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TWA772LR
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Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 6:30 am

Since there is a similar thread about DFW, I figured I can make one about my birth airport, MEM!

Please share your experiences and thoughts about it!

For me, it was where my passion started. NW had a booming hub, FedEx was, and still is enormous, and it had an ANG base to go along! We lived under the flight path of the crosswind runway and I remember seeing DC-9 after DC-9 and FedEx after FedEx come in. Me and my brother were easy to entertain because we always got happy when our parents would take us to go see airplanes. I remember always seeing a DC-3 on the GA ramp and seeing the C-141s on the ANG ramp, I even remember when one got destroyed in that one bad storm!

And everyone loves foreign airliners and when KLM started flying the DC-10 from AMS, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. This was also when I thought flying on an A32X was a thrill ride because it seemed like all I rode on was "boring" DC-9s. Even though my very first plane ride was on an NW A320 from MEM-LAX in December of 1992.

And in terms of 20th century architecture, MEM is my favorite of the airports I have been to.

In 2004, me and my family went back to Memphis to visit. When we were at the rental car lot a NW A330 buzzed us on short final from AMS. I have yet to return since.

There's my story of MEM. Of course I have a lot more to say, but I can't remember it right now since I moved to Houston in 1999, when I was six.

Please share your stories and insight of the glorious past and hopeful future of MEM!  
When wasn't America great?


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AA737-823
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:13 am

I have no sentimental attachment to MEM whatsoever, having only transited there one time, post- merger. And by merger, I'm referring to the DL/NW merger, not any of the others that effected MEM.
THAT SAID, I completely agree that the architecture there is wonderful, and I'd hate to see it disposed of.
We've taken far too many cool jet-age places (most recently, the amazing, run-down Pan Am Worldport), and demolished them. There are reasons, of course, but I still wish we were better about preservation of some of these grand old places.

I flew DFW-MEM on a DC-9-50, with a very tight connection to DTW to get onboard a completely trashed N665US 744 to AMS. Perhaps people on this website can understand how annoyed I was on my DC-9 flight, when my carefully selected engine-row window seat was lost in favor of an elite upgrade... only time I was ever upset to ride in first class!
But at least I got that last ride in a classic Niner.
 
bobnwa
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:43 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Thread starter):
And everyone loves foreign airliners and when KLM started flying the DC-10 from AMS

I don't think that KL ever flew rhe DC-10 from AMS to MEM but NW did
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:14 pm

Not that early but in 2002 I flew through MEM on a CO/NW code-share routing STL-MEM-IAH-TUS-IAH-MEM-STL. It was almost $100 cheaper than CO only STL-IAH-TUS-IAH-STL. Got to fly on an Avro for the one and only time STL-MEM. Arrived in MEM on the north end of B when the bank was in full bloom. The corridors were jam-packed but the crowds moved quickly enough. Made my way to C for the COex to IAH. By the time that flight left the bank was over and MEM was a ghost town. Quite a strange scene.

But a much smoother experience than the sprawl at IAH which has grown a bit since then. I decided to avoid IAH after that...just too spread out for my tastes for a connection.
"True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain." -Mercutio
 
thegoldenargosy
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:22 pm

I first flew into MEM on a Mesaba Avro RJ85 in 2003 from STL. Throughout the '00's the hub was bustling. The entire A concourse was used by DL as well as the end of C and all of B.

Around '10-'11, things started quieting down. The Saabs were retired and the far end of A was dead. Then the C concourse became dead. The B concourse and the newer addition to A were the only signs of life at the hub. The last time I flew out of MEM in '12. There were hardly any planes on the ground between banks. Today only parts of B are used by DL.
 
N867DA
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:22 pm

Quoting bobnwa (Reply 2):
Quoting TWA772LR (Thread starter):
And everyone loves foreign airliners and when KLM started flying the DC-10 from AMS

I don't think that KL ever flew rhe DC-10 from AMS to MEM but NW did

I remember KLM MD-11s flying AMS-MEM-AMS in 2000. I don't know if NW ran a lot of international routes out of MEM but it was a very busy domestic hub.

