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5 Airlines Of Your Life

Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:53 pm

First ever post here, but what are the 5 Airlines which you either remember with the most fondness or have travelled on (and most importantly enjoyed flying with) over the years?

Mine are:

Air Europe - Family holidays to Spain, great service and the livery looked great.

British Island Airways - cheap,sometimes unreliable - (once had a 24 hour delay with these guys) but used to love the BAC-111. Pleased I got the chance to fly on them. Another small but significant part of UK aviation history.

GB Airways (pre BA) - the excitement of flying into Gibraltar on the 737-200s. Fantastic service and fond memories of what was a fantastic airline

Monarch Airlines - those A300 600s and the 757's. Once got to sit in an A300 cockpit as it landed -- a memory I will treasure forever. Great service back in the day (before they started charging for everything). The livery (late 80's - 90's) was a classic in my opinion.

US Airways - first flight without the parents at the age of 16 - Gatwick to Rochester via Philly. Big deal at the time and big memories.

BA (who I tend to solely fly with now I'm an adult) and Caledonian (eclectic fleet and gave me my first and only L1011 experience) narrowly missed the cut.

They are mine, what are yours?
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:36 am


JetBlue: My first flight without parents and my first flight to PBI and first from JFK.

US Airways: My first FF mileage program under my own name and now one of my main airlines. Plus they have some of the best customer service in the industry!  

Southwest: First cockpit tour and and conversation with a pilot that made the industry sound so exciting!

Delta: I LOVE Delta. Even though I don't fly them as much as US Airways, they are my second-favorite airline. The crews are almost always fantastic and out perform expectations.

United: My first flight (though I guess this should go to ExpressJet then). COEX flight from EWR to YYT with the whole family and relatives. The flight was 5 hours delayed, changed gates 3 times, and waited 1 hours and 45 minutes to actually takeoff after we left the gate. There were storms in the midwest moving to the east and the flight attendant said that we were the last plane to take off before a ground stop was implemented. It was actually a really fun trip, as being an 8 year old, the delays didn't concern me.  
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:05 am

Here are mine. Keep in mind that I'm quite young, so I may have some different views than all you out there in my selections. I also haven't had too many "fond" or "memorable" experiences yet. They are ranked from most favored down:

1. Condor Flugdienst --- This may sound a bit weird. Ever since I flew with them just this summer, I have been obsessed with the airline. By most's standards, it would have been a normal flight from LAS-FRA, but I enjoyed it a lot. A great crew, food, movie (Rio), and livery.

2. Cathay Pacific/Dragonair --- My first flight in business class. My first time crossing the Atlantic. My first time touching down in an East Asian country. Wonderful, professional crew, classy atmosphere, yummy food.

From here, they are just the airlines I like because they have personal TV's, complimentary food, a good livery, or operate aircraft that I like:

3. Hawaiian Airlines
4. Delta Airlines
5. Jet Airways India

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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:55 am

NZ - My first flight at 4 years of age on an F27-500. My place of work for the last 9 years and by far my most flown on airline. First business class experience, first premium economy.

SQ - My first overseas trip by myself. AKL-SIN-CDG. As a kid my Aunt and Grandmother, both avid travellers used to swear by SQ wherever they went. In those days it was 'Big Top' before 'Megatop'.

AR - Firstly as a treat to spot as a small child, with their fortnightly, then weekly EZE-RGL-AKL service with 742/74L metal, the classic two tone blue paint job that still puts many liveries to shame. I had a big A2 poster of an AR747 that I got from a travel expo when I was 5. then later when I visited South America for my first of many trips there. The inflight product hadn't changed since the 80s when I saw the 742s and the food was shit, but I always maintain a fondness for AR. My first jumpseat was on an MD82 from IGR-AEP perched high above the centre console.

PR - I always feel like I'm coming home to what is possibly my favourite country (certainly most visited) when I step onboard PR. Again like AR the product is dated, but the cabin crew are lovely and I love to see the sunrise en-masse at MNL. It instantly reminds me of the Phillippines whenever I see them at SYD or LAX or HKG or wherever.

TK - My preference for longhaul travel these days. Their Gold lounge in IST is heavenly bliss and one of the main reasons I started to fly the long way around the world to get to my destinations. The Comfort Class (sadly going) is kickass. Their amenity kits are better than any other I've had in Y. In fact they are better than some business class kits I have had too.
Flown to 147 Airports in 62 Countries on 83 Operators and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:49 am

Westjet-Have ALWAYS provided a fun and exciting flight and have had the greatest crew members. Have been allowed to sit in the flightdeck a few times after the flight. I flew alone with them when i was 10 years old and always had a great experience with them. They are also the airline I wish to fly for.

Alaska Airlines-I had a class field trip to Disneyworld. I sat next to a female classmate heading down. During the trip we got to know each other and on the return flight she agreed to be my girlfriend and I had my first kiss at FL340.

US Airways-The airline that took me to SXM! No more to be said!

Canada 3000- My first ever flight from YVR-LAX. Needless to say that is why I am a pilot now.

KLM- For the longest time KLM brought the MD-11 to YVR. It grew to become my favorite plane and for the longest time they were the airline I wanted to fly so I could fly the MD-11. Unfortunately that wont happen. I remember every weekend going to the airport to watch it takeoff or land. It was my favorite plane at YVR

[Edited 2013-09-27 21:50:01]
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:06 am

1) Continental Airlines

As I've said before, Continental was part of my childhood. I spent many, many happy hours zipping back and forward between MAN and EWR on CO20/21, first on the 757 and then DC-10s, followed by 777s and 764s. I cannot quite explain the feeling, but many of my very happiest memories from my formative years started on CO. They have an incredibly soft spot in my heart, and while I am 100% supportive of the merger it does bring a warm and fuzzy feeling to think of the old airline. More than that, the service back-in-day was second to none. Great food (I still remember the Cream Teas they used to serve as the second service on westbound flights) and excellent crews. I also had my first (and only) flight in J in BusinessFirst on a 764, CO21.

Worked Hard, Flew Right.

2) Qantas

I am incredibly loyal to Qantas, and since I began keeping records I have flown them more than three times as many times as my second most flown airline (if I had more accurate records from when I was younger then the gap would be smaller, as there would be a much higher number for CO).

They are a very solid airline, and there is nothing I could complain about. They do everything they should do and more, which is all that I can ask for. On domestic flights their service is not flashy, but products such as free drinks and snacks, hot dinners on one hour flights, and copious amounts of free alcohol remind me that we are incredibly lucky to still have such wonderful service on short domestic flights compared to many regions in the world.

Their international product is excellent, especially on the A380s and refurbished 747s. Again, it is small things like good quality pillows and blankets in Y, the snack bags they hand out, self-service bars so you can help yourself when you get peckish in the middle of the night, and their fantastic crew, that make them a joy to fly. I have also had the three best Y meals I've ever eaten on QF.

More than that, however, after spending time abroad the experience of stepping onboard QF in a foreign port suddenly makes me feel "home". I know it's a massive cliche, but it is the "Spirit of Australia". There is something special about the experience; the familiar accent, the typically Australian service, it's almost like you're among friends and family... It doesn't matter how amazing an experience I had, and how upset I am about heading back to reality, stepping onboard that plane can't help but bring a smile to my face.

3) Emirates

Emirates will forever have a soft spot in my heart as they are the airline that took us from our old life in the UK and deposited us in Australia.

4) Cathay Pacific

My first trip abroad by myself was on Cathay, taking me to what has become my favourite place in the world: Hong Kong. Between the sentimental history and the fact that I always associate CX with such a wonderful city, I love them!

5) Brindabella Airlines

I had always wanted to fly on a Metroliner since I was three years old, and I finally realised that dream in July of this year.

Honourably mention to European Aviation Charter, as I had always wanted to fly a 737-200 and they provided me with the opportunity. Also to British World Airlines, as I flew on a BAC-111 but unfortunately was too young to really remember it (I remember snapshots, but can't - for example - visualise the cabin)
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:59 am

KLM: first flight was on KLM, so that's something. I also like their crews. My favorite Euro airline. I don't don't know if objectively the best, but subjectively, for sure...

