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NWAROOSTER
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 5:11 am

DL_Mech wrote:
BUFJACK10 wrote:
I’ve always been curious as to why the original 747 “Big Orange” never received the “Ultra” livery.

Does anyone have any insight why Big Orange didn’t get it.


Big Orange was supposedly one of the highest utilization 747s in the world flying DFW-HNL-DFW. Probably could not afford to take it out of service for a livery change.

The was a Captain on Big Orange that was flying his last flight, before retiring, on the aircraft who had a heart attack and died in the Captain's seat when it was over LAX flyings g from HNL to DFW. The remaining crew decided to fly Big Orange to DFW. His wife was the head Flight Attendant or Purser on the aircraft.
Another interesting fact when Braniff shut down. There was a 727 that was to fly from MSP to Omaha, and on to DFW. The pilot was told not to stop at Omaha. The pilot told Braniff he was stopping at Omaha and pick up the waiting passengers. He commented "what is Braniff going to do. Fire me." There was not much Braniff could do about it. :old:
 
superjeff
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 11:57 am

departedflights wrote:
NWAROOSTER wrote:
When Harding Lawrence was head of Braniff he went nuts and over expanded Braniff's route structure with the beginning of of deregulation applying for more routes than Braniff could fly. Just to keep them Braniff needed to fly red eye flights with little or no passengers. That was the beginning of the end of the original Braniff. Northwest applied for about four routes.
Harding Lawrence killed Braniff. :old:


superjeff wrote:
Not really, IMHO. I worked for Braniff in Dallas from 1972 to mid-1977 A lot of things killed Braniff. If any of them had not happened, Lawrence would have ensured the company's success. However, the PATCO strike, and the Iranian situation caused a recession in the US, including high oil prices, etc. Braniff had a very efficient fleet (all 727-200's in their Domestic/Mexico operations, the DC8-62's (and a few old DC8-50's) for South America, and the 747's for Hawaii and Europe. The thought was that (a) they had to get big to survive, and, also, American had moved their headquarters to DFW, and basicaly overlaid Braniff's route map.


Since you both brought up Lawrence Harding, I thought I would share this excellent article I accidentally stumbled across a week ago.... It is a lengthy and interesting read from Texas Monthly Magazine's July 1982 issue:

"The Man Who Killed Braniff. Harding Lawrence built Braniff from an obscure regional airline into an international giant. In the process, he destroyed it."

https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-polit ... d-braniff/


It’s a good article, BUT: Lawrence felt that Braniff had to get big quickly for a number of reasons: (a) he felt deregulation wouldn‘t last - on this, he was wrong; (b) he felt that in a deregulated industry the biggest airlines would get bigger and the smallest ones would fade away. He was correct to a point, but he did not realize at the beginning that all of what were then the trunk carrisers (what we call legacies today) would end up in bankruptcy court at some point, (c) he did not anticipate the PATCO Controllers Union strike and the lockout that severely affected the industry, (4) he did not anticipate the Iran hostage crisis which hit in 1979, and (5 since he was flying a very modern and fuel efficient fleet (for the time) with the 727-200‘s, he felt that he could always sell off airplanes if necessary, which the recession made impossible. Add to that was the fact that some of the South American countries Braniff served had limitations on expatriation of funds, so Braniff had to exercise accounting methods to accommodate that, and, quite Frankly, Howard Putnam never understood that.

Bottom line is that there‘s a lot of blame for Harding Lawrence. But he wasn‘t the only problem, and to blame him without considering other factors is very much mistaken. (BTW, I met Harding Lawrence once and spent about 5 hours with him as his aid at a function where he was the speaker in East Texas, and found him very knowledgeable about the industry and very much as I imagined the airline legends in the U.S. (ie. CR Smith at American, Robert Six at Continental, CE Woolman at Delta, Juan Trippe at Pan Am, and William Patterson at United).
 
MIflyer12
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 12:48 pm

jmdc861 wrote:
If there was ever an airline with "style" it was Braniff.


Braniff may have had style, but AA had Crandall and cost discipline. (Crandall had a senior role in Finance at AA well before Braniff's demise.) It took every bit of 30 years (UA merging with CO) for the industry to rationalize following deregulation.

My first flight was a BN 747 BOS-AMS-ORY.
 
capejet
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 12:58 pm

Braniff added HNL to Guam and then from Guam to Hong Kong? Were those Continental Micronesia routes? I wonder how Braniff flying those routes affected the profitability of Continental Micronesia.
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 1:23 pm

Not being alive at the time, I've always wondered why Braniff didn't use Chapter 11 to reschedule its debts and keep on flying, the way other airlines did subsequent to Braniff's fall?
 
nomadic
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 1:40 pm

Braniff was one of my favorite airlines, along with TWA. I flew BN quite a bit out of Denver where I was working at the time. .. Once, when visiting family back East I booked a direct Denver - Albany, NY same-plane flifgt with stops at DFW and JFK just for fun. I was surprised there were 5 other PAX traveling DEN ALB. ( it turned out we 6 were the only PAX on board for the JFK ALB leg!) Another great flight was Acapulco to Dallas, returning from a business trip. It was a relatively short flight but a full hot meal was served in both classes and the crew was having fun with us. My best BN experience of all was flying round-trip Dallas to LGW on Big Orange 3 days after Branniff began their London service. The cabin crew was so excited to be assigned the new route. They were experienced staff with surprisingly, more men than women., a few transferred from their usual South America routes. Eeveryone looked so smart in their Halston uniforms. Service on board was outstanding. I still remember the meals served in coach. I still have the commemorative menu- Dover sole and then a full English breakfast on the way over, Texas Bar-B-Q on the return. Free drinks of all kinds were included. That coach service was almost as good as today's Business Class on some airlines. I wish I I hand been able to try BN flights to their other European destinations before they shut down.