I have connected through MEM twice--once in 2000 flying LAS-MEM-ATL on NW. Red tail city!

The second time was in October 2009 on a DL ticket. The red turned blue!
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you
 
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TWA772LR
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 4:46 pm

Quoting N867DA (Reply 5):
I don't know if NW ran a lot of international routes out of MEM but it was a very busy domestic hub.

They eventually took over the AMS flight and flew to sun destinations like CUN, MBJ, et al.

When NW still had the 787 on order, I remember them announcing MEM-NRT before the merger, and I think before the recession.
When wasn't America great?


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MIflyer12
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:28 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 6):
When NW still had the 787 on order, I remember them announcing MEM-NRT before the merger, and I think before the recession.

For a while (late 90s, early 00s) NW was marketing MEM-TPE direct, with the MEM-SEA segment on an A320. A woman seated behind me asked "How is this little plane going to get us all the way to Taipei?' Her travel companion knew the answer...

Given MEM demographics and nearby competing hubs, MEM-NRT (as commercially successful, best use of 787 assets) was always a pipe dream.
 
BoeingDFW
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:14 pm

Ahh, I remember Memphis very well. Back around the 04-06 years I was around 7-9 years old and was always wanting to fly (that never changed), I wanted to fly my first Saab 340 with American Connection. So my dad made that wish come true and booked our standby flight from St. Louis to Memphis on the American Connection Saab 340. The Saab 340s were always at the D Concourse in St. Louis... I remember when I got to Memphis there were huge lines of Northwest Airlines aircrafts waiting for take off. I was amazed at the traffic there. I saw mostly DC-9s, but I can't remember what else. I remember parking next to a American Airlines MD80. The gate was small and we unloaded by the aircraft stairs. Then all I remember after that was getting on that same plane back to St. Louis. It was my first time in Memphis, and I actually never been back there since that day. I would be happy to go back in see what has changed since the merger happened.
 
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foxecho
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:24 pm

I was in college in midtown Memphis thougout the 90s, in fact the Outer Marker for 18L (now C) was on our campus....I loved seeing the KLM come in from AMS and usually went out to walk the track when it did come in...some days instead of the MD11, it was subbed with the 747!

I remember getting distracted in class because the Northwest pushes were going on thoughout the day....hundreds of flights in and out...then Fedex push... hearing the .Diesel 10s grinding out of MEM....

I ended up going to work for Fedex and later on working for PMDL in MEM, 01-03... wanted to go back as a redcoat or supervisor but alas it is not to be..... last time I nonrevved in I barely made it out with 14 years seniority!

Great memories! great thread!

Andrew

JFK/MEM/MCI/SYR/
..uh, we'll need that to live......
 
stlgph
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:38 pm

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 6):
They eventually took over the AMS flight and flew to sun destinations like CUN, MBJ, et al.

Correct me if I'm wrong on a few things -
1. In addition to the sun destinations in the Caribbean/Mexico, didn't they also have a nonstop to Mexico City?
2. Didn't Northwest/KLM hybrid paint some of their planes in a dual mix color scheme and fly them to DTW, MSP, and MEM? Perhaps that's what the aforemention was about the DC-10 in the KLM blue?
if assumptions could fly, airliners.net would be the world's busiest airport
 
redtailmsp
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 8:59 pm

Quoting stlgph (Reply 10):

DL served MEM-MEX once per week - Saturdays only from memory, in 2010 I believe. Loads were poor and the service survived only part of one summer. The Northwest / KLM hybrid scheme was on one DC10-30, with one side in Northwest colors, the other in KLM colors.
 
jb1087xna
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 9:11 pm

Being in LIT at the time, the MEM hub for both DL and NW was very useful.
 
TheGov
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:41 pm

Quoting foxecho (Reply 9):
some days instead of the MD11, it was subbed with the 747!

Until NW took over the route, you are correct. The MD-11 flew the route with a 747 combi an occasional substitute. However, I seem to recall that KL downsized the route to a 767 during the winter season prior to handing it over to NW.