Delta: My favorite US airline now. I obtain a lot of upgrades when I fly them usually so that's a big plus for me.

Wideroe: For where they fly, for their milk run, for their nice Dashes. Nice little operation.

Skywork: For their nice Dornier-328s, the first (and so far only) one I've flown on.

Air France: Not the biggest fan of their hub but I got to see an A380 flight deck live... in very special circumstances... and I'll always remember them for that. My top moment while flying.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:59 am

For me it would be CX. As a kid we used to live a lot in Asia and we always flew CX from FUK or CGK to Europe.
Also LH comes into mind, which mighty Jumbos were regularry sued by myself to fly from CGK via SIN to FRA.
That was as a kid when I started to develop interest in aviation.

Later, as an adult, I would especially tell airberlin and TUIfly. Both airlines were offering incredible fares within Europe and allowed me to fly to uncountable desinations while being on a budget, even reaching Gold Status with both airlines, and still offering great service.

More recently I would count Alitalia, which allowed me to travel to Japan and multiple times to Cairo and Middle East (Abu Dhabi, Beirut) at incredibly low fares and actually with quite a pleasant experience.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 12:02 pm

PA - took me across the Atlantic and Pacific. Most frequently flown airline in my youth

EA - flights to and from MLB and PBI as a kid on that silver fleet

US - first airline on which I earned elite status, only airline on which I earned top tier status

SQ - 'nuf said

LH - have just always had an affinity and get excited to be onboard, plus I love the FRA hub
I want to live in an old and converted 727...
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 1:29 pm

For me, first would be LH: reliable, consistent service, my home airline (I live in MUC) and great amenities for Star Golds.

Then most likely SQ because they have a great product and somehow deliver that special feeling when flying with them. And they fly MUC-MAN wich is a nice change to the standard intra-European flight.

After SQ, I would rate WY as one of the most memorable flight experiences as a boutique ME airline with exceptional service and product standards.

With UA I had my first long-haul TATL flight, although with an old 772 but it still stuck with me.

Last is A3, which I haven't flown much but have my *G status with them thanks to their great FFP and they have a good product for a small regional airline.

[Edited 2013-09-28 06:30:27]
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:26 pm

Lauda Air (Italia)- Business Jet heaven
OZ-Asiana flown in Y, C and F, best commercial airline experience
Sabena, loved their product Y and C
SwissAir was great soft product is/was better than LX
LX amazing C and F product.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:29 pm

Olympic - Linked me with my Family and I flew many many flights with them over the decades and had the pleasure of working there too. Will always hold a special place in my life and fantastic memories.

Aegean- Now the major Greek carrier and part of Star Alliance. They have gained my respect for offering a top class product despite severe economic issues at the home base over the last number of years and also managing to make a profit this year.

British Midland - Bmi - For many years of service and a great frequent flyer program. They also took me to places I never knew I wanted to visit due to their wacky route network LOL...

Kuwait Airways- My first experience of First class with them on their iconic B747-200's.

Swiss - For over 100 top class flights in Business Class and for being 99% consistent. For all those lovely J Class meals and Swiss chocolates  
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:31 pm

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Swiss chocolates

Swiss chocolates suck...this is from someone born in in Switzerland

[Edited 2013-09-28 07:37:57]
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 2:50 pm

1. Midwest Express/Midwest - I took my very first flight with them when I was 4 months old back in July 1995, and my family continued to fly them 3-4 times a year until their eventual grandparents live near Washington DC, so the OMA-DCA service they offered (as well as the onboard service) was a huge plus.

2. Delta- First flew them in November 1995 for my family's annual Thanksgiving get-together in South Carolina and have ever since to places like Bermuda, Germany, and elsewhere. They weren't always the greatest when it came to service and such (though I was often too young to care), but they've made huge strides, and are my favorite US major (as my username suggests) and I've always enjoyed traveling with them.

3. Lufthansa- I've only flown them once as a 1-year-old, but they still hold a special place in my heart for being German. My grandfather often flew them for business, collecting things like silverware, postcards, etc along the way, much of which he still has, so I always got to see (and still do) those things whenever we visit. Additionally, a good friend of hos is a retired 747 captain for them, and he's also got a big collection of LH models and other items and lots of great stories about flying for them.

4. US Air Force- This doesn't exactly fit the theme, but the USAF is also special to me for several father was in the Air Force and later the Air National Guard, and while I wasn't a true militate brat, I was always exposed to the influence of the AF environment living near Offutt AFB. He wasn't a pilot himself, but he knew a lot of people who were, and I got to meet a lot of them and hear all kinds of fun and mischevious stories from them, something I still love (for example, our local museum periodically brings people to speak about certain aircraft like the B-47, B-52, etc and they're almost always pilots with similar such stories- I just love that). When he was in the ANG I got to see a lot of the KC-135, which probably contributes to why it's my favorite military aircraft. I could go on and on about all the Air Force-relatex memories and experiences I've had, so while they're not really an airline as such, they still are special to me.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:49 pm

Finnair: Flew both short and long haul with this airline. My flights with the airline has been pleasant, both Y and J class.

Japan Airlines: The best in-flight service so far has to be this airline, flew SIN-NRT-AMS in 2005. Had my first 77W ride and also flew the 747-400 not long after it was retired. Enjoyed my flights very much with this airline.

EVA Air: Not the best of service or in-flight product, but I flew about 8 times with the airline and have developed a soft spot for this airline ever since.

LAN Airlines: My very first South American airline goes to this airline. Enjoyed my 2 hours flight on CDG-MAD route very much and paid only 58 Euros for the flight.

Singapore Airlines: Not my favourite airline for now, but this airline which is my home airline has to be remembered as my first airline in my flight logbook.

Airliners is the wings of my life.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Sep 28, 2013 6:36 pm

Monarch: Fond memories of my first trips between Menorca and the UK, and my first memorable experiences of flying full stop. This was back when they gave you menus, kids packs and in flight catering. As a kid I always used to look forwards to breakfast on the 06:00 flight from LTN - it is probably where my love of aircraft food originated.

Iberia: By the late 1990s the family swapped Monarch for LHR-BCN-MAH routings. Over the next decade I literally flew half of IB's short haul fleet, plus most Air Nostrum types. The main memory I treasure from this is accompanying my grandfather up to the old LHR viewing deck on the Queens Building, we'd spend as much time up there as we could watching the types - it's what kindled my love of aviation photography. Plus I got to fly lots of MadDogs and we almost always (by chance it seems) ended up in the rear rows just in front of the engines - perfect! Over the years Iberia and Barcelona (well, and Madrid too) have changed beyond all recognition.

Air Southwest: The best way in and out of the Far South-West for many years. During my hundred or so flights with them I got to know many of the crews well and literally cannot count the number of times I've been in seat 2D on their dashes. If I was on the mandate, most of the check in staff would save it for me because they knew I preferred it - that's the way to fly. Incidentally I was the last passenger ever to disembark an Air Southwest flight. During the ongoing process of re-opening Plymouth Airport I've gotten to know most of the Air Southwest team very well, fantastic group of people, no wonder the airline had such a good reputation and following.

KLM: They might not be trailblazing trends in the same way that QR or EK have done, but KLM are a favorite of mine because they are a safe pair of hands. Great crews, great hub airport, and great UK connectivity. Fond memories of weekends away in Europe and longhaul trips farther afield with them, and mostly including some cracking aircraft types too.

Ryanair: I've lost count of the great experiences I've had because of Ryanair. Back in Uni my friends could not understand how I'd be able to travel so often... 'you're going away... AGAIN?' This would usually be before they were about to hit the union bar on a Friday night as a first stop and return a good £100 lighter... but not really remember much of it. My weekend thanks to Ryanair: Flights: £20, hostel £10, food and sightseeing: £50. And I remember all of it... well most of it, as alcohol is a lot cheaper abroad too!

