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AntonioMartin
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Western Airlines questions

Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:18 am

I have a few questions about Western Airlines, the old one that was later bought by Delta..

Why didnt they fly to the Caribbean? (apart from Florida and the Bahamas, both of which are NOT in the Caribbean)

I'd love seeing their big W's at SJU! And surely people from California also want to see Jamaica?

Was the DC-10 the wrong plane for WA on those routes? Were they better off serving Europe and Mexico instead?

And in fact why didnt Western ever "go Braniff/Pan Am" and serve South America as well?

The closest Western got to SJU I guess was my Airfix (or Hasegawa) Western DC-10 model I had growing up there in Puerto Rico..hmnnn...
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:46 am

AntonioMartin wrote:
Why didnt they fly to the Caribbean? (apart from Florida and the Bahamas, both of which are NOT in the Caribbean)


Look at a route map. There isn't much service from the West Coast/Mountain West to the Caribbean even today, with carriers more than 10x Western's size.

http://www.airtimes.com/cgat/usc/wester ... 850904.jpg
 
DesertAir
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:06 pm

I flew a Western DC-10 from LAX to Mexico City. Western was a regional airline serving western states and Hawaii and Mexico. They also provided champaign service to Hawaii from smaller airports like Sacramento. They created a hub and spoke operation in Salt Lake City, UT.
 
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Coronado990
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:55 pm

Delta was the airline from the Caribbean to California in the 60's and 70's. They had a flight from SJU-MBJ-MSY-LAX-SAN arriving at SAN at 3:30pm. I'd watch that beautiful DC-8 come in over my house every day as soon as school was out at three.
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MO11
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Sun Aug 02, 2020 2:06 pm

To the OP, remember that the Deregulation Act was 1978, the economy in the early '80s was crap, and Western merged with Delta in 1987. There wasn't a lot of time to be creative. South America wasn't open skies in the 1980s, so airlines still had to compete for route awards. When WA got LGA slots and started service to the east coast, I found it interesting that it began multiple daily frequencies on the BOS-LGA route.
 
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deltacto
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Sun Aug 02, 2020 4:04 pm

MO11 wrote:
When WA got LGA slots and started service to the east coast, I found it interesting that it began multiple daily frequencies on the BOS-LGA route.


yes! and people could connect in Boston to go from LGA to Salt Lake City!
or they could fly nonstop from JFK

http://www.departedflights.com/WA030187p61.html
 
WA707atMSP
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Sun Aug 02, 2020 7:47 pm

MO11 wrote:
To the OP, remember that the Deregulation Act was 1978, the economy in the early '80s was crap, and Western merged with Delta in 1987. There wasn't a lot of time to be creative. South America wasn't open skies in the 1980s, so airlines still had to compete for route awards. When WA got LGA slots and started service to the east coast, I found it interesting that it began multiple daily frequencies on the BOS-LGA route.


When Western got LGA slots, they asked for an exemption from LGA's perimeter rule to fly nonstop to Salt Lake City. WA's request was turned down. WA could have flown from LGA to SLC via a city inside the perimeter like MSP, but chose not to do so.

WA's merger with DL wasn't far away when they were awarded LGA slots, and it was rumored that they chose to fly to BOS just to "squat" on the slots, rather than relinquishing them, then let Delta decide how to use the slots after the merger.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:16 pm

MO11 wrote:
To the OP, remember that the Deregulation Act was 1978, the economy in the early '80s was crap, and Western merged with Delta in 1987. There wasn't a lot of time to be creative. South America wasn't open skies in the 1980s, so airlines still had to compete for route awards. When WA got LGA slots and started service to the east coast, I found it interesting that it began multiple daily frequencies on the BOS-LGA route.


You beat me to it!!

Western was to the west coast what Eastern was to the east coast - more for providing intra-regional flights than inter-regional flights.

Growing up in Bakersfield, California, LAX was always our airport from where we picked up multiple family members coming to visit, so as a kid I got to visit frequently and geek-out. Fortunately for me, I got to see many different planes and airlines, and I always had a soft spot for Western Airlines - the combination of the giant W turning into the cheatline in blinding pink contrasting with the stark white plane with bold black lettering in a near-vertical alignment on the tail represented the importance of Los Angeles as an airport with its own airline. Yes, I know, a hub was developed at Salt Lake City, and MSP and other locations were secondary bases, but there was always something made me associate LAX with Western, in the same way PSA is associated with San Diego.