A couple of other observations:

NW wanted to do hub to hub MSP-MEM with the 747. On its maiden voyage, the 747 crapped out and a DC-10 was sent down. All of the major TV news stations camped out at the airport that day only to be disappointed. I'm not sure how long the jumbos plied the hub to hub routes, but it wasn't long.

One the jumbos were gone. NW opted to do wingtip flights on the hub to hub trips. These trips were generally run with 757 and DC-9s departing withing 2-3 minutes of each other.

Finally, while not specifically addressing the 90's, when DL had their hub there, they were the diversion point from ATL for trans-Atlantic flights. On two occasions, B-Cal diverted to MEM and on one occasion, LH came in. Also, a delegation from JL visited MEM to see if they were equipped to handle their flight to ATL prior to beginning their service NRT-ATL. AFAIK, JL has never been to MEM.
Always a pallbearer, never a corpse.
 
redtailmsp
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 10:52 pm

I have been flying through MEM frequently over the past 20 years. My earliest recollections were of the B concourse being DC9 Central. Many DC9-10's operated out of MEM until Northwest phased them out. Many of the destinations that they served ended up being served by CRJs of Republic and ARJs (Avro 85's) of Mesaba. Northwest would operate 3 sets of arrivals with traffic arriving from the east departing to the west, with another 3 sets of arrivals with traffic arriving from the west and departing east. So, in essence, 6 distinct hub peaks. They also briefly toyed with an extra flow in each direction around mid to late 1990's, with the last bank of flights departing around the time that the Fedex hub would start taking arrivals. (This was when Fedex only flew inbound late in the evening and departed early the next morning, before the Post Office contract and Second day Delivery, which resulted in departures all day long in recent years).

Apart from the DC9's of every type ( -10, -30, -40, -50) operated by Northwest, 727s were common to such places as DTW, MSP, LGA, DCA, MCO, TPA, as were 757s to such places as LAX. LAS, MSP, DTW, MCO. It wasn't unusual to see 3 or 4 757s at the gates at one time. Northwest also operated DC10-40s twice a day to/from MSP in the late 90's, and they were often full. The mass of people rushing from gate to gate during these hub times was a sight to behold. It is hard for people reading this to compare to the stark desolation of the B concourse today.

International arrivals operated through newly built customs and immigration facilities on B concourse, where you would emerge up an escalator around gate B38, up by Corky's - where there was live music during the evening hub times, as well as huge lines to buy their bar-b-que. That area really rocked! KLM initially operated B767s and MD11s to AMS, replaced by Northwest DC10-30's. Other international flights were operated to/from CUN / MBJ by Northwest 727s and later A320s. The flights from AMS, MBJ and CUN were all scheduled to arrive within a short time span, and if they arrived bunched together, passengers on the last flight inbound would have a long wait to clear customs. This happened to me once.....painful.

Commuter operations on the A concourse were predominantly Republic Jetstreams and Saab 340s , with Mesaba Avro 85s operating from the B concourse, as well as on the C concourse, gates C1 to C11 except C8 and C10. Then the CRJ invasion began in earnest. The C concourse gates were then used by CRJs and the A concourse became a CRJ and Saab 340 haven, except for Delta 727s and MD80s to/from ATL from a couple of gates. Several of the A concourse gates were used by Saab 340s with 3 or 4 aircraft operating from each gate at the same time. The southern end of the A concourse was extended with a purpose built gate area that also included Northwest Airlines Central Load Control office under gate A20 that did all the weight and balance calculations for all the domestic mainline flights as well as international flights outbound the USA.

To allow for all the connecting passengers needing to get to the A and C concourses, the interconnecting walkway with the moving sidewalks were constructed so that passengers did not have to leave the sterile areas. Without this, the Regional Jet operations which helped keep MEM as a hub would not have been practical,as the time to get to/from the A and C concourses would have been too long to allow for effective connectivity.