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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:11 pm

Northwest will forever be my favorite airline. No they weren't spectacular, but they're the reason I'm working to become a pilot. 2 NW pilots in Aug 2001 brought me into the cockpit during boarding and let me hit switches making all kinds of buzzers and alarms go off. From then on I wanted to be a pilot and I'm partially there. One of my biggest wishes for my career is to hopefully inspire another 9 year old to become a pilot just like those pilots did with me. The day the NW merger was announced was a sad day for me. I wanted to fly for them ever since that day in 2001. Yeah it is silly to be bummed about such a trivial thing, but it was my dream. My stepdad was almost a 2 million miler on them so we were bummed together.

jetBlue has to be my number two. Any chance I have to fly them I'm there. Sadly there coverage to the Midwest is well, horrible. So I don't have the opportunity to fly them all that often. But I love the fact that they're more of a relaxed airline. It's fun to fly them and I have never had a bad crew. The LiveTV helps too.

Third would have to be Qantas. I only have 4 flights on them but they were all firsts in some way. LAX-SYD was my first time missing a flight (okay nothing good about that, but Cali isn't a bad place to get stuck for a day), my first 747, my first international flight, and my first time leaving the mainland. SYD-CNS, first foreign domestic flight, and LAX-NYC first domestic 747 flight! Again probably seems trivial, but hey when 75% of your flights are between NYC/BDL-MSP on a narrowbody/RJ you learn to enjoy those different experiences.

Delta is next. Now at first I wasn't very happy with DL eating up my favorite airline. But I have grown very fond of them in some ways. They are always my go to airline when flying home to BDL/NYC, they've taken care of me when things have gotten screwed up, and they are comfortable. I think what kind of swayed me from neutral to liking them is because of my folks. My stepdad has gotten stuck a couple of times and they've always found a way to get him home or to his meeting on time. They've always been generous when it comes to upgrading me as a companion, and I'm a big fan of the Skyclubs. It's amazing how many benefits you get flying only 8,000 miles a year when your folks spend much of the year on the road .

The last one is tough. It would probably be Southwest. I don't have a ton of flights on them but I'm slowly but surely going over to the dark side as my stepfather puts it. I just love the fact that I know I'm going to get a nice seat on a 737 instead of a getting stuck in a seat the size of a silverware drawer. First class means nothing to me because I only get upgraded when I'm with my folks, assigned seats mean nothing because I always get Business Select, and I'd much rather connect in St Louis or Milwaukee than ATL or ORD.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:51 pm

LAN (or rather, their previous incarnation Lan Chile)
My first ever flight was with them, FRA-MAD-GRU at the beginning of a life-changing year of student exchange. They certainly made my love for air travel grow! I'm not that fond of them gobbling up TAM, but that's a different issue.

My second ever journey across the pond was on a 747 of theirs, from FRA to IAD. They had overbooked Y class and because I was connecting to SJO, they gave me a seat in C class. The flight to SJO was extremely turbulent, but the F/As did a great job and so it was fine.
Years later, I was flying on a UA A319 from ORD to DCA and thunderstorms were forcing everyone to divert to IAD - everyone but us, that is. I watched one of the greatest light shows that I've ever seen as we flew some sort of slalom through the clouds; they did it so well that I don't even remember any bad turbulence.

My one and only ride on an MD-11 and the airline whose death throes I felt the most. Much could be said, most of it sad, but I wish they hadn't imploded.

Their recent history isn't all that much to write home about from a customer's POV, but the feeling that there's always a big blue-and-yellow crane nearby to get you home in case you need it is a very good one. Apart from that, I love their A340s and 747s.

Aurigny Air Services
This might be an odd choice, but I tried their SOU-ACI-GCI service on the Trislander for the rarity of that aircraft. They made me feel very welcome, their service was personal and personable and the people working for them seemed to understand fully that what they maintain is a lifeline for the islanders. Their competition certainly had a different approach.   
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:54 pm

Delta- I first flew DL back in 2006 on a DL 762 from PHX-ATL. Five years later I am now working for them and they are working with me to grow my career within in this excellent company

United- My mother is a retired FA for UA, so that is where I caught the airline bug from.

Allegiant- This was the first airline I worked for, alot of IROPS, diversions, charters and so forth means alot of memories.

America West- My family used to fly HP alot and they are the airline that moved my family and I from the east coast to PHX.

Southwest- WN has taken me and my family all over this country on vacations. WN is still my go to airline when flying ZED
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:13 am

Here are my top five:

1. PR - First airline that I've flown (MRQ-MNL back in the mid-1990s before the Asian financial crisis struck), and I still have very fond memories of them, even until today. I'm very hopeful that the entry of San Miguel will help PR get back on its feet and help it reach further heights.

2. NW - Whenever we flew from the Philippines to the US (or in reverse), my mom would always put us on NW. They're the reason why I love aviation so much, and they've always had that wonderful Midwest charm that worked wonders for them. While I'm saddened by the merger with DL, somehow I'm hopeful DL is keeping up their legacy (despite decimating their frequent-flyer program).

3. KL - The first time I flew by myself, I flew with KL, and ever since then I made sure they were my first choice whenever I'd fly to Europe. Not only are they a safe pair of hands, but their service is excellent. While I am still very disappointed that they discontinued non-stop MNL-AMS, I trust they'll be back in the future, especially after the Philippine government gave them what they asked for (abolition of the CCT and GPBT).

4. LO - Always flew them from WAW whenever I got the chance, and though I've only flown them on short-haul legs (to HEL, VNO, MXP, VIE, PRG and MUC), their service is great, especially if you speak Polish.

5. LH - Like KL, I always appreciate how professional they are. It immediately invokes an image of Germany, and like the Merkel-Raute and Germany as a whole, you know you're in good hands with them.

Other memorable airlines for me include MA, AZ, SQ and CZ.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Mon Sep 30, 2013 4:35 am

#1 NW. Grew up around NW. Hated NW. Had them fail to honor a confirmation. All sorts of horrible things. But when you grow up in Detroit, you fly NW.

#2 UA. College and now I live at a UA hub (SFO). Never been a huge fan; just another big airline. But I've spent a lot of time on UA aircraft.

#3 SR. My parents used to take me to Switzerland almost every year to ski in the 1980's when this was apparently as affordable as Colorado. We'd almost always manage to fly on the upper deck of one of their 743's.

#4 BA. I've used BA to Europe more than any other airline in my adult life. And I've always found the service to be excellent.

#5 VX. Now that I'm all growed up and have a choice in who I fly, I choose to fly VX whenever possible because their onboard product is so phenomenal. I just hope they survive.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:33 am

DI - Deutsche BA, later dba - My first flight I fully remember was on "Deutsche BA" in the 90's, got me hooked to aviation. Later on dba still was my airline of choice for domestic flights as they were not quiet as conservative as LH, yet didn't attract to many of those weird people that can be found aboard AB...
Flew them until the end, actually took my last dba flight on their last day of operations, sad day!

IQ - Augsburg Airways - The reason I love props! First flew them HAM-LEJ-DRS-HAM on the Dash 8-300 back in... Long ago. They did serve an insane amount of food on that short flight, holy moly! To bad they're gone as well in about a month, but a controlled shut down is certainly to be preferred over a mess as last seen during the OLT takeover...

DL - First ever longhaul flight... DL2/1 LGW-JFK-LGW, quiet an experience I have to say! The following year we took EK from HAM to JFK, beeing barely 19 years old I didn't feel to comfortable aboard and was extremely happy to be back with DL's "Hey there sweetheart, any wishes for drinks?" attitude on the next trip. I want to be taken care of, but please, don't overdo it, airlines of the world! Just love DL's attitude!

LH - While conservative it's still my preferred airline (or used to be as it's now all 4U ex HAM) which I grew very fond of over the years. I'm not expecting any wonders when checking in for a Lufthansa flight, but I damn well know what I'm going to experience on the ground and in the air. Didn't have any particulary good surprises with LH, but no bad ones either - And less wicked people then on AB!

