Air Canada Throwback Thursday

Old May 14, 2020, 9:32 am
  #76  
 
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Originally Posted by jasdou
How many of you guys flew on an AC 747?
I recall flying one from YYZ to ANU via UVF. Or maybe it was BGI via UVF. I believe that this 'Sun route' was served twice weekly . Like Adam, I didn't keep detailed records back then.

It was an AE rewards flight and we were flying up top, right side. I recall that my companions seat wouldn't stay reclined and they gave her the choice of a flight credit or a bunch of in-flight duty free credit. She chose the latter and ended up with a sack of jewelry.

But flying up top sure was quiet at the time.

Last edited by Bohemian1; May 14, 2020 at 9:33 am Reason: Notorious BGI?
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Old May 14, 2020, 9:56 am
  #77  
 
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Well, let's join the fun! Here is my Aeroplan card from 1985! Yes, I still have it! (maybe the fax line is still active?) Or maybe the exec lines are still active?


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Old May 14, 2020, 9:58 am
  #78  
 
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Ah yes the "Nite" fares. I recall circa 1985 or 86 having the choice of AC, CP, PWA & Wardair. YYC-YYZ nite fares
were $199 return. I took several of these trips- on the Wardair 747-100 and on CP DC-10-30. Those were the days!
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Old May 14, 2020, 10:29 am
  #79  
 
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Originally Posted by Sean Peever
Well, let's join the fun! Here is my Aeroplan card from 1985! Yes, I still have it! (maybe the fax line is still active?) Or maybe the exec lines are still active
Wow!

The card looks well traveled. And, assuming they issued Aeroplan numbers sequentially, that is a very low number. Mine's way up at 121 XXX XXX.

P.S. What is this "fax" thing you speak of?
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Old May 14, 2020, 10:39 am
  #80  
 
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Originally Posted by Bohemian1
Wow!

The card looks well traveled. And, assuming they issued Aeroplan numbers sequentially, that is a very low number. Mine's way up at 121 XXX XXX.

P.S. What is this "fax" thing you speak of?
aerofax number on the back of the card. (But I'm going to assume you're being funny, but figured I'd say it anyway for the 18-28 group on here)
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Old May 14, 2020, 10:54 am
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Adam Smith
I think the only times I flew an AC 747 were in 1995. My family did a trip to France and we flew YYC-YYZ-CDG round trip. I think we had a 200 Combi one direction and a 400 the other, but not 100% sure. Sadly I didn't keep records back then
We flew quite a few times on the AC 747-400 combis (74M I believe), which they had on YYZ-FRA and I believe YYZ-LHR. Favorite seats were the first row on top. Would have been after 1998 when we had started getting addicted to J, but when you still could get a reasonably rare steak.

However I believe my first AC 747 flight was on a rteturn LHR-YYC, when the incoming 763 went mechanical (or was cancelled) and they flew an aging 747, possibly -100 in replacement. Which ended up doing LHR-YEG so they could get the plane back elsewhere quicker. That would have been around 1995-1997. I recall arriving home late at night instead of afternoon. Plus some other personal details of little relevance.
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Old May 14, 2020, 2:36 pm
  #82  
 
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Originally Posted by jasdou
How many of you guys flew on an AC 747?
Only got to fly on the -400 series. Starting November 1995.



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Old May 15, 2020, 7:39 am
  #83  
 
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Originally Posted by muskoka
Ah yes the "Nite" fares. I recall circa 1985 or 86 having the choice of AC, CP, PWA & Wardair. YYC-YYZ nite fares
were $199 return. I took several of these trips- on the Wardair 747-100 and on CP DC-10-30. Those were the days!
I remember those well as my big summer vacation of 1985 was planned around those fares with my dad. YYZ to YYC/YEG-YYZ with PWA.
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Old May 16, 2020, 7:10 pm
  #84  
 
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Originally Posted by Stranger
We flew quite a few times on the AC 747-400 combis (74M I believe), which they had on YYZ-FRA and I believe YYZ-LHR. Favorite seats were the first row on top. Would have been after 1998 when we had started getting addicted to J, but when you still could get a reasonably rare steak.

