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Favorite Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 11:31 am


What was your favorite airlines as a child?

For me

Last edited by atcsundevil on Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: edited title for grammar
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:27 pm

EA and PI were my favorites as I would see their aircraft arriving and departing from GSP from where I lived just south and west of the field. I fondly remember seeing a PI 727-200 at low altitude turning on to short finals to RWY 4 while having breakfast in the kitchen one morning. EA also used to use their B757-200's on the rather short route to ATL on occasion.
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 12:45 pm

For me, it still remains the same, based on my first ever transatlantic flight as a 19 year old.

It has to be WardAir PIK-YYC. I paid for the flight myself in 1987, it was £428, which would be £1,132 now!!

I remember being wow'd by the Royal Dolton China everything was served on, the choice of meal and even today, still remember the menu stating that Dessert was from a selection on the Sweet Trolley.. and it was.. a proper restaurant-style trolley with full 16-portion sized gateaux and cheesecakes. I also remember being told that WardAir were winning awards for their Inflight Dining, beating the likes of SQ.

I also remember the meal was rounded off with a liquer, and even though there was no inflight entertainment, it didn't bother me at the time.

I still look back on that airline with affection
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:08 pm

PA and EA for me. Growing up in St. Thomas these two were our connection to the rest of the world (AA was there too but I always preferred Pan Am or Eastern). I can remember getting on the outbound PA flight to NY and, if there was ice cream left from the inbound flight, they would always offer it to me before take off. Eastern was my first L-1011 flight cross country from SEA to MIA. PA was my first A300 flight from JFK to STT. Other that that it was usually a mix between the fun rides on 757s (EA) and 727s (PA). Those were great times!
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:11 pm

North Central and Republic in Milwaukee!!!! To some extent Air Wisconsin when they had the Dash 7's and F-27's.
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:22 pm

My favorite airline as a child was UA. My dad would take me to the airport to watch the San Joaquin Valley milk run stop in Stockton on its way to SFO o LAX in the early 1960s. When the plane make its turn to taxi a big blast of air would hit us.
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:28 pm


one reason: channel 9.
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:31 pm

Baring in mind that I had a grand total of 5 flights in my childhood 0-14 I can't say that I had an active preference, but I visited the airport to watch planes frequently and loved designing liveries as well so my criteria was aesthetic only.

- BA
- AR
- CP
- TG
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 1:57 pm

I have a great image of a shiny AA 767 at MXP 10 years back... With a bright blue sky it was just epic... Still I haven't flown on AA yet
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:00 pm

Being a LGB kid growing up mine was PSA,United and Jet America!
But I was also blessed with MDC building planes for airlines around the world to enjoy daily right outside my bedroom window.

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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:04 pm

For me that was Martinair. I grew up in the time that MP was the second largest passenger airline and the largest Leisure airline here in the Netherlands flying pax with widebody aircraft like the 747 DC-10 and later MD-11 and 767. Back then MP used to have its own ground handeling, maintenance, in-flight food company and so on. These subsidiaries also provided for other airlines, such as the food company (Marfo) which used to provide meals to Singapore Airlines.
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:07 pm

Braniff of course!

International sophistication
On time
Leather seats
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 2:38 pm

I grew up just outside Newark, NJ and often arrivals and departures at EWR would seem to pass right over my house. When I was young I liked the original Mohawk because they had FH227s and BAC111s operating out of Newark, EA because of the L188s, Connies, B720s and DC8s, and TW because of the Connies , 707s and 880s. There was also a carrier, Suburban, that flew 4-engine DH Herons(?) to Reading and Lancaster, PA.
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:06 pm

For me it has to be: Dan-Air, British Caledonian and and Air Europe. I was fortunate as a kid (oh my, back in the early 70's!) to have been taken to Med hotspots on holiday sometimes 2 or 3 times a year. The memory I still have, which I think started this amazing obsession was in '78. We were in VCE and there was a French ATC strike. What's new? Anyway, after overnighting on a very hard bench aged 10, we eventually made our way out in the early morning sun to a Dan-Air 727. Up the rear airstairs with the smell of jet fumes and the shrieking of the APU. Have been hooked ever since. Everytime I get to an airport and get a waft of that beautiful smell it takes me right back. I still have a BCal meal tray from a 1-11 flight to NAP, and the Air Europe 1st inflight mag from a trip to FNC in 79 - I remember that landing to this day on that bloomin short runway!
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 4:41 pm

