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contrails
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Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 9:22 pm

Tomorrow, May 12, marks the 25th. anniversary of the fall of Braniff. I was in Ft. Worth, TX, that day, and there was a sense of sadness in the air, as if a family member had died.

I flew Braniff many times, mostly between DFW and TUL. I also had the thrill of flying the 747-100, known as "The Great Pumpkin" from DFW to LGW, and the 747SP back. It's an experience I'll never forget.

A lot has changed in 25 years. I have now flown almost a million miles, and have seen a lot more of the world than I ever imagined I would as a child. Aviation has changed, seeing the end of the 707 and 727, but also seeing the dawn of the 787. A few other airlines have passed into oblivion also, such as Western, Eastern, Pan Am, and TWA. We have gone from a time when flying, at least for me, was a pleasurable experience to something that has to be endured.

I miss Braniff. I sit in my office some days watching planes on final to DCA and wish I could see one of the rainbow fleet go by my window. I wonder what Braniff would be like had they survived. I wonder what planes they'd be flying, and how they'd look. I can only imagine an orange 757, a blue 767, or a red 777.

It was a time that will never return. I'm glad I have memories of it.
Flying Colors Forever!
 
ogre727
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 9:33 pm

Although I never flew Braniff myself, I get the same feeling you do when I think of VIASA. Anyway, maybe someone could post how the newer types of airplanes would look like on Braniff livery.
I am between the devil and the deep blue sea
 
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727tiger
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 9:33 pm

As I think I've mentioned on this board before, my first time on an airplane was on one of Braniff's 727s MKC-DAL in the summer of 1971. That's right, there was nothing like a south departure out of Kansas City's Municipal Airport, especially to a 9-year-old boy. From then on, I was hooked, on commerical aviation and the Rainbow Fleet. As I grew up, I had more experience on different carriers, but Braniff always, and will always, be a special memory to me.

Even though I always imagine Braniff with an all-Boeing fleet, can you imagine an A380, in Braniff Orange, setting down at DFW?
 
PanHAM
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 9:48 pm

The 747 was called the "Big Orange". Deregulation was the beginning of the end of Braniff. They simply expanded too quickly and too much. I remember the parties they had when they opened the route to Frankfurt. Big, Texas style, with free passages etc.. I am not sure about numbers, but at a time they had up to three flights a day to FRA.

I flew the Big Orange from FRA to DFW, some US domestic 727s in F and back from BOS via BRU to FRA. Great service, great spirit but simply too much in too little time.

BN was not all Boeing, they had DC8s on the South American runs and BAC 1-11s as well. When you look at the date - 1982 - they went down realy quick after deregulaion. Even iff they had applied a bit more sense on their expansion, I doubt that they would still be around under that name. Likely they would have been merged with AA or DL. BN + EA would have been a great match, that combination could eventually have survived until today.

But that is pure speculation. Let's salute the fallen flag and remember a great airline with a smile and a tear in the eye.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
dtwclipper
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 10:07 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 3):
BN + EA would have been a great match, that combination could eventually have survived until today.

I know it would not of been financially feasible, but I have always thought that a PA NA BN combination would have worked.

A domestic operation with DFW MCI and MIA and major gateways at LAX JFK would have made a formidable airline.
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ord
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 10:41 pm

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 3):
I am not sure about numbers, but at a time they had up to three flights a day to FRA.

I think you're mistaken here. Braniff only flew to Frankfurt from DFW and Boston, and each city only had a few nonstops per week. They never did have three dailies into Frankfurt.
 
Tan Flyr
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 10:51 pm

Quoting Contrails (Thread starter):
A lot has changed in 25 years. I have now flown almost a million miles, and have seen a lot more of the world than I ever imagined I would as a child. Aviation has changed, seeing the end of the 707 and 727, but also seeing the dawn of the 787. A few other airlines have passed into oblivion also, such as Western, Eastern, Pan Am, and TWA. We have gone from a time when flying, at least for me, was a pleasurable experience to something that has to be endured.

Well Put Contrails...The mix of airlines at larger airports was really fun to watch as a young guy back then.

Now any really large airport/ hub is almost 80% one carrier...lots of flights..mostly on one color or bare metal.
 
Lurch
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 11:00 pm

This is the Braniff Pages website its just about the best place for Braniff Info!

http://www.braniffpages.com/
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 11:02 pm

I vividly remember the shutdown, as my birthday is May 13th. What a sad day it was as in retrospect it was a harbinger of things to come in the industry. So many great 'lines disappeared either thru merger or failure. Braniff was the first big post-deregulation collapse. Too bad it was far from the last.

