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Old Timer's Airline Quiz and Discussion

Old Timer's Airline Quiz and Discussion

Old Apr 17, 19, 2:30 am
  #15496  
 
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Air France operated the 990 with a bare metal fuselage. So far as I can recall, Swissair and KLM were the only European operators of the 880.
The Air France Convair 990 was operated on, of all routes, Paris to London, several times a day, pending the delivery of their first 727-200s, and painted in a partial Air France livery. Way back in the thread I posted about seeing it at Heathrow. it was leased from and flown by US supplemental carrier Modern Air, who had several of them, and who had a base in Berlin at the time for holiday flights to the Mediterranean with them.

As far as I recall, Swissair had a couple of Cv880s, lent by Convair pending the delayed delivery of their Cv990 order. SAS ddin't have the 880 but did have two 990s for several years. KLM I don't recall having any Convair jets at all. The other European operator I recall of the 880 was Air Malta, who used to lease in during each summer season whatever they could find, and in the 1970s had a Convair 880 on several occasions, ex-Cathay Pacific, and mostly still in their livery, run for them by an oddball charter operator from Singapore, with a USA tail number. It turned up from time to time at Manchester, among other places.

The other, always rare, Cv880 sighting possible in Europe was Japan Air Lines, right at the start of their European flights they did not have enough DC-8s, so the Convair was scheduled for the first few months.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 5:26 am
  #15497  
 
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Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
What does one do on such a train? Stay in the roomette or walk around? Does the roomette lock from the outside with a key?

Are there meal times? Does the dining car ever become full?

Is there no time to get off the train at stops?

I've only been on trains for shorter distances, like London-Paris or Brussels-Lille or Philadelphia-New York.
I was in a sleeper on the California Zephyr last year from Chicago to Denver, then back to Chicago on the Empire Builder from Whitefish, MT, so I can address some of these:

I mostly stayed in the room and enjoyed the scenery. Amtrak does have WiFi - but not on the long distance trains. (Iím guessing it uses cell towers rather than satellite. Highways between major cities may have coverage, but the rail lines were dead zones.) Thereís also a lounge car with panoramic windows.

The dining car is by reservation, like on a cruise, but you can also get room service.

Typically you canít get off the train at stops - some of the stops are less than a minute. Major stops (ones that have separate scheduled arrival and departure times) are around 20 minutes, but the platform tended to be too crowded to get out and walk around.

Of course long distance rail travel is about the journey and not the destination (itís much more prone to delays than air travel, in addition to being slower in general), but I really enjoyed it and would do it again.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 7:36 am
  #15498  
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
KLM I don't recall having any Convair jets at all.
I knew I had a postcard of one so I did a quick check and voila - it appears this aircraft was operated in conjunction with VIASA (Note the Venezuelan registration number YV-C-VIC) and may even have worn a split livery. Beyond that, it's all I can do to correctly spell KLM and VIASA. Here's a link to a picture:

KLM 880 at JFK
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Old Apr 17, 19, 7:50 am
  #15499  
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Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
What does one do on such a train? Stay in the roomette or walk around?

A train is a place that's going somewhere. Amtrak's long distance trains offer a dining car and a lounge car in addition to coaches and sleepers. You're welcome to stay in your room or seat if you like, but it's nice to pay an occasional visit the diner or lounge where you'll meet your fellow travelers and and enjoy a bit of traveler's conviviality.

Does the roomette lock from the outside with a key?

No. I've been on some trains overseas that provide locking doors but I've not seen that on Amtrak. That said, theft - particularly in the sleepers - is extremely rare indeed.

Are there meal times? Does the dining car ever become full?

Yes and yes. Meal times are announced in advance. Reservations are always required for dinner, occasionally required for lunch and rarely ever for breakfast. Seating is communal and yes, the diner occasionally does fill up.

Is there no time to get off the train at stops?

At most stops - no. Occasional service stops where trash is discarded and things like ice and some food items are restocked are long enough to step off for about 10-15 minutes. Some big city stops like Denver may be 30 - 40 minutes.

I've only been on trains for shorter distances, like London-Paris or Brussels-Lille or Philadelphia-New York.

I encourage you to take a ride or two on your national railroad. It's a great way to see the country.

For more information, see ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Seeing America from "See Level"
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Old Apr 17, 19, 8:20 am
  #15500  
 
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post

The other, always rare, Cv880 sighting possible in Europe was Japan Air Lines, right at the start of their European flights they did not have enough DC-8s, so the Convair was scheduled for the first few months.
A Japan Air Lines Convair 880 also made at least one rare appearance at LAX many years ago; however, I do not believe it was being operated in revenue passenger service.