They were ALWAYS a big player in my era to Hawai'i and Mexico, and if you watched any of The Price Is Right during the 70's and 80's, all the trips were on Western Airlines to Mexico and Hawai'i. "We'll fly you and a guest round-trip from Los Angeles to FABULOUS Hawai'i" or "fabulous Acapulco", and so on. Western got a lot of free publicity.

Western did very well for themselves sticking to what was making them money, rather than trying to compete at far-flung destinations already well-covered by other competitors. They stuck to routes that made them money, with only cautious exploration beyond. Had they been able to secure beyond-perimeter authorities to LGA and DCA to SLC, they could have been even more profitable. I think the perimeter rules for both airports are beyond ludicrous, but that's for another time.

It always saddened me that Western never flew into Bakersfield; however, during regulation, this was more than sufficiently covered by United and its San-Joaquin-Valley-Milkrun between LAX and SFO, and until post-deregulation, SLC wasn't really a true hub. We did get SkyWest to LAX as Western Express, and at one point in 1986 (?) SkyWest announced it would be flying a round-trip BFL-SLC on an EM2, but this lasted maybe one printed itinerary cycle, as it was gone quickly. I've always wondered if, at 464 nautical miles, BFL-SLC was one of the longest EM2 route...

Western Airlines Timetable, September 6, 1973 (pre-deregulation)

http://www.departedflights.com/WA090673intro.html

Western Airlines Timetable, March 1, 1981 (post-deregulation):

http://www.departedflights.com/WA030181intro.html

Western Airlines Timetable, March 1, 1987 (one of last before Delta's take-over):

http://www.departedflights.com/WA030187intro.html
 
Wingtips56
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Sun Aug 02, 2020 8:58 pm

WA did serve DCA National. I worked for them in SMF for 4 months in 1982 while on furlough from AirCal. At the time, DCA was a tag on the SLC-IAD flight, and we did connect people on occasion over that extra bounce. In looking at the Departed Flights 1981 timetable in the link above, it shows service was xxx-MSP-DCA. IAD wasn't in the WA timetable yet. Odd to think the revised SLC-IAD-DCA bounce was more economical.
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines (Retired). Flight Memory: 181 airports, 92 airlines, 78 a/c types, 403 routes, 58 countries (by air), 6 continents. 1,119,414 passenger miles.

Home airport : CEC
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:44 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
AntonioMartin wrote:
Why didnt they fly to the Caribbean? (apart from Florida and the Bahamas, both of which are NOT in the Caribbean)


Look at a route map. There isn't much service from the West Coast/Mountain West to the Caribbean even today, with carriers more than 10x Western's size.

http://www.airtimes.com/cgat/usc/wester ... 850904.jpg

Thanks for the map!

Wonder of they had 5th freedom rights between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta...
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:47 am

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
MO11 wrote:
To the OP, remember that the Deregulation Act was 1978, the economy in the early '80s was crap, and Western merged with Delta in 1987. There wasn't a lot of time to be creative. South America wasn't open skies in the 1980s, so airlines still had to compete for route awards. When WA got LGA slots and started service to the east coast, I found it interesting that it began multiple daily frequencies on the BOS-LGA route.


if you watched any of The Price Is Right during the 70's and 80's, all the trips were on Western Airlines to Mexico and Hawai'i. "We'll fly you and a guest round-trip from Los Angeles to FABULOUS Hawai'i" or "fabulous Acapulco", and so on. Western got a lot of free publicity.


I watched The Price is Right without understanding English (living in Puerto Rico) just to see the Western DC-10!!

Great memories!
 
KlimaBXsst
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Mon Aug 03, 2020 1:23 am

I used to really enjoy flying across the Mexican mountain ranges such as the Sierra Occidental and Sierra Oriental Mountains, when flying airlines like Northwest, Pan Am Braniff, Western, and others

before their rebranding upon such southern routes.

It is interesting how rebranding can be so imperious an important to the surviving airline management or ruling structure entities.

Guess Trans Worldly Airlines sounds better to some parties too sometimes. Sounds odd to me though, but I guess I am just not very revisionistic like some present North American generations and it may just be a fitting rebooted name for some future start up uh airline carrier.
Aesthetically the A 340 got it right!
 
MO11
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:07 am

AntonioMartin wrote:
Wonder of they had 5th freedom rights between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta...



That would be cabotage, or 8th Freedom; I guarantee Mexico didn't allow that. 5th Freedom would be a flight from the US to Mexico to Guatemala (on a US carrier) with local traffic carried between Mexico and Guatemala.
 