Apart from Delta operating from the A concourse, all other carriers operated from the C concourse - airlines I noted during the 90s included American Airlines with Fokker 100s and MD80s, USAir with Fokker 100s and B737s, Continental with B737s, and United with B737s. I believe that TWA operated Jetstream 41s to/from STL, and that all the other carriers began to change from mainline to Regional jets during the 90's as well.

Freight-wise, Fed Ex were initially predominantly B727-100s and -200s, plus DC10s and some A300 / A310s. They started buying and converting A300s / A310s in large numbers later. As mentioned, they operated at night and you rarely saw any daytime activity. There were also a couple of Convair 580s parked up every day adjacent to the freight sheds to the north of the C concourse. (Wright Airways?)

MEM worked well as a connecting hub for Northwest, it was efficient and cheap to operate as has been well documented in many discussions. Yes, the B concourse was overcrowded with its narrow passageways, and dated brickwork, but it did have a certain charm. It is a depressing place right now, and I look forward to the time when all the carriers are consolidated in the B concourse so that it will give the appearance of having some life in it.
 
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pwm2txlhopper
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:21 pm

Growing up in the 1980's and 90's, i use to transit through MEM a couple times each year while visiting family in Mississippi. Some of my earliest flying memories involve trips to, or through MEM. Unfortunately, I haven't flown into MEM since 2001, so I can only read the news about the airport's decline. I haven't seen it myself. However, not hard to imagine the place looks the same as it did in the early 1980's? The interior terminals never changed! I kind of liked it because it reminded me of the way airports looked from my early years!

We use to fly DL, PWM-BOS-ATL-MEM in the early years. It was an all day affair, and was almost always 727's. By the mid 1990's, I was usually flying to MEM on NW, PWM-BOS-MEM, (sometimes with a connection on Airlink to GTR) The BOS-MEM flight was always a 757, or sometimes an A320. NW Airlink had an extensive regional operation at MEM, with SF-340s and Jetstream 31's flying routes through the southeast. It was always fun getting on a turboprop for a short hop to TUP, before continuing another 15 minutes to GTR. Kind of a milk run type flight at low altitude over the country side.

I'll never forget flying home from MEM the day the Elvis convention week ended! There were Elvis's of all shapes and sizes walking the terminals and waiting at the gates!

MEM was bustling those days! There were at least three or four daily banks and gates were full. Driving in from the south up I-55 you'd notice a steady stream of red tailed arrivals descending over the highway for landing on the 36 runways.


Here's a video I shot twenty years ago while landing in MEM on a USair 737-200 from PIT

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=jwhW_nJP4ek


Here's some terminal photos I found from 1973.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8a/Memphis-international-airport-1970s.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/31/Memphis_International_Airport_hallway.jpg








[Edited 2014-09-14 16:50:24]

[Edited 2014-09-14 16:51:47]

[Edited 2014-09-14 16:52:37]
 
chrisinbrasil
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:05 am

I grew up in Memphis and now live in south Brasil. Living in east Memphis, our home was directly along the flight path of one of the runways. I remember staying up late watching DC-10 after DC-10 fly over around midnight. During the day it was a mix of airlines. I remember when the Concorde flew into the city. I think that was 1986.

I hate that MEM is no longer a hub but people in MEM always complained about high airfares, usually people who never flew! It's a dated airport but retro is in. I think the direction the airport is taking is the correct direction. Consolidating into B and upgrading is needed. Memphis will find her way and bounce back.

I do remember attending a Redbirds game. An announcement aired from Northwest about the single largest expansion in the airline's history. NWA would start a 4th bank of flights. As that announcement started, the KLM MD-11 flew close by. That was cool.

Does anyone have pics of NWA 747s in Memphis? Did they not fly MSP-MEM-MIA as well? There is only one KL MD-11 in the photo base.

Great thread and thankful it's not all negative on a great city.
Southern, Eastern, Delta, Northwest, United, American, Varig, Vasp, TransBrasil, Tam, Gol, British, Lufthansa, KLM, Aero, Brussels, Air Canada
 
xcltflyboy
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:28 am

I remember flying NW Airlink's Saab 340 between GSP and MEM several times in the early 90s. Express Airline I was the regional airline, IIRC. (?)