Braniff is truly missed. Despite their management issues and other problems they were a class operation and set the bar for other carriers.
 
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Polot
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 3:05 pm

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Not being alive at the time, I've always wondered why Braniff didn't use Chapter 11 to reschedule its debts and keep on flying, the way other airlines did subsequent to Braniff's fall?

A different era- remember BN was the first major carrier to fall post deregulation. Back then Chapter 11 was seen as a last resort that you put off until you had no other option, and primarily viewed as the end step towards prepping for liquidation. It was thought to be a death sentence as it was believed that passengers would book away and your carrier would then fail anyways. It wasn’t until a few years later that CO showed an airline can successful make it through Chapter 11.

Nowadays yes, a carrier in BN’s condition would have long entered Chapter 11.
 
MO11
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 3:10 pm

TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Not being alive at the time, I've always wondered why Braniff didn't use Chapter 11 to reschedule its debts and keep on flying, the way other airlines did subsequent to Braniff's fall?



Braniff didn't have free cash to continue operating in Chapter 11. The Pritzker Group ended up buying it out of Chapter 11.
 
mga707
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 3:49 pm

hivue wrote:
On May 12, 1982 I had to go to Brownsville in the early afternoon. As I drove out of the airport I watched the blue 727 I came down on heading back to DFW. After it landed it would not leave the ground again for Braniff. Meanwhile I was told I needed to go to Houston the next day instead of back home, and, none the wiser, tried to call Texas International to book from the hotel that night. Lots of busy signals. Almost an hour's worth. Very strange for sure. Airlines needed to have sufficient phone capacity to avoid alienating customers in just this way. Eventually after my umpteenth call they had put up a recorded message: "Due to Braniff Airways ceasing operations we have been experiencing an increased call volume..."


Thanks for sharing your story. Were you finally able to reach TI and book a flight to IAH? Assume if you did you had to leave from nearby Harlingen, since at the time I believe Braniff was the only airline at Brownsville, while Texas Int'l and Southwest flew from nearby Harlingen (HRL). I assume flights on both carriers from HRL (as well as McAllen, which TI also served) were filling up fast due to BN's sudden shutdown.
 
mga707
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 3:59 pm

capejet wrote:
Braniff added HNL to Guam and then from Guam to Hong Kong? Were those Continental Micronesia routes? I wonder how Braniff flying those routes affected the profitability of Continental Micronesia.


I'd have to check my timetable archives to be sure, but from memory I don't think that CO/'Air Mike" flew GUM-HKG during that 1979-81 period, and they only flew nonstop HNL-GUM several days per week. They concentrated on the 'Island Hopper' between HNL and GUM. So I don't think that BN's short-lived transpacific expansion affected them very much.
 
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cathay747
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 5:59 pm

mga707 wrote:
cathay747 wrote:
davescj wrote:
Yes, I believe HNL - Dallas was the last flight, and it took off before the bankruptcy was announced, so it was the last "true" BN flight. I remember reading about FAs seeing planes in DAL that should have been going to South America. I remember reading one story that an FA was told by the CPT to come to the cockpit. He broke the news. Apparently she said "Thank God, I can get another job. I thought you were going to tell me that you were going to put the plane down in the ocean."

PA, BN, EA and others.....the era you embodied is missed.


Actually, the last scheduled flight with pax that completed its flight was the other way around...DFW-HNL. In the aforementioned book Splash of Colors, he describes it. Cockpit crew received word by company radio about the shutdown mid-flight, with orders to land at LAX IIRC. The Capt. told the crew "no, we've got a plane load of people who've paid good money for a Hawaii vacation and we're taking them there. What are they gonna do, fire me?"

The HNL-DFW was in essence a ferry with the inbound crew returning on it. But it was, IIRC, the last BN airplane flying and to land. All others were on the ground by the time they landed at DFW.

All other flights I believe either did a return-to-field or landed at the closest BN station enroute. I think that's the jist of it. And please anybody correct any of this I may have wrong.


Per the current 'Airways' issue, which is all about Braniff, the last flight with passengers was BN502, HNL-DFW. The issue has a first-hand account of that last flight from former BN Flight Attendant Eugene White, who worked that final DFW-NHL-DFW 'turn', with the overnight stay in HNL. So the last flight with passengers was BN502, HNL-DFW, on May 12-13, 1982. It departed HNL around 6PM local time and arrived at DFW at 6AM CDT, according to the last BN timetable, dated April 25, 1982. From the 'Airways' article: "The passengers on flight 502 from Hawaii to Dallas never had a better flight on any airline in the world, I can assure you of that." (pp 71-72, 'Airways Special Edition Braniff international', May 2022). "We gave away headsets, liquor, and anything else that they asked for."