Where do I start? In terms of actually flying on them, they would be:

Air Cal
Braniff 2
Air New Zealand
Mt Cook Airways

Others that I didn't fly on, but would've liked to are:
Wien Air Alaska
Ozark Airlines
Florida Express
Presidential Airlines (out of IAD)
Jet America
Frontier (original)
World Airways
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:01 pm

RG. 90% of my flying was done on them until the hardships got severe in ~2005. Then I started flying with LA (which I came to love) and JJ (which I never really cared for despite having family working there).
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:48 pm

Since they were the ones my family flew the most, Midwest Express and Delta were the big two for me. We only flew on Northwest a handful of times, but I always enjoyed seeing their planes in Omaha because there was variety- DC-9s of all sizes, RJ-85s, Airbuses, and even the occasional DC-10 diversion. Besides, red was my favorite color, that made them all the more interesting!
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 6:50 pm

Growing up in St. Louis, of course it was TWA. First flights as a kid were on them - to MCO and back from TPA. One leg was on a DC-9 and one was on a 727, just can't remember which was which.

My dad used to travel for work a lot so I would always go out to the airport with my mom to drop him off and pick him up, back in the pre 9/11 days when anyone could go airside. I remember every gate at STL having a red and white plane parked at it, including the 747s and L-1011s at the end of C concourse. And the people mover between the far ends of C and D concourses so you didn't have to back track all the way back to the central terminal if you had to change concourses for a connection.
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 8:57 pm

I had an affinity for AA, but I loved UA as well, who used to bring multiple 757's daily to MCI when I was a kid.
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sat Jul 02, 2016 9:16 pm

At that time, they flew combis to and from SFO before replacing them with 777-300ER.
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:01 am

My username indicates my favorite airline of all time: Ozark Air Lines.

Mom worked in OZ reservations in Peoria when I was growing up and my av-geek-hood was fostered due to that. I was born in 1965, she started in 1967. I grew up non-revving on OZ and many other carriers back when only a small proportion of the general public flew with any regularity, if ever. For 10 years or so Mom didn't have enough seniority to pull a summer vacation so we were always off somewhere in May (my birthday month) and October (her's). I fortunately had a grade school principal who thought that I would learn more in Europe or Hawaii etc...than I would for the two week's or so worth of school I missed. A couple of my teachers through those years hated giving me lesson plans for the time I was absent, my guess was out of jealousy more than anything. "So this 8 year old is going to France for a week and I have to create a special curriculum for him while he's gone." That kind of thing. Screw 'em! :lol:

When OZ didn't fly somewhere in those pre-deregulation days we were off on other carriers on free or steeply discounted flights. A few flights come to mind that brought other carriers to my Favorites List.


Non-revved from CDG to JFK in 1974. Coach was filled and they put Mom and me in first a bit reluctantly as I was 9 at the time but already a seasoned flyer and was well versed on my expected behavior. The agent in CDG was of course apprehensive and felt the need to "coach" me on how to behave, which my Mom was quietly amused by. Anyway, off to first we went and I spent most of the flight playing gin rummy with a couple of FA's who declared me one of the most delightful passengers they ever had to my Mother who had come looking for me and asked the FA's if I was "bothering" them. Quite the contrary!