I remember arriving in MEM among what seemed like an ocean of Saabs parked on the hardstands.
 
EXMEMWIDGET
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Mon Sep 15, 2014 12:44 am

Quoting redtailmsp (Reply 14):
Finally, while not specifically addressing the 90's, when DL had their hub there, they were the diversion point from ATL for trans-Atlantic flights. On two occasions, B-Cal diverted to MEM and on one occasion, LH came in

I remember an Air France 747 dropping in on us one time due to weather in IAH. Eastern had an A300 divert to MEM due to an engine shut down. I remember that it stayed on one our DL gates for a few days while they did an engine change. That was all mid 80's stuff, though.
Ex DL and NW, current FX.
 
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TVNWZ
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:12 am

I spent a lot of time transiting through with NW and DL, but there are two interesting incidents that I remember having nothing to do with those later transits
.
Back in 1982 I flew MDH-PAH-MEM on a UX Twin Otter. Now that was flying! It was also noisy and you did not fly that high. I went to a meeting, went back to the airport and took the return trip back to MDH. Everyone here talking about the 747s, DC10s and even the DC9s should take a flight in an Otter. Real flying, that.

The other remembrance is with TWX. This was in the spring of 1990 MEM-STL, Took this both ways several times on an ATR 42 and, at the time, I thought it was a very refined flight for a prop.

I enjoyed the airport very much. I was taken by the columns and stately manner you saw pulling up the circle drive in those days--unobstructed by massive parking garages.
 
CIDFlyer
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:14 am

MEM holds a place near and dear to me, I connected through there many times between 1998 and 2005. My parents began wintering in Orange Beach AL (right next to PNS) in 1997. So I have been flying down there every February since as my annual winter getaway/relaxation vacation.

Flying from CID my options were limited (AA at the time did not serve PNS..US could have served me via MCI/CLT or PIT/CLT but were never really an option due to high prices) so my options involved double connections on either Delta (CID-CVG-ATL-PNS) or Northwest (CID-MSP-MEM-PNS). First year to PNS I did the Delta route in 1997 through CVG & ATL. After that NW always sent me coupons to use (Man I miss those days!) so my routings always ended up being CID-MSP-MEM-PNS and reverse. Between 98-and 2000 my flight from MEM to PNS was always on the saab 340, a loud little plane but I always liked sitting on the A side since it was a single seat. I remember flying into MEM in Feb 1998 and thinking this place was a bustling as O'Hare or MSP. Planes lined up deep, wall to wall people in the corridors, and I always loved the simultaneous take offs from both runways. Between MEM and MSP I was on 727's/DC9's/A320's between 98 and 2000.

2001 was a great year for me flying to PNS they had upgraded the Saabs to CRJ's from MEM( yes I actually liked that plane at the time as it cut the travel time between MEM and PNS in half...2hrs on the SF3 vs 1 hr on the CRJ) and the flights between MSP and MEM were on DC10's! Loved flying that plane for the 2x2 seating on the window side and let me tell you those planes were always PACKED! So it was fun for me to get to ride the D10 domestically as well as having all my flights on jet aircraft. The D10's were on the MEM/MSP route for 2001 & 2002. They also ran D10's at the time to DTW as well. I remember on one of my flights coming home waitng for the D10 to go to MSP we were right next to the AMS flight and the waiting area was jam packed. 2001 was also around the time they opened up a new extension on A to handle the increasing influx of CRJ's and also newer gates to allow jet bridge boarding to SF3's. It always amazed me that the new extension they built the same way with the brick walls to match the existing airport terminal decor.

By 2003 the D10's were gone on MSP/MEM but replaced by the newer 753's. 2003 also was when NW was flying the Avro Jets between PNS & MEM so I got to fly on that too...nice plane and felt mainline like! 2004 I had enough miles built up to use an award ticket but there was no availability into PNS so I had to fly over to VPS which was fine with me as I would be on all mainline (NW always flew DC9's into Fort Walton Beach). I always thought it was interesting that VPS got mainline and PNS didnt. PNS is the larger of the airports, and even when they were only receiving SF3's in PNS, VPS was getting DC9's).