FR - Almost sad to see them on this list, because they suck! But still, back in the days when they were offering those 1 EUR/GBP (or even 0,01 EUR) flights me and my buddies were in London every other week! Granted, we mostly stayed in Bishops Stortford and watched fat chav kids at the local McD's tripping over their illuminated roller-sneakers, ripping their brand new shiny pink track suit in the progress...
Those trips, in other words, were admittedly useless, pointless and morally wrong, but anyway, we always had enough Cider, Oasis (yes, actually liked that stuff back in the day!) and cadbury chocs at home to feed a bloody army for a month! Plus always the latest issue of top gear magazine. Good times, thank you Ryanair!
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:39 pm


My earliest flights were on them SGF-STL and then on to other places either on Ozark or on TWA. Some of my earliest memories are from their Fairchild's and DC-9s.


From the time I was born until 2001 I flew on TWA a lot. I flew on TW's DC-9s, 727s, 757s, MD-80s and the L1011.


My first TATL flights were on NW and I flew between DTW-STL about 100 times from 2000 until NW was bought by DL, a vast majority of those flights were on DC-9s. During this time I was able to fly on everything in NW's fleet except the DC-10.

I fly DL between STL-DTW often and I have flown them TATL and TPAC. I have flown on every type of airliner in the DL fleet.

I don't have a fifth, but I probably have another 40-45 years of living left to do, so I am sure there will be another airline in my top five by then.

Although it isn't an airline I do have a soft spot for Skyteam carriers. I have enjoyed my travels on AF, KL, and KE, while earning miles on DL.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:47 am

1) easyJet ... U2 are special to me, not only for quite a few flights on them which have always been on time and friendly, but for putting LTN on the map which was a great convenience to me. As a kid I used to visit LTN with my grandad and although there was usually something exotic in town - freighter / Russian / bizjet / sub charter - traffic really was limited. We would never have dreamed of all the destinations LTN offers now largely through U2.

2) Air Canada ... the airline everyone loves to hate around here, or so it seems. But I have never had a bad experience with AC and while most of their staff are not in the slightest shape or form glamorous as some airlines set out to hire, I have generally experienced nothing other than great service from AC. In the good old days, free upgrades via AC Cargo due to the volumes we moved with them in the hold didnt hurt either. They also hold a special place in my life as the airline by which I emigrated from England to YVR.

3) Buffalo Airways ... world famous even to the non a.netter, but what an experience! 2.5 hours to kill ended up barely being enough, given free range of the hangar and ramp waiting for my flight - what a sight for any aviation nutter!! Then there are all the goodies in frames along the walls of images from bygone era's. The laid back easy approach was as refreshing a breath of fresh air as the NWT air itself, and even though I missed my return flight as the aircraft left rather early, the compensation was generous and the whole Buffalo experience was an a.netters heaven - trip report to follow including a return flight on a First Air 737-200.

4) Pacific Coastal Airlines ... only flown with them once, but have a great amount of respect and sympathy for this underdog in the busy YVR market, while not quite to the relaxed standard of Buffalo, considering they operate from a busy international airport, it is a very pleasant experience. Glad to see them ride out the tough times, sad to see the retirement of the Embraer Bandeirante and more recently the Shorts 360, still kicking myself for not making more of an effort to get on either and the pending retirement of the Goose, but hope their great service will keep the future bright.

5) Royal Air Maroc ... this is a wierd one, as I have never flown with them. I arrived for my BA flight at CMN pretty much as it was already boarded, there was no one to be seen at the BA counter. In desperation I went to customer service which seemed to be manned by CM staff. One took my suitcase and disappeared at a canter, another literally took my hand and fast tracked me through security and emmigration - which involved displeasure I had not had time to change back local currency - which resulted in me giving half to the customs official and the other half to the CM employee... he deposited me right onto the jetway literally as it was being closed to be pushed back. Upon arrival at LHR and the baggage carousel started, one lone suitcase came through........... I was long gone before the 2nd one had even made its way up. That is service, particularly when flying with a rival carrier!

Honorable mentions have to go to British Airtours for my first flight and OK & LH which carried me to and from my honeymoon.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:23 pm

My first list of five would be those I've flown most, in order:

1. Ryanair
2. Air Berlin
3. EasyJet
4. Aeroflot
5. British Airways

In terms of who I like most and why, here is my next list of five and reasons why:

1. Ryanair - approaching 200 sectors, all of which were extremely cheap (consistently so) and only one major delay.
2. Virgin - nice product with my favourite flights ever on one of my favourite aircraft (A346) and best trips ever.
3. Air Berlin - frequently flown in the past, nice blend of low-ish fares with good service and experience.
4. Aeroflot - some of the most interesting trips I've taken both in terms of aircraft types and exotic places.
5. KLM - lovely staff even in Y and some great trips.

Not the most exotic list I know, but these are the airlines that have occupied a noteworthy place in my life, for a pretty wide variety of reasons.

Other mentions go to BA for my first ever flights, and JAL for my first ever longhaul experience (which was great). I've also had some lovely SAA crews on a couple of flights, though they fall down in other areas.

Good thread and great first post.   
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:33 pm

1. Delta: My first flight (767-300 SLC-JFK), and by far the airline I have flown on the most--probably 80% of my lifetime travel at this point. DL has been especially good to me over the past few years as my career has started to included more travel. I enjoy the Medallion program benefits.

2. Austrian: I took my first overseas flight on OS. I flew JFK-VIE-KBP in 1997 on A310/MD80. OS set the standard for my expectations of long-haul travel. I still remember the bread and pastry basket they brought around with the breakfast service prior to arrival in VIE.

3. Air New Zealand: I flew the fifth-freedom LAX-LHR route round trip in 2001, and it was a great experience. I still remember the cassava chips. I've never been in a position to fly with NZ since then, but still suggest them to others. That trip stands out in my log as my only 2 flights on any 747 variant.

4. SkyWest: I said above that most of my lifetime flying has been on DL, but that comes with the caveat that a lot of it has been on Delta Connection operated by SkyWest. I have never had anything but good experiences on my SkyWest flights, and I think that OO is the best of the connection carriers. Their crews are always friendly, professional, and customer-focused. Even when they operate flights for United.  

5. Northwest: I lived and worked in Minnesota for a few years after college and frequently flew on NW during those years. By the time I moved to Utah for grad school NW and DL were on a collision course toward merging and it all worked out very well for me living in SLC. My best memory of NW is my first memory of them--when I went to Minnesota for my job interview. It was in 2002. After a few phone interviews, my prospective employer invited me (on Friday) to come for a personal interview the following Tuesday. It's hard to believe this now, but they bought me a full Y-fare ticket for SLC-MSP-RST and return, and shipped the paper ticket to me via FedEx with Saturday delivery so that I could fly out on Monday. After good interviews on Tuesday, I scored upgrades on both of the return segments (DC9 and 727), my first experience in any premium cabin. Not bad for a first job interview out of college. Yes, I took the job.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Wed Oct 02, 2013 2:58 am

1. Delta Air Lines: Hired as a summer ops agent a year after high school and had the most enjoyable time. Later, when working in the "civilian" world, became a Delta Million Miler with frequent trips from PHX to FLL, GSO, JAX and LGA. Service was always great, upgrades allowed me to meet some very interesting people.

2. PSA-Pacific Southwest Airlines: After my job with Delta, I joined PSA. Had many trips throughout California and in later years flew them out of PHX.

3. Continental Airlines: This was my third airline employer working in LA res and then HQ Telecom. Business trips on a pocket pass to DEN, IAH, ORD and HNL. Had relatives in DEN so the family liked being able to fly too. Service in the late 70s and early 80s was great (only downside was the DC-10 groundings during the summer of 79). Those were the days of great meal service in all classes of service.

4. Alaska Airlines: Known for having some of the best inflight service during the 90's and early 2000, I flew them many times to SEA and also flew them to ANC for a cruise and then back home from YVR.

5. CPAir: Was travelling to an airline employee event in YVR and most of my friends were trying to get passes on UA or WA. I called CPAir and asked about reduced rate ticket and when I told them about the interline event I was goint to, they gave me a free pass LAX-YVR. Had a great time on a very comfortable DC-8.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Wed Oct 02, 2013 10:36 am

American-- I grew up at an AA hub. I'm no longer the fAAn boy I once was--veteran users here may recount my unabashed fAAvoritism as a youngster-- I rarely fly them now, but I'll always feel a degree of loyalty and affinity to AA.