Well then, I stand corrected; I could swear I read that 501 was the last. I know for certain I read the comment by the Captain, about flying on, "what are they going to do, fire me?". I'm gonna gave to go back to Splash of Colors, as that's got to be where I read about this. I am not doubting you, but for many, many years, "Airways" has been RIFE with factual errors (even in photo captions!) which caused me to cancel my subscription long ago and it all started when John Wegg sold out and the Pereira team took over; they clearly needed a fact-checker to back up their learning-on-the-job editorial staff. So it's their article I'm doubting, not you.
 
mga707
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 6:33 pm

cathay747 wrote:
Well then, I stand corrected; I could swear I read that 501 was the last. I know for certain I read the comment by the Captain, about flying on, "what are they going to do, fire me?". I'm gonna gave to go back to Splash of Colors, as that's got to be where I read about this. I am not doubting you, but for many, many years, "Airways" has been RIFE with factual errors (even in photo captions!) which caused me to cancel my subscription long ago and it all started when John Wegg sold out and the Pereira team took over; they clearly needed a fact-checker to back up their learning-on-the-job editorial staff. So it's their article I'm doubting, not you.


As the article was by a former Braniff FA who worked the flight, I believe it. It is also corroborated by another reply above from a poster ('citationjet') who wrote that his/her parents were non-revs on the flight.
 
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ClassicLover
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 7:20 pm

TexasAirCorp wrote:
There’s also a really good article in Texas Monthly that’s still online: https://www.texasmonthly.com/news-polit ... aniff/amp/


That's a great read!

Different times, that's for sure. I don't think I would have coped with a manager who was like that. Terrible!
 
MIAFLLPBIFlyer
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 8:00 pm

global2 wrote:
The route map surprised me, why would Braniff have several trans Atlantic routes out of BOS?

Apart from that, reading through this thread had me wondering if Braniff would have been a more suitable airline for PanAm to merge with than National. Wasn't NA already loaded with problems by the time PA took over? Or was BN in the same state? Would it have made any difference in the long run?


NA was based in MIA and had a large operation at JFK, the two airports PA needed domestic feed at.

Though PA never really addressed it's lack of feed at LAX or SFO, but NA in theory was going to solve the MIA and JFK conundrum's. Though it should be noted, PA had a pretty good thing working with AL at JFK, that got ripped up when PA bought NA.
 
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Polot
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 8:03 pm

MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
global2 wrote:
The route map surprised me, why would Braniff have several trans Atlantic routes out of BOS?

Apart from that, reading through this thread had me wondering if Braniff would have been a more suitable airline for PanAm to merge with than National. Wasn't NA already loaded with problems by the time PA took over? Or was BN in the same state? Would it have made any difference in the long run?


NA was based in MIA and had a large operation at JFK, the two airports PA needed domestic feed at.

Though PA never really addressed it's lack of feed at LAX or SFO, but NA in theory was going to solve the MIA and JFK conundrum's. Though it should be noted, PA had a pretty good thing working with AL at JFK, that got ripped up when PA bought NA.

The problem was NA was a north-south focused airline (for obvious reasons-their bread and butter was bringing vacationers/sunbirds to Florida). Their feed didn’t particularly fit PA’s network needs all that well, especially when PA overpaid for it.
 
mga707
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 8:28 pm

MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
global2 wrote:

Though it should be noted, PA had a pretty good thing working with AL at JFK, that got ripped up when PA bought NA.


That's an interesting 'what if'. A rapidly-expanding, newly-renamed Allegheny-into-USAir (name change in October 1979) merging into Pan Am would've been interesting, and might have done well. I remember Allegheny using PA's 'Worldport' at JFK in the '70s.
 
departedflights
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 9:57 pm

MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
NA was based in MIA and had a large operation at JFK, the two airports PA needed domestic feed at.


I don't think NA was very big at JFK at all at the time of the merger....

In one of the final National timetables (dated May 1, 1979), their schedule from JFK consisted of:

Amsterdam (1x daily)
Miami (4x daily)
Orlando (2x daily)
Sarasota (1x daily)
Tampa (1x daily)
Washington National (3x daily)
West Palm Beach (1x daily)

That is a mere 13 flights a day at JFK.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 10:22 pm

MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
global2 wrote:
The route map surprised me, why would Braniff have several trans Atlantic routes out of BOS?

Apart from that, reading through this thread had me wondering if Braniff would have been a more suitable airline for PanAm to merge with than National. Wasn't NA already loaded with problems by the time PA took over? Or was BN in the same state? Would it have made any difference in the long run?


NA was based in MIA and had a large operation at JFK, the two airports PA needed domestic feed at.

Though PA never really addressed it's lack of feed at LAX or SFO, but NA in theory was going to solve the MIA and JFK conundrum's. Though it should be noted, PA had a pretty good thing working with AL at JFK, that got ripped up when PA bought NA.


