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2 AA 727s on my 21st birthday

Posted: Thu May 05, 2022 3:52 am
by American 767
Hi everyone,

Not long ago I posted my tribute to the American 727, a few days ago was exactly 20 years the last 727 left the fleet after the last one arrived in MIA. So I decided to write a trip report, from over 30 years ago, about a trip that meant a lot to me.

Back in 1991 I was a student at RPI (Rensselear Poly Institute, Troy NY) in engineering. I had just finished my Sophomore year. I was getting ready for summer classes when, the day before my 21st birthday I receive a call from my father. He was attending a convention for business in New Orleans, with my brother. And on the parallel side, my mother and grandma who had just visited me at my school, had taken a flight from LGA down to SAV connecting in RDU. Their flight LGA to RDU was a DC-10 (I believe so I don't exactly remember) connecting on a 727 to SAV. The plan of the family was to spend a few days in Hilton Head SC. My father and brother who were in New Orleans were also flying to SAV (through DFW, both flights were 727s if I recall correctly) to meet up with my mother and grandma.

As I was talking to my mother who had arrived in Hilton Head a few nights earlier...
- Was that a good flight you had Mom?
- Yes. OK. She says.

So as I am talking to my father on the phone the day before departure...
- You wanna come to Hilton Head? He says.
- What? I say.
- Get on the plane tomorrow and come! He says.
- OK. Yes. I answer.

So I booked my flight through Compuserve. At that time, in 1991, aa.com did not exist. It was Easy Sabre (anyone remembers EAAsy SAAbre?).
The next morning, the day of departure, I drive to the airport to pick up my ticket. At that time there was no electronic ticket, all tickets were still on paper. So here I am with my paper ticket to SAV on American. The day of my 21st birthday.

So after classes at RPI, I drive back to the airport to take my flight. I was flying ALB-RDU-SAV both flights were 727s. The first one was a 727-100 and the next one was a -200 Series. I had window seats on both flights. I had tried to book a flight on American Eagle to HHH (Hilton Head) but there was not seat available so I booked a my trip to SAV which was perfectly fine with me. Two American 727s on the day of my 21st birthday, that was something. ThAAt wAAs AA reAAl treAAt!

The return trip to ALB was out of HHH, yes I managed to leave out of HHH to RDU connecting on a 727 to ALB. I knew Eagle had a flight HHH-RDU.

After a nice three-day weekend with my parents, brother and grandma, in Hilton Head. it was time to fly back. So my parents take me to the local Hilton Head airport. A tiny airport seeing only small private aircraft and a few commuter planes a day, as far as I can remember American Eagle to RDU and US Air Express to CLT. My flight out of HHH to RDU was an ATR-42 Turboprop. The flight was almost empty.
"Any seat is fine" the Flight Attendant says. Just minutes before the pilots would start the engines, I could see from my window my father looking at me from the parking lot. After an uneventful flight to RDU, I connect on a 727 to ALB. The flight RDU-ALB, that one, it was a 727-200 Series. Just after overflying JFK which I could very well see from my window seat at more or less 30000 ft, we started our descent to ALB. 20 min or so after overflying JFK we touch down in ALB. And here I am back in ALB. Upon disembarking in ALB on the tarmac, I kissed good bye to the 727, thinking that I will always remember her fondly. And I still remember her fondly three decades after! I had no luggage checked. In no time I was out of the terminal , got my car back and drove back to my room at RPI in Troy.

So that was it. Back to studying! That was a very nice weekend in Hilton Head SC with my family. I have always liked the Carolinas. A trip that I still remember 30+ years after!

Ben Soriano

Re: 2 AA 727s on my 21st birthday

Posted: Thu May 05, 2022 10:34 pm
by jeffrey1970
The 727 is my favorite aircraft of all time. She looked beautiful in AA's livery.

Re: 2 AA 727s on my 21st birthday

Posted: Sun May 15, 2022 9:37 pm
by laddb
Thank you for bringing back all the great memories. 727, Compuserve, Easy Sabre. What convention in NOLA was your father attending?

Re: 2 AA 727s on my 21st birthday

Posted: Mon May 16, 2022 2:05 pm
by American 767
laddb wrote:
Thank you for bringing back all the great memories. 727, Compuserve, Easy Sabre. What convention in NOLA was your father attending?


You are welcome. He was there for a DDW (Digestive Disease Week) convention. Nothing to do with aviation.

Re: 2 AA 727s on my 21st birthday

Posted: Tue May 17, 2022 12:51 am
by Snuffaluffagus
No better place in the world than HHI, in my humble opinion.

Re: 2 AA 727s on my 21st birthday

Posted: Fri Jun 03, 2022 9:22 pm
by AndrewJM70
Great report Ben. Out of interest what date was your trip to SAV? I was also 21 in 1991 and with two university friends we flew from our home country to the USA and spent a month flying around on Delta Airlines. We had a special ticket which allowed for 30 days unlimited air travel on a standby basis. As you might imagine, we took full advantage and many of the flights were on 727s.

Re: 2 AA 727s on my 21st birthday

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2022 3:59 am
by American 767
AndrewJM70 wrote:
Great report Ben. Out of interest what date was your trip to SAV? I was also 21 in 1991 and with two university friends we flew from our home country to the USA and spent a month flying around on Delta Airlines. We had a special ticket which allowed for 30 days unlimited air travel on a standby basis. As you might imagine, we took full advantage and many of the flights were on 727s.


Thank you. My trip down to SAV was on May 24th, in 1991. It was a Friday. Yes of course I imagine that back then many Delta flights out of ATL were on 727s. I wish I had flown on more of those. But there was back then also another very interesting aircraft: the L-1011.

Re: 2 AA 727s on my 21st birthday

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2022 5:58 pm
by phugoid1982
Nice report. I grew up in PR in the 90's so at the time SJU was big hub for AA's 727s. I had a quite a few awesome flights on them before the 757's replaced them. A high school classmate of mine went to RPI for EE and although I contemplated RPI, Troy seemed depressing so I ended up at at Illinois for Aero/Astro which was just slightly better weather wise and all...haha. Awesome school though.

Re: 2 AA 727s on my 21st birthday

Posted: Sat Jul 02, 2022 5:17 pm
by AndrewJM70
American 767 wrote:
AndrewJM70 wrote:
Great report Ben. Out of interest what date was your trip to SAV? I was also 21 in 1991 and with two university friends we flew from our home country to the USA and spent a month flying around on Delta Airlines. We had a special ticket which allowed for 30 days unlimited air travel on a standby basis. As you might imagine, we took full advantage and many of the flights were on 727s.


Thank you. My trip down to SAV was on May 24th, in 1991. It was a Friday. Yes of course I imagine that back then many Delta flights out of ATL were on 727s. I wish I had flown on more of those. But there was back then also another very interesting aircraft: the L-1011.


We did a couple of L1011s on that trip. First a BA one to get across to JFK and then a Delta one from SAN to SLC. The noise of those engines on take-off defied description!