However I believe my first AC 747 flight was on a rteturn LHR-YYC, when the incoming 763 went mechanical (or was cancelled) and they flew an aging 747, possibly -100 in replacement. Which ended up doing LHR-YEG so they could get the plane back elsewhere quicker. That would have been around 1995-1997. I recall arriving home late at night instead of afternoon. Plus some other personal details of little relevance.
57K (I forget if the AC or the ex-CP planes). Best seat on the upper deck. Acres of leg room.
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Old May 21, 2020, 10:19 pm
  #85  
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Originally Posted by Genetk44
Damn...to think we might be going back to the 1960s era of narrowbody longhaul flights...but with even less comfort or quality of service than back then. Talk about retrograde.
Come on. Flying in Y in the 60s on narrowbodies was way, way better than Y in widebodies today. Apart from seating, service was pretty much like J today, or even better.

But then, the price in real terms was consistent with the above. Flying in the sixties was a privilege of the wealthier. In other words, poor service in Y is driven by demand for cheap, cheaper, cheapest. Alas I suspect that won't change in the recovery, even if the demand is less. Prices may go up, and will need to because costs will be higher givn the lower demand. But service won't improve because price will continue being key. Unfortunately.
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Old May 22, 2020, 8:21 am
  #86  
 
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Originally Posted by Stranger
Come on. Flying in Y in the 60s on narrowbodies was way, way better than Y in widebodies today. Apart from seating, service was pretty much like J today, or even better.

But then, the price in real terms was consistent with the above. Flying in the sixties was a privilege of the wealthier. In other words, poor service in Y is driven by demand for cheap, cheaper, cheapest. Alas I suspect that won't change in the recovery, even if the demand is less. Prices may go up, and will need to because costs will be higher givn the lower demand. But service won't improve because price will continue being key. Unfortunately.

i did say that the actual comfort and service in todays narrowbody would be less than in the 60s. Back then seats had far more padding and cushoning, were wider and had more pitch and recline than todays seats. There was actual food served, higher FA to passenger ratio. On the other hand, remember there were no pods, no lie-flat or even semi-flat seats in J or F. Those really didn't start appearing until the 80's on the widebodies.
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Old May 22, 2020, 9:08 am
  #87  
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Originally Posted by Stranger
Come on. Flying in Y in the 60s on narrowbodies was way, way better than Y in widebodies today. Apart from seating, service was pretty much like J today, or even better.

But then, the price in real terms was consistent with the above. Flying in the sixties was a privilege of the wealthier. In other words, poor service in Y is driven by demand for cheap, cheaper, cheapest. Alas I suspect that won't change in the recovery, even if the demand is less. Prices may go up, and will need to because costs will be higher givn the lower demand. But service won't improve because price will continue being key. Unfortunately.
Originally Posted by Genetk44
i did say that the actual comfort and service in todays narrowbody would be less than in the 60s. Back then seats had far more padding and cushoning, were wider and had more pitch and recline than todays seats. There was actual food served, higher FA to passenger ratio. On the other hand, remember there were no pods, no lie-flat or even semi-flat seats in J or F. Those really didn't start appearing until the 80's on the widebodies.
When comparing Y product from the 1960's for international travel versus today here would be my assessment:
1960's advantages:
  • Service: more flight attendants, flying was "special" and you were treated that way
  • Ability to access the flight deck for a visit
  • Seats: greater pitch and more cushioning
  • Meals: served an actual breakfast rather than banana bread.
  • No security charades
  • Flights were typically not full - more opportunity for a "lie flat" experience in Y. Load factors are about 15% higher now (pre-COVID) than back then.