I'm not sure Braniff would have agreed to merge with PA at the tine. They were in an all-out network growth. Even though Pan Am paid way too much for little National to acquire it and then all the after merger problems due to the two different cultures, trying to buy Braniff would have meant lots of money despite the fleet commonality. National was just a small player with 15 DC-10s and about 40 727s both short and long with a Florida-centric network a culture of strike/fight between employees and management, even in 1979 if I remember correctly.
 
seat1a
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 10:29 pm

Braniff (and to a lesser extent Eastern) is my airliner geek out topic. Never flew Braniff but was (kinda still now in my 50s) obsessed with everything about BI. Here's a list:
- Never flew, but saw the three flights a day roll in from MCI and DFW on approach to DTW (lived in Dearborn Heights)
- Called BI reservations constantly to hear them answer the phone 'Braniff International Flying Colors Janice Pennington speaking ..."
- I ordered the big poster of the Calder DC8, and it arrived in a huge cardboard tube and my parents were wondering WTH
- I collected the BI timetables religiously at DTW; anyone remember the super-classy counter there in dark browns and maroons?
- I have an elite collection of BI TT's in great condition, cherished is the yellow and black with an ad inside cover with the FAs in Pucci helmets
- Always wondered why BI had a IAH-DFW flight with two stops that left at around 3pm and arrived at DFW after 11, with stops in SEA and PDX. A lot of weird routings were in TT's in the 1970s.
- Why didn't BI publish the JFK/IAD-MIA nonstops in the 70s? And any idea why BI didn't fly MIA-GSE and Quito yet Nonstop on the returns?
- Loved the Halston ads with the leather seats and cloth center seat folded down.

There I got it out.
 
hivue
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 11:13 pm

mga707 wrote:
hivue wrote:
On May 12, 1982 I had to go to Brownsville in the early afternoon. As I drove out of the airport I watched the blue 727 I came down on heading back to DFW. After it landed it would not leave the ground again for Braniff. Meanwhile I was told I needed to go to Houston the next day instead of back home, and, none the wiser, tried to call Texas International to book from the hotel that night. Lots of busy signals. Almost an hour's worth. Very strange for sure. Airlines needed to have sufficient phone capacity to avoid alienating customers in just this way. Eventually after my umpteenth call they had put up a recorded message: "Due to Braniff Airways ceasing operations we have been experiencing an increased call volume..."


Thanks for sharing your story. Were you finally able to reach TI and book a flight to IAH? Assume if you did you had to leave from nearby Harlingen, since at the time I believe Braniff was the only airline at Brownsville, while Texas Int'l and Southwest flew from nearby Harlingen (HRL). I assume flights on both carriers from HRL (as well as McAllen, which TI also served) were filling up fast due to BN's sudden shutdown.


Yeah I eventually got through to TI. As I recall I went MFE to IAH. The day after that I was back at DFW. It was a sad sight to see all those bright Braniff colors parked and going nowhere anymore.
 
mga707
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sat May 21, 2022 11:29 pm

seat1a wrote:
- Always wondered why BI had a IAH-DFW flight with two stops that left at around 3pm and arrived at DFW after 11, with stops in SEA and PDX. A lot of weird routings were in TT's in the 1970s.


A 'round robin' flight. Fairly common then, but that's one of unusual length. I'm surprised they even listed it as an IAH-DFW choice in the timetable. The only comparable one I can think of off the top of my head is an America West 'through flight' in the '90s that routed TUS-LAS-PHX and was shown in the timetable as a TUS-PHX one-stop. One could drive it as fast, as could one drive from Houston to Dallas faster than that flight time.

Why didn't BI publish the JFK/IAD-MIA nonstops in the 70s?


This one I can answer: This was part of the long-running Easterm-Braniff interchange between JFK and IAD to Panama City and South America. BN did not have local traffic authority between JFK/IAD and MIA. The interchange point was MIA. There was a second BN-EA interchange between Denver and Atlanta, with Memphis as the interchange point. Again, Braniff couldn't carry local MEM-ATL traffic, nor could Eastern on the MEM-DEN leg.
 
seat1a
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sun May 22, 2022 12:30 am

mga707 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
- Always wondered why BI had a IAH-DFW flight with two stops that left at around 3pm and arrived at DFW after 11, with stops in SEA and PDX. A lot of weird routings were in TT's in the 1970s.


A 'round robin' flight. Fairly common then, but that's one of unusual length. I'm surprised they even listed it as an IAH-DFW choice in the timetable. The only comparable one I can think of off the top of my head is an America West 'through flight' in the '90s that routed TUS-LAS-PHX and was shown in the timetable as a TUS-PHX one-stop. One could drive it as fast, as could one drive from Houston to Dallas faster than that flight time.

Why didn't BI publish the JFK/IAD-MIA nonstops in the 70s?


This one I can answer: This was part of the long-running Easterm-Braniff interchange between JFK and IAD to Panama City and South America. BN did not have local traffic authority between JFK/IAD and MIA. The interchange point was MIA. There was a second BN-EA interchange between Denver and Atlanta, with Memphis as the interchange point. Again, Braniff couldn't carry local MEM-ATL traffic, nor could Eastern on the MEM-DEN leg.


