zrs70
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Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:16 am

Not asking about TWA/Pan Am/ Eastern, etc, but rather:

Piedmont
Republic
Western
Frontier
New York Air
People Express
Etc.

What are your memories?

Alas, of those listed, I only flew New York Air. Loved the quick hops from Bos to NY. The Flying Nosh was a great little gimmick on those flights.

I had chances to fly Rebublic and Piedmont, but I squandered them.
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IAHFLYR
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:54 pm

Your title is pretty misleading since most of the airlines you've listed were not regional carriers as Piedmont,, Republic, PeopleExpress and Western flew mainline aircraft as well as flew routes all over the country. At least when I read the title I'm thinking SkyWest, Mesa, Republic, Envoy etc,. who are Regional Carriers operating within the "Express" type of operations for UA, AA, DL.

Okay so now that I've ripped into the title, sorry I flew Piedmont quite often from IAH to CLT as well as around N.C. and absolutely loved them above all the rest. Service was great, Piedmont Punch was great, very clean livery and the over all attitude of just about everyone was outstanding. For me Piedmont stands out among all the airlines of the late 80's and I was incredibly sad to see them absorbed into U.S. Air.

I flew Republic a couple of times as well as Frontier, but neither made much of an impression on me.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
IADCA
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:23 pm

IAHFLYR wrote:
Your title is pretty misleading since most of the airlines you've listed were not regional carriers as Piedmont,, Republic, PeopleExpress and Western flew mainline aircraft as well as flew routes all over the country. At least when I read the title I'm thinking SkyWest, Mesa, Republic, Envoy etc,. who are Regional Carriers operating within the "Express" type of operations for UA, AA, DL.

Okay so now that I've ripped into the title, sorry I flew Piedmont quite often from IAH to CLT as well as around N.C. and absolutely loved them above all the rest. Service was great, Piedmont Punch was great, very clean livery and the over all attitude of just about everyone was outstanding. For me Piedmont stands out among all the airlines of the late 80's and I was incredibly sad to see them absorbed into U.S. Air.

I flew Republic a couple of times as well as Frontier, but neither made much of an impression on me.


To be fair to the OP, most of those carriers developed under regulation, when local service airlines were a lot closer to what regional carriers today are than what Piedmont became when it merged into US. RJs did't exist, so it was either prop flights (and some of the above, again including Piedmont, even had Express/Connect brands for their prop feeder flights as the 80s wore on) or the original RJs - the smaller DC9/727/737/One-Eleven sized planes. Not that you really need to be reminded of this - obviously you were there - but others might miss the context.

As for me on the original topic, it was only Piedmont for me off that list, but I'll echo IAHFLYR. My first few dozen flights were on Piedmont as a child, and I still smile every time I see one of the successive iterations of the Piedmont heritage planes.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:47 pm

IADCA wrote:
To be fair to the OP, most of those carriers developed under regulation, when local service airlines were a lot closer to what regional carriers today are than what Piedmont became when it merged into US. RJs did't exist, so it was either prop flights (and some of the above, again including Piedmont, even had Express/Connect brands for their prop feeder flights as the 80s wore on) or the original RJs - the smaller DC9/727/737/One-Eleven sized planes. Not that you really need to be reminded of this - obviously you were there - but others might miss the context.

As for me on the original topic, it was only Piedmont for me off that list, but I'll echo IAHFLYR. My first few dozen flights were on Piedmont as a child, and I still smile every time I see one of the successive iterations of the Piedmont heritage planes.


You're correct in your statement of being fair....I didn't look at it in the manner when I probably should have taken that into account. And hey don't forget the "Little Fokker" (F28) that PI flew around their Florida routes. :bigthumbsup:
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
spacecadet
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Wed Nov 14, 2018 12:00 am

Of those listed, I flew Piedmont, Republic, Western, and People Express. I also flew Hughes Airwest, Air California, PSA, and probably a few others.