1960's disadvantages
  • No IFE
  • Tiny overhead bins
  • Seats did not have adjustable headrests and were not ergonomic
  • Tighter baggage restrictions
  • No mileage program
  • Really really expensive compared to to today
  • If it was raining you typically got wet when boarding and disembarking
  • No wheelchair access
  • No pre-booking of seats
  • Far fewer destinations served


No significant difference
  • Seat width. The DC-8 flown by AC had a 1" narrower cabin than a 737 today.
  • Main meal: hit and miss then and now.
  • Alcohol (although I was too young to drink in the 1960's)
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Old May 22, 2020, 10:48 am
  #88  
 
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I'd put in into the disadvantage column was smoking onboard was allowed in the 60's. Didn't an AC DC8 crash due to a fire caused by a cigarette?
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Old May 22, 2020, 11:07 am
  #89  
 
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Originally Posted by Jagboi
I'd put in into the disadvantage column was smoking onboard was allowed in the 60's. Didn't an AC DC8 crash due to a fire caused by a cigarette?
No. The CVG fire was a DC-9 and the cause of fire was never determined.

Last edited by WildcatYXU; May 22, 2020 at 2:31 pm
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Old May 22, 2020, 11:08 am
  #90  
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I think my first commercial flight experience was in January 1971. Not sixities but still not all that different. First intercontinental, on LH in Dec. 1972.

I don't think our assessment differs all that much. Some detail though.

Originally Posted by The Lev
When comparing Y product from the 1960's for international travel versus today here would be my assessment:
1960's advantages:
  • Service: more flight attendants, flying was "special" and you were treated that way
  • Ability to access the flight deck for a visit
  • Seats: greater pitch and more cushioning
  • Meals: served an actual breakfast rather than banana bread.
  • No security charades
  • Flights were typically not full - more opportunity for a "lie flat" experience in Y. Load factors are about 15% higher now (pre-COVID) than back then.
Service in Y was much more service-oriented than in J today, I would say. And so was the quality of food and wine. Yes they made you feel special, but then that's because it was. Few people would experience flying then.

Real recline in Y.

As to loads, could easily be much less than 15%. I still recall a flight with more FAs than passengers, back in 1971 or 1972.

Security: I was surprised that in some countries they did ID check before boarding back in the seventies. But then that was a bit of an exception and not quite like security today.

Overall, flying would be a very pleasant experience then even if in some respects not always very comfortable. At that time, that was understandable and a consequence of the limitations of the business of operating planes, rather than a cost-cutting issue...

1960's disadvantages
  • No IFE
  • Tiny overhead bins
  • Seats did not have adjustable headrests and were not ergonomic
  • Tighter baggage restrictions
  • No mileage program
  • Really really expensive compared to to today
  • If it was raining you typically got wet when boarding and disembarking
  • No wheelchair access
  • No pre-booking of seats
  • Far fewer destinations served
No overhead bins as we know. Open bins like on trains.

As to baggage restrictions, depending upon the region it would be one piece or 20 kg in Y. More in First. I still remember paying a fortune for our 100 kg of luggage plus our cats back in 1982. When old rules still were in place. So better than today's lowest fare, worse than with status today.

As to fewer destinations, probably true but not all that bad at least from my experience in the sixties and on other continents. This mainly concerns places served today by regionals only.

No significant difference
  • Seat width. The DC-8 flown by AC had a 1" narrower cabin than a 737 today.
  • Main meal: hit and miss then and now.
  • Alcohol (although I was too young to drink in the 1960's)
Wine was probably better in Y then then in J today. But admittedly I was not able to judge then :-). Meals were absolutely better then at least on the airlines that I flew.

As to seats, somehow I never flew on DC-8s. But the planes I flew back then, 707, 727, 737 (LH), Caravelle, Convair 440, then later in the seventies, BAC111, YS-11, Electras, Viscpunt, F28, did not seem very different in width than the 737. In the Boeings they were very likely the same.
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