Check on the round-robin flight. They had a lot of long multi-stop flights. I think one was JFK-IAD-TUL-OKC-DEN or something like that.

Makes sense about the BN-EA tie up on JFK-IAD - Would I have seen those flights published in the EA timetable then?

One additional question - Did PANAGRA fly LAX-BOG/LIM or was that always a BI route? Curious I've heard through the years the PANAGRA/BI routes similarly overlapped and a merger would smooth things out from a departure time POV. (Though all the BI flights seem to fly at odd hours). Were any of the SA routes profitable during the last year ahead of bankruptcy?
 
Italianflyer
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sun May 22, 2022 1:10 am

Other than certain egos in play, I'm surprised BN didn't seriously entertain mergers until it was too late and the bleeding was too profuse. I recall reading that there were initial talks with PA, PSA, NW and even Air Florida that never went past the , "hey...how do you do?" phase.
I'm Not saying the merged enterprise would have been successful but it would have bought some life.
 
MIAFLLPBIFlyer
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sun May 22, 2022 1:25 am

departedflights wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
NA was based in MIA and had a large operation at JFK, the two airports PA needed domestic feed at.


I don't think NA was very big at JFK at all at the time of the merger....

In one of the final National timetables (dated May 1, 1979), their schedule from JFK consisted of:

Amsterdam (1x daily)
Miami (4x daily)
Orlando (2x daily)
Sarasota (1x daily)
Tampa (1x daily)
Washington National (3x daily)
West Palm Beach (1x daily)

That is a mere 13 flights a day at JFK.



I think at various times in 1979 and 1980 they had Norfolk, Charleston and Savannah service also. But yes, very limited and all north-south. But still NA had been a player at JFK off and on and had a NYC presence with Florida flights from LGA and EWR, and maybe IAH and MSY also from LGA (maybe? I've got to find an old NA timetable).


With MIA they did get some east-west routes, like MSY, IAH, LAX and SFO, but N/S was only DCA and JFK/LGA/EWR IIRC by 1979.
 
MIAFLLPBIFlyer
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sun May 22, 2022 1:28 am

mga707 wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
global2 wrote:

Though it should be noted, PA had a pretty good thing working with AL at JFK, that got ripped up when PA bought NA.


That's an interesting 'what if'. A rapidly-expanding, newly-renamed Allegheny-into-USAir (name change in October 1979) merging into Pan Am would've been interesting, and might have done well. I remember Allegheny using PA's 'Worldport' at JFK in the '70s.



A huge what-if. Similarly TWA and USAir I think talked merger at one point and we'd have seen a similar effect.


Back on topic, BN and EA might have been good merger partners, but at that point, any merger involving EA probably would not have gotten regulatory approval.
 
mga707
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sun May 22, 2022 2:53 am

seat1a wrote:

Makes sense about the BN-EA tie up on JFK-IAD - Would I have seen those flights published in the EA timetable then?


Yes. A similar interchange existed in the '60s between National and Pan Am/PANAGRA. National flew the aircraft between the NE and MIA, then PA from MIA to Panama City, then PANAGRA southward. One flight, three airlines. This interchange ended when Braniff acquired PANAGRA in 1967.

One additional question - Did PANAGRA fly LAX-BOG/LIM or was that always a BI route? Curious I've heard through the years the PANAGRA/BI routes similarly overlapped and a merger would smooth things out from a departure time POV. (Though all the BI flights seem to fly at odd hours). Were any of the SA routes profitable during the last year ahead of bankruptcy?


Checked a few OAGs, and PANGRA themselves never flew that South America-California nonstop route. There was a PANAGRA/Pan Am interchange flight via Panama City that continued as a Pan Am/Braniff interchange after the BN/PG merger. Nonstop Lima-LAX-SFO flights on Braniff began in February 1969, using Braniff's new DC-8-62s (that had been ordered by PANAGRA but delivered after the merger). At that time the BN/PA interchange ended. Sorry, have no answer on your profitabiity question.
 
aaway
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sun May 22, 2022 4:24 am

seat1a wrote:
One additional question - Did PANAGRA fly LAX-BOG/LIM or was that always a BI route? Curious I've heard through the years the PANAGRA/BI routes similarly overlapped and a merger would smooth things out from a departure time POV. (Though all the BI flights seem to fly at odd hours). Were any of the SA routes profitable during the last year ahead of bankruptcy?


PANAGRA never made it to LAX on a scheduled basis.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sun May 22, 2022 8:02 am

I don't remember on which route, however there was at a time a Braniff DC-8-62 flying in Pan Am's livery on an interchange service.
 
MO11
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sun May 22, 2022 1:04 pm

SpaceshipDC10 wrote:
I don't remember on which route, however there was at a time a Braniff DC-8-62 flying in Pan Am's livery on an interchange service.


"Clipper Golden Light" N1803
 
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eta unknown
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sun May 22, 2022 1:52 pm

MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
departedflights wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
NA was based in MIA and had a large operation at JFK, the two airports PA needed domestic feed at.


I don't think NA was very big at JFK at all at the time of the merger....