I don't remember flying Braniff, but when I was 4, in 1969, Mom took me to MEX/ACA on BN via DAL. She remembers how excited I was because we got 3 different colored 727's! Blue, green and red. Wish she had pics of those birds.
"My soul is in the sky". -Pyramus- A Midsummer Night's Dream
 
AirlineBrat
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 11:05 pm

I flew on Braniff once when I was a kid. We flew on a 727 from MIA to TPA if I remember correctly. That flight was the first time I ever tasted a Dr Pepper.
I'm leavin on a jet plane. Don't know when I'll be back again....
 
SkyyMaster
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 11:07 pm

Quoting 727Tiger (Reply 2):
Even though I always imagine Braniff with an all-Boeing fleet, can you imagine an A380, in Braniff Orange, setting down at DFW?

Well, I do have the 1:400 scale of the Big Orange 380. It would have been awesome. I recall driving out to DFW a couple of days after the shutdown. Seeing all the colors, some in the older scheme, some in the Ultra, parked around 2W. It was an odd sight. Really sad. I never got to fly them but they were in my heart my favorite airline since I first saw one of their yellow BAC-111's on the ramp at BNA as a kid. The reincarnations that came afterwards never did have the same feel as the old one. While dated, I highly recommend the book "Splash of Colors" by John C. Nance. (as if us airline nerds haven't read it yet LOL).
 
xbraniffone
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 11:28 pm

I was a F/A for Braniff (One) based in MSP, BOS and IAH. (Mostly MSP)

I was working the last flight from Frankfurt to Boston on a 747SP (I think it was to Boston.....although it could have been to DFW) I liked the SP a lot.

I was home, watching TV with my roommate, another BN F/A when we heard over the news that Braniff went bankrupt. I had friends all over the country and London that had to get home. A lot of the airlines were very nice and put the employees on flights for free or a nomianl charge....the only one that didn't, was of course AA. (the arch enemy)

It was fun working for BN but really, the management should have been shot how they ran the company. Check in was so long and laborious, the computers were so slow and the progaming really not good, the routes they picked up because of deregulation put them under. I worked ATL to OKC, a new route on a 722 and we never had more than 30 people. Many of the new routes flew like that. ATL to OKC? WHY? We had no base in either. Mr Lawrence, in my opinion was an egotistical idiot. back galleys in 727 were on the right hand side of the airplane. All other airlines had them on the left side. Catering could not use the right galley door, because of crew onloading baggage on that side, so they would use the aft left door. we would have to have the pax get up and move and catering would haul in the equipement etc. It would trash the back of the plane. the carpet was always wet and nasty. the reason they did this, I was told was because Harding Lawrence wanted it that way. IT didn't make any sense.

When he and/or his wife would be scheduled on a flight, the plane would be cleaned by many many cleaners, the food would be checked by the chef and there would be about 15 managers checking evertying out. I worked a flight he was on once and we knew about it one week in advance. I kid you not, about 20 minutes before he board, at least 10 managers from all different departements came on board and double checked everything. They doubled the number of agents working the counter and I think we had an extra F/A. My point is, he never knew how his airline ran, because he never experienced the real Braniff. He always got the fake Braniff and therefore would never know what issues were going on. Check in at Braniff sucked and there were always double seat assignements. ALWAYS.

I worked the 727 and 747's and the DC8's. I liked the 8's as they were loud, old and big. I liked that.

The thing i miss most about BN is the people. I liked my working peers a lot and when BN went under, we all scattered and lost track of one another.

Take a visit to the Braniff Pages web site that Lurch posted. It's a nice site.

Cheers.

P.S. I'm looking for Phylis Franklin. Does any know her? She was a F/A out of Houston and I've been trying for 25 years to find her.
DC3 8 9 10, 1011, BAC111, 707 720 727 737 747 757 767 777 A319 320 330 340
 
ord
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 11:41 pm

Quoting Xbraniffone (Reply 11):
back galleys in 727 were on the right hand side of the airplane. All other airlines had them on the left side.

Interesting that you bring this up. United also had the galleys on the right side of their 727s and I could never understand why.
 
aa2mm
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Fri May 11, 2007 11:41 pm

My memories of BN were towards their end : I used to fly them SFO LAX for $18 or $26...something ridiculous, on an almost empty DC8 doing SFO-LAX-South America.
Then a few years later, I .was flying UA round trip LAX SYD in FC on the SP both way. On the upper deck, in the lav, you can see the old BN orange wall panels, UA never bothered to replace them. And a funny anecdote : the grandmotherly UA female FA was offering me the " Chinese WSJ " : I was kindof baffled, and she brought it out : it was the Asia edition of the WSJ in English. Talk about being " provincial" !!!
 
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American 767
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 12:09 am

Quoting Contrails (Thread starter):
I wonder what planes they'd be flying, and how they'd look.