Flew PIA-ORD on OZ, than TWA L-1011's to LAS and back in 1977. I was 12 and Mom and her boyfriend wanted to see Frank Sinatra, which they did (I was too young to attend the dinner show). That was the night Frank's mother was killed in a plane crash. He kept going offstage between numbers, which they thought was odd. He was checking on his Mom's status. Like the true pro he was he finished the show and cancelled the next few engagements. He knew in the middle of the show that his Mother was most likely, or confirmed dead. Meanwhile I had won a gigantic stuffed walrus at Circus Circus and we had no idea if TWA would let me on the plane with that monstrosity. Coach was full and the FA put me and my walrus in two open seats in (I think) Ambassador class while Mom and her boyfriend "rotted" in coach. I became the FA's "Pampered Little Prince" for the LAS-ORD leg and never forgot the awesome service I received on that flight as an airline non-rev brat. Albeit a VERY well behaved one. Those two TWA experiences stand out in my mind and boosted the airline to one of my "Faves".

Air Canada.

We went to Quebec City for the Winter Carnival sometime in the early/mid 70's. LGA-YUL-YQB-YUL-ORD on AC IIRC. I don't really remember anything about the actual flights but every landing on the AC DC-9's were so smooth I never felt the planes hit the runways. ALL FOUR FLIGHTS! That meant something I guess as AC was a carrier I raved about for years.

Pan Am.

In 1972 when I was 7 we flew TWA JFK-MAD, then on to LIS after a few days in Spain. Back then it was not so common to see a little blonde kid in either country but I remember quite well the way the men and women fawned all over me. After a few failed attempts to hail a cab in Madrid, Mom got the bright idea of shoving me into the street with my hand raised. Within seconds we had two or three cabbies fighting over the dubious honor of hauling us to the next place we were headed. The Spaniards bent over backwards to accommodate us but OMG....the Portuguese! Our first day in Lisbon we had checked into the hotel and were hungry. There was a little place down the street the concierge knew and insisted on walking us there. They didn't speak English in the place and the concierge said "something" to the proprietor of the place and the next thing we knew the were bringing out what seemed like 10 courses of food to us and all the ladies in the place (customers and employees) were coming over and making sure I wasn't going to starve that day. After a few awesome days in Lisbon we were back to JFK on TWA, but the flight was full so they sent us to Pan Am who had some seats available. Those PA FA's treated us like gold, even letting me up in the upper deck of what was my first 747 flight. It was the only time I flew Pan Am, but it was a great flight I still remember.

I had also flown on United, American, Braniff, Eastern, Delta, Aloha and Hawaiian in those years as well and never really had a bad flight. Flew the old British Northeast from LHR to NCL and back, up on a Viscount and back on a Trident. So glad I got to experience those aircraft, but the flights were unexceptional. Got to fly a Caravelle from LHR to ORY on AF, and loved those windows, but again, your basic flight.

The Honorable Mentions.

Never had the chance to fly these carriers, but I've always had a soft spot for the "Second Force" carriers of yesteryear:

British Caledonian
Trans Brasil
Aero Condor (Colombia)

Sorry If I've bored anyone with the extended "trip reports" but I think some backstory enhances the reasons for my choices.
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Sun Jul 03, 2016 12:19 am

As far as ones I flew on, it would be UA. I don't think I had any reason; do children really think of these things logically? I just flew on them first, and flew on them the most, so whenever I flew on a different airline, it felt weird. UA felt like "my" airline to me, and every other airline felt like I was staying over at somebody's house who I didn't know.

But I also lived right near SFO for a while, and we had a house with a really amazing view of the airport and runways. (I actually went back there a couple years ago to see if it had changed or if I had remembered it with rose colored glasses, and no - it really still is a great view of the airport.) Planes would take off right above our house, and in those days most airliners didn't have great climb performance, so they'd be pretty low. I loved watching them, and my favorites to watch were:

* Pan Am, because they had the 747SP and were the only airline I knew of at the time flying the weird European A300
* UA, because they had tons of 747's in general, as well as DC-8's, my favorite plane
* Flying Tigers, because I liked both their name and their bare metal livery with the wide diagonal stripes
* AirCal, also because of their livery and because they flew oddball stuff like the BAe 146
* Western, because it was fun trying to catch the bare metal DC-10
* Hughes Air West, because I just never got tired of those flying bananas