Italianflyer
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Mon Aug 03, 2020 2:24 am

I think Grinstein's push to get out of the DEN free-for-all between UA, CO & FL was what ultimately saved the Company. That and downsizing from 727-200s to 737-200s on Intermountain hops and 737-300s and remaining 727-200s for medium-long missions + higher volume segments was wise. According to their 1985 Annual the DC10 frame count was pulled down to cover Hawaii . http://www.departedflights.com/WA85reportcover.html

It was a solid turn around story from being on the shortlist for the next BK to a viable enterprise. But realistically...as top notch of their product was....I doubt they would have made it to the 1991 recession as an independent company.
 
sprxUSA
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:44 am

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
MO11 wrote:
To the OP, remember that the Deregulation Act was 1978, the economy in the early '80s was crap, and Western merged with Delta in 1987. There wasn't a lot of time to be creative. South America wasn't open skies in the 1980s, so airlines still had to compete for route awards. When WA got LGA slots and started service to the east coast, I found it interesting that it began multiple daily frequencies on the BOS-LGA route.


You beat me to it!!

Western was to the west coast what Eastern was to the east coast - more for providing intra-regional flights than inter-regional flights.

Growing up in Bakersfield, California, LAX was always our airport from where we picked up multiple family members coming to visit, so as a kid I got to visit frequently and geek-out. Fortunately for me, I got to see many different planes and airlines, and I always had a soft spot for Western Airlines - the combination of the giant W turning into the cheatline in blinding pink contrasting with the stark white plane with bold black lettering in a near-vertical alignment on the tail represented the importance of Los Angeles as an airport with its own airline. Yes, I know, a hub was developed at Salt Lake City, and MSP and other locations were secondary bases, but there was always something made me associate LAX with Western, in the same way PSA is associated with San Diego.

They were ALWAYS a big player in my era to Hawai'i and Mexico, and if you watched any of The Price Is Right during the 70's and 80's, all the trips were on Western Airlines to Mexico and Hawai'i. "We'll fly you and a guest round-trip from Los Angeles to FABULOUS Hawai'i" or "fabulous Acapulco", and so on. Western got a lot of free publicity.

Western did very well for themselves sticking to what was making them money, rather than trying to compete at far-flung destinations already well-covered by other competitors. They stuck to routes that made them money, with only cautious exploration beyond. Had they been able to secure beyond-perimeter authorities to LGA and DCA to SLC, they could have been even more profitable. I think the perimeter rules for both airports are beyond ludicrous, but that's for another time.

It always saddened me that Western never flew into Bakersfield; however, during regulation, this was more than sufficiently covered by United and its San-Joaquin-Valley-Milkrun between LAX and SFO, and until post-deregulation, SLC wasn't really a true hub. We did get SkyWest to LAX as Western Express, and at one point in 1986 (?) SkyWest announced it would be flying a round-trip BFL-SLC on an EM2, but this lasted maybe one printed itinerary cycle, as it was gone quickly. I've always wondered if, at 464 nautical miles, BFL-SLC was one of the longest EM2 route...

Western Airlines Timetable, September 6, 1973 (pre-deregulation)

http://www.departedflights.com/WA090673intro.html

Western Airlines Timetable, March 1, 1981 (post-deregulation):

http://www.departedflights.com/WA030181intro.html

Western Airlines Timetable, March 1, 1987 (one of last before Delta's take-over):

http://www.departedflights.com/WA030187intro.html

Hmm, Western bright pink?
Anyway, after SkyWest became DL Conn, they op'd ENB-120 LAX-TEX for a winter or two. I think that was probably longest Brasilia route. And a very long one if one was actually on it lol.
My fav memories if WA was traveling in Januarys from BOI-SFO-ONT on UA xfer to WA and vivid memories of their SFO terminal and deplaning at ONT. Took PSA back to SFO, and forced my dad to board via rear stairs on the 727, naturally lol
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KFTG
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:04 am

What equipment did they use on SLC-FAT?
Nevermind, I see they used a 73S. Mainline on SLC-FAT, those were the days.
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:59 pm

MO11 wrote:
AntonioMartin wrote:
Wonder of they had 5th freedom rights between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta...



That would be cabotage, or 8th Freedom; I guarantee Mexico didn't allow that. 5th Freedom would be a flight from the US to Mexico to Guatemala (on a US carrier) with local traffic carried between Mexico and Guatemala.

Oh yeah..mix up of rights there by me..lol..

