step by step, en-route stop by en-route stop.

Explanation:

Let's take a look at the development of the world's oldest long-haul airline - KLM - and how its intercontinental routes developed.

- 1920''s: The early Long-Haul flights - included hotel stops for passengers and crew along the way.

Here is the world's longest fixed wing long-haul flight in the 1920's Amsterdam - Jakarta (then called Batavia).
Check how every route segment is listed in the box on the lower left.

Image

- 1930's: KLM's first scheduled Transatlantic flight was to Latin America (Netherlands Caribbean), with 6 seater Fokker trimotor aircraft.

Image

Read all about it here:
https://blog.klm.com/klms-first-transatlantic-flight/

Or watch a You Tube film:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... e=emb_logo

- 1950's The Douglas DC4 network:

Read the history of this operation in KLM.

https://blog.klm.com/the-mighty-douglas-dc-4-skymaster/

Image

- 1960's Douglas DC8 network:

Image

- 1970's Route examples KLM DC8-63:

- Amsterdam – Frankfurt – Zurich – Lisbon – Port of Spain – Caracas – Curacao – Panama City – Quito – Lima = 1x weekly
- Amsterdam – Zurich – Lisbon – Rio de Janeiro – Montevideo – Buenos Aires – Santiago de Chile = 1x weekly
- Amsterdam – Cairo – Bahrain – Karachi – Colombo – Kuala Lumpur – Jakarta = 1x weekly
- Amsterdam – Frankfurt – Athens – Karachi – Bangkok – Singapore – Jakarta = 1x weekly
- Amsterdam – Vienna – Bahrain – Karachi – Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – Jakarta = 1x weekly

Conclusion:
By the time the B747 arrived in the 1970's, passengers knew no better then that en-route stops were part of the global travel experience.
And they did travel all the way...........


There are still routings in the world that necessitate such long flying hours. The OP mentioned 30 hours - in 2013, I flew from East London, South Africa to Denver, USA as one journey - but not one flight. The routing was ELS-JNB-LOS-IAH-DEN, which took me 30 hours, flying on Kulula.com, South African Airways, and United. Let's say you need to get from Bermuda to Perth - sure there are not a lot of passengers that need to do that, but what's your other option? That would easily be 30 hours with layovers. It's more rare these days with the advent of the 787, A350 and other airliners capable of efficiently flying "long and thin" routes, but it's still there. Try flying LAX-CPT, that's easily a 25 hour journey, even with just one connection.

'902
life wasn't worth the balance, or the crumpled paper it was written on
 
ARNSFO0913
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Wed Jul 08, 2020 9:46 am

My best trip was in 1963 LGW-JNB on one of the early low-costers, Trek. At the time I was miffed at not going BOAC on a VC-10, but my parents made a big saving as they went by sea and left me to fly aged 13 as a UM. Luxair C-54 Skymaster on the first leg to LUX, then on by Trek L-749 Constellation to ATH for nightstop, so the same crew flew the whole route. Day 2 to CAI with nightstop, day 3 to EBB staying by Lake Victoria, then day 4 at last to Jo’burg. Looking back it was magical...low and slow enough flights to see a lot enroute, and hours to enjoy the pleasure of flying.
 
blandy62
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Wed Jul 08, 2020 10:27 am

ClassicLover wrote:
What about the current United Airlines flight 155? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_Hopper

HNL - Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
MAJ - Majuro Atoll, Marshall Islands
KWA - Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands
KSA - Kosrae, Federated States of Micronesia
PNI - Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia
TKK - Weno, Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia
GUM - Guam, United States

Would love to do this someday!


This a bit different. This is not due to plane range limitation as on the past. This mainly because the islands are all over the Pacific. and dont forget that in the past it would Also stop at Johnston atoll between Majuro and Honolulu too.

I used it from Guam to Majuro some years back. Nice flight
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:04 am

Here's a trip report of a 1958 first class flight from London to Australia, westbound:

https://www.godsavethepoints.com/britis ... ardingArea
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
basspaul
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Wed Jul 08, 2020 12:27 pm

As many others have mentioned, there was the question of demand. With low demand comes low availability and frequency. So even if a more direct itinerary was available it may have not worked for you and you often needed to stitch together flights from multiple airlines (travel agents had their work cut out back then).