Continental--Their advertising was atrocious, they weren't exactly glamorous compared with AA and UA, but they did a great Y-class service when everybody else gave up on it. They were my airline during university years and with some SkyTeam/Star Alliance help, developed quite a large mileage balance.

Lufthansa--Almost every significant, call the friends and family, journey I've taken began with LH. I always feel I'm good hands every time I step on board.

Hawaiian--HNL-KOA may be one of my favorite routings ever, and I've been fortunate enough to fly it several times. Nothing beats a cup of suger-laden guava concentrate on a sunset flight over Hawaii when you have seven-nine days of relaxation ahead of you.

Turkish--My first mileage burn was in business class on GYD-IST-DXB-IST-GYD in August. Service wasn't anything to write home about, but it was my first mileage run.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:36 pm

What a great subject and very interesting reading...

Mine well.....

1) Qantas
I've always had a fasination for Australia ever since I was six years old and my school told us about here holiday out there, which in the late 1970s was quite something. I remember seeing a QF 742 at LHR near the BA maintenance area and where the taxiway used to disect the public road, when I must have been about 8. I distinctly remember the kangaroo with wings on it, I had (still have a rather crude matchbox model from the same time of one too). As time passed I still looked out for the Qantas 747s at LHR, as they later became the 743s, VH-EBT was often the one that seemed to be there when I was. When I left school I went for a job at QF, obviously not good enough, but my interest in Qantas continued and working in the freight business I was regularly dealing with colleagues in Australia. When one of them (who had worked with us in LHR for a year), said back in 2010 that they were getting married the following year, my immediate answer was right I had better buy a ticket then. There was only one way I was going to get there too. 2011, VH-OJQ (now sadly in the desert) became first Qantas flight LHR-HKG-MEL, I can still remember taking a picture of her at the gate and actually getting a bit choked about it. Silly really but after all these years I was finally getting to go to Australia and fly on Qantas. That was I write, I have now been to Australia five times and flown with QF (and Qantaslink) over 30 times. I was due to go to Japan later in the year however the day I was due to book my tickets, Japan had their dreadful earthquake and feeling it wasn't the best time to be a tourist in a country trying to deal with this, I when back to Australia again. This time making a pilgrimage to where else? But their museum in Longreach - I would highly recommend it. My friends in Australia often criticise QF, but I say they should fly around Europe first and see what service some of those carriers give. But I've now been to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Blackall, Longreach, Uluru, Alice Springs, Perth, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, Darwin, Gove and Cairns with QF, plus HKG, SIN and DXB. I've always found their service to be of a high standard, I've had my luggage miss a flight but it was delivered to my hotel next morning as promised, I like the whole QF experience I biased? You bet I am but I recognise good honest service when I see and get it. They even kept me up to date with the score of the 1st test between Australia and the British & Irish Lions whilst I was flying down to SYD in June whilst the match was being played. A quick word when I boarded the plane and I was getting regular updates through the flight. I was only an economy passenger after all but it was another example of that little bit of extra service you get.
My sixth trip for 2014 is already been planned with plenty of domestic legs involved! Why go A to B when you can go via C for a few quid more and clock another QF flight. My aim is to save enough FFP to fly LHR-Australia return first class....I'm over 50% there already.

....just remembered I also grew up with the infamous Koala Qantas ad's too, so that adds to my personal memory of them

2) Pan Am
I know a lot of people knock PA, and their ability to post the losses there were never ceased to amaze. But for me I liked flying PA, I've been to the US 3 times, the first time we went we flew PA and returned we had a dreadful flight as someone once said about BOAC. Thereafter it was PA all the time, N729PA, N751PA, N730PA, N727PA and N748PA. Pan Am was my first international flight, LHR-SFO. I like reading about the history of Pan Am and in particular about their flying boat operations. Pan Am were in their time very much a pioneering company, but it was a shame it didn't last. But I've still got a soft spot for them.

3) Iran Air
What I hear you say? Yes Iran Air, never flown them but my father worked for them from 1978-1992. In 1978 they were flying to JFK and had plans that EK would be proud of today. The revolution came and the LHR staff levels went from 550+ to about 50 almost overnight. But despite all the challenges, wars, diplomatic incidents, Rushie affairs where he never knew if he had a job next week or not, they kept on going. Most of the staff were naturally Iranian, and there were very nice too. They would invite the Western staff to their festival or reglious events and also respected and held one for us too, and everyone was involved. At holiday times we would often get boxes of nuts or sweets, and they were good employers. When my father died suddenly in 1992, on the day of his funeral they closed the office in London and hired a coach and come down to it, which was a nice touch and one we appreciated. Don't judge a country or it's people by their leaders or what their leaders say is the moral.

4) Olympic Airways
Again dad worked for them in the late 60s early 70s, when Onassis was around and OA were a good solid company. I've flew on them six times between LHR and Athens years later and the service was pretty good. I remember seeing a line of old Olympic 707s/720s at the old Athens airport, off on one side slowly rotting away. It was quite sad in a way, but somehow in hindsight rather adapt as the slow decline of a once great national carrier continued. The old Olympic always seen to catch the Greek spirit for me, hard working and yet hospitable.

Probably the hardest one..I've always liked and admired Singapore Airlines. I've liked Japan Air Lines, Air New Zealand, KLM and Thai. Today I enjoy flying Lufthansa and Swiss. But I suppose it must go to British Midland. The first airline I flew on in 1984, on a DC9-15 G-BMAC from LHR-GLA. Amazing service on their flights in those days, hot meals and bearly enough time to have them. On one flight I was allowed on the flight deck and was allowed to tiddle a knob that made the plane yaw. Six flights I've had with BMA/BMI in total. I especially remember the BMA Viscounts we used to see, BMA had quite a range of planes in the mid-80s and I remember getting excited when they oldered the new B737s....the only time I've got excited over a 737 order!

[Edited 2013-10-02 05:40:44]
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Wed Oct 02, 2013 3:54 pm

Biman Bangladesh BG 3x DC10-30 july 2013: Being the only caucasian onboard, being treated like a rock-star and because I got to sit in the jumpseat on one of the legs!

Qantas QF 2x A380 on business class september 2009: My first time on business class, the whole A380 experience and going to a new continent!

Air France AF 747-400 upper deck economy: My first time flying in the upper cabin of the mighty jumbo!

Air Greenland GL A330-200 february 2005: My first time flying in a plane with PTV's! The food was great, the majestic scenery of landing in SFJ and going to Greenland!

South African Airways SA A340-600: My first trip ever alone! I had barely turned 18 before I embarked on a 10 day long journey to Cape Town in february 2009. My first time flying the A340 family as well.

[Edited 2013-10-02 08:55:05]
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:32 pm

1. Eastern
"The Wings of Man." The 727-225 Whisperjet in the silver hockey stick livery was iconic. A great airline that didn't deserve such an ignominious end.

2. Eastern Provincial Airways
Great regional airline serving eastern Canada. 737s flying short hops on routes that are now served only by B1900Ds or no longer have commercial service. Truly the golden age of airline service in the Maritime Provinces.

3. Mohawk
Ditto my comments regarding EPA, only with BAC 1-11s rather than 737s, and focused on destinations in New York State, the northeastern US and eastern Canada. An innovative carrier that was proud of its "upstart" reputation. Pioneered the "regional jet" concept 30 years before its heyday. Only wish we'd gotten to see the 727-200 they ordered before they were absorbed by Allegheny.

4. Empire
Another regional carrier focused on New York State and the surrounding region, which filled the market niche previously occupied by Mohawk. Loved their colorful F28s. New York State has never regained a practical option for intra-state air travel since Empire was absorbed by Piedmont in 1987.

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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Thu Oct 03, 2013 12:00 am

Nice thread idea & I've sat down & read all the stories.

EI: My first ever airline that I flew on, DUB - FRA in 1998, & a lifelong obsession which started when I was around 2 or 3, watching green planes named after saints with my grandfather at DUB. One is named after me  

FR: What can I say....they gave me a job...I've made great friends & am based in a beautiful city. And I've had good flights with them too  

TS: My first time flying alone, & on an A310. I get fuzzy Canadian memories when I see them in DUB or BCN.   DUB - SNN - YYZ, 2005 & 2006

VY: My go-to airline when I want to fly out of BCN. Flown them to NTE & TXL & never had issues.