Thanks for the clarification buddy!
 
AntonioMartin
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:38 am

KFTG wrote:
What equipment did they use on SLC-FAT?
Nevermind, I see they used a 73S. Mainline on SLC-FAT, those were the days.

There was also mainline routes like PHX-TUS, Miami to Fort Lauderdale, Miami to Key West, San Juan to Ponce and Aguadilla, Los Cabos to Loreto, London to Amsterdam (granted none of these were on Western but the point is....imagine flying something like a DC-10 from San Juan to Aguadilla! (Arrow Air)...you are right, those were the days!
 
Max Q
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Tue Aug 04, 2020 9:53 am

Anyone remember the Schwarzenegger movie ‘commando’ I think it was where he jumps off a Western DC10 from the nosewheel as it rotates for take off ?


Great stuff, best line ‘he’s dead tired’
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


GGg
 
WA707atMSP
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:36 am

AntonioMartin wrote:
KFTG wrote:
What equipment did they use on SLC-FAT?
Nevermind, I see they used a 73S. Mainline on SLC-FAT, those were the days.

There was also mainline routes like PHX-TUS, Miami to Fort Lauderdale, Miami to Key West, San Juan to Ponce and Aguadilla, Los Cabos to Loreto, London to Amsterdam (granted none of these were on Western but the point is....imagine flying something like a DC-10 from San Juan to Aguadilla! (Arrow Air)...you are right, those were the days!


Western did fly DC-10s from MIA to FLL and NAS in the late 1970s, as an extension of their LAX-MIA route. EA, DL, and NA also flew widebodies from MIA to FLL and PBI.
 
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cathay747
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:15 pm

DesertAir wrote:
I flew a Western DC-10 from LAX to Mexico City. Western was a regional airline serving western states and Hawaii and Mexico. They also provided champaign service to Hawaii from smaller airports like Sacramento. They created a hub and spoke operation in Salt Lake City, UT.


I'm afraid you've got a lot of inaccuracies in this post.

1. WA wasn't a regional airline; they flew as far east as MSP for decades pre-deregulation which was a fairly large station for them (and included their longest route up until they started London...MSP-HNL nonstop on Saturday's only for some time, up until around 1974); IIRC it was sometime prior to dereg. that they finally were allowed to add LAX-MIA (and later added a tag MIA-NAS which was as far east as they got pre-dereg.). They also served Alaska courtesy of their takeover of Pacific Northern. Sept. 6, 1973 timetable route map which actually doesn't show the MSP-HNL route: http://www.departedflights.com/WA090673.html

2. Champagne (not "champaign") flights were solely within the mainland 48 states, not to/from Hawaii which were "Islander" service flights featuring their signature "volcano punch" eventually (and flights to/from Mexico were "Fiesta" flights)

3. WA never served Hawaii from SMF or any other "smaller airports"; they were awarded Hawaii routes from SFO/LAX/SAN/ANC/MSP of which they operated all of them at one point or another; I don't know if the pre-dereg. Hawaii route award(s) ever included SEA, PDX, SLC or DEN.

4. yes on the SLC hub, but it's worth pointing out for anyone who doesn't know that this wasn't established until post-deregulation.

Here's a rather good article about WA's history from Airways: https://airwaysmag.com/airchive/30-year ... -airlines/
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departedflights
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:17 pm

Wingtips56 wrote:
WA did serve DCA National.


They certainly did!

Image
The opinions are expressed are my own and do not represent those of anyone else, including my coworkers or my employer.
 
flyfresno
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:58 pm

KFTG wrote:
What equipment did they use on SLC-FAT?
Nevermind, I see they used a 73S. Mainline on SLC-FAT, those were the days.


Pre-COVID, DL was back up to 4X per day to SLC on E175s. With AA operating mainline to DFW/PHX, UA operating mainline to ORD and sometimes DEN, and AS operating mainline to SEA (well, that never started, but was announced), that seems to be one of the top regional route prospects for an upguage out of FAT (the other being SAN). So maybe those days will return again...although not for a few years probably.
 
zrs70
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:01 pm

departedflights wrote:
Wingtips56 wrote:
WA did serve DCA National.


They certainly did!

Image


If I recall, they flew DCA-IAD-SLC.
20 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2020
 
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cathay747
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:07 pm

zrs70 wrote:
departedflights wrote:
Wingtips56 wrote:
WA did serve DCA National.


They certainly did!


If I recall, they flew DCA-IAD-SLC.