In one of the final National timetables (dated May 1, 1979), their schedule from JFK consisted of:

Amsterdam (1x daily)
Miami (4x daily)
Orlando (2x daily)
Sarasota (1x daily)
Tampa (1x daily)
Washington National (3x daily)
West Palm Beach (1x daily)

That is a mere 13 flights a day at JFK.



I think at various times in 1979 and 1980 they had Norfolk, Charleston and Savannah service also. But yes, very limited and all north-south. But still NA had been a player at JFK off and on and had a NYC presence with Florida flights from LGA and EWR, and maybe IAH and MSY also from LGA (maybe? I've got to find an old NA timetable).


With MIA they did get some east-west routes, like MSY, IAH, LAX and SFO, but N/S was only DCA and JFK/LGA/EWR IIRC by 1979.

JFK terminal 6 was the NA terminal and IIrc they were the only operators from there- TW later took it over as their domestic terminal.
 
jmdc861
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Sun May 22, 2022 5:29 pm

eta unknown wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
departedflights wrote:

I don't think NA was very big at JFK at all at the time of the merger....

In one of the final National timetables (dated May 1, 1979), their schedule from JFK consisted of:

Amsterdam (1x daily)
Miami (4x daily)
Orlando (2x daily)
Sarasota (1x daily)
Tampa (1x daily)
Washington National (3x daily)
West Palm Beach (1x daily)

That is a mere 13 flights a day at JFK.



I think at various times in 1979 and 1980 they had Norfolk, Charleston and Savannah service also. But yes, very limited and all north-south. But still NA had been a player at JFK off and on and had a NYC presence with Florida flights from LGA and EWR, and maybe IAH and MSY also from LGA (maybe? I've got to find an old NA timetable).


With MIA they did get some east-west routes, like MSY, IAH, LAX and SFO, but N/S was only DCA and JFK/LGA/EWR IIRC by 1979.

JFK terminal 6 was the NA terminal and IIrc they were the only operators from there- TW later took it over as their domestic terminal.

Trans Caribbean Airways also was a terminal 6 operator at JFK with about 40% of the gates/square footage devoted to their flights to San Juan, St. Thomas, Aruba and Port au Prince. TCA left the terminal in March of 1971 when they moved over to AA's terminal as part of the merger process.
 
SkyVoice
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Mon May 23, 2022 5:05 am

This is all absolutely fascinating! I never got to fly on BN, but I was always captivated by their colorful liveries, especially on their 727s.

On May 12, 1982, I was living in Alabama. I watched a report about the demise of Braniff on a "new" network, the Cable News Network, CNN. (They had been around since 1980, but I didn't get to watch them until 1982.) A reporter and a videographer were on one of Braniff's last flights into DFW. I remember that the FAs were in tears, and the passengers were giving them hugs and words of encouragement.

Braniff's old reservations number, (800) 527-4000, had a recording on it for awhile before it was disconnected. That number is in use now, but it is being used for more sensual purposes.
 
SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Mon May 23, 2022 7:22 am

 
WA707atMSP
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Mon May 23, 2022 10:48 am

At the risk of going too far off topic, The Captain's Log published a thought provoking article about what would have happened if PA hadn't purchased NA. The article's overall conclusion is that by the time deregulation was enacted, PA was doomed whether or not they bought NA. The author says that in 1978 / 79, PA would have been better off breaking up the airline, selling the Atlantic routes to NW and the Pacific routes to UA, keeping the Pan Am building and Intercontinental Hotels, and becoming a real estate company. Although this (obviously) was unthinkable to PA's management, it would have preserved the jobs of PA employees and the investment of PA shareholders.

Here's a link to the article:

https://wahsonline.com/pan-not-purchase ... ines-1978/
 
superjeff
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Mon May 23, 2022 11:26 am

MIflyer12 wrote:
jmdc861 wrote:
If there was ever an airline with "style" it was Braniff.


Braniff may have had style, but AA had Crandall and cost discipline. (Crandall had a senior role in Finance at AA well before Braniff's demise.) It took every bit of 30 years (UA merging with CO) for the industry to rationalize following deregulation.

My first flight was a BN 747 BOS-AMS-ORY.



Ed Acker, who was the CFO at Braniff until he was forced out due to a scandal under the Nixon years, was every bit as sharp as Crandall. But, when he was gone, they didn‘t have a decent replacement. But AA was also about 3 times bigger than BN, and Crandall considered business as war. So you are partially right, and AA certainly didn‘t help things, but AA also played a major role in killing off Braniff, with manipulating the Sabre reservations system, and starting to use Runway 18 at DFW, which was further from their terminal and generally used by Braniff. There were a lot of reasons Braniff failed, but cost discipline at American was only a small part, if anything.
 
superjeff
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Mon May 23, 2022 11:29 am

Polot wrote:
TheFlyingDisk wrote:
Not being alive at the time, I've always wondered why Braniff didn't use Chapter 11 to reschedule its debts and keep on flying, the way other airlines did subsequent to Braniff's fall?

A different era- remember BN was the first major carrier to fall post deregulation. Back then Chapter 11 was seen as a last resort that you put off until you had no other option, and primarily viewed as the end step towards prepping for liquidation. It was thought to be a death sentence as it was believed that passengers would book away and your carrier would then fail anyways. It wasn’t until a few years later that CO showed an airline can successful make it through Chapter 11.