According to Jon Proctor, this CV-880 was being used for JAL pilot training up in Moses Lake, WA and was flown to Los Angeles for maintenance with this service being conducted by TWA. The aircraft can be seen (along with many other airliners) courtesy of Mr. Proctor's "LAX Through The Years" photo collection:

http://www.jonproctor.net/lax-through-the-years/

Last edited by jlemon; Apr 17, 19 at 8:30 am Reason: fixed the photo link
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Old Apr 17, 19, 9:10 am
  #15501  
 
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Originally Posted by strickerj View Post


There’s also a lounge car with panoramic windows......

Typically you can’t get off the train at stops - some of the stops are less than a minute. Major stops (ones that have separate scheduled arrival and departure times) are around 20 minutes, but the platform tended to be too crowded to get out and walk around.


The observation lounge car is great. The seats typically face away from the aisle for good outside views. This is especially true on the "Coast Starlight" train between Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo. In Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, much of the old Southern Pacific route is located immediately adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. On a clear day, one can see the Channel Islands from the train which heading north also passes by Point Conception and into Vandenberg Air Force Base. The SLC-6 ("Slick 6") launch pad is visible from the train as well. SLC-6 had been converted to launch the Space Shuttle from Vandenberg; however, following the Challenger disaster, the STS was never operated by USAF from the base. I believe SLC-6 is now used to launch Delta IV ELV rockets which deliver recon satellites into polar orbit. And the northwest threshold of the 15,000 foot runway at the base can also be seen from the train. This runway was designed for Space Shuttle landings which, of course, never happened although it has been used for autonomous landings of the Boeing-designed USAF X-37B unmanned space plane. I will once again travel on the "Coast Starlight" train this June to San Luis Obispo from the Burbank Airport stop and am looking forward to this trip up the coast.

And as for getting off briefly at stops, it was always interesting to watch the smokers leap off the "Coast Starlight" at Santa Barbara for a quick hit of nicotine....or was that little cigarette actually comprised of another substance?
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Last edited by jlemon; Apr 17, 19 at 9:56 am Reason: spelling
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Old Apr 17, 19, 10:40 am
  #15502  
 
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Originally Posted by jlemon View Post
The observation lounge car is great. The seats typically face away from the aisle for good outside views. This is especially true on the "Coast Starlight" train between Los Angeles and San Luis Obispo. In Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, much of the old Southern Pacific route is located immediately adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. On a clear day, one can see the Channel Islands from the train which heading north also passes by Point Conception and into Vandenberg Air Force Base. ...

Not to get too off topic, but I've heard good things about that route. We're planning a Route 66 road trip with my wife's parents and are thinking of returning from LA via the Coast Starlight and the California Zephyr for the coast and Rocky Mountain scenery, rather than the more direct Southwest Chief. (What's one more day when the trip is already 4 weeks, right?) Hopefully Richard Anderson doesn't can the long-distance service before then.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 1:02 pm
  #15503  
 
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Originally Posted by Seat 2A View Post
I knew I had a postcard of one so I did a quick check and voila - it appears this aircraft was operated in conjunction with VIASA (Note the Venezuelan registration number YV-C-VIC) and may even have worn a split livery
Ah yes, KLM had a longstanding habit of doing this with other carriers, this is a great find. If I recall correctly it was used for joint service from Caracas (Viasa) and Curacao (KLM) to the USA. Crewed by Viasa of course as part of their Cv880 fleet.

KLM also did it on a DC-8 of Philippine Airlines, for whom they did major maintenance and some crewing at Amsterdam, and this led to the extraordinary sight in the late 1960s of a Philippine Air Lines liveried DC-8 in the UK at Liverpool, of all places, not even on the KLM network, but it was a football supporters charter from Amsterdam.

Later they did it on a DC-10 of Northwest as well. The owning airline normally appeared on the left, to face the gate, and the sharing carrier on the opposite side.

Please correct me if I'm wrong on this, but isn't the BAe-146 a regional jet
I suppose we have to differ on this. It's the same size, or larger, than a BAC One-Eleven, for which it was seen as a successor by BAe, and regarded in Europe at least as a short-haul jet, same as the Fokker F.28/F.100, and unlike the One-Eleven or Fokkers seating six-across rather than five. I don't think PSA or Air Cal, its first two US purchasers, regarded it as such either, but as part of their mainstream fleet.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 2:44 pm
  #15504  
 
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post

I suppose we have to differ on this. It's the same size, or larger, than a BAC One-Eleven, for which it was seen as a successor by BAe, and regarded in Europe at least as a short-haul jet, same as the Fokker F.28/F.100, and unlike the One-Eleven or Fokkers seating six-across rather than five. I don't think PSA or Air Cal, its first two US purchasers, regarded it as such either, but as part of their mainstream fleet.
I've also never thought of the BAe 146 as being a regional jet. In addition, I believe the 146 was flown by mainline flight crews at American (former AirCal aircraft) and USAir (former PSA aircraft) and thus not by pilots with regional partner air carriers on a code sharing basis.