BA: The airline which has flown me the HKG & JFK.

A306 A313 A319 A320 A321 A333 A346 A359 ATR42 ATR72 B734 B737 B738 B744 B772 B789 C152 MD80 RJ85 S340
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:26 am

For me:

1) SQ. Haven't flown them a whole lot but great service, excellent product and they know how to look after their passengers. and I'm talking Y here, never experienced their J/F classes.

2) KL. Always a bright cheerful experience, just seem to give a little bit more than the US legacies. Maybe it's also because KL is the typically the last leg of a trip home as I make a connection in AMS.

3) B6. Best US Airline I've flown. Period.

4) WN. In a typical year 75% of my flights (~90 last year) are on Southwest, in past years I would have said, great on board product, friendly crews, customer friendly policies (no fees), good FF program and reliable service. Today, with (d)evolve, lousy reliability, higher fares I'm losing my LUV for them. Great crews and no change fees are just about the only reason I keep flying them....and this year they'll be lucky to get 50% of my business.

5) AS. (and I include QX in here) Fond memories of flying throughout the Pacific Northwest on Q300's and MD's, with fun crews, local brews on board and seeing the stunning scenery of the PNW.

Honorable mention to QF, mostly for taking me to and around Australia on an unforgettable vacation to an amazing country. I guess I have a lot of memories of NW as I lived in MSP for a while, and if you wanted to go anywhere from MSP, it was basically NW or connect...they were a means to a way rather than a pleasant memory.

I'm hoping for some great flight memories on NZ, VX, VS and CX next year...all will be new for me.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:09 am

Quoting n729pa (Reply 28):
Don't judge a country or it's people by their leaders or what their leaders say is the moral.

Very well said. I remember your story about how well they treated your Family. Thats what makes the difference. I flew them four times and had great flights. I used to visit the Piccadilly office too as a kid to collect posters and timetables. I always got a warm welcome and they went out of their way to rustle up some items for me.

Quoting n729pa (Reply 28):
4) Olympic Airways

Very much similar to what you said about IR. OA despite all the issues still kept the feeling of being Family rather than just colleagues. Many of the original staff loved their company and saw it go down in the 90s and were powerless to stop it. So much knowledge and loyalty was lost due to greedy corrupt governments!
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:11 pm

Wow, kind of difficult to name just 5 airlines since every airline you have flown would have some sort of sentimental value.

Let´s see.

1-Avensa, flew them a lot when I was a kid in Venezuela, my mum would usually take me once or twice a year to PMV or San Antonio del Tachira (from there we would go on a taxi to Cucuta Colombia)

2-VIASA, gave me my first Airbus ride (and an A300-B2 at that) from CCS to PMV, I must have been around 7 or 8 years old, and I still remember what I had for food (a box with orange juice and a half ham and cheese sandwich in brown bread and ham and cheese on regular bread) I even recall my mum telling me we were going to fly on an Airbus, which as far as I know it was the only time I heard my mum correctly naming an aircraft.   She also knew Concorde and Jumbo...

3-Lufthansa, as someone here said, a reliable airline, had many flights on them both long and short and never had any trouble, and you just know when you get onboard that you are in good hands, Deutsche Qualitaten!

4-Swiss, Oh LX... can´t praise them enough, pleasant flights, attentive service, those chocolate bars, transiting in ZRH, and like LH, tip-top efficiency.

5-Vueling, love them or hate them, I have had countless flights on them and always been OK, yes their seatpitch sucks and their cabins are thrashed, but I do enjoy my flights on them.

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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Fri Oct 04, 2013 2:02 pm

Difficult to crystalise in only five but here goes

1) BEA - my first flight (an Elizabethan to Nice in about1959). Flew Y but had a full cooked meal with proper cutlery, white linen table cloths / napkins and service beyond compare with anything you get today

2) Cambrian - not because they were particularly good, but because they operated DC3's. No nose wheel so you had to walk uphill to get to your canvas seat. The double doors at the tail meant you could see your bag on boarding. The sound of them was unique (well in the early 60's). Remember taking a GCI to BRS/ CWL flight at about the age of 13 on a Cambrian DC3 in mid January. Flying at 5000ft it was really rough being thrown about all over the place, about half way across the Channel something which sounded like a compressor started up 'behind the curtain' and there was the ear splitting sound of cracking ice coming off the wings in (what sounded like) sheets. When we got over BRS the captain emerged through the curtain and asked the question (to all 5 PAX) "does anyone REALLY have to go to BRS". So I stuck up my hand & said something like 'my uncle's waiting for me at BRS'; to which he replied "oh all right I'll try but I'm not promising anything"! and disappeared bad temperedly back into cockpit. Definitely the roughest landing I've ever had, must have been at least 3 big big bounces

3) Gulf Air - 5 star Tristar, at the time the very best

4) BOAC - just oozed class, Concorde or not

5) Pan Am - on a par with BOAC in some ways better others not
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Fri Oct 04, 2013 3:35 pm

It is indeed a little difficult to chose. Let me try.

1) Well, Lufthansa (LH). I work for them, I fly their airplanes and I enjoy working for them. Of course not everything is perfect, but I really enjoy it and I am flying for almost 10 years now and I hope for 30 more years until I retire 

2) Air Greenland. Did several great flights on them. Great crew, nice service and they took me on my honeymoon, which is quite special. It is a rather small airline with a difficult network and difficult weather problems, but they do a good job. Thank you.

3) Tunis Air. Some might thing:    But back then when I was 14, I did my first flight with them ever. It was a 737-200 from Hamburg to Tunis. I still remember it very well. The day I was even more certain I want to become a pilot: mission accomplished.  

4) Hapag Lloyd. The airline I did several flights with back when I was young. Flying to PMI for vacation. I had my first opportunity to be in the cockpit during the landing on board an A310-300. I will never forget it.

5) AIr Canada. Did only a couple flights with them. But it was an over all great experience.Great crews, great airport staff.

Well, this is my list I guess.

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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Fri Oct 04, 2013 5:43 pm

I haven't really flown on all that many airlines, so I don't have many to pick from, but here's the list I came up with:

1) United. They were the first airline I ever flew on (well technically it was a United Express flight), and the airline I've flown on the most often over the years. It's not that I'm particularly loyal to United; I don't hate them like many people seem to, but I've always found them to be just sort of ok. But I always seem to end up flying with them for various reasons. They're the only airline I've ever had any sort of elite status on, albeit just barely. Ironically most of the miles that got me that status were actually earned on Lufthansa, but whatever.

2) Continental. I flew with them for my first ever international flight, and my first flight on a widebody (even if it was a 762, about the smallest widebody you can get). Ironically, the widebody was on a domestic leg from IAH to EWR; the TATL flight was on a 752. I was impressed with their service and they became my favorite airline from that point. The only time I've ever been upgraded to First was on Continental, although my status was actually with United (see above). This was during that period when they were merging with UA, but were still operating as CO.

3) Lufthansa. I've only flown with them once, but they were the first foreign airline I ever flew on, and they took me to the most "exotic" place I've ever visited, India (too bad it was for work and not vacation). It was also my first flight on a 747, and I had the best airline meal I've ever had on one of their flights.

4) Qantas. Again I've only flown on them once, and this time no real "firsts" for me. I was just impressed with their service, and I enjoyed my time in Australia. LAX-SYD was the longest flight I've ever been on, so there's a "most extreme" in there too. Oh wait, I guess that was my first trip to the southern hemisphere, so there was a first there.