In the early 80's our family was living in Saudi Arabia. When we would fly home to YUL the trip was often Riyadh-(some big hub in Europe)-YUL, with often a stop in one of New York airports. There was a flight available for a while from an American carrier that was direct Riyadh-New York. We never took it though because the timing never worked out.
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:13 pm

Im not sure it was offered but looking at an old Prinair map, if you were to fly from Port au Prince to Ponce on that airline..what could easily be covered by one non stop even then, you'd have to fly Port Au Prince-Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo-Mayaguez, Mayaguez-San Juan and San Juan-Ponce!..so yes, crazy itineraries!!
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Wed Jul 08, 2020 2:20 pm

basspaul wrote:
As many others have mentioned, there was the question of demand. With low demand comes low availability and frequency. So even if a more direct itinerary was available it may have not worked for you and you often needed to stitch together flights from multiple airlines (travel agents had their work cut out back then).

In the early 80's our family was living in Saudi Arabia. When we would fly home to YUL the trip was often Riyadh-(some big hub in Europe)-YUL, with often a stop in one of New York airports. There was a flight available for a while from an American carrier that was direct Riyadh-New York. We never took it though because the timing never worked out.

Yes and I remember Avianca offering services from Puerto Rico to Europe in the early 80s as well...it was on their 747's to Frankfurt, Lisbon and Madrid...the Frankfurt service in competition with Lufthansa which flew Frankfurt-SJU-Bogota on their 747s and sometimes FRA-SJU-Quito as well.

Avianca also went Bogota-SJU-Madrid-CDG for a time IIRC.

Otherwise, if it was just Bogota-SJU the Colombians just sent their beautifully livered Boeing 727s.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Wed Jul 08, 2020 7:34 pm

e38 wrote:
something that has not been mentioned, but during the time frame we are talking about—1980s and earlier—airlines did not have nearly as many aircraft in their fleets as they do today.

My thoughts also.
1980 may have been a turning point, but the big expansion in fleet numbers was yet to come.

In the case of Swissair, in 1980 they had just TWO Boeing 747s, and the photo database shows them keeping busy between ZRH, GVA, and... JFK.
That is where they earned their money. Sending them off to Tokyo or BKK would have taken them away from the profitable Atlantic routes. (Yes, Swissair also had a number of early DC-10s, but not a huge number.)

Likewise Sabena's long range/widebody fleet comprised just TWO Boeing 747s, and maybe a couple of DC-10s. These were obviously also kept busy TATL.

Olympic - same again, TWO Boeings 747s, this time without any DC-10s.

Iberia went one better - they had THREE Boeing 747s for most of the 70's, but in 1980 they dropped down to just one when they sold two of the original 747-100s to TWA, several months before some shiny new -200s appeared. This left them relying on the support act (LOL) - an existing fleet of (range-limited) DC-8s, plus a growing fleet of DC-10s, although still not many in reality.

***Fun Fact***
Swissair's pair of 747s were (fortuitously) registered HB-IGA & -IGB.
What of it? Remove the "H" and you have BIG-A and BIG-B. And from what I can see, these registrations were entirely by chance.
Meanwhile, here's another lucky strike - a CV-990 bearing the registration HB-ICE. Enjoy!
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
ILNFlyer
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:30 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.


This doesn't fall into the global category (far from it) but I once flew DFW-MCI-DSM-MSP on the original Braniff. Equipment was a 727.
 
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klm617
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Wed Jul 08, 2020 8:41 pm

I am assuming that routing was done with a DC-8-62. The GVA-ZRH route is mainly to get passenger from GVA to ZRH the onward passengers past ZRH would have been minimal. Back in the day SR did this alot flights were routed GVA-ZRH and then incontinetally onward. Remember also that some of these markets did not have a lot of O/D traffic so they were all routed on one aircraft. Also SR had traffic rights I believe at all the intermediate stops so that they could back fill the empty seats as the Swiiss originating passengers got of at each stop a long the way.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
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TW880
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:44 am

IAHWorldflyer wrote:
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.


One of my favorite non-rev adventures was returning from Athens to New York (JFK) in 1991. TWA had a 6:00 am L-1011 departure that year from Athens to Rome (the non-stop to JFK was temporarily suspended). Rather than connect to the FCO-JFK flight (like the rest of the passengers), I decided to follow the plane home. My second leg on the same L-1011 was from Rome to Paris (CDG). Again, I bypassed the CDG-JFK flight and opted to continue on the same Trans World L-1011 from Paris to Boston. After clearing customs in Boston, I continued on my last L-1011 leg to JFK. (Some of you may recall that this domestic flight by TWA used to be a 747 for many years). I was fortunate to be seated in Royal Ambassador on most of the legs of this journey. Those were the days.
 
rrlopes
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 8:45 am

Flying for work from Brazil to Australia in 2006, we were required to take the cheapest flight option that the "system" would offer. Well, I got to fly GRU-IAD-LAX-SYD-BNE in 50hs. Then had a couple of days off to recover. :shock: So much for saving a few bucks :banghead:
 
outbackair
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:50 am

About 6 years ago, a friend thought he'd found a cheap way to go from Perth, Western Australia to Medellin, Colombia (his wife's home). The routing was mind blowing and his wife still hasn't forgiven him as they had two very small children. PER-SYD-HKG (a few hours in the city, not resting in a hotel!)-LAX-JFK bus to EWR-MIA-MDE. It took over two days... in economy!
 
