Fellow Oldies – Any Fascinating Travel Stories from Aviation's Golden Age

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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 61 total)

  • Bob19
    Participant

    My most vivid memories were the QF/BA/LH flights LHR/FRA to SYD back in the 70’s and 80’s… 3 to 4 stops en route, in the Middle East, on the Indian Subcontinent, and in SE Asia, before the last leg to Sydney (sometimes after a first stop in Melbourne). The catering experience was totally different back then, following the time zones. This usually meant 2 full meals between each landing… Counting a total of 8 meals… And this is exactly how I remember those flights: we were always busy with food and eating!

    Of course, this was before individual screens, and eating was the main entertainment, and how passengers were kept occupied! Then came the central screens showing one movie for all with those horrible stethoscope earphones! There were about 7 or 8 audio-channels: a couple for the movie language choice, and the rest music channels.

    finally, during the transit stops, passengers were sometimes allowed to remain on board; most often however disembarking was mandatory, and every passenger was provided with a coloured “transit card” that was the pass to get back on board… So in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, you would see several hundred zombie-looking fellow passengers wandering the halls of empty airport corridors…

    Those were the days…

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    capetonianm
    Participant

    “This is your Captain speaking. We will be arriving in Vancouver yesterday afternoon.”

    Remember the international date line. If you travel East and want to get into your hotel room you might need to book in for the night before you leave.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    My most vivid memories were the QF/BA/LH flights LHR/FRA to SYD back in the 70’s and 80’s…

    I wonder how many travellers today realise that several European carriers operated to Australia at that time.

    Today’s there’s only our British Airways but back then, besides Lufthansa and BOAC, there was Alitalia, KLM, Olympic and JAT.


    Poshgirl58
    Participant

    My most vivid memories were the QF/BA/LH flights LHR/FRA to SYD back in the 70’s and 80’s…

    I wonder how many travellers today realise that several European carriers operated to Australia at that time.

    Today’s there’s only our British Airways but back then, besides Lufthansa and BOAC, there was Alitalia, KLM, Olympic and JAT.

    Likewise some of the charter airlines such as Britannia and Airtours, who did LGW-SYD, stopping in SIN (I think!)


    Inquisitive
    Participant

    My fascination with flying started when I was very young and went to receive a relative at small town airport where I was born and brought up.
    The aircraft was Dakota (DC3) and that was only aircraft could land at that airport. I thought that is only type of aircraft flying!
    Although fare was low but I could not afford even that.
    My first flight after I got my first job. It was in a Airbus A300 that was one of the modern aircraft in those days. I was fascinated to see that one aircraft could take so many people. The whole flight I was looking outside the window (I requested a window seat and allocated a seat at the back end that was smoking zone) and could saw only clouds.
    My first long haul was in a Boeing 747 (Delhi – New York via London and a stopover at Dubai). I was in the upper deck. Requested air hostess if I could view the cockpit and was readily accommodated from a distance. In those days (1986), the cockpit door used to be opened frequently for supplying food to Captains and for their bathroom break. I was enthralled looking at cockpit from just outside the door and vividly recall that navigation officer seat was side facing and he smiled at me.

    My most scary flight was in a flight from New York to New Orleans, almost the whole duration the aircraft went through turbulence. The aircraft was MD10 or MD11 and I was having this idea that an aircraft with jet engine mounted at the tail end cannot be stable. Obviously I was uninformed that time.

    Also I was fascinated when I first travel in A380 in London to Singapore in the third commercial flight (I was planning first flight but missed that). When it took off it seems almost horizontal and was worried if there is a problem. Soon the worry changed to joy as the aircraft was so smooth and quite.

    I love flying!

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    Bob19
    Participant

    Gosh… Right, JAT was indeed flying to Australia… How odd that seemed to me: an East European country, albeit a “softer” one, would actually have scheduled flight to Australia! Of course it made perfect sense considering the important migrant community!

    I believe also the French company UTA was stopping over in Sydney on the way to Polynesia/New Caledonia in those days.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    I believe also the French company UTA was stopping over in Sydney on the way to Polynesia/New Caledonia in those days.

    I believe that’s correct. I didn’t want to include that piece of info as I wasn’t 100 per cent sure. I don’t think Air France ever operated to Australia.


    Bob19
    Participant

    Don’t think either that Air France flew to Australia, except perhaps after the UTA take over?
    The other EU airline I can think of is Lauda Air!
    Back then also SAA flew to Australia, and QF had flights to Joburg, via Harare.
    And lastly I think Aerolineas Argentinas (or Lan Chile?) had scheduled services to Sydney


    Sami
    Participant

    I remember flying first class in 1979 on MEA from Beirut to Amman. As we boarded the plane, the air hostess handed each first class passenger a beautiful red glossy matchbox with the passenger’s name embossed in gold on the cover. I still have the matchbox with me and would love to share it in another thread if anyone’s interested.

    Gulf Air first from Doha to LHR on the Lockheed Tristar in 1980. Few airlines will ever come close to Gulf Air’s opulence during its golden days. We were offered caviar in silver bowls and the menu included fillet mignon, delicious lamb rack in mint sauce and chutney and a pheasant biryani.