They would be flying A320's today , wearing large billboard titles. The second Braniff did order A320's shortly before they went under. I don't remember the first colorful Braniff but I do remember the second Braniff of the mid to late 80's, back then I used to see 727's of the second Braniff in DFW. Braniff's main hubs used to be DFW and MCI.

Braniff would be today probably a low cost carrier flying A320's like Jet Blue is, but they would be based in DFW or MCI.

Ben Soriano
Brussels Belgium
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ImperialEagle
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 12:21 am

I was in TPA chatting up my friend G.G. over at the PT ticket counter when one of the BN guys came over to tell us they shut down.

We knew BN had been doing some pretty sporty things for years---- the 707 ATL-HNL, filing for all that route authority after de-reg.etc. O.K., we knew things were getting tight, we knew they were spread pretty thin, but in those days the thought of a legacy carrier going bust was unheard of.

We were just floored.

BN was always one of my favorites. A push at DFW was always impressive with the fabulous array of colors!
I will remember them fondly especially those gorgeous Halston color schemes.
(Can you imagine how beautiful the DC-7C's or L-188's would have looked with the Halson livery?!)
The Super 62's never looked better.
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contrails
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 1:27 am

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 3):
The 747 was called the "Big Orange"

The name I was familar with was "The Great Pumpkin". Every October, about Halloween time, they'd send the plane to TUL for overhaul at the AA maintenance base. At least once the Tulsa World would have a picture of it, noting that it had arrived just in time for halloween.
Flying Colors Forever!
 
charlienorth
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 1:37 am

The Braniff loss was a tough one for me,growing up near MSP I remember the BI BAC111,B727 and DC8's flying over the house,that and I had friends who had parents that were pilots and mechanics there,I got to know the SUN Country bunch and i thought they were great people.
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
LoneStarMike
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 2:22 am

I remember when Braniff shut down. I was a senior in college in Sherman TX (about 65 miles north of Dallas) and a friend from Tampa had flown out to visit me and was scheduled to fly back to TPA on May 13. The night before, Braniff had shut down. Fortunately, she had purchased her ticket through a travel agent and not directly through Braniff, and the travel agency just rebooked her on American.

I can still remember driving to DFW early the next morning to see her off. North Texas had a god-awful thunderstorm event the day before and many roads were still flooded. Driving into DFW, the Braniff planes were parked everywhere.

I can remember walking with my friend into American's terminal (3E) and the place was packed with passengers. Reporters and cameras were everywhere. It was huge news at the time. Add that to the fact that Fort Worth-based American Airlines had won the battle at DFW and Dallas-based Braniff International was now gone. It was really a blow to Dallas' civic pride.

Here's three ancient ads I found online for Braniff:



LoneStarMike

 
KELPkid
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 2:38 am

Quoting Contrails (Thread starter):
I flew Braniff many times, mostly between DFW and TUL. I also had the thrill of flying the 747-100, known as "The Great Pumpkin" from DFW to LGW, and the 747SP back. It's an experience I'll never forget.

Gotta wonder if the late, legendary Capt. Len Morgan (author of the classic "Vectors" article in Flying Magazine) was ever your captain...  Sad
Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
 
SkyyMaster
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 2:51 am

Quoting Contrails (Thread starter):
I wonder what Braniff would be like had they survived. I wonder what planes they'd be flying, and how they'd look. I can only imagine an orange 757, a blue 767, or a red 777.

I think BN would have stayed predominately Boeing. 737NG's, 757, 763, 772, maybe even the 744. All would have looked awesome in the Ultra colors, with the twin stripes on the engines. DFW would certain look much different today had they survived and stayed healthy.
 
justplanenutz
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 4:37 am

Braniff. To me, it is still somewhat mystical. I remember as a kid looking up in wonderment at the flight info. displays clicking away at the reception hall at Love Field. Look at these pics and tell me that wouldn't be cutting edge design today:

http://www.braniffinternational.org/facilities/lovefield.htm

Seeing the Big Pumpkin and the Calder jets. It was everything today's mundane jet travel is not.

It was also a great lesson not to base my livelyhood on airlines. It was the first stock I bought, and I promptly lost. Lesson learned.
 
MCIGuy
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 4:44 am

My first ariline experience was on a BI 707 from Kansas City (MKC, not MCI) to New Orleans. The Flying Colors got my attention at 4 years old, I really miss them.
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BigOrange
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 4:53 am

Braniff was my first transatlantic flight on 10/10/79 I flew the "Big Orange" N601BN from LGW-DFW then connected on a B727 to OAK, unfortunately I don't remember the registration but it was one of the red and orange ones. On the return on 10/31 we were on B727 that was only recently delivered in the dark green c/s and connected onto N602BN.
 