Ellofiend
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 11:32 am

Rex has some seriously mind numbing milk runs through outback Australia, (Brisbane-Toowoomba-Charleville-Quilpie-Windorah-Birdsville-Bedourie-Boulia-Mt Isa- Doomadgee-Burketown-Mornington Island-Karumba-Normanton-Cairns), 15 stops that is subsidised by QLD government. I don’t think the flight past Mt Isa are the same flight numbers or aircraft but all the same it’s a big undertaking for the average traveller (9 intermediate stopovers). I believe this to be the longest currently existing turbo-prop flight currently, but not entirely sure.
 
airhansa
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 12:11 pm

If there wasn't any competition then why would people not go? It's similar to the argument against concorde - that people will travel in normal planes for the same price.
 
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AirAfreak
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Thu Jul 16, 2020 9:08 pm

Dear OP:

I was one of those passengers whom endured those multi-sector itineraries re: Washington/Dulles - Seoul & v.v. (circa 1990’s) because it was often expensive, and/or inconvenient to fly transpacific to/from Korea from Washington/Dulles: Here are some examples:

+ ANA (NH) IAD (747) NRT (L10) ITM (L10) SEL ((IAD required an overnight at (Osaka/Itami) ITM to reach SEL because only 4x/weekly flights offered by ANA from Washington/Dulles and also timing))

+ JAL (JL) IAD (747) NRT (D10) SEL
(IAD required an overnight at NRT to reach SEL because only 3x/weekly flights offered by JAL from Washington/Dulles and also timing)

+ KAL (KE) IAD (747) SEL 3~4x/weekly (nonstop or (occasionally) via Anchorage (always $$$$))

+ Continental (CO) IAD (ATR) EWR (D10) LAX/SFO (D10) HNL (D10/72S) GUM (72S) SPN (72S) SEL (CO res agents placing you on hold on average 30+ minutes because their “Rate Desk” was THE only way for CO to calculate the fare for this particular itinerary. I must have been the only passenger within Northern Virginia willing to fly IAD SEL IAD with Continental, because it wasn’t always the most expensive fare, but the layovers in either HNL or GUM were lengthy. Once, I was fortunate to avoid the Saipan layover). Keep in mind, my father was paying for all of these plane tickets to see my family in Korea; in case you’re wondering why I might subject myself to such inconvenience.

The following multi-stop itineraries re: IAD SEL IAD, in my experience, offered greater value, shorter connection times, and more flight options, in the event of IRROPS:

+ DELTA SHUTTLE (DL) DCA (727) JFK (SQ)
JFK (747) FRA (747) SIN (747) SEL (SQ at JFK, from time-to-time, would offer me an opportunity to upgrade from Economy to Raffles Class for only USD300; on top of the already cheapest fare option (during low season) compared to the transpacific offerings at IAD).

+ Swissair (SR) IAD (743) ZRH (1-stop via PHL and later, 1-stop via BOS, when PHL ZRH PHL became a nonstop flight) and then the multi-stop flight from ZRH to SEL: ZRH (M11) BOM (M11) HKG (M11) SEL (off-peak season was cheaper than JL, NH, KE re: IAD SEL IAD)

+ Austrian (OS) IAD (310) GVA (310) VIE (JAL) NRT (D10) SEL (OS offered introductory fares for their new Airbus A310 Washington/Dulles, to Wien/Vienna (via Genève) service, so it was another reason why I was booked another multi-sector itinerary.).
Korean Air | Excellence in Flight.
 
TheEuphorian
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:02 am

There are also a bunch of SE.Asia-USA TPAC flights during the 1980s and 1990s that are routed like this:
TG:
BKK-NRT-SEA-DFW
BKK-NRT-YVR-YYZ(Unconfirmed)
MH:
KUL-ARN-EWR
GA:
CGK-DPS-BIK-HNL-LAX
 
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JerseyFlyer
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:35 am

I spent a pleasant Sunday in 1999 flying from HKG to DXB. Top deck of a 747 in business class. The only "direct" route available but stopping at BKK and BOM. Meal and drinks on each leg! CX service all the way.
 
Delta777Jet
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Fri Jul 17, 2020 6:47 am

Connections in the nineties were also still common.