Yes, they did that, similar to how AA & BN served DCA<>DFW via IAD (and AA also did it via BWI), but that was later; WA's initial service to/from DCA was from MSP which of course was within the perimeter.
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Worldair1
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:26 pm

Didn't Arnold Schwarzenegger fly them down on an 11 hour trip to Val Verde in 1985?
 
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rikkus67
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:47 pm

I have a great affinity to Western Airlines. The airline flew its first International Route before 1940, to my hometown of CYQL (Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada). In 1937, due the range limitations of aircraft at that time, Lethbridge was selected as the main hub for the Province of Alberta by Trans-Canada Air Lines (now Air Canada). Shortly afterwards, Western began flying to Lethbridge. The small City was marketed as the Gateway to the Canadian Rocky Mountains: Banff, Jasper, and Waterton (/Glacier) National Parks; Calgary and Edmonton Alberta, and points further north. In the late 1930's, you could take the milk run from Los Angeles to Lethbridge. There were more than a dozen stops. DC-3's were used, and eventually CV240's. After the war, larger aircraft with greater distance started to spell the end of the service, and I believe they stopped serving Lethbridge in the early 1950's, in favour of the much larger cities of Calgary and Edmonton. Delta Airlines retained landing rights to YQL after the purchase of Western, but have never taken the option up.
AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
 
Wingtips56
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Tue Aug 04, 2020 11:49 pm

cathay747 wrote:

3. WA never served Hawaii from SMF or any other "smaller airports"; they were awarded Hawaii routes from SFO/LAX/SAN/ANC/MSP of which they operated all of them at one point or another; I don't know if the pre-dereg. Hawaii route award(s) ever included SEA, PDX, SLC or DEN.

Actually, there was one brief summer in the around 1979-1980 when WA did operate a SMF-SJC-HNL service with a 707 or 720. It didn't last long, but I did at least get to see the machine on SMF Gate 23 a couple of times. Obviously not successful.
Worked for WestAir, Apollo Airways, Desert Pacific, Western, AirCal and American Airlines (Retired). Flight Memory: 181 airports, 92 airlines, 78 a/c types, 403 routes, 58 countries (by air), 6 continents. 1,119,414 passenger miles.

Home airport : CEC
 
Max Q
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 10:45 am

Didnt they operate a HNL-ANC-LGW flight ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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cathay747
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:17 pm

Wingtips56 wrote:
cathay747 wrote:

3. WA never served Hawaii from SMF or any other "smaller airports"; they were awarded Hawaii routes from SFO/LAX/SAN/ANC/MSP of which they operated all of them at one point or another; I don't know if the pre-dereg. Hawaii route award(s) ever included SEA, PDX, SLC or DEN.

Actually, there was one brief summer in the around 1979-1980 when WA did operate a SMF-SJC-HNL service with a 707 or 720. It didn't last long, but I did at least get to see the machine on SMF Gate 23 a couple of times. Obviously not successful.


Wow, well I stand corrected then! Whew knew??? LOL (my guess would be it was a 720, which itself would have been too much capacity IMHO for a route like that, much less a 707-320!)
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cathay747
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:22 pm

Max Q wrote:
Didnt they operate a HNL-ANC-LGW flight ?


Yes they sure did...in 1981, per this timetable, but I don't know when it started or how long it lasted: http://www.departedflights.com/WA030181p8.html

This is in addition, as you'll see, to the DEN-LGW service too.
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Jawaiiansky66
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 1:46 pm

Question...how long did Western Airlines offer DC-10 service from Vancouver to Hawaii? Did the route last for years, or was it a short experiment? I think I read somewhere that it commenced around 1976? I flew a Continental DC-10 pub flight from Vancouver to Honolulu in 1987...it would seem that both airlines tried the market, but could not make a go of it?
 
BAINY3
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:16 pm

cathay747 wrote:
1. WA wasn't a regional airline; they flew as far east as MSP for decades pre-deregulation which was a fairly large station for them (and included their longest route up until they started London...MSP-HNL nonstop on Saturday's only for some time, up until around 1974); IIRC it was sometime prior to dereg. that they finally were allowed to add LAX-MIA (and later added a tag MIA-NAS which was as far east as they got pre-dereg.). They also served Alaska courtesy of their takeover of Pacific Northern. Sept. 6, 1973 timetable route map which actually doesn't show the MSP-HNL route: http://www.departedflights.com/WA090673.html


It looks like they flew MSP-HNL in April 1974 (oddly, westbound only and only with a 707/720 at that time) but it was gone by April 1975.