AirEMS
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 4:57 am

Another sad loss of a great airline


-Carl
If Your Dying Were Flying
 
PanAm747
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 5:33 am

Quote:
I wonder what Braniff would be like had they survived. I wonder what planes they'd be flying, and how they'd look. I can only imagine an orange 757, a blue 767, or a red 777.

http://www.cardatabase.net/modifiedairlinerphotos/

It's hard to put a direct link in, so go here, choose "Braniff International" and you'll see a variety of modified photos of what Braniff's colors would look like on planes today.

I've wanted United to do a flying colors thing a la Braniff...the new design looks great in blue, but it would be dazzling to see at SFO, LAX, DEN, ORD, & IAD a rainbow of United planes...
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
FI642
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 6:15 am

I was fortunate enough to get to work with a lot of BI folks at BN2. The stories they told were legendary.
The only solace I find in them being gone is that everyone has good memories, and have mostly
forgotten the bad.

There will never be, and never could be another Braniff. They were ahead of their time!
737MAX, Cool Planes for the Worlds Coolest Airline.
 
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flyingclrs727
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 6:44 am

Due to a wildcat caterers strike on July 3, 1976 at LHR, the BOAC flight my familiy was scheduled to fly on to JFK arrived too late for our connecting flight back to IAH. BOAC gave us a free hotel and meal as compensation for the delay on a night when there wasn't a hotel to be found in New York due to the US Bicentennial celebrations. Since we were going to stay in New York overnight, my father decided to fly out earlier from LGA rather than JFK to IAH. The plane we got to fly was a red Braniff 727 with the Flying Colors livery, and there were probably no more than 10 - 20 passengers on the whole plane. After take off we turned to follow the Hudson River and the pilot rolled the plane so the passengers could see the Bicentennial parade of tall ships from the left side of the plane.

[Edited 2007-05-11 23:45:36]
 
jcavinato
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 7:37 am

The first step to air deregulation was enacted in 1978. The CAB then stated a date at which airlines could file for new routes without having to endure regulatory proceedings. I remember a line of people from the airlines standing outside the CAB building on Connecticut Avenue. The Braniff representative was first in line. Someone brought him food and water, and stood in line when he had to relieve himself.

I don't remember how many new routes they filed for, but the got most of them. They were mostly extensions. Like a flight from EWR to ALB that was an extension of another one.

The industry didn't trust this first move into deregulation. A lot of skuttlebutt in Washington circles was that this would be a one time opening of air in the regulatory process. They wanted to nail down new routes so they could be grandfathered in them in the event the door closed again. That's why the frenzy. As it turned out, that fear was unfounded.

Additionally, I worked for a Washington consulting company in the early 60s while in college. We were hired by the airlines to fight for new routes and abandon existing ones. AA hired us to remove Roanoke and Milwaukee from their system. Roanoke was a holdover from the 40s when planes did continuous milk run stops across the country. Milwaukee, at the end, was a DC-6 if I remember correctly, that once d day went OR to MKE and back.
 
TeamAmerica
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 7:56 am

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 10):
I recall driving out to DFW a couple of days after the shutdown. Seeing all the colors, some in the older scheme, some in the Ultra, parked around 2W. It was an odd sight. Really sad. I

Ditto - that was an incredible sight. The hardstand was packed with B727's for months.

Having observed the many more recent airline bankruptcies, it's amazing to think back to what Howard Putnam did with Braniff. Why on earth did they wait so long to face the inevitable? Braniff may well have been doomed no matter what, but they dug the hole so deep that at the end they just parked the aircraft and left employees holding worthless paychecks. I don't see how that can ever be explained, much less justified. gnasher 

Quoting Xbraniffone (Reply 11):
I'm looking for Phylis Franklin. Does any know her? She was a F/A out of Houston and I've been trying for 25 years to find her.

Try http://www.zabasearch.com
Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
 
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spinkid
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 8:18 am

anyone care to post some pics of their aircraft parked on that fateful day. I remember seeing it on the news then, it looked so sad.
 
socalfive
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 10:08 am

Quoting Spinkid (Reply 30):
anyone care to post some pics of their aircraft parked on that fateful day. I remember seeing it on the news then, it looked so sad.

http://www.braniffinternational.org/history/finalhours.htm

I think that's about as good as it gets pictures-wise.
 
AlexPorter
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 1:38 pm

So I know a number of former Braniff executives (or middle managers? whatever) started up Sun Country soon thereafter, and one of SY's current planes is titled "The Spirit of Braniff."

I didn't know that Braniff's exact shutdown date was 5/12/1982 until today. And tomorrow (which is 5/12 for me as it is only the 11th, local time, as I write this) I fly on Sun Country. I wonder if there will be any special mention or anything whatsoever to denote the 25th anniversary of Braniff's demise.