Nowadays yes, a carrier in BN’s condition would have long entered Chapter 11.



Actually, Continental entered their first bankruptcy about a year after Braniff, but for other reasons (IMHO, Frank Lorenzo, who used it to crush his unions).
 
superjeff
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Mon May 23, 2022 11:33 am

cathay747 wrote:
mga707 wrote:
cathay747 wrote:

Actually, the last scheduled flight with pax that completed its flight was the other way around...DFW-HNL. In the aforementioned book Splash of Colors, he describes it. Cockpit crew received word by company radio about the shutdown mid-flight, with orders to land at LAX IIRC. The Capt. told the crew "no, we've got a plane load of people who've paid good money for a Hawaii vacation and we're taking them there. What are they gonna do, fire me?"

The HNL-DFW was in essence a ferry with the inbound crew returning on it. But it was, IIRC, the last BN airplane flying and to land. All others were on the ground by the time they landed at DFW.

All other flights I believe either did a return-to-field or landed at the closest BN station enroute. I think that's the jist of it. And please anybody correct any of this I may have wrong.


Per the current 'Airways' issue, which is all about Braniff, the last flight with passengers was BN502, HNL-DFW. The issue has a first-hand account of that last flight from former BN Flight Attendant Eugene White, who worked that final DFW-NHL-DFW 'turn', with the overnight stay in HNL. So the last flight with passengers was BN502, HNL-DFW, on May 12-13, 1982. It departed HNL around 6PM local time and arrived at DFW at 6AM CDT, according to the last BN timetable, dated April 25, 1982. From the 'Airways' article: "The passengers on flight 502 from Hawaii to Dallas never had a better flight on any airline in the world, I can assure you of that." (pp 71-72, 'Airways Special Edition Braniff international', May 2022). "We gave away headsets, liquor, and anything else that they asked for."


Well then, I stand corrected; I could swear I read that 501 was the last. I know for certain I read the comment by the Captain, about flying on, "what are they going to do, fire me?". I'm gonna gave to go back to Splash of Colors, as that's got to be where I read about this. I am not doubting you, but for many, many years, "Airways" has been RIFE with factual errors (even in photo captions!) which caused me to cancel my subscription long ago and it all started when John Wegg sold out and the Pereira team took over; they clearly needed a fact-checker to back up their learning-on-the-job editorial staff. So it's their article I'm doubting, not you.


While I don‘t disagree about the Pareira team at Airways Magazine, the last Braniff flight was BN 502, HNL-DFW. Not 501 DFW-HNL.
 
superjeff
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Mon May 23, 2022 11:39 am

seat1a wrote:
Braniff (and to a lesser extent Eastern) is my airliner geek out topic. Never flew Braniff but was (kinda still now in my 50s) obsessed with everything about BI. Here's a list:
- Never flew, but saw the three flights a day roll in from MCI and DFW on approach to DTW (lived in Dearborn Heights)
- Called BI reservations constantly to hear them answer the phone 'Braniff International Flying Colors Janice Pennington speaking ..."
- I ordered the big poster of the Calder DC8, and it arrived in a huge cardboard tube and my parents were wondering WTH
- I collected the BI timetables religiously at DTW; anyone remember the super-classy counter there in dark browns and maroons?
- I have an elite collection of BI TT's in great condition, cherished is the yellow and black with an ad inside cover with the FAs in Pucci helmets
- Always wondered why BI had a IAH-DFW flight with two stops that left at around 3pm and arrived at DFW after 11, with stops in SEA and PDX. A lot of weird routings were in TT's in the 1970s.
- Why didn't BI publish the JFK/IAD-MIA nonstops in the 70s? And any idea why BI didn't fly MIA-GSE and Quito yet Nonstop on the returns?
- Loved the Halston ads with the leather seats and cloth center seat folded down.

There I got it out.


To answer a couple of. Your questions: Pre-deregulation, Braniff could not carry local traffic JFK/IAD-Miami, so that‘s why the flights weren‘t listed. As an employee, I flew JFK-MIA once on a DC8-62 going ultimately to Bogota (with a Lima, Peru, based cabin crew), and there were about 35 passengers on that plane, which was configured 20/144.

Braniff‘s Quito service (and their LaPaz, Bolivia, was affected by the altitude, which may explain the triangle routing in/out of Quito. I only flew out of Quito on BN once, and we stopped in Panama en-route back to MIA.
 
superjeff
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Mon May 23, 2022 11:45 am

seat1a wrote:
mga707 wrote:
seat1a wrote:
- Always wondered why BI had a IAH-DFW flight with two stops that left at around 3pm and arrived at DFW after 11, with stops in SEA and PDX. A lot of weird routings were in TT's in the 1970s.


A 'round robin' flight. Fairly common then, but that's one of unusual length. I'm surprised they even listed it as an IAH-DFW choice in the timetable. The only comparable one I can think of off the top of my head is an America West 'through flight' in the '90s that routed TUS-LAS-PHX and was shown in the timetable as a TUS-PHX one-stop. One could drive it as fast, as could one drive from Houston to Dallas faster than that flight time.