I wonder if there had been a select round of cuts across the board between April 1974 and 1975 (I know there was a big recession back then that had been spurred on by the 1973 oil embargo), because it looks like they also suspended nonstop MSP-PHX during this time as well. WA had pioneered the MSP-PHX nonstop flight around 1968 or 1969 but by 1975 you had to fly it as a through flight, MSP-DEN-PHX. As far as I can tell, this was a Western-exclusive route until deregulation, after which a large number of carriers entered that market and Western lost dominance on that route. NW entered, obviously. So did Republic, after the Hughes Airwest merger, where it temporarily became hub-to-hub for them until PHX was dehubbed, although I believe RC continued to fly it until the NW merger. America West entered the market in the 1980s as well. But those are the obvious ones; there were even some oddball ones in the early deregulation era (USAir flew a direct BOS-EWR-MSP-PHX flight as AL1 by late 1979, even though during regulation Allegheny had been limited to BUF-only from MSP; but by 1983 the route was NW/RC only).
 
MIAFLLPBIFlyer
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:23 pm

cathay747 wrote:
DesertAir wrote:
I flew a Western DC-10 from LAX to Mexico City. Western was a regional airline serving western states and Hawaii and Mexico. They also provided champaign service to Hawaii from smaller airports like Sacramento. They created a hub and spoke operation in Salt Lake City, UT.


I'm afraid you've got a lot of inaccuracies in this post.

1. WA wasn't a regional airline; they flew as far east as MSP for decades pre-deregulation which was a fairly large station for them (and included their longest route up until they started London...MSP-HNL nonstop on Saturday's only for some time, up until around 1974); IIRC it was sometime prior to dereg. that they finally were allowed to add LAX-MIA (and later added a tag MIA-NAS which was as far east as they got pre-dereg.). They also served Alaska courtesy of their takeover of Pacific Northern. Sept. 6, 1973 timetable route map which actually doesn't show the MSP-HNL route: http://www.departedflights.com/WA090673.html

2. Champagne (not "champaign") flights were solely within the mainland 48 states, not to/from Hawaii which were "Islander" service flights featuring their signature "volcano punch" eventually (and flights to/from Mexico were "Fiesta" flights)

3. WA never served Hawaii from SMF or any other "smaller airports"; they were awarded Hawaii routes from SFO/LAX/SAN/ANC/MSP of which they operated all of them at one point or another; I don't know if the pre-dereg. Hawaii route award(s) ever included SEA, PDX, SLC or DEN.

4. yes on the SLC hub, but it's worth pointing out for anyone who doesn't know that this wasn't established until post-deregulation.

Here's a rather good article about WA's history from Airways: https://airwaysmag.com/airchive/30-year ... -airlines/


This is how I think the LAX-MIA thing went but not 100% sure (feel free to correct me!)

As a condition of the merger with Northeast, DL had to let go of the MIA-LAX authority Northeast had (Northeast also briefly flew FLL-LAX). For many years this left NA as the only carrier on MIA-LAX while DL kept asking the CAB to allow them to fly MIA-LAX. It was eventually awarded to WA, I want to say several years afterward. The contention I suppose was if NA and DL both flew those were strong airlines at the time on the MIA end but not on the LAX end (at the time, DL was larger at MIA than anyone but EA, and was already building up FLL to a similar size. PBI buildup came post-deregulation, but I recently went back through some DL timetables from the mid 1970's and the number of cities served nonstop from both MIA and FLL is staggering and often forgotten these days.). Allowing WA to compete with NA allowed for an LAX-based carrier to compete with an MIA-based one.
 
superjeff
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:51 pm

AntonioMartin wrote:
MIflyer12 wrote:
AntonioMartin wrote:


Wonder of they had 5th freedom rights between Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta...



Mazatlan-Puerto Vallarta (MZT-PVR) would not be fifth freedom, as they are both in Mexico and would probably not have been permitted as "cabotage".
 
SFOThinker
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:54 pm

My first flight was on Western in 1959, MSP to LAX with a stop in SLC, on a DC 6B. Western served a number of smaller cities in South Dakota, including Sioux Falls, Huron, and Pierre, and Wyoming, including Cheyenne, Casper, and Jackson, as I recall. They did a fair amount of TV advertising featuring a cartoon bird leaning against the tail sipping champagne and uttering their slogan, “The only way to fly.”
They also flew Electras on the routes on the routes out of MSP, but their first jet flights were up and down the West Coast where there was competition. They had a monopoly on MSP to California and didn’t offer jet service until later.
I recall a flight years later where they served alcoholic punch from a model volcano on the service cart with dry ice giving off “smoke” but don’t recall the routing on that.
At Jackson Hole airport there is a photo of the first flight to serve there, and it is a Western DC 3.
 
superjeff
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 2:59 pm

cathay747 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Didnt they operate a HNL-ANC-LGW flight ?


