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GBNorman

Fokker 100, Anyone?

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IIRC, all the major US airlines flew the 727s into the late 1990s or early 2000s.

 

I definitely flew on more than a handful of Northwest 727s in the mid to late 90s, and they crisscrossed the country. American, Delta and United flew them about that late as well. I think USAir (or were they Airways by then?) flew them into the mid 90s at least, and Continental had them until the 737-700s arrived.

 

TWA hung onto them until almost the end of their existence, having retired them with the last batch of MD-80s they received from the factory in the late 90s.

 

So, to say the 727 had a short lifespan is definitely misremembering the past.

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On American, I think they plied lower density routes. I believe they seated only about 100.

Thats correct, however......

There was a brief period when American attempted to compete with Southwest at Love Field, when they started relaxing the range restrictions...

At the time, longer range flights were restricted to aircraft seating 56 or less. Hence AA removed seats from some Super 100s(F100s), to meet the rule. On those flights, they offered business class type service to the entire aircraft, at regular coach fares....

It was quite the bargain, while it lasted. :)

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There was also a licensed version of the F-27 built here by Fairchild, it was called FH-227. Probably around 150 Fokker 100 still in service, none in the US

Those Fairchild-Hillers were the mainstay of the former Mohawk Airlines...their high wings and large windows were great for sightseeing. I took advantage of Mohawks Weekend Unlimited travel pass to ride them, as well as some of their brand new BAC 1-11s. :)

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On American, I think they plied lower density routes. I believe they seated only about 100.

Thats correct, however......

There was a brief period when American attempted to compete with Southwest at Love Field, when they started relaxing the range restrictions...

At the time, longer range flights were restricted to aircraft seating 56 or less. Hence AA removed seats from some Super 100s(F100s), to meet the rule. On those flights, they offered business class type service to the entire aircraft, at regular coach fares....

It was quite the bargain, while it lasted. :)

That wasn’t so much to compete with Southwest as it was to challenge Legend Airlines, a short-lived carrier that ran similarly configured DC-9s.

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IIRC, all the major US airlines flew the 727s into the late 1990s or early 2000s. I definitely flew on more than a handful of Northwest 727s in the mid to late 90s, and they crisscrossed the country. American, Delta and United flew them about that late as well. I think USAir (or were they Airways by then?) flew them into the mid 90s at least, and Continental had them until the 737-700s arrived. TWA hung onto them until almost the end of their existence, having retired them with the last batch of MD-80s they received from the factory in the late 90s. So, to say the 727 had a short lifespan is definitely misremembering the past.

Southwest is a major US airline (in my view) and they retired their 727's back in the 1980's. You talk about 727's crisscrossing the country but where I flew NW was mainly a DC9/757/DC10/747 shop, AA was mostly an MD80/737/767/777 shop, and UA was a dogs breakfast of various twins and quads. Just to be clear I'm in no way against the 727. In fact if I ever saw it on my routes or was ever offered it while booking I'd almost certainly choose it if for no other reason than to break up the monotony of flying the same aircraft over and over again. If the 727 was mainly an East-of-Chicago aircraft common deployed on commuter shuttles and snowbird corridors then it makes sense I would have no memory of it since I was never flying/booking/pricing/spotting those routes. Due to where I live and fly I have blindspots in places like ATL, CLT, MIA, EWR, MSP, DTW, LGA, PHL, & STL, which is presumably where many of these late era 727's were still operating.

 

 

That wasn’t so much to compete with Southwest as it was to challenge Legend Airlines, a short-lived carrier that ran similarly configured DC-9s.

 

That was a classic case of predatory dumping. I guess so long as you (1) have enough political clout to stall any investigation and (2) have enough cash on hand to exhaust the other guy's legal fund and (3) can convince enough passengers to shoot themselves in the foot (4) you can get away with almost anything. It took a much more powerful adversary several decades to finally erode some of American's stranglehold on the Dallas market. Which may sound promising and pro-consumer at first, until you realize that Southwest took a page from American by lobbying for their own special protections at DAL, which in a practical sense will likely ensure no regional airline will ever attempt to follow in Legend's footsteps.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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When Southwest (very briefly) flew 727s, they weren't a major airline. They became a major airline (by DOT definition) in 1989.

 

Out west, Alaska Airlines flew them until 1994.

 

A quick check of flight schedules (departedflights.com has a treasure trove of old timetables scanned), it looks like Northwest flew them to Las Vegas, Portland, Denver, Oakland and San Jose (possibly others, those are just the sampling of cities I checked).

 

Their 1995 official guide page shows Delta, Continental, United, TWA and Northwest all flying 727s to Vegas. Similar for Phoenix and Los Angeles.