5) Delta. They're my current favorite domestic airline now that Continental is no more, and have family in the MSP area so I end up flying them a lot now. I guess I could have put Northwest since they had stronger ties to MSP and the Midwest, but I've flown to that region more often after the merger than before.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Oct 05, 2013 3:38 pm

Pan American - My first flight across the pond JFK to PIK via REK - 1967 UMNR (wish I knew reg. May 18, 1967. Can anybody help? )

National - My first wide-body - DC-10 (N60NA) TPA-JFK - Dec 1971

BOAC - My first 747 (G-AWNA)- JFK-LHR - Dec 1971 UMNR

Air India - Met the captain 2 months before flight...on flight deck during takeoff and landing (VT-ESO) - 1995

Cathay Pacific - Allowed in flight deck during landings at YVR (B-HUG) and JFK (B-HOO) - 1999
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sun Oct 06, 2013 1:54 am

Delta - the predominant carrier at my local airport (MSY) as a child, always very welcoming and hospitable, lots of firsts (767, L10, 757, widebody)

United - incredibly professional; I've helped with inflight emergencies on 3 carriers, and they handled it very professionally, since then I've watched and come to admire the strong professionalism of UA
Also my first 747, DC10, and 777

BA - Concorde!

EA - one of the hardest working groups I've ever seen, and their MSY ground staff gave me lots of cockpit visits and ramp visits for photography as a kid

NW - living in SoCal and having lots of family in MI and MS, most of my sons' early flights were on NW, very kind personnel
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sun Oct 06, 2013 5:34 am

1. American Airlines

- First U.S. based airline I've flown, plus my second-most flown airline after KE.
- The only time I've ever flown on an inaugural flight was on AA, on DFW-ICN.
- Always had the best flight attendants and ground staff, even shared snacks with them. Even took pictures with flight attendants and I've also received gifts.
- Love both the old and new livery!
- Probably the world's best frequent flyer program, and I've never had more miles on any other program before. I'll probably qualify for elite status for the first time ever next year.

2. Korean Air

- First airline I've flown.
- Most flights on this airline, flown with them over 25 times.
- Been on many of their types, including 738, 739, 744, 772, AB6, 333.
- Only airline where I've flown in business class.
- Had the opportunity to work with them in the past as an employee of their contractor.

3. Air Canada

- Airline that first took me to the great country I now call home.
- Have had lots of terrible experiences with them as well, so it's bittersweet.
- Took me on my first ever transatlantic trip. It was a bad flight but hey, it's a milestone.

4. Delta Air Lines

- Third most flown airline
- First and only time flying on a pre-deregulation era aircraft (DC-9-50 N671MC built in 1976).
- Always had courteous service, perhaps not to the extent of AA though.

5. Singapore Airlines

- Had one of my best flights with them.
- One of two airlines where the flight attendants addressed me personally by name, the other one being on AA.
- What can I say... just an all-around great airline!
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:11 am

I'll list and detail as much as I can. I don't really have 5 airlines I love, but I can get close.


When RG died, a part of me died with it, even if I was only 13 at the time. I was born in Lisbon to brazilian parents, and my very first flight was my flight back home, on one of their 747's. My first and only time flying F. I was only 2, so I didn't enjoy it, but the cabin crew let my parents keep the cutlery my mother used to feed me during the long flight from LIS, and I thought that was a very special gesture. During the years, I flew on nearly every aircraft in the RG fleet. From the ERJ to the MD-11 and the 777-200, and it was always a pleasure. You see, VARIG had something here in Brazil that none of the current carriers have: appeal. They had class. Even in their final days, their name meant excellence, prestige. I lived in Chile for most of my childhood, and seeing that golden star arrive in SCL - didn't matter if it was on a 738 or a larger widebody - was a reason for national pride. I loved RG, and I loved how they flew me to every meaningful occasion in my life until their demise.

2. LAN Chile

When RG was in its last steps, flying with them was getting really, really hard. With cancellations and day long delays being frequent, we were forced to try another airline. And we chose the national standard, LAN. My first flight was on the SCL-GIG route, on a 767-300ER. Right there a personal preference was born. I still choose them whenever I have to fly to or from Chile. Their service has always been great, and all of their personnel, from cabin crew to ground staff have always been very caring.

3. TAP

I've only flown them twice, having only been to Portugal once, but they flew me to my hometown for my first actual visit to it after 14 years of leaving, and they did it quite pleasantly. On board service was top notch. I deem them so special mostly because of the emotional meaning of said trip, but I really look forward to flying with them again.

4. TAM

Flying in Brazil was, until very recently, a very easy choice. You either flew GOL, and had that low cost customer attitude (even if the tickets aren't low cost at all), or flew TAM. Accustomed with RG, I chose TAM. I have had my fair share of problems with staff and the company itself, but a talk with the responsible manager in whatever airport I'm at has always solved it. They have been getting me from A to B pretty decently over the past few years, and now that a more decent airline is running them, I expect the minor problems to disappear.

Darn! One is missing. Sorry, but I refuse to put GOL in this list 
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Wed Oct 09, 2013 4:25 am

Not in any order, just based on first flights mainly.

1) Virgin Blue - My first flight, flying MEL-BNE, And also my first flight without friends or family, MEL-CBR

2) Air Pacific - My First International flight and 747, Flying MEL-NAN

3) Singapore Airlines - My first A380 (SIN-MEL), I also love the service.

4) Emirates - My first ever Business class because of an Op-Up (SIN-MEL)

5) Jet Airways - First flight by myself in another country (VGA-HYD-BOM) and also very nice service.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Wed Oct 09, 2013 6:23 am

1) Aerolineas Argentinas:

The first 747 I ever flew in. Early 80s in F and a fantastic service they had back then. I couldn´t believe the space in the nose of the plane and how much room there was to play. I was amazed by the notion of flying on a "plane with stairs" that led to a cozy living room. They were also my first 737 ride, the only 747SP I flew in, and my only Fokker F-28 flight. Their service on the MEX-LIM-EZE route was comparable to LH´s or AF´s back then. Plus, it was the airline I will always identify with delivering me to my second home and most of my relatives.

2) Western Airlines

The first widebody plane I ever boarded. A DC-10-10 MEX-LAX in F my father took me on to get to Disneyland back in 1978. I don´t remember much except the surprise at seeing how many seats there were in a row and how high it looked from the window to the ground. That flight brings back memories of one of my best vacations ever.

3) American Airlines

My first flight to Europe and on a 767 was with them. I was 16 and as a present for getting good grades my family sent to Madrid for the summer in 1989. I flew their DFW-MAD service on the 767-200ER in C and had excellent service. Of course, C back then was exactly like AA´s domestic F, except for the seats having sheepskin covers. The FA on my section was great. When he brought me the starter for the meal, I told him I was allergic to seafood so he brought the starter (one of them) they were serving in F. He also moved up halfway through the flight and
UM so she could watch the movie and put her on the aisle seat next to me. That summer was so great I always associate AA and that FA with it.

4) Texas International/COA

Having family in the Valley, the first international carrier I ever flew was Texas International. Usually MEX-MFE in F on their DC-9s to cross the border into REX. When the bought CO, it became the airline I most flew on throughout my childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. SInce I went to Grad school in CHO, I would always fly IAD-IAH-MTY or CHO-EWR-IAH-MTY. Great memories.

5) Lufthansa

My first flight on a 747-400 and my longest flight ever, FRA-EZE. That alone makes it special on my mind.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Thu Oct 10, 2013 1:03 am

Delta. Not because they are/were so great, but my first trip as a kid with my dad was on Delta, LAX-ATL on a ,you guessed it DC-8-63 in 1971.And THAT trip made me the commercial aviation nut that I am today. Too many fond memories to list here.

Continental. The day I first flew on a DC-10. ORD-LAX, 1973. Again Many good memories. The Continental livery with the black meatball on the tail, in fresh paint, is in my opinion the most gorgeous paint scheme ever.

Pan Am. The first time on a 747. ATL-LAX, 1971. maybe it wasn't Really Pan Am, but shared with Delta on that route at that time. But it was a scheduled Pan Am flight that had just arrived from Frankfort Germany, and a PA crew disembarked, then a Delta crew boarded. Good times with dad again!

Eastern. 727 LAX-ATL again in 1974. And a L-1011 from ATL-ORD 1973.

Hughes Air West DC-9, the top banana in the west! 1974, and 1976 on a milk run LAX, Monterey, SFO, Eureka/Arcada, Medford.

It is hard to name just five airlines, but there are many more that bring back Great memories not for there great service or whatever they had to offer, but the memories that made me such an enthusiastic airliner FREAK.