Why didn't BI publish the JFK/IAD-MIA nonstops in the 70s?


This one I can answer: This was part of the long-running Easterm-Braniff interchange between JFK and IAD to Panama City and South America. BN did not have local traffic authority between JFK/IAD and MIA. The interchange point was MIA. There was a second BN-EA interchange between Denver and Atlanta, with Memphis as the interchange point. Again, Braniff couldn't carry local MEM-ATL traffic, nor could Eastern on the MEM-DEN leg.


Check on the round-robin flight. They had a lot of long multi-stop flights. I think one was JFK-IAD-TUL-OKC-DEN or something like that.

Makes sense about the BN-EA tie up on JFK-IAD - Would I have seen those flights published in the EA timetable then?

One additional question - Did PANAGRA fly LAX-BOG/LIM or was that always a BI route? Curious I've heard through the years the PANAGRA/BI routes similarly overlapped and a merger would smooth things out from a departure time POV. (Though all the BI flights seem to fly at odd hours). Were any of the SA routes profitable during the last year ahead of bankruptcy?



From what I understand (a lot of it from unofficial sources), Braniff had to utilize creative accounting due to limitations on expatriation of funds from several South American countries (most notably, Argentina). As a result, a lot of costs were allocated to the Latin American routes, which probably made the show a loss, but, in reality, I think they were very profitable. I can remember, for example, that Braniff (partially due to their South American based cabin crews) were pretty much looked on as the local carrier of choice on that continent, with a major hub in Lima, and crews based in Panama, Bogota, Lima, Buenos Aires, Santiago, and Sao Paulo/Rio). And anybody who worked the ticket counter at Miami would joke that they made more money with excess baggage charges on many of those flights, as the South Americans would check all kinds of purchases, including furniture, electronics, etc. So, in reality, I think they were profitable down there, but they wanted to show a loss to get their costs out.
 
worldtraveler2
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Mon May 23, 2022 3:03 pm

seat1a wrote:
- Always wondered why BI had a IAH-DFW flight with two stops that left at around 3pm and arrived at DFW after 11, with stops in SEA and PDX. A lot of weird routings were in TT's in the 1970s.

Yes, the two PIT departures from June 1, 1979:
BN 248 - PIT MEM DFW OKC ICT MCI ORD
BN 183 - PIT MCI SEA PDX DFW FLL
 
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william
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Mon May 23, 2022 3:11 pm

Remember watching Channel 8 News in Dallas when the last day arrived. It was a profound sadness. One cannot walk through Terminal B at DFW today and not remember the colorful 727s that used to line up at the terminal's gates.
 
WA707atMSP
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Re: Braniff International 1982 - 2022

Tue May 31, 2022 1:18 pm

cathay747 wrote:
mga707 wrote:
cathay747 wrote:

Actually, the last scheduled flight with pax that completed its flight was the other way around...DFW-HNL. In the aforementioned book Splash of Colors, he describes it. Cockpit crew received word by company radio about the shutdown mid-flight, with orders to land at LAX IIRC. The Capt. told the crew "no, we've got a plane load of people who've paid good money for a Hawaii vacation and we're taking them there. What are they gonna do, fire me?"

The HNL-DFW was in essence a ferry with the inbound crew returning on it. But it was, IIRC, the last BN airplane flying and to land. All others were on the ground by the time they landed at DFW.

All other flights I believe either did a return-to-field or landed at the closest BN station enroute. I think that's the jist of it. And please anybody correct any of this I may have wrong.


Per the current 'Airways' issue, which is all about Braniff, the last flight with passengers was BN502, HNL-DFW. The issue has a first-hand account of that last flight from former BN Flight Attendant Eugene White, who worked that final DFW-NHL-DFW 'turn', with the overnight stay in HNL. So the last flight with passengers was BN502, HNL-DFW, on May 12-13, 1982. It departed HNL around 6PM local time and arrived at DFW at 6AM CDT, according to the last BN timetable, dated April 25, 1982. From the 'Airways' article: "The passengers on flight 502 from Hawaii to Dallas never had a better flight on any airline in the world, I can assure you of that." (pp 71-72, 'Airways Special Edition Braniff international', May 2022). "We gave away headsets, liquor, and anything else that they asked for."


Well then, I stand corrected; I could swear I read that 501 was the last. I know for certain I read the comment by the Captain, about flying on, "what are they going to do, fire me?". I'm gonna gave to go back to Splash of Colors, as that's got to be where I read about this. I am not doubting you, but for many, many years, "Airways" has been RIFE with factual errors (even in photo captions!) which caused me to cancel my subscription long ago and it all started when John Wegg sold out and the Pereira team took over; they clearly needed a fact-checker to back up their learning-on-the-job editorial staff. So it's their article I'm doubting, not you.


Splash of Colors also says 502 was the last flight. The crew on 501 was told the airline was bankrupt, and asked if they wanted to divert to LAX, but they decided to continue the trip to HNL; as others have said, the captain said "what are they going to do, fire me?".

One of the most poignant stories in Splash of Colors is how the off duty crew that had worked 501 went to the upstairs cocktail lounge after 502 took off from HNL, and mourned the demise of their employer on the flight back to DFW.

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