Alaska and Southwest were also in that category in those days (and in some ways still are; both are still mostly 737 airlines, for example); I flew both of them back then too.

I don't really remember the experience on most of them to be all that different than any other airline. It's kind of like how most LCC's today don't really have vastly inferior service to the legacy carriers; most people wouldn't even know the difference. In my mind as a kid, the only way I differentiated them from the bigger airlines was by the fact that they mostly flew DC-9's and 737's while the big airlines flew bigger jets.

I do remember Hughes being *very* low rent by the time I flew them; that was an exception. The plane I flew was in really shabby condition inside and out, and it made four intermediate stops from Northern California to Oregon.

I also remember People Express being interesting because they had their sights set on challenging the big boys and I lived through some of that. I flew them out of EWR several times both when they had their original terminal (the North Terminal) and then when they opened Terminal C as its main (only?) tenant. I remember at least seeing their 747 parked at the gate although I honestly don't remember if I flew on it (I have a vague memory that I did, but it's not reliable and I don't remember any details). I know I flew on their 727's, which wasn't anything special either way, but the terminal experience at EWR was always kind of a nightmare.
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AirAfreak
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:52 am

It was me + several 737-200s operated by Presidential Airways between Washington/Dulles and Boston throughout the 1980s.
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global2
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Fri Nov 16, 2018 7:26 pm

I flew People Express, New York Air, and Piedmont a lot between BOS and NY/NJ in the 80's (as well as EA, and PA). People Express was a novelty because you paid on board. It was amazing that the FA's were able to finish payment collection, which had its own cart, and usually finish serving drinks from a second cart before it was time to prepare for landing. As Spacecadet mentioned, the North Terminal was a chaotic experience.

New York Air was nice enough--no complaints. Piedmont was the nicest and had the cleanest planes.
 
spacecadet
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Sat Nov 17, 2018 5:34 am

global2 wrote:
As Spacecadet mentioned, the North Terminal was a chaotic experience.


Terminal C was really bad when it opened too. I almost edited my original comment when I first left it to mention this, but I distinctly remember a whole bunch of people sitting on the floor at Terminal C because there was basically no seating at all and there still being scaffolding and construction going on everywhere. They definitely opened it way, way too early. They must have thought they had to.
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Cunard
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:26 am

Should the title of the thread be changed to ''prior to deregulation''?

After deregulation several airlines turned from regional airlines to cross country airlines with several expanding their operations overseas including Transatlantic including some that the OP has already included in his post such as

Peoplexpress
Piedmont Airlines
Western Airlines
94 Countries, 327 Destinations Worldwide, 32 Airlines, 29 Aircraft Types, 182 Airports, 335 Flights.
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Sat Nov 17, 2018 4:47 pm

I was born in 1966, and as a child, we only flew once, in December, 1974/January, 1975, for my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary, during the time of airline regulation in the U.S.

PORTION 1: BFL-LAX (UA), LAX-DFW (AA), DFW-FSM on the original Frontier Airlines!

My very first airplane ever was a 727-122 BFL-LAX, as I remember boarding via the rear air-stairs. At LAX we somehow transferred from the United terminal to the American terminal and met up with my great aunt who lived in LA (Maywood), and flew an American 727-223 to a less-than-a-year-old brand-new DFW, where we took what eventually became the trAAm over to the Frontier Airlines ramp area.



We walked to one of these planes and we boarded. I had a left side window seat, with my great-aunt Dora on the aisle, and my mom and baby sister on the other side. We weren't over the wing, as I remember having a view out the window, but other than that, I couldn't tell if you if we were in the front or the back.

It was the loudest plane I have ever been on. I thought my teeth were going to rattle out of my head. I could barely even hear the lovely flight attendant offer me some almonds. And an hour later, we were at Fort Smith, and a half-hour later, we were at my grandparents' house. A few days later, my dad (who had to stay and work) flew the same route.