2005 was when I didnt need to fly through MEM on double connects as NW had a non stop MSP-PNS flight then and also a weekend non stop PNS-DTW flight that allowed me to bypass MEM although I did take a trip in the fall of 2005 to Orange Beach with my buddies to show them the area and we did MLI-MEM-PNS at that time. That was around the time the new rotunda area was open at the middle of B which kind of opened up the concourse a bit. Before it was like a fork in the road with a starbucks and gift shop. I also remember a McDonalds express in that vicinity as well before the rotunda.

By this time AA had started DFW-PNS so i starting switching my flying to them since it was just one connection now. Flew that for a few years and also DL opened up CID-ATL which I began taking as well because before the merger I could accrue NW miles on DL. Since then I have divided my trips on either AA or DL to get to PNS.

I did fly through MEM one last time in May of 2011, memorial day to be exact. Took a buddies trip out to LA for the weekend from MSN-DTW-LAX routing back LAX-MEM-MSN. I purposely chose the MEM routing on the way back to see what the hub looked like with DL tails and signage. Our flight was a red-eye 738 LAX-MEM, got in early that morning and had a breakfast biscuit at the Back Yard Burgers from the food court in the rotunda. Sadly that was my last trip through MEM. It was still a busy place at this time as DL was still running over 200 daily flights there. I'm sure I wouldn't want to see it now as it would be in stark contrast from what I was used to during its bustling days.

All those years though when I was required to connect through MEM I was always a happy camper to get there as it was the dead of winter, and I always had that feeling of comfort that I had finally made it to the south and was out of the cold climate with the southern accents and the sweet smell of BBQ floating in the air, not to mention just being one flight away from my winter beach vacation!

So many fond memories of MEM!
 
fjnovak1
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:55 pm

Much like the previous poster, I had many experiences transiting MEM over the span of nine or ten years. The first time was my senior year of college in February of 2003. My buddies and I were going to Panama City Beach and were to be routed DTW-MEM-PFN. The DTW-MEM flight was on a then brand new NW 757-300 - as the poster above mentioned Northwest had previously scheduled a handful of DC-10's on the MEM-DTW and MSP-MEM flights, and in 2003 those transitioned to the 757-300. I remember you could still smell the new plane smell.

Not being familiar with the hub bank system that Northwest (and later DL) employed at MEM I remember being floored at how many people there were walking through the terminals - it seemed so much busier than DTW. I think at the particular time Northwest ran four distinct banks as opposed to the more common three-bank system that endured until DL began pulling the hub down in earnest in the latter half of 2012.

I think were supposed to go out at about 1:45 or so to PFN on a Saab 340B which I remember was out of gate A19, right at the end of the moving walkway (I believe that NW had three little Saab gate clusters at the time - A19, A30, and A33, but I could be wrong. A19 I believe was the biggest, they had at least four or five flights out of that gate and boarded 2-3 simultaneously). Turned out - the flight was overbooked because of weight and balance - they needed a handful of volunteers and somehow we decided to go for it. We each got three $300 vouchers for our trouble. The next flight to PFN wasn't until 9 or 9:30 PM. I believe the times for the four banks of departing flights were about 8-9:30 AM, 1-2:30 PM, 5-6 PM, and 8:30-10 PM (or thereabouts). Northwest didn't fly four flights to Panama City obviously, and thus there wasn't a 5:00 PM flight.

I remember suggesting to my buddies that we go into the city of Memphis and go to Beale Street and kill a couple hours before the 9 PM flight. However one of my idiot friends didn't want to go into a city we didn't know well, so we ended up on a 5 PM DC9-50 to VPS (before the terminal was built there and Ft. Walton Beach was a dump with a little hut for a terminal basically- we deplaned by stairs), then cabbed it (at about $90 split three ways) into Panama City. Took the cab to the PFN airport which was a ghost town and hunted down someone that was able to retrieve our bags which had taken the 1:45 PM Saab 340 from MEM. Incidentally, the Saab 340 is one aircraft I haven't ever been on. Missed my chance I suppose...