Of course, several other U.S. regionals did operate the 146 (or the subsequent Avro models) in code share services for Delta, Continental, Northwest or United.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 9:24 pm
  #15505  
 
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Is train travel really expensive? Seems like it's $1000 one way to travel coast to coast in the US in a roomette or am I reading the charts wrong? Is it that food is included if you have sleeping accommodations but not if you have only a seat?
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Old Apr 17, 19, 9:33 pm
  #15506  
 
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Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
Is train travel really expensive? Seems like it's $1000 one way to travel coast to coast in the US in a roomette or am I reading the charts wrong? Is it that food is included if you have sleeping accommodations but not if you have only a seat?
Yes to both of those. Coach tickets are pretty cheap, but sleeping accommodations (even the entry level roomettes) are priced higher than flying first class. Coach passengers can use the same dining car and menu as sleeper car passengers; they just pay a la carte rather than having meals included.

Last edited by strickerj; Apr 19, 19 at 12:12 pm Reason: Added close parenthesis
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Old Apr 18, 19, 5:59 am
  #15507  
 
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Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
Pop quiz

Awaiting the next set of questions, here's a pop quiz.

It is spring 1991, specifically May 1991. You're traveling with a picky companion. Only non-stops. From Miami (MIA only, not FLL), how can you get to London? Airline(s) and aircraft.


Disclaimer: I may not have all the answers but I am thinking of one answer.
A few years earlier, my wife and I were on a PanAm 747 MIA-LHR. -- not sure if it was still available in 1991.
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Old Apr 18, 19, 12:51 pm
  #15508  
 
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Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
Is train travel really expensive? Seems like it's $1000 one way to travel coast to coast in the US in a roomette or am I reading the charts wrong? Is it that food is included if you have sleeping accommodations but not if you have only a seat?
I've only used AMTRAK routes on a regional type basis. From memory, here were the costs:

California Zephyr GRAND JUNCTION ->DEN UNION $55
California Zephyr WINTER PARK->DEN UNION several times as low as $12 to about $30
Pacific Surfliner LA UNION->SAN LUIS OBISPO $53
Cascades SEATTLE KING STREET STA->PORTLAND ORE about $25
Silver Service HOLLYWOOD FLA->KISSIMMEE $32
Texas Eagle SAN ANTONIO ->DallasDALLAS v.v. about $50 each way
Downeaster BOSTON NORTH STATION->FREEPORT MAINE several times, sometimes Haverhill to Portland, about $30

This was obviously a tad higher cost than bus travel, but well worth the spend. Usually, on rail sectors of six to eight hours, I'll bring a $5 sub from a nearby Subway or similar.

As ponted out, seated meals are included with a Sleeper accommodation.

Regionally, AMTRAK is worth it, if even just for taking in the experience, particularly the beauty (Zephyr Winter Park to Denver, Downeaster in Maine, Surfliner north of Santa Barbara).
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Old Apr 18, 19, 8:33 pm
  #15509  
 
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Pop quiz

Awaiting the next set of questions, here's a pop quiz.

It is spring 1991, specifically May 1991. You're traveling with a picky companion. Only non-stops. From Miami (MIA only, not FLL), how can you get to London? Airline(s) and aircraft.

Originally Posted by miniliq View Post
A few years earlier, my wife and I were on a PanAm 747 MIA-LHR. -- not sure if it was still available in 1991.
Not PanAm. Try again!
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Old Apr 19, 19, 2:10 am
  #15510  
 
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Originally Posted by Toshbaf View Post
Pop quiz

Awaiting the next set of questions, here's a pop quiz.

It is spring 1991, specifically May 1991. You're traveling with a picky companion. Only non-stops. From Miami (MIA only, not FLL), how can you get to London? Airline(s) and aircraft.


Disclaimer: I may not have all the answers but I am thinking of one answer.
Virgin Atlantic MIA-LGW, 747-200

British Airways MIA-LHR, 747-200 (or -400).
Maybe BA used Concorde on that route around that time.

KT
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