 

AA's July 2001 timetable still shows 727s out of DFW (flights to Atlanta, Nashville, Baltimore, Cancun, Detroit, Newark, Fort Lauderdale, Washington Dulles, Houston, Kansas City, Orlando, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Tampa & Tulsa). So, there were plenty of 727s flying west of Chicago.

 

 

The fuel burn, three-man cockpit and noise regulations were doing the type no favors, and 9/11 basically was the final nail in the coffin for passenger service on the type.

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There was a period when a lot of my flying on United was on 727s and that did last for a while. That was a period when I was routinely a 1K too. So I frankly don’t understand this claim about 727 having not been a major fleet component of United.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum

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When Southwest (very briefly) flew 727s, they weren't a major airline. They became a major airline (by DOT definition) in 1989. Out west, Alaska Airlines flew them until 1994. A quick check of flight schedules (departedflights.com has a treasure trove of old timetables scanned), it looks like Northwest flew them to Las Vegas, Portland, Denver, Oakland and San Jose (possibly others, those are just the sampling of cities I checked). Their 1995 official guide page shows Delta, Continental, United, TWA and Northwest all flying 727s to Vegas. Similar for Phoenix and Los Angeles. AA's July 2001 timetable still shows 727s out of DFW (flights to Atlanta, Nashville, Baltimore, Cancun, Detroit, Newark, Fort Lauderdale, Washington Dulles, Houston, Kansas City, Orlando, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, Tampa & Tulsa). So, there were plenty of 727s flying west of Chicago. The fuel burn, three-man cockpit and noise regulations were doing the type no favors, and 9/11 basically was the final nail in the coffin for passenger service on the type.

 

Thanks for the information and sourcing Trogdor. I was not previous familiar with departedflights.com and I know I'm going to be stuck there for a while. I mean who would have ever guessed there used to be a daily flight between Austin and San Antonio?! I guess back when the speed limit was 55 and security could be cleared in five minutes it might have made slightly more sense but that's still mind boggling to me. Anyway, the sites I did check didn't have detailed information on 727 usage and routing but this looks pretty clear and concise. The visual design seems be stuck in the mid-1990's but I guess it fits. My only flight on the 727 was when I was too young to really remember it. My own white whale that bit once and never returned. Either that or I actually saw the 727 several times and somehow forgot all about it. Maybe this is what early onset Alzheimer's feels like. :wacko:

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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Airlines flew routes to keep out other airlines and maintain "rights" back in the CAB era. Sometimes, It was a function of repositioning a plane. Many years ago did LGA to BUF on an AA DC-10 very early in the morning. I think it did BUF to BOS next and then BOS to the West coast and then back to NY. Not very many people, but lots of containers (probably mail) Did MIA-FLL on Eastern once with the old student standby it was like bus fare.....This is a long time ago though....Funny to talk about 727 at Southwest, when they expanded, they standardized on the 737 (largest operator of them) and have steadily gone from the older ones to the latest. A few years back they did start adding some of the longer ones, adds another FA to the cabin crew.

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So long as this topic has evolved into one addressing "Fallen Flag aircraft, anyone here recall the Martin 404 ?

 

This one will stick in my memory, for it part of a "plane to train" joyride that ended up "plane to bus".

 

During 1965, when it appeared that Erie mainline passenger service was on life support, and as a last ditch effort the Erie Limited was rechristened the Phoebe Snow, and further, the Obs-Lounges had been resurrected, I was game to go. I had also never ridden over the Tunkhannock Viaduct in daylight.

 

The plan was to take a morning flight KLGA to KBGM and ride Miss Phoebe back to Hoboken.

 

Well, the Mohawk 404 "didn't feel well" that morning. "Just a short delay" (NAVAIDS IIRC) which of course turned to be anything but. Finally, we're gone, Absent EL #2 being late, "we weren't gonna make it", but on approach to Broome County, there was Miss Phoebe heading EW with the Obs.

 

GRRRRR!!!

 

Return was on a Trailways along NY17.

Edited by GBNorman

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Not specifically, but I have flown Mohawk on similar (looking) turboprops many times in upstate NY - including to/from GFL.

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I think my last flight on a 727 was SJU-MIA-IAH for AA in 2000. I remember it being old and tattered back then.

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I keep fairly meticulous records of my flights. I'm missing a handful from when I was a kid, but my family rarely flew. My adult flying years started in the late 90's.

 

Coincidentally, I've logged 8 flights on a Fokker 100, and 8 flights on the B727.

 

Interestingly, all 8 of my Fokker 100 flights came during 2002/2003. All were on American, and all were to/from Chicago.