On a side/related note, I wonder if SY will do anything special for the 25th anniversary of their own first flight on 1/30/1983.
Last Flight: SCX701 MSP-PHX B738 8Jan2008
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 1:59 pm

I flew through Dallas on American on 5/13. The scene was heart stopping. I remember breathing so hard against the window next to my seat that it fogged up. I couldn't imagine such a thing had really happened.

Braniff. The classiest airline in the business was gone. It was a sad day in the history of this industry that I love so much.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
NorthstarBoy
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 2:09 pm

i flew braniff once in my life, in March of 1982 from Denver-Ft Lauderdale. I admit, i was disappponted at first that mom had chosen Braniff over Delta, because flying Delta would have put me on L1011s on 3 of the 4 legs, but Braniff won me over. i loved the leather interiors, and the bright colors of the airplanes, i few "Ultra Green" from Den-Dfw "Halston Green" from Dfw-Mia-Fll "Halston Red" Fll-Dfw and "Ultra Rust." Dfw-Den. I remember the last leg because it had seats with the most uncomfortable material. I remember the first three legs because the seats were leather.

Furthermore, that trip provided me with probably the most memorable flying experience i've ever had in my life. the Dfw-Fll flight routed via Miami. we made our stop in Miami, then took off and leveled off at 3000 feet, the captain slowed us down to stall speed and the view, on a clear, moonlit night, was something i'll never forget, the entire south florida area was lit up like a christmas tree, a sea of gold lights as far as the eye could see. i was completely awestruck.

Irony dictated that my mom and brother came in the next day, and their plane commandeered in Miami to take a large group of stranded texans back to Dallas, so they came up on the bus.
Yes, I'd like to see airbus go under so Boeing can have their customers!
 
il75
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 2:11 pm

I flew several times from Buenos Aires to Chile between 1969 and 1971 and, being a kid, a remember I always asked my mom if we couldn't fly with Braniff. I liked the colour of their planes  Smile
Now I wonder what they were flying? I guess it was a flight from Miami. Was it B707?

Best regards
Erico
 
OPNLguy
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RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 2:50 pm

The reason I remember 5/12/82 so well is because it's the day I turned in my resignation letter at Air Florida, since I was returning to Southwest. It was both odd, and humbling, in that I was voluntarily leaving a job, and here thousands of Braniff employees were being involuntary severed from theirs, and through no fault of their own. It was a reminder, a lesson, if you will, about how fragile life in this business can be.

Quoting SkyyMaster (Reply 10):
I recall driving out to DFW a couple of days after the shutdown. Seeing all the colors, some in the older scheme, some in the Ultra, parked around 2W. It was an odd sight. Really sad.

They had parked many of the DC-8s over at Love, and we saw them there for quite some time.

Quoting Xbraniffone (Reply 11):
Catering could not use the right galley door, because of crew onloading baggage on that side, so they would use the aft left door. we would have to have the pax get up and move and catering would haul in the equipement etc. It would trash the back of the plane. the carpet was always wet and nasty. the reason they did this, I was told was because Harding Lawrence wanted it that way. IT didn't make any sense.

Funny you mention that, as it never made any sense to me either. Before I got on with Southwest (the first time), I catered for Dobbs at IAH. At the time, Delta, National, American, and Air Canada 727s all served IAH, and all their aft galleys were on the captain's side of the aircraft, whereas Braniff (and an occasional United charter) all had the aft galleys on the F/O's side. (Eastern and Continental 727-200s were also onthe captain's side, but they were catered by Marriott and Continental, respectively).

Approaching from the captain's side was easier, since you avoided conflicting with the rampers working the aft cargo bin, and more importantly, it was much safer to have the trailing edge of the wing on the same side as the catering truck's driver. The 727-200 wing required the driver to parallel the trailing edge exactly, and then make a precise right turn in order to line-up centered on the aft service door. Make the turn too early, and you ended up with the lift area of the truck partially underneath the #1 engine (a big no-no). Make the turn too late, and you easily ran the risk of hitting the trailing edge (which, every once in awhile, someone, somewhere, did). The bigger problem was backing away, and having the wing on the same side of the driver made it much easier to reverse the process.

Now, over at Braniff, the process was more complicated. With the trailing edge of the wing on the right, far side of the truck, you were all the more dependent on your partner who was giving the hand signals, especially when backing out. One day, Braniff (at IAH, at least), said "enough", and we then had to approach from the captain's side, like every other "normal" 727-200. While that made it easier getting up to/back from the aircraft, it was also a major pain in the rump, since we had to then drag Braniff's huge tray carriers (with their one-piece front door, that never stayed on) across the aisle to the galley.

Over the years, many Braniff folks came and joined us at Southwest. Many of them went to Piedmont as well.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
allstarflyer
Posts: 3264
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2005 7:32 am

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 4:50 pm

Quoting Xbraniffone (Reply 11):
P.S. I'm looking for

That Braniff website shown earlier seems like a good place to look for your friend (one would think there has to be somebody visiting that site that might know her).