    Air France Caravelle from Paris to Athens in the mid 70’s. Full hot meal in economy consisted of a chicken breast in alfredo sauce and green bean salad and a cote d’or chocolate bar.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Gulf Air first from Doha to LHR on the Lockheed Tristar in 1980. Few airlines will ever come close to Gulf Air’s opulence during its golden days.

    GF branded these aircraft “Five Star TriStar” and, because they offered so much extra capacity compared to its standard VC-10s, the airline had a spacious Y cabin.

    GF found space for a stand-up bar at the back of the *economy* section.

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    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Don’t think either that Air France flew to Australia, except perhaps after the UTA take over?
    The other EU airline I can think of is Lauda Air!

    Yes I believe AF opeated to Oz for a short time.

    I’d forgotten about Lauda Air.

    https://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/btn40000620/


    RedBaron
    Participant

    Gosh… Right, JAT was indeed flying to Australia… How odd that seemed to me: an East European country, albeit a “softer” one, would actually have scheduled flight to Australia! Of course it made perfect sense considering the important migrant community!

    I believe also the French company UTA was stopping over in Sydney on the way to Polynesia/New Caledonia in those days.

    I believe Aeroflot flew to Sydney at some point circa late 80s/early 90s. I think some of the flights stopped at Tashkent for refuelling.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Out of many flying experiences I shall never forget these four:

    * Iraqi Airways Trident BEY-VIE-FRA Y class in 1971. My first fifth-freedom flight (although I didn’t know the word ‘fifth-freedom’ at that time). Unfortunately the Iraqi border staff had lost my cholera vaccination slip at the Syria-Iraq land border crossing point a week or so earlier) so on arrival at FRA I was marched off to the immunisation centre for another jab despite my protests.
    * Iran Air Y class London-Tehran in 1972. Back then IR deployed B727s on its multi-stop route so my flight operated LHR-ORY-IST-Tehran. My return from Shiraz was via Abadan and another European point. Impossible to believe today but in the 1970s IR was mentored by PA (PanAm) and was the forerunner of today’s Gulfies. IR was a glamorous airline (by ME standards) back then and was expanding its network across the globe.
    * Iran Air B727 flights Tehran-Kabul-Tehran.
    * Special flight with KLM’s DC-2 “Uiver” which KLM had restored in the early 1980s. Flight operated Duxford-Southend (for border control)-AMS. It was a dark winter’s night as we flew at low altitude over the North Sea. Noisy aircraft but with the most spacious deck-chair seating. On arrival at Schiphol the DC-2 taxied directly to the KLM hangars. We stopped outside and disembarked. Then the Dc-2 was towed into the hangar and the doors promptly shut.
    * BEA’s original Shuttle of the mid-1970s. I took many Anglo-Scottish Shuttle Trident flights. Ten mins check-in with luggage (even at LHR), guaranteed seats and no-frill service on board (onboard staff simply collected the tickets). Were it not for overcrowded airports and airspace this is a product for today. The concept was originally started by Eastern Airlines in the US Northeast Corridor.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    * Iran Air B727 flights Tehran-Kabul-Tehran.

    Forgot to mention that the approach to Kabul is almost as exciting as it used to be when landing at HKG’s Kai Tak or Berlin Tempelhof.

    Kabul is at high altitude (almost 6,000 feet) and it’s surrounded by mountains.

    What I also recall is going to the money exchange counter after arrival. The person on duty pulled out a hessian jute sack under the counter and handed me wad after wad of “Afs” (and I had only exchanged a small amount of GBP).


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Possibly my most memorable flight was across the Andes from SCL to BUE on the flight deck of a LH 747, on a crystal clear day. On the flight deck! That was something.

    Aeroflot had a flight that went MOW-STO-SNN-HAV-SCL (I think there may been another stop in MVD) on an IL62 (the Russian copy of the magnificent VC10). This was in the early 90s. I had to travel from STO to SCL and the company I worked for suggested I went on that flight as it was direct and cheap. I was tempted as I thought it would be interesting at least, but I declined and went on Iberia, whose service was and probably still is worse that Aeroflot. When I got there, I watched the IL62 departing, trailing plumes of thick black smoke into the clear sky.

    As a teenager I flew on the flight deck of a BCal BAC1-11 to Munich, on a clear starry night with full moon. The views were stunning.

    Then there was the time, in my early teens, I was given a tortoise in Paris and flew back on a BEA Trident to LHR with it in my hand baggage, no security in those days, suffice to say I was bricking myself in case I got caught.

    And talking of flight, there was the time I escaped in Colditz Castle style, sheets tied round radiator to escape from a second floor window, from a chateau in Normandy whilst on a French exchange student trip. I stole a Velo Solex from the family who had treated me so badly, rode to the nearest port (probably Le Havre) and got myself onto a ferry to the UK. I didn’t even have a passport as my captors had kept it locked up to prevent my escape.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 61 total)
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