The celebration went perfectly, and we celebrated Christmas four days later. A few days after New Year's, though, we prepared to return to Bakersfield, but on a completely different itinerary.

PORTION 2: FSM-MCI via FYV and JPL., followed by MCI-LAX (TW) and LAX-BFL (UA).

This particular flight was a continuation of what we had flown in, routed DFW-FSM-FYV-JPL-MCI - this was my one and only "milk-run" flight before deregulation did away with them. Great-aunt Dora flew back on her own, but dad was with us on this portion.

I don't remember much about this plane being as loud - perhaps we were farther from the engines on this one. A gentleman near us was very nice, and I distinctly remember him as being excited about going to Joplin. And before I knew it, there we were arriving at an almost-as-brand-new MCI, We landed, and I very much remember taxiing around the airport, and seeing several TWA 707's lit up in the darkness, and the double-globe tails magnificently shown off.

The TWA 707 (my one and only) had the picnic table first class lounge, and the flight attendants had white gloves and offered me - and 8-year old boy - a menu. And that was in coach!! Finished it up with a 737-200 back home, and that was that!

Because we never flew after that (it was 12 years until my next flight!), I never got to experience Hughes Air West, PSA, Air Cal, Western, or any of the other wonderful regional carriers that have been absorbed over the years. But the original Frontier is very special to me - thanks for letting me share my memories!
 
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WALmsp
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Sat Nov 17, 2018 6:37 pm

My father worked for Western 1964-1979 so we obviously flew with them a lot. Also, we flew on North Central on our trips back to Minnesota.
In memory of my Dad, Robert "Bob" Fenrich, WAL 1964-1979, MSP ONT LAX
 
DesertAir
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:06 am

I flew Western Airlines from LAX to MEX in 1986. The flight to MEX was on a DC-10 and the return on a 727.
 
910A
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Wed Nov 21, 2018 11:35 pm

Let see if I can remember some:
Pacific
Air West, before and after it became Hughes
North Central
Texas International (free booze at 7am if you wanted it)
Harbor (Seattle to Oak Harbor interesting flight)
Skystream
Golden West (only time on a Short 360)
Air California, Air Cal (couple of times in a 732 in Are Lingus livery)
PSA
Transair (Canada) - interesting color comb - yellow and brown
Frontier
Hawaiian inter-lsland
Aloha
Mid-Pacific (only time on a YS-11)
West Coast
Southern

I have to say, the best regional that I flew was North Central..a first class operation,
I don't consider Western as a regional airline, the CAB had them as a major..
 
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WALmsp
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:10 am

I forgot about Golden West! I flew a Twin Otter eons ago.
In memory of my Dad, Robert "Bob" Fenrich, WAL 1964-1979, MSP ONT LAX
 
whatusaid
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Thu Nov 22, 2018 6:56 am

During the airline strike that hit United in the 60’s, was rerouted SLC-DEN on Froniter through Grand Junction and Montrose on a 580. I remember dried vomit on the seat. Wasn’t the best impression. Was rerouted SFO-FAT to Pacific on an F27 on the same trip. Loved the flight simply due to being able to see below.

Also flew On a Bonaza DC9 FAT-LAX a few days after they merged with West Coast and Pacific. I remember the flight being 5 hrs late, which was more common than not in those immediate post merger days.

Those early day regionals were an interesting mix - The Martin 404s that Pacific flew were interesting birds having rear stairs.

Growing up in Fresno, United was so very dominate that any opportunity to fly on something else was pretty special. That changed with deregulation as PSA and Air California took over. Air Cal was a great little airline - loved the Electra flying out to SNA and Tahoe.
 
ltbewr
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Re: Who flew the vintage US regional carriers?

Thu Nov 22, 2018 11:34 am

Among the 'small' airlines I few on included NY Air, Trump Airlines (both on DCA-LGA shuttles), PeoplExpress (EWR and PBI, DCA, BRU) in the 1980's.

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