I will ad one more because it was the longest flight(s) I have ever taken.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Oct 12, 2013 8:04 pm

1) TWA

My first flight was on TWA as an infant, MDT-STL on a DC-9. I also at two years old had my first frequent flier account with TWA. They played a big part of my childhood. When I land in STL now it's so sad how much it's changed. I still remember the L-1011's and 747's. TWA made me fall in love with this industry. I still am in awe of Terminal 5 at JFK.

2) Delta Air Lines

My first job with a mainline carrier. I truly believe that Delta is the best. I've nonreved everywhere from Brunswick, GA to Istanbul with Delta. I had my first flight in Business Class with them as well. I enjoy going to work there, and I don't want to work for anyone else.

3) Midwest Airlines

I fell in love with the leather seats and the warm cookies. Their fares were also very low out of Boston. They were never on time, but the seats & cookies made up for it. The 2x2 seating on the 717 was great.

4) Swiss International Air Lines

I've only flown them a few times, but every time I'm impressed. The FA's are great and the food is as well. I love their branded wine bottles.

5) bmi

I first heard of British Midland watching Airport as a child. For some reason I always loved their branding from the Diamond Service days to the very end of bmi. They were great for cheap flights out of Heathrow.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:50 pm

First of all, congratulations on your first a-net post! It is a nice thread.
Now go to the five airlines of my life:

(1.) Garuda Indonesia

I had most of my flights on this airline. So far it is the airline I have admired the most, witnessing back from their worst days to their magnificent transformation program that have delivered them such a great in-flight service and reliability today. They have gone a long way indeed. My flights on GA were on the B733, B734, B735, B738, A332, and A333.

(2.) Singapore Airlines

Well, I have to admit that I have not logged many flights with them. But, most of my "firsts" are on board SQ and therefore my flights with them are memorable. My first flight overseas was on an SQ B772, and I did my first solo-flight on SIN-BNE back in 2006 on their B772 as well. In 2011, I logged my first A380 flight on SQ 856 from SIN to HKG.

(3.) Cathay Pacific

I used to travel on their flight regularly when I was a kid, collecting all sorts of in-flight activity kits and children packs memorabilia that was usually given to child travelers. I also logged my first B744 on a CX flight on the HKG-BKK-SIN route, which the crews were very friendly that they gave me (as a young enthusiast back then) a tour of the aircraft during our stopover in BKK (it was still DMK back then).

Back then the PTVs were a new thing into the industry, and still remembered how exciting it was to watch a show in-flight, even though the system was not AVOD like these days.
My flights on CX were on A343, B772, B773 and the B744.

(4.) Qantas

Having based in the down under currently, most of my travels between Singapore and Melbourne were on Qantas. I do like their approach into in-flight service where professionalism was maintained, but with a more relaxed and with less of the formalities you would normally seen in the region I come from. My flights on QF was on B734, B738, B763, A333, A380, and the rare B744 (ER) variant.

(5.) Philippine Airlines

I have only logged two flights on them, which was on the fifth-freedom they used to have in SIN-CGK on the A320. While not having the most solid Business Class hard product, but certainly they had an excellent set of crew and considerably more generous meal offerings on that short hop, certainly they had impressed me on my first flight.

In addition, the very light load (as the only passenger in J) made my experience even much better. Flight PR 504 still ranked my best flight experience so far.

Other honorable mentions include Lufthansa which have brought me on several trips which I have the honor of experiencing their F, J, and Y products and they never disappoint. Jetstar Asia (Valuair) for being a great LCC that have transported me to places in Indonesia most of the time.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:47 am

Mine are:

1. Garuda Indonesia

My first flight ever was with GA. Since then, I've been flying with this airline; I am satisfied with GA's service most of the time, especially after the major service and fleet transformation under their Quantum Leap program.

2. Malaysia Airlines

My first trip overseas was with MH, CGK-KUL. My first flight on a widebody aircraft was also with MH, though I'm not sure whether I was onboard an A330 or a 747 (I was too young to remember!). Sadly I don't really fly with MH these days.

3. Cathay Pacific

My first business class experience was with CX. I also fly with this airline everytime I travel from Indonesia to USA. The onboard service is very satisfying as well.

4. Singapore Airlines

This is the airline that flew me across the pacific ocean for the first time (ICN-SFO). My first A380 experience was also with SQ. Overtime, I've been flying with SQ because of their extensive network and excellent service. Sometimes they also offer great promotional fares too!

5. Qantas Airways

First time flying across continents from Asia to Australia. I also used to love QF very much because I met my ex-lover ( ) on the flight QF41 from SYD to CGK. I was sitting next to her and we found out that we went to the same high school in Jakarta.

Anyway, this is my first post at   It's nice to join this forum and know all of you!
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:25 pm

1) Lufthansa. The first airline for me to fly long haul. Never let me down since that moment.

2) British Airways. 8 flights in total. All have been great. Had les than 30 minutes for a international connection at LHR, but thanks to the people from BA we mannaged to get on to our connecting flight.

3) Transavia. Great crew, Excellent BoB. In my opinion even better service onboard than KLM.

4) RyanAir Their occasionally very low fare's made up some great weekends away for me.

5) EasyJet. Not as cheap as RyanAir, but never let me down on weekend trips.
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RE: 5 Airlines Of Your Life

Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:16 am

1) British Midland
2) Etihad Airways
3) Britannia Airways
4) Dan Air
5) Saha Air Lines


British Midland
They were the airline that in their peak flew 5 flights per day from my local airport to London, MME-LHR. I have happy memories watching their Vickers Viscounts and DC-9s (and B737-200 in 1988) from the viewing terrace, taking my first trip to LHR in 1989 on a DC-9-32 with parents and brother, doing my work experience at the airport when I was 15 which included a jump seat ride back up to MME in a F100; and later working for them for a few years which was great fun with great people and the start of my airline career.

Etihad Airways
I have flown more sectors with this airline than any other by a long shot! From the early days with a small fleet of leased TAM and ex-Volare A332s, ex-SQ A343 and Amiri Flight B763; to the major carrier it is today. The growth and maturity of this airline has been amazing.

Britannia Airways
Family holidays flying their B737-200s in the 1980s; and the fact that no visit to NCL and indeed most UK airports was complete without seeing a Britannia B732 back then!

Dan Air
Again, mainly due to a family holiday flying on a Dan Air B737-200. Also their wonderfully diverse fleet right up to the end when they operated BAC One Eleven 200/300/400/500s, BAe 146-100/200/300s, BAe 748s, A300-B4s, B727-100/200s and B737-200/300/400s. A mix of scheduled and charter flights and a very common sight at many UK airports.

Saha Air Lines
Scheduled B707 flights in the 21st century. Flew 3 different registrations and loved it.

Quoting sierra3tango (Reply 35):
1) BEA - my first flight (an Elizabethan to Nice in about1959). Flew Y but had a full cooked meal with proper cutlery, white linen table cloths / napkins and service beyond compare with anything you get today

2) Cambrian - not because they were particularly good, but because they operated DC3's. No nose wheel so you had to walk uphill to get to your canvas seat. The double doors at the tail meant you could see your bag on boarding. The sound of them was unique (well in the early 60's). Remember taking a GCI to BRS/ CWL flight at about the age of 13 on a Cambrian DC3 in mid January. Flying at 5000ft it was really rough being thrown about all over the place, about half way across the Channel something which sounded like a compressor started up 'behind the curtain' and there was the ear splitting sound of cracking ice coming off the wings in (what sounded like) sheets. When we got over BRS the captain emerged through the curtain and asked the question (to all 5 PAX) "does anyone REALLY have to go to BRS". So I stuck up my hand & said something like 'my uncle's waiting for me at BRS'; to which he replied "oh all right I'll try but I'm not promising anything"! and disappeared bad temperedly back into cockpit. Definitely the roughest landing I've ever had, must have been at least 3 big big bounces

3) Gulf Air - 5 star Tristar, at the time the very best

4) BOAC - just oozed class, Concorde or not

5) Pan Am - on a par with BOAC in some ways better others not

Discerning choices there, Sir! Loved the Cambrian DC-3 story.

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