 

It includes an ORD-DTW flight on September 11, 2002, the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. It was a "big deal" to fly that day, as though we were making a statement. But a colleague and I flew to Detroit (actually, Ann Arbor) for a conference, and that was simply when we needed to go. I suppose if we had the willies, we could have driven. But given that we were based west of O'Hare, the flight allowed us to skip the Chicago morning rush hour traffic and was probably cheaper than driving once you factor in the rental car, gas, etc.

 

In contrast with the Fokker 100, my B727 flights were across a variety of carriers: United, American,TWA and Delta.

 

My final B727 flight is etched in my memory as it was EWR-ORD on 9-30-01, less than 3 weeks after the aforementioned terrorist attacks. I had spent the weekend in NYC visiting a relative...a trip that had been planned months before. I could have used a waiver to delay the trip, but I saw no need to. I paid my respects at the still-smoldering ruins of the WTC...and the city still had a hushed feel to it. I waited in an incredibly long security line at EWR, but no one was complaining.

 

Another odd detail...on that relatively short hop, United served a full hot dinner to those of us in coach. It was my last full hot meal in coach on a domestic flight in the US, not counting the hot snacks that Continental insisted on calling "meals" until even they ditched the practice.

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What is surprising is that apparently in 2017 there are still 57 727s in active operation!

 

Incidentally Delta, United and Northwest retired their 727s in 2003.

 

New ones were delivered to airlines until 1984. In all 1831 were delivered between 1964 and 1984 Ordered between 1960 and 1981.

 

It was one of my favorite planes since it was so quiet up front! :)

 

In contrast only 283 Fokker 100s were ever built between 1986 and 1997, 165 of which were still in operation in 2016.

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My final B727 flight is etched in my memory as it was EWR-ORD on 9-30-01, less than 3 weeks after the aforementioned terrorist attacks. […] I waited in an incredibly long security line at EWR, but no one was complaining.

My primary memories of post-9/11 flying revolve around the shock seeing family members forcibly strip searched, encountering machine gun toting military guards in public places on US soil, and watching a sea of misplaced aircraft slowly making their way out of every apron corner and back into the rotation.

 

 

Another odd detail...on that relatively short hop, United served a full hot dinner to those of us in coach. It was my last full hot meal in coach on a domestic flight in the US, not counting the hot snacks that Continental insisted on calling "meals" until even they ditched the practice.

Did CO actually ditch it themselves? I thought the famous mystery meat sandwiches remained until the merger with UA? On the one hand they were terrible. On the other hand if you were stuck on planes all day sometimes it felt like a godsend to have anything larger than a peanut or pretzel.

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Another odd detail...on that relatively short hop, United served a full hot dinner to those of us in coach. It was my last full hot meal in coach on a domestic flight in the US, not counting the hot snacks that Continental insisted on calling "meals" until even they ditched the practice.

Did CO actually ditch it themselves? I thought the famous mystery meat sandwiches remained until the merger with UA? On the one hand they were terrible. On the other hand if you were stuck on planes all day sometimes it felt like a godsend to have anything larger than a peanut or pretzel.

 

CO ditched food in preparation for the UA merger.

Edited by jis

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My most interesting memory of post 9/11 flights was a flight from MSP-ALB in March of 2002.

 

I was flying in F (as a surprise upgrade from my cousin who worked in reservations for NW). The meal served in F was steak. I was served a metal fork, a metal spoon - and a PLASTIC knife! (Remember for awhile they did not allow metal knives on planes!) Did you ever try to cut a steak with a plastic knife?:huh:

 

That upgrade from that cousin is another memory. I had to be in STL for a convention, which ended early. So I had to change my reservation. So I called the NW 800 number. After all the prompts and the long wait “for the next available agent”, I was connected. I asked to change my flight from STL-MSP. The “next agent” happened to be my cousin - in TPA! :o This was really surprising since I didn’t even know she worked for NW, and also the last time I saw her was over 10 years before!

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My most interesting post 9/11 flight was on 9/20 on a Virgin Atlantic flight from JFK to London Heathrow on the way to India on a family emergency trip. There were 8 of us on a 747. All were complementary treated to upper class, since there were more cabin crew than passengers!

 

But then the flight from London to Kolkata (British Airways) was completely full, and I somehow got comp upgraded to Y+, which on BA is a significantly different experience from Y. Apparently the rest of the world did not worry too much about their planes being attacked.

 

I was actually stuck in Toronto after 9/11 since everything was grounded. Finally we managed to drive back to NJ on Friday, crossing at the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls in order to avoid endless lines of trucks stuck at the highway crossings.

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So long as this topic has evolved into one addressing "Fallen Flag aircraft, anyone here recall the Martin 404 ?