Quoting AirEMS (Reply 24):
Another sad loss of a great airline

I wonder if, in 2031, people will say the same of one of my old carriers - Independence Air  scratchchin   stirthepot  .

Quoting Xbraniffone (Reply 11):
P.S. I'm looking for Phylis Franklin. Does any know her? She was a F/A out of Houston and I've been trying for 25 years to find her.

BTW, why are you posting this here? Who here would know a FA from history? You think she might be an Anetter  scratchchin  ? Sorry, I'll stop Big grin . There's something for Independence Air folks http://www.ipilots.org/ to find each other, so maybe there's a way for you to find your friend.

-R
Living the American Dream
 
ThirtyEcho
Posts: 1411
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 1:21 am

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 4:58 pm

OK, folks, here it is: I HATED BRANIFF!!!

Let me clarify; you couldn't imagine a better airline in the piston era but, along with the jets, came Harding Lawrence.

The corporate culture changed very quickly to one of astounding rudeness, arrogance, customer disservice and calumny piled upon incompetence. When they could, no longer, advertise superior service they regressed to implying the sexual availability of their Flight Attendants.

I flew them plenty of times but only because I had no other choice. Ever flown a route segment in an unpressurised B727? I don't mean that the pressurization failed inflight. I mean that they announced before takeoff that the flight would be made at 8000 feet due to no pressurization and that the flight might be "a little rough."

Braniff employees were good people who were infected by bad management; a dead fish stinks from its head.

The "Great Pumpkin" orange B747? Harding Lawrence and Mary Wells supposedly bumped two entire rows in first class to give themselves sleeping room on a transatlantic hop. Don't bame me for spreading rumors; it is in the book.

Keep digging in the Braniff grave and it smells like digging in a latrine. I loved the Braniff of the 1950s but I saw the Braniff of the last days as a dead man walking.
 
mxa318
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2007 10:46 am

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 5:45 pm

I remember receiving word of Braniff's demise from several friends, who at the time were flying LAD on the 8's. As a boy of 12, I was deeply saddened by the loss of my favorite carrier: the skies over the Metroplex seemed empty without the two-tone and ultra schemes flying overhead. In time, however, I learned of the events which led to Braniff's demise. ThirtyEcho is correct in his assessment of the Lawrence/Acker/Thayer/Putnam "leadership" and its effects on the company. It would seem that behind the glitzy three ring circus that was Braniff from 1965 to 1982, there truly was a "murder in the other tent" behind the scenes. On this 25th anniversary, I'd like to pay tribute to all the fine men and women of Braniff, who on the front lines, attempted to provide the best possible service to the travelling public in spite of ridiculous corporate decisions; among them Capt. John Logan, Capt. Wendell Stevens, and CSA George Grisham (DFW) to name a few. Thanks for your efforts in sustaining the company for as long as you did. Thanks also to the late Chuck Beard for his outstanding leadership of Braniff in the 50's-1965 and his unique "insight" into what occured thereafter, and to the late Pat Zahrt, who told me ( and a few others) "where the skeletons were buried".
The lower the latitude.... the better my attitude!!
 
CWAFlyer
Posts: 536
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2005 3:33 am

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sat May 12, 2007 10:40 pm

Quoting 727Tiger (Reply 2):
As I think I've mentioned on this board before, my first time on an airplane was on one of Braniff's 727s MKC-DAL in the summer of 1971. That's right, there was nothing like a south departure out of Kansas City's Municipal Airport, especially to a 9-year-old boy. From then on, I was hooked, on commerical aviation and the Rainbow Fleet. As I grew up, I had more experience on different carriers, but Braniff always, and will always, be a special memory to me.

Even though I always imagine Braniff with an all-Boeing fleet, can you imagine an A380, in Braniff Orange, setting down at DFW?

The only thing better than departing to the South at MKC was landing to the South and following the Missouri River for several miles.
 
stirling
Posts: 3896
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2004 2:00 am

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sun May 13, 2007 2:35 am

Quoting JustPlaneNutz (Reply 21):
Look at these pics and tell me that wouldn't be cutting edge design today:

It's a toss-up as to which was the more modern airport, the relatively new LAX, or the redesigned DAL.
I am going to say DAL, while LAX was futuristic in architectural terms, interiors were still the domain of the occupant airlines.
Love Field on the other hand, (as long as you veered to the right upon entry), was to my young eyes, looked like something from that other cutting edge cultural landmark from the time....the flight deck of the USS Enterprise on Star Trek, something totally out of this world.
But the amazing part, was how deep it went, the makeover was comprehensive, anything with the Braniff name on it was sure to be of the most forward design and thinking....right down to the color of the airplanes.