Yes they sure did...in 1981, per this timetable, but I don't know when it started or how long it lasted: http://www.departedflights.com/WA030181p8.html

This is in addition, as you'll see, to the DEN-LGW service too.



About a year, on a DC10. It (obviously) didn't work - it was a disaster load wise.
 
wingsofman72
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:09 pm

Flew WA on the MIA-LAX route in late 1976, not long after they started and they had an interline deal, so we took it. Super great trip on DC-10 both ways a side trip up to SFO on 720B. The MIA-LAX was empty (even up front), so you knew it wouldn't last long. Been lucky enough to fly NE/WA/NA/PA on the route over the years in everything from a 727-100 and DC-8 to 747 and DC-10.
 
wingsofman72
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:09 pm

Flew WA on the MIA-LAX route in late 1976, not long after they started and they had an interline deal, so we took it. Super great trip on DC-10 both ways a side trip up to SFO on 720B. The MIA-LAX was empty (even up front), so you knew it wouldn't last long. Been lucky enough to fly NE/WA/NA/PA on the route over the years in everything from a 727-100 and DC-8 to 747 and DC-10.
 
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cathay747
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:30 pm

SFOThinker wrote:
They did a fair amount of TV advertising featuring a cartoon bird leaning against the tail sipping champagne and uttering their slogan, “The only way to fly.”


His name was Wally Bird...which is my avatar here (although it's cropped by anet) and here's a couple links to online pics of him that WA used:

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/86131411595285596/

http://thehopefultraveler.blogspot.com/2011/03/western-airlines-only-way-to-fly.html
Try a Little VC-10derness
 
zmatt1
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Wed Aug 05, 2020 8:33 pm

Worked for Western in SFO and PDX from 1968-1977. Great employer. Best years of my working career. My first flight was on a 720B SFO-LAX in 1968. Yes those were the days.
 
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sunking737
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Thu Aug 06, 2020 12:37 am

My dad worked for WAL..MSP/LAX MX I loved the 707/720B We lived in LA at the time of the 50th Ann. party. It was so much fun
"Don't believe it unless its parked on the ramp, or printed in the schedule...SUBJECT TO CHANGE"

I'm a SUNDUCK......Worked for RC & SY @ MSP
 
dangle
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:09 am

zmatt1 wrote:
Worked for Western in SFO and PDX from 1968-1977. Great employer. Best years of my working career. My first flight was on a 720B SFO-LAX in 1968. Yes those were the days.


I'd love to hear a little more about what you did for them and any specific memories you care to share.
 
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aeromoe
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:52 am

superjeff wrote:
cathay747 wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Didnt they operate a HNL-ANC-LGW flight ?


Yes they sure did...in 1981, per this timetable, but I don't know when it started or how long it lasted: http://www.departedflights.com/WA030181p8.html

This is in addition, as you'll see, to the DEN-LGW service too.



About a year, on a DC10. It (obviously) didn't work - it was a disaster load wise.


A former Air New Zealand DC-10-30 specifically: N821L, christened The Londoner. I lived in metro Denver during that time and I was fortunate to witness that first arrival on 24 April 1981 of the flight from Las Vegas (originating at LAX) before departing nonstop to LGW. Flew on N821L four days later LAS-DEN: my only DC-10-30 flight ever. Got to see the plane a few more times at DEN. A young English friend of mine flew the service in spring 1982 and got a DC-10-10 on the service on one of the directions with a fuel stop at Bangor, ME I dare say. I probably have the notes at home even after all these years.
Since 60s: AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR(85) BY B6 CO CZ(16) DG DL EA EI EN FI FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KL KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(87) OZ(88) PA PI PN(97) PT QF QQ RM RO RV(99) RV(16) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(13) ZZ 9K
 
PA815
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:57 am

Worldair1 wrote:
Didn't Arnold Schwarzenegger fly them down on an 11 hour trip to Val Verde in 1985?