We split that spring break between Panama City and New Orleans, and flew MSY-DTW direct on the return so did not transit MEM, but I made it back over a dozen times between 2003 and 2012 on both Delta and Northwest both as a connecting passenger and once (in 2005) I had a business trip to Memphis and flew BDL-ATL-MEM on Delta as an O&D passenger. Last time through there was in April of 2012 on a DTW-MEM-XNA routing. Was my last time on a DC-9 and my last trip through Memphis.
Go Blue!!
 
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pwm2txlhopper
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Mon Sep 15, 2014 3:49 pm

1990's overhead view during one of the flight banks



 
IAHWorldflyer
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Mon Sep 15, 2014 4:32 pm

I grew up in MEM in the '70's and early '80's, and like TWA772LR I ended up in Houston in my adult life.
NW and KL were not the only widebody operators to have served MEM. DL actually flew L1011 and DC10 flights from MEM to ATL when those types were introduced by DL in the early '70's. I remember my Dad taking me to the airport so I could look at planes one day, and a DL L1011 was at the gate. Somehow he persuaded the gate agent to let me onboard and have a look around. The pilot even invited me into the cockpit and let me sit in his seat. Ahh, to be a cute 10 year old in a much more innocent time!
In the mid-'80's DL flew 1 or 2 rotations of 757's to ATL and I always tried to book one of those when I needed to connect through ATL.
Another interesting anecdote is that before DCA opened up to more non-perimeter flying, all flights in and out of DCA had to stop somewhere east of the Mississippi River. Therefore, MEM had a proportionally large number of nonstops to DCA each day, as DL and AA used MEM as a stop on DFW to DCA flights. AA also operated LIT-MEM-DCA flights as well. When nonstops to DCA were allowed to DFW and IAH in the late '80's, those MEM flights dried up.
 
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:39 pm

Thanks for those photo shots of MEM in 1973. I flew in and out of that place on SO back then. Lots of M404's around the place too. Then it became a ghost town after NW acquired RC. Tons and tons of empty gates everywhere.
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Mon Sep 15, 2014 11:31 pm

Wait. I'm lost now. MEM became a ghost town after NW acquired RC? Didn't NW increase service? Maybe I've lost something in translation.

Don't yell. I'm a curious novice.
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Tue Sep 16, 2014 1:16 am

There were a couple of years in there before NW ramped up service again to MEM and made it a busy hub.
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:00 am

I flew through MEM twice with NW, both times from OMA to ATL. One was in the summer of 1996, of which I have no recollections, but I do remember more from the later trip in May 2003. It was right after NW had introduced the new silver livery, and even then I remember taking as many pictures as I could of the few DC-9s that were by then painted in it! I also remember taking a look at gate B17, where there was an exhibit commemorating the Memphis Belle. I don't recall doing much else aside from sitting and watching planes (what else would I do?   ), with the seemingly endless streams of CRJs, DC-9s, and Airbuses. It wasn't as busy as ATL, but it was still plenty exciting to an 8-year-old!
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RE: Anyone Remember MEM In The 90s?

Tue Sep 16, 2014 2:12 am

Quoting fjnovak1 (Reply 21):
o VPS (before the terminal was built there and Ft. Walton Beach was a dump with a little hut for a terminal basically- we deplaned by stairs), t

I remember that terminal too! Almost like it was in some 3rd world central or south American country or something! At the time I flew in there they were working on the new terminal but it wasnt open yet.

Quoting fjnovak1 (Reply 21):
I think were supposed to go out at about 1:45 or so to PFN

your mentioning of PFN brought another memory to me as it seemed like everytime I would fly to Pensacola there would be many people on my flight from MSP to MEM either going on to PFN or on my flight from MEM to PNS. Lots of midwesterners hitting the panhandle it seemed like, probably like me to visit their snowbird relatives.

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