At the end, does any one know of the breakdown of each color? For some reason, I always seemed to get the red/yellow, which was my least favorite, to me, it seemed there were more of that scheme than any other. My last flight was DFW-PDX in 1979...on the red/yellow!  Sad

My most personal memory was from my sophmore year of high school at J.J. Pearce HS in Dallas (Richardson).
One of the electives offered then was Pilot ground school....taught by a Braniff 72S pilot! I remember he was a great guy....all the guys in class wanted to be just like him when we grew up....we would meet at the school, then pile into his TINY red Porsche for the short ride over to the airport. 4 people in a 911 was pushing it! I think it was the first foreign car I'd ever been in, but I digress.
The class included 3 flights per student, 3 at a time, in a C152 over the course of the semester. (From Addison)
We even had a simulator in the classroom....oh what fun!

Quoting PanAm747 (Reply 25):
I've wanted United to do a flying colors thing a la Braniff...the new design looks great in blue,

You know what? I think that is an awesome idea! But would stodgy UA subscribe to such a bold idea? None-the-less, I have been waiting for an airline to do a multi-colored fleet thing for a long time. ProAir was maybe the last?

Quoting Xbraniffone (Reply 11):
Many of the new routes flew like that. ATL to OKC? WHY? We had no base in either.

I believe that route was intended to replace the interchange BN had with EA, or at least some of the stops. It was a laborious endeavor, I believe 7 or 8 stops to Denver. (BHM,LIT, FSM, TUL, OKC, AMA, COS) At the time the change-over was in Memphis. I suppose ATL-DEN was important to BN, having both the nonstop and 1-stop via OKC.
But for some reason, BN had eyes on Atlanta, there was also a nonstop to Denver, the proposed Honolulu and Boston...but actually, BN had their eyes on everyplace! When everyone else was building up fortress hubs, BN was spread out all over the place! They could not decide on what kind of airline they wanted to be.....and it killed them.

Quoting LoneStarMike (Reply 18):
Here's three ancient ads I found online for Braniff:

I'd love to have those Wall-Art size....beautiful ads. A sign of the times....calling their premier service to South America: El Conquistador! Ouch! I wonder if that would go over to today? It may sound romantic to North American/European ears.....

Quoting Il75 (Reply 35):
Now I wonder what they were flying? I guess it was a flight from Miami. Was it B707?

I am going to say DC-8s if the trip was around 1970.

Quoting Allstarflyer (Reply 37):
I wonder if, in 2031, people will say the same of one of my old carriers - Independence Air

Ummmm.....the two don't even deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence. Independence lasted what? All of a year, 2 at the most?
Braniff reached people around the world, and was one of America's premier airlines for many decades.

Quoting Allstarflyer (Reply 37):
BTW, why are you posting this here? Who here would know a FA from history?

Well, considering men like OPNL is older than dirt, and knows more about the industry than any random selection of a 100 a.netters, plus MXA318, ThirtyEcho, etc, there are many of old-timers who might remember the name.....
Relax.

Quoting PanHAM (Reply 3):
The 747 was called the "Big Orange"



Quoting Contrails (Reply 16):
The name I was familar with was "The Great Pumpkin".

Both are correct. Internally, the name "Big Orange" was correct, but with the general public, the impression that stuck was "Great Pumpkin".

Quoting Jcavinato (Reply 28):
I don't remember how many new routes they filed for, but the got most of them. They were mostly extensions. Like a flight from EWR to ALB that was an extension of another one.

That would have been the extension from the DFW flight.
Braniff went crazy on new routes. Routes they began all at once on just ONE DAY in December 1978 include:

OAK-LAS/DEN/DFW
MCI-SLC/MKE/CLE/BOS/PIT/PHL/ATL
MEM-PIT/PHL/BOS/JAX/MCO/BHM
JAX-DFW/MEM/TPA/PBI/FLL
LAS-OAK/SMF/TUS
DEN-RNO/OAK
SAT-LAX/PHX/MSY
IAH-TUS/BHM
MCO-FLL/MEM
BOS-MCI/MEM/BNA
PHL-MCI/MEM
BHM-MEM/IAH/MSY
MSY-SAT/BHM
PIT-MCI/MEM
FLL-MCO/JAX/MIA
MIA-FLL
TPA-JAX
PBI-JAX
ALB-EWR
RNO-DEN
LAX-SAT
BNA-BOS
CLE-MCI
SLC-MCI
MKE-MCI
ATL-MCI

Now out of this list, most of these new flights were to new cities, (just imagine the startup costs for all these stations!)
PHX, TUS, OAK, SMF, SLC, MKE, CLE, ALB, PIT, PHL, BOS, MCO, JAX, PBI.