 

This one will stick in my memory, for it part of a "plane to train" joyride that ended up "plane to bus".

 

During 1965, when it appeared that Erie mainline passenger service was on life support, and as a last ditch effort the Erie Limited was rechristened the Phoebe Snow, and further, the Obs-Lounges had been resurrected, I was game to go. I had also never ridden over the Tunkhannock Viaduct in daylight.

 

The plan was to take a morning flight KLGA to KBGM and ride Miss Phoebe back to Hoboken.

 

Well, the Mohawk 404 "didn't feel well" that morning. "Just a short delay" (NAVAIDS IIRC) which of course turned to be anything but. Finally, we're gone, Absent EL #2 being late, "we weren't gonna make it", but on approach to Broome County, there was Miss Phoebe heading EW with the Obs.

 

GRRRRR!!!

 

Return was on a Trailways along NY17.

I flew a United Martin 404 from ORD to SBN in 1957. The flight was about 45 minutes IIRC.

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The meal served in F was steak. I was served a metal fork, a metal spoon - and a PLASTIC knife! (Remember for awhile they did not allow metal knives on planes!) Did you ever try to cut a steak with a plastic knife?

Even though they do have metal knives again they're generally too dull to make for a decent cooked meat cutting utensil (IMO). Those metal forks and plastic chopsticks could mortally wound someone in a few seconds flat though. I've had tiny pinky sized hammers and pocket knives confiscated while much larger Leatherman devices with big folding knives were allowed through. Makes no sense to me but whatever. :blink:

 

 

My most interesting post 9/11 flight was on 9/20 on a Virgin Atlantic flight from JFK to London Heathrow on the way to India on a family emergency trip. There were 8 of us on a 747. All were complementary treated to upper class, since there were more cabin crew than passengers!

 

Had a similar situation with American Airlines on a 777 bound for Asia during SARS. Since there were barely enough passengers to fill a single row we were all offered complementary seats "up front" which was quite welcome and unexpected. Right up until the moment we realized they were only referring to an identical coach cabin directly ahead of us. As disappointing and unnecessary as that silly charade was, looking back now it was kind of impressive to be casually faked out in the middle of a potential pandemic by a bunch of grumpy old flight attendants who couldn't care less. I honestly don't recall any meaningful op-ups worth writing about here, although I have benefited from a few well timed VDB's. My single best haul was a free upgrade to first class, $600 in flight credits, a free stay at a four star hotel, three free meals, and an amenity kit. These days most of the time I'd rather just get where I'm going without any delays, but back when I was younger and more flexible VDB's were one of the best deal going for those who knew when to cash in.

Edited by Devil's Advocate

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Baron von Richhofen flew in a Fokker Dr 1. Does that count? :)

 

 

Actually, the 727 was enormously successful, over 1800 built, most of one family until surpassed by the 737 family. They were in mainline service in the US past 2000. As the A-320 and larger versions of the 737 became available with 2 engines and a 2 person flight deck they were replaced on a steady basis, but had close to a 40 year run on US mainlines.

 

Flown where and by whom? Freight service 727's are not uncommon but I haven't flown, haven't seen, and haven't been offered a scheduled flight on a passenger 727 since the 1980's. The 727 is very distinctive compared to other designs so it's pretty hard to miss by accident. Presumably whatever passenger 727's remained into the 90's and beyond must have been relegated to airports I rarely visit and/or flown by charter airlines I never use.

 

 

I flew a passenger 727 on American from San Juan to Grenada in 1995.

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Another odd detail...on that relatively short hop, United served a full hot dinner to those of us in coach. It was my last full hot meal in coach on a domestic flight in the US, not counting the hot snacks that Continental insisted on calling "meals" until even they ditched the practice.

Did CO actually ditch it themselves? I thought the famous mystery meat sandwiches remained until the merger with UA? On the one hand they were terrible. On the other hand if you were stuck on planes all day sometimes it felt like a godsend to have anything larger than a peanut or pretzel.

 

CO ditched food in preparation for the UA merger.

 

 

In 1984, I flew Continental from IAD to DEN. Breakfast was: Yoghurt, a breakfast sandwich, or fruit, pick 2. UA was serving a full hot breakfast until at least 2002.

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UA stopped serving food in domestic Y a while before CO did. As I recall, CO was the only one left standing serving food of any sort in domestic Y after all the majors quit.

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UA stopped serving food in domestic Y a while before CO did. As I recall, CO was the only one left standing serving food of any sort in domestic Y after all the majors quit.

 

Well, serving "free" food, at any rate. I believe the other majors had already transitioned to buy-on-board by the time CO ditched their offerings. But yes, my memory is that CO held on to the old ways longer than anyone else.

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