I had to fly from RNO to FRA and was routed:

RNO - SFO (Bae146) - JFK (DC10) - LHR (747SP) - FRA ( 727 ) ! All on United / United Express

Total Travel Time : 19 hours !

Nice ride , and certainly nice planes :)
I still miss Trans World Airlines and the L-1011
 
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philrothmund
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:06 am

I remember flying like this on Swissair in the mid 80s when I was a little kid. We flew Zurich - Karachi or Bombay - Bangkok - Manila on a DC10-30. Good old times!
Not sure though, but I can recall my dad mentioning that in the earlier 80's the same route even made a fuel stop in Greece. Perhaps someone can confirm.

Cheers,
Phil
 
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CV990A
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:33 am

I flew IAD-PEK back in 1994, and was routed IAD-ORD-NRT-PEK, all on United. The IAD-ORD-PEK flight had the same flight number, although we changed planes from a 757 to 744 at ORD. NRT-PEK was on a 742.
Kittens Give Morbo Gas
 
factsonly
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:59 am

Please find the 1970's BOAC B747 Network here:

Outbound from London, Sep/Oct 1972 (1 weekly each per flight number, unless otherwise stated):

London Heathrow – Boston – Detroit BA561 (1 daily until 14OCT72)
London Heathrow – Chicago O’Hare BA569 (1 daily)
London Heathrow – Frankfurt – Bahrain – Bangkok – Hong Kong – Darwin – Sydney BA808
London Heathrow – Frankfurt – Beirut – Tehran – Bangkok – Hong Kong – Darwin – Sydney BA812
London Heathrow – Frankfurt – Nairobi – Johannesburg BA033
London Heathrow – Frankfurt – Tel Aviv – Tehran – Delhi – Hong Kong – Darwin – Sydney BA804
London Heathrow – Miami BA661 (4 weekly)
London Heathrow – Montreal BA609 (3 weekly until 13OCT72)
London Heathrow – Nairobi – Johannesburg BA025 / BA027 / BA029 / BA031
London Heathrow – New York JFK BA501 (1 daily) / BA509 (1 daily)
London Heathrow – Rome – Bahrain – Bangkok – Hong Kong – Darwin – Melbourne BA802
London Heathrow – Toronto BA601 (3 weekly until 14OCT72)
London Heathrow – Zurich – Bahrain – Bombay – Singapore – Perth – Sydney BA716
London Heathrow – Zurich – Nairobi – Johannesburg BA021 / BA023
London Heathrow – Zurich – Tehran – Bombay – Singapore – Perth – Sydney BA720

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... perations/
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Fri Jul 17, 2020 12:46 pm

69bug wrote:
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.


Interesting that such would be operated that way, given that the route could be operated 1-stop via AUH or BOM. Then again, SN only made a profit once or twice since the early 1960s.
 
Stealthz
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Fri Jul 17, 2020 2:35 pm

factsonly wrote:
London Heathrow – Zurich – Tehran – Bombay – Singapore – Perth – Sydney BA720

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... perations/


In 1968 my family returned from the USA to AUS via Europe spending time in UK,Netherlands & Israel on the way,
BOAC VC10 JFK-LHR
KLM DC8 LHR-AMS & AMS-ATH
ElAl B720 ATH-TLV
Now for the interesting bit...
BOAC 707 TLV-TEH ..many I have mentioned this to are quite incredulous that a civil airliner would/could fly between Tel Aviv & Tehran!!
then TEH-BOM-SIN
QF 707 SIN-SYD
If your camera sends text messages, that could explain why your photos are rubbish!....well that might have changed!!!
 
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aemoreira1981
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Re: Did people really fly all the way on flights like this?

Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:57 pm

Stealthz wrote:
factsonly wrote:
London Heathrow – Zurich – Tehran – Bombay – Singapore – Perth – Sydney BA720

https://www.routesonline.com/news/38/ai ... perations/


In 1968 my family returned from the USA to AUS via Europe spending time in UK,Netherlands & Israel on the way,
BOAC VC10 JFK-LHR
KLM DC8 LHR-AMS & AMS-ATH
ElAl B720 ATH-TLV
Now for the interesting bit...
BOAC 707 TLV-TEH ..many I have mentioned this to are quite incredulous that a civil airliner would/could fly between Tel Aviv & Tehran!!
then TEH-BOM-SIN
QF 707 SIN-SYD


That just shows how far aviation has come. If Project Sunrise still happens, and I anticipate that in 4 years, travel may finally be back to pre-COVID levels, one could conceivably do that on one plane nonstop, either JFK-SYD nonstop or EWR-AKL-SYD. (I expect that by that time, Australia to LAX will become terminator.)

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