And that doesn't take into consideration the new international cities, those came along midway through 1979:
Hong Kong
Guam
Amsterdam
Paris
Frankfurt
Brussels

Plus the applications to everything from Delhi, Bahrain, Barranquilla, Jakarta, Bangkok, Peking, Shanghai, Montreal, Manila, and Singapore; to damn near every resort destination in Mexico. (11 new service apps in total, in addition to the existing routes to Acapulco and Mexico City....for a total of 13 stations.)
Delete this User
 
charlienorth
Posts: 1069
Joined: Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:24 am

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sun May 13, 2007 3:06 am

Quoting Xbraniffone (Reply 11):
P.S. I'm looking for Phylis Franklin. Does any know her? She was a F/A out of Houston and I've been trying for 25 years to find her.

As a previous poster said is is a small business...try www.thebranifffamily.org

[Edited 2007-05-12 20:07:26]
Work hard fly right..don't understand it
 
OPNLguy
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sun May 13, 2007 3:41 am

Quoting Stirling (Reply 41):
Well, considering men like OPNL is older than dirt, and knows more about the industry than any random selection of a 100 a.netters, plus MXA318, ThirtyEcho, etc, there are many of old-timers who might remember the name.....

Good grief, man, I'm only 52, not 152..  

I met a BN F/A named Lori (Loni?) Townsend (what a beauty!) on a flight in 1982, and spent a couple of years after the shutdown looking for her, but never did find her. She's probably got grandchildren by now...

[Edited 2007-05-12 20:54:13]
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
justplanenutz
Posts: 594
Joined: Fri Feb 10, 2006 9:48 am

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sun May 13, 2007 6:38 am

Quoting Charlienorth (Reply 42):

Quoting Contrails (Reply 16):
The name I was familar with was "The Great Pumpkin".

Both are correct. Internally, the name "Big Orange" was correct, but with the general public, the impression that stuck was "Great Pumpkin".

It was also called "Fat Albert".
 
AirEMS
Posts: 625
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 6:34 am

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sun May 13, 2007 12:24 pm

I heard a comment that DEN was a focus city for Braniff was this ever true??
-Carl
If Your Dying Were Flying
 
IFlyTWA
Posts: 233
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 5:29 pm

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sun May 13, 2007 12:42 pm

I will always get a kick out of this video.

"To express the excitement of travel" - Eero Saarinen
 
stirling
Posts: 3896
Joined: Sat Jun 12, 2004 2:00 am

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sun May 13, 2007 1:49 pm

Quoting IFlyTWA (Reply 46):
I will always get a kick out of this video.

Were they being serious? Oh hallejullah.....that is some funny, funny, stuff. Funny, I remember 1975 being much different!
Delete this User
 
Type-Rated
Posts: 3901
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 1999 5:18 am

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sun May 13, 2007 2:42 pm

Last September, I had the opportunity to attend a reunion of some Houston based former BN employees. The first thing that struck me was what genuinely nice people they all were. And of course all the stories, especially the Lawrence Harding ones! One thing I did notice at the reunion is that a lot of those sweet young things are granmothers now. The youngest F/A BN had at the time of shutdown would now be in her 50's! But then again, a lot of these F/A's are very well preserved.
Sun Country also has hosted a BN reunion in their hangar at MSP, and I believe that they are going to have another one later this year.

The reason BN applied for all those routes at the onset of deregulation was that Mr. Lawrence didn't think that regulation would last, it would eventually be repealed and that all the airlines would be allowed to keep all the routes they acquired during the period of deregulation. So in his mind, it was an expand to survive tactic. He believed in it so much he bet the airline on it, similar to that Boeing did with the 707. Boeing won, Braniff lost.
Also let's not forget One Braniff place, the temple to Harding Lawrences love of excess!
One person told me this (and they said it with such drama you know they meant it!)" Harding Lawrence was the biggest nobody that never should have ever became anybody that I ever saw!"
His wife Mary Wells-Lawrence is still a powerhouse in the advertising world. She also came up with Ford's "Quality is Job Number One", and the Alka Seltzer Plop, Plop fizz fizz campaign of the 70's.



Xbraniffone:
Send me an e-mail with your contact information thru my profile. The former BN F/A that is now the president of the Houston chapter of the Clipped B's is a freind of mine. If you like I can forward your information to her and if she knows Phylis she can forward your info onwards to her. The Houston Chapter is pretty big and a lot of former BN F/A's still are freinds to this day!
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
Type-Rated
Posts: 3901
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 1999 5:18 am

RE: Remembering Braniff - May 12, 1982

Sun May 13, 2007 3:17 pm

In fact if you would like to see some photos of the reunion I spoke about in my post above, look at

http://www.wingsandwheels.org

then click on Past Events.

The Clipped B's did a historical review of Braniff from beginning to end, it was a lot of fun for all!
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!

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