1969 - 1970 When I was 19, worked for APSA Peruvian Airlines at their downtown London office on Regent Street, and also at the ops office at LGW
for the twice-weekly flight from LIM
. It was a DC8-51 series I believe. It was routed LIM
from what I remember. Stupid of me not to have kept at least a timetable. I used to do odd jobs downtown, and take the company mail out to the airport and put the cargo pouch on the aircraft etc.
1972 - 1975 Worked for Finnair at their cargo office in JYV
in Central Finland for the summer, and also at the ticket desk in the same building. Not a large office, at the time JYV
was a city of about 60,000 people. If I remember correctly, there were 3 flights a day to HEL
, and one that came from HEL
and continued on to OUL
In Sept that year, my station manager at JYV
arranged for an interview for me at HEL
. I am a Canadian citizen, and in those days was only allowed to work for 3 months on a work visa. He was trying to help me get a position at AMS
as a Traffic Offficer, as it was called then. I went down to HEL
, and had an interview, then was given a positive space ticket to AMS
, where I met the Station Manager and District Manager and offered the job. I worked there for 3 years, and came back to Canada (Vancouver) the year after my Father died.
Finnair was a wonderful and fun company to work for, and I got very familiar with many of the crew members coming through AMS
. The DC8 service to JFK
, which originated in HEL
, always overnighted crews each way, so I have many fond memories of get-togethers with them at AMS
. They stayed at the American Hotel, and we had many a fun night at the bar in the hotel called NachtWacht, named after the most famous Rembrandt painting "Night Watch".
1975 - 1998 Worked at YVR
for Western Airlines until 1987, when Western merged with Delta Air Lines. In 1998, Delta pulled out of YVR
, and instead of being transferred to YYZ
, or to work for UA
where I was offered a job (as they would take over the handling of America West from us), I decided it was time for me to leave the airline industry for good. I really did not like it as much since deregulation had started, and more recently the Frequent Flyer programs. Until that time, my customer service skills were excellent, but I had been thinking of a career change anyway, and when Delta pulled out of YVR
that was my ticket out, and perfect timing. Many fond memories of that era as well, though, especially the Western Airline days. Our DC10 "Islander" service to HNL
in the 80's was really great, and we all took an enormous pride in that. When I started with WA
in 1975, we had a DC10 service daily to LAX
as well. The DC10 was very comfortable in those days, with a large F Class (I believe 42 seats), and the Y section was configured 2-4-2. It was more like 2-2-2-2 really, because in between the seat pairs in the middle was a small table.
Thanks for this post, and the chance to ramble on. Sorry my post is so long-winded. It is not often that I get to recount my airline memories like this. I feel very fortunate to have had such an exciting airline career, especially in Europe at a young age, and my thoughts are that I got to work for the airlines during some of the very best years. I also believe that fate got me out of the airline business at just the right time, with no regrets and a lot of very fond memories.