I'm sure there are a lot I'm forgetting, but those are the ones that come to mind immediately so they probably really were my favorites.
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Re: Favorite Airlines as a child

Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:44 am

AA (love AA badge from crew) but didn't like silver fuselage - it was ugly and I told my parents that I wanted to fly with CO cos of beautiful golden tail haha, QF (love kangaroo with red tail - beautiful animal), SQ (friendly Singapore girls who love kids), JAA (friendly crew too), CP (beautiful livery - my fav at all times - love "Canadian" in time roman font style lol) and UAL (love stripes on tail with gray livery - perfect match and also United's font in Sans Serif Type Styles).
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Sun Jul 03, 2016 4:52 pm

Northeast Airlines and Trans Caribbean Airways. Love those Yellowbirds and Flying Islands!
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Re: Favorite Airlines as a child

Mon Jul 04, 2016 2:50 pm

Oh boy... long time ago... but my memories are so alive I can still smell the kerosene whilst boarding that screaming 1-11 through the tail airstairs in dingy old Ciampino in the summer of '77... and then the cool wind and the green fields around a very empty and very pastoral Luton airport..
Or the sound of RR Conways, and the shiny RR marque on those engines, on a British Airtours 707. summer of 1976?
The first flight on a then new Britannia Airways 737-200...
The first flight on an Aermediterranea DC9-30, and its nearly vertical take-off...
The Tridents... the VC-10s, the Viscounts... ohh..I could go on...
The delicious meals. The friendly charming stewardesses.
Sweet memories..

Favourite childhood airlines?...
British Airways
British Airtours
British Caledonian
British Midland
Pan Am
Dan Air
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Re: Favorite Airlines as a child

Mon Jul 04, 2016 5:01 pm

In England in the 1960's as a 12yr old did a few flights with BEA, the stewardess made a fuss of us which ever route we flew, remember walking out to the aircraft at LHR on the tarmac several times, they pre-board the children even then. All very exciting.
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Re: Favorite Airlines as a child

Mon Jul 04, 2016 6:32 pm

For me it was simple. I always loved seeing the shiny American Airlines jets at FLL and Miami. Because of that little attraction I had as a child, it led me to pursue a career in aviation and am now in flight training at university with the goal of flying for them some day soon.
I also liked US Airways because I loved their logo and livery, and because they were the biggest airline in PHL (where I moved to when I was young), and I loved the lime green swirls of Song Air. I sure wish they were still around!

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Re: Favorite Airlines as a child

Tue Jul 05, 2016 6:20 am

Mine has to be (and still is) Qantas

As a kid a special trip once or twice a year was a drive around Heathrow (in the late 70s/early 80s), and I remember seeing this Qantas 747-200B with the flying kangaroo on the tail over by the BA Maintenance area, at the time you could buy Matchbox metal toy planes (Swissair DC10, Air France Concorde etc), but I also had a Qantas 747...and here I was staring at the real thing.

Qantas were also an "exotic" airline when I went to the airport in the 80s, as they came in early and went very late, so it was very unusual to see one flying in or out, you might catch a glimpse of part of tail over in T3, with all the Pan Am/TWA/Air Canada/BA tails etc. So to see one properly was rare.

Fast forward to 2011, and I'm standing as a passenger in a departure lounge at T3 looking out at VH-OJQ, all those years later I was actually going to fly on one. I'm now a QF FF, and have 67 Qantas flights to my name. Thinking back I'm not sure what took me so long to do it!

My top 10 were....

1. Qantas
2. Thai
3. SIA (like QF, TG/SQ were exotic birds from far away places as a kid)
4. Pan Am
5. Iran Air (Dad worked for them......some great people at IR)
6. British Midland (first airline I flew on)
7. Gulf Air (I loved their Tristars and that colour scheme)
8. JAL
9. Air India (an unusual one perhaps but a legacy of the cultural impact and interest at the time and another carrier from the East)
10 Northwest Orient (my school bag for several years was a NW bag.....with an emphasis on the Orient!)...what a classic colour scheme