Ha yes he did! Not sure how many here got the reference but that was my favorite part of the movie. :)
 
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aeromoe
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:02 am

zmatt1 wrote:
Worked for Western in SFO and PDX from 1968-1977. Great employer. Best years of my working career. My first flight was on a 720B SFO-LAX in 1968. Yes those were the days.


The WA 720B...sadly the one that got away from me. Saw them, photographed a couple of them, even had a flight booked on one in Dec 1978, but had to cancel it and two other associated WA flights. I did get to fly WA 727-200 SFO-DEN; 737-200 & DC-10-10 DEN-SLC-JFK-SLC-DEN; and The Londoner DC-10-30 LAS-DEN. Revenue passenger flights only. Nice flights as I recall (was a teenager at the time) but one of the JFK flights I was smack in the middle seat of five and that pretty much sucks no matter how you slice it. Thankfully I got to photograph *all* the Western fleet from late 1978 until the DL merger. Wasn't super fond of the "Bud Light" bare metal scheme but I'm glad to have known it.
Since 60s: AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR(85) BY B6 CO CZ(16) DG DL EA EI EN FI FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KL KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(87) OZ(88) PA PI PN(97) PT QF QQ RM RO RV(99) RV(16) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(13) ZZ 9K
 
superjeff
Posts: 1373
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Thu Aug 06, 2020 2:55 am

aeromoe wrote:
zmatt1 wrote:
Worked for Western in SFO and PDX from 1968-1977. Great employer. Best years of my working career. My first flight was on a 720B SFO-LAX in 1968. Yes those were the days.


The WA 720B...sadly the one that got away from me. Saw them, photographed a couple of them, even had a flight booked on one in Dec 1978, but had to cancel it and two other associated WA flights. I did get to fly WA 727-200 SFO-DEN; 737-200 & DC-10-10 DEN-SLC-JFK-SLC-DEN; and The Londoner DC-10-30 LAS-DEN. Revenue passenger flights only. Nice flights as I recall (was a teenager at the time) but one of the JFK flights I was smack in the middle seat of five and that pretty much sucks no matter how you slice it. Thankfully I got to photograph *all* the Western fleet from late 1978 until the DL merger. Wasn't super fond of the "Bud Light" bare metal scheme but I'm glad to have known it.



Agree about the Bud Light livery - but I didn't like Eastern's either, and never liked the American Airlines Silverbird - they were all great when clean and polished, but . . .

My first flight on Western was when they entered Hawaii (where I grew up) and I got to fly them HNL-LAX on a 707-347B en route back to college on the mainland. Later, I flew them on a couple of short hauls, LAS-LAX on a 73S, and a 727-200 OMA-FSD on business, and on ANC-HNL on a 720B (they had a subfleet called 720H, equipped for the long overwater run). The Islander service to/from HNL was wonderful (that's the one with the "volcano punch"). At that time, I was working for Braniff which had a similar drink, which they called Wahine Punch, but which didn't have the dry ice steaming away, so I thought it was really cool.

Western was probably one of the most heavily unionized carriers at the time, and at one point was right up there with Northwest and National on the "lousy labor relations" list.

But they were a great airline.
 
vegasplanes
Posts: 683
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:33 am

PA815 wrote:
Worldair1 wrote:
Didn't Arnold Schwarzenegger fly them down on an 11 hour trip to Val Verde in 1985?

Ha yes he did! Not sure how many here got the reference but that was my favorite part of the movie. :)


He WAS to fly Western to the Republic of Val Verde....if one recalls, he "departed" the aircraft via the nose-wheel as the mighty DC-10 roared off for the 11 hour flight to Val Verde.......it must have been a rainy season for LAX to have such swamps at the end of the runway. lol.
 
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CrewBunk
Posts: 92
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:47 am

I remember non-reving on Western from LAX to HNL in the autumn of 1977. The agent couldn’t believe I’d rather fly on a 720 LAX-SAN-HNL than nonstop to HNL on a DC-10!

But, my instincts were right. It was my last opportunity to fly on a 720. (DC-10s were a dime a dozen at the time).

Western’s service was great. Who could forget the volcano in the aisle as they served drinks!
 
AntonioMartin
Topic Author
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Re: Western Airlines questions

Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:35 am

PA815 wrote:
Worldair1 wrote:
Didn't Arnold Schwarzenegger fly them down on an 11 hour trip to Val Verde in 1985?

Ha yes he did! Not sure how many here got the reference but that was my favorite part of the movie. :)

Me too..and all the parts involving Alyssa Mylano...(I was 13 and a huge fan of hers she was cute!)

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