Always wanted to fly on the above, I did with Pan Am and British Midland, I have now with Qantas. Regret never having flown on NW. AI I wouldn't touch with a barge pole these days - I'm not sure my dad understood my fascination in them at the time, IR we could have flown on free. But THR in the late 70s/80s was not a place for a Western family to go! GF are a shadow (I think) of their former selves with the emergence of the ME3 from GF. That leaves SQ, TG and JL to try.......
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Re: Favorite Airlines as a child

Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:20 pm

FedEx because I lived in MEM and my dad worked for them.
NW because I lived in MEM and flew them exclusively as a result.
CO because I live in IAH now and both my parents work(ed) for them.
ExpressJet because my mom worked there and my brother works there now.
Present-day UA because of my parents' tenure.
TW because of the last livery and I flew them to the SLC Olympics.

Honorable mentions:
90s era UA, AA, DL, US, HP, WN, AS- I associate these with my childhood as I would bug my parents endlessly about flying a different airline other than NW, later CO, or flying on anything but a DC-9 or 737! :D It just added to my fascination as a kid seeing different airlines in airports that weren't my home airports; ie HP, WN, AS in SNA and SMF, as well as seeing the highly variable paint schemes and transitions in their respective brandings throughout the years, especially DL. It seemed like every time I flew out of SNA, I'd see the newest DL livery.
I've always had an affinity for BA.
And the first international widebody I remember seeing is a KLM DC10 in AMS.
When wasn't America great?

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Re: Favorite Airlines as a child

Thu Jul 07, 2016 3:43 pm

Growing up near Chicago in the 60s and 70s, I remember the Ecuatoriana ticket office in the city. Why I liked it so much, I can't say but it has stuck with me all these years. The other airline is North Central. I remember that there was a North Central pilot that lived on my paper route and seeing his pilot's hat in the back window of the car. I loved Herman the Duck. I never got a chance to fly either one and my first flight wasn't until 1978.
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Re: Favorites Airlines as a child

Thu Jul 07, 2016 4:24 pm

braniff2hav wrote:
Braniff of course!

International sophistication
On time
Leather seats

Same here. Braniff was, by far, my favorite airline as a kid. First out of MKC and DAL, then out of MCI and DFW. I still recall I loved their in-flight Y hot sandwiches. Granted, I was a kid.
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Re: Favorite Airlines as a child

Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:26 pm

Mine is pretty obvious. My family was very loyal to Transbrasil. Unfortunately gone in 2001.
Picture by Justin Cederholm at MCO.
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Re: Favorite Airlines as a child

Fri Jul 08, 2016 5:48 pm

United, the one we most frequently took on our trips to the USA.
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Re: Favorite Airlines as a child

Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:19 pm

B R A N I F F Of course!

- The Flying Colors
- The ever-changing fonts on timetable cover pages (Girard Sky, and the one if the stylized F's in Braniff, anyone know the name of that font? On the cover of a Winter/Spring 1977 TT)
- Calder DC8
- Ultra livery
- DFW hub and flights to London and Honolulu
- Concorde services
- Halston uniforms complimenting new dining service and 'Wide-Space' Interiors
- Pucci space helmets
- Air Strip and When You Got It, Flaunt It ad campaigns
- 727's

I could go on ...
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Re: Favorite Airlines as a child

Tue Jul 12, 2016 1:13 am

CP Air

Lived in Vancouver and had family in California so was always on CP Air YVR-SFO as a kid during the late 1970's. Mostly 737-200's with the odd 727-200 thrown in. Most impeccable service standards and food of any 2 hour flight I'd ever been on. White table linens, china and silver cutlery in Y. SFO-YVR was most always a breakfast flight with a three course 'brunch' that was far better than any international business class breakfast I've had in the last 10 years. I remember seeing a billboard in San Francisco advertising CP Air's service to Vancouver which read "Two Seatings Daily" and featured a photo of the dining experience.

I remember having to take Western Airlines on the same route a couple of times, although good, was much more the standard Y fare of it's day although they did advertise their flights as 'champagne flights' ...being 12 at the time I was a bit too young to sample it.

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