Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > United Airlines | MileagePlus
Reload this Page >

Were The Early 80's Really That Much Better On UA Than Now?

Were The Early 80's Really That Much Better On UA Than Now?

Old Dec 12, 19, 8:32 pm
  #316  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: EUG
Programs: BonVoy Au, IHG Au, HH Au, Nexus, Pilot FlyingJ Preferred, *$ Au
Posts: 4,762
Originally Posted by xzh445 View Post
AWESOME earbuds rankourabu. !!!
(as I recall) there were two pronged jack in the armrests. Speaker(s) behind the jacks. Those little tubes literally “piped” the music up to the ear pieces. (Think stethoscope)
I believe the later ones were all black? I remember needing to pay for them as the FA went around distributing them. You also got a paper receipt for payment.

Speaking of another tradition that's pretty much gone domestically-- offering newspapers or magazines for reading in flight.

ETA: found one of the receipts
Attached Images  

Last edited by rustykettel; Dec 12, 19 at 11:27 pm
rustykettel is offline  
Old Dec 12, 19, 8:45 pm
  #317  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Programs: Delta Platinum Medallion, Hilton HHonors, AAdvantage, Tier 8 Status - Hotel Tonight
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
I only remember overhead projectors as a kid in the 90s. First time I saw seatback TVs was on a MH flight EWR-DXB in 2003. 7 movies on a loop... I thought.... wow, this is amazing!

Didnt UA/CO have those old mounted TVs on their 757s well into the 2010s? And who can forget the UA 747s with big screen TVs well into the 2010s as well!

I didnt have a chance to fly much when these were around, although I do remember them from one LO flight in maybe 2008 on a beat up 767-200.

Any older FTers want to remind us what these were all about?


Yeah the sUA 757s had overhead CRTs monitors until retirement (with no Wi-Fi) until retirement which was IIRC in 2015-2016 except for the reconfigured PS frames that got a complete interior wipe out with nose to tail AVOD. I definitely miss the sUA 757 as even with the dated CRTs they had very comfortable seats and Channel 9. It was a huge setback to deal with 739ER as a replacement (for me at least.)

The above headsets I only recall being on a DL 757 in 2001 flying from ATL to Grand Cayman. I was *shocked* to see them them. My Dad actually had to show me how to use them and I was 15. That's the only time I've ever them on an airplane in my lifetime. All other airplanes CO / UA / AA included in the 1990s had stereo headsets.
LAX_AUS_DL_FLYER is offline  
Old Dec 12, 19, 10:43 pm
  #318  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: HNL
Programs: Au: UA, Marriott, Hilton; Ex-HA Pt (now not), GE
Posts: 5,666
Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
I

Any older FTers want to remind us what these were all about?



These were headphones. State of the art at the time Channeled sound waves through hollow plastic tubing into the auditory canals of user's ears. No electironic components. Used by all major airlines I flew. Useful for listening to the one movie that played at a time, either on a screen that was pulled down over the center bulkhead, or--later--on Cathode-Ray Tube TVs mounted on the ceilings. There might be a few music channels to listen, namely classical, easy-listening, and country. And, on UA, Channel 9.
747FC is offline  
Old Dec 12, 19, 11:35 pm
  #319  
 
Join Date: Dec 2019
Programs: Delta Platinum Medallion, Hilton HHonors, AAdvantage, Tier 8 Status - Hotel Tonight
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
These were headphones. State of the art at the time Channeled sound waves through hollow plastic tubing into the auditory canals of user's ears. No electironic components. Used by all major airlines I flew. Useful for listening to the one movie that played at a time, either on a screen that was pulled down over the center bulkhead, or--later--on Cathode-Ray Tube TVs mounted on the ceilings. There might be a few music channels to listen, namely classical, easy-listening, and country. And, on UA, Channel 9.
Only on DL on the CRTs as of the last 20 years or so. My experience flying UA / AA / CO always had stereo plug-in variants on at least their respective 757 fleets. The CO stereo headsets were always 2-prong which were always annoying as it forced people to pay for the useless headsets for the flight and nothing else. I always took the AA ones off the plane as a kid and they actually were of decent quality on a regular CD or cassette player.

The DL mnemonic headsets came wrapped and cleaned when I experienced them in 2001. I couldn't believe they were using this technology in 2001 and go figure as they were switching to full-on AVOD via Song by the middle of the decade.

UA always had somewhat decent looped entertainment options. I recall they even did looped "Sirius XM" playlists as late as 2009 but had zero food for purchase on ORD-LAX while sitting in the front Economy row on a 757. They were serving cheese plates in F at the time and had no catering in Y. An F/A felt bad (being a college kid) and gave me cookies from F while freezing my a** off in the bulkhead seating area. Great Sirius XM '80s looped station though.
LAX_AUS_DL_FLYER is offline  
Old Dec 13, 19, 12:27 am
  #320  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: HNL
Programs: Au: UA, Marriott, Hilton; Ex-HA Pt (now not), GE
Posts: 5,666
Originally Posted by LAX_AUS_DL_FLYER View Post
My experience flying UA / AA / CO always had stereo plug-in variants on at least their respective 757 fleets. though.
757s were only introduced in 1983. The UA 737s, 747s, DC-10s, etc., that I flew during this time, had these acoustic headphones for many, many years.
747FC is offline  
Old Dec 13, 19, 7:24 am
  #321  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Canada
Programs: UA*1K, BA Silver, Accor Plat, Marriott Gold, Carlson Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 21,074
Originally Posted by LAX_AUS_DL_FLYER View Post
The DL mnemonic headsets .
Pneumatic
uanj likes this.
rankourabu is offline  
Old Dec 13, 19, 10:04 am
  #322  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Programs: Bonvoy Platinum
Posts: 16,858
Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Any older FTers want to remind us what these were all about?


I remember flying TPAC when I was a child, I would find an empty row, crank up the volume, and lay down next to the pneumatic port and listen to the movie as I fell asleep. No headphones needed.
pseudoswede is offline  
Old Dec 13, 19, 10:06 am
  #323  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Denver, CO
Programs: Bonvoy Platinum
Posts: 16,858
I might have asked this in another thread, but I can't find/remember it.

What kind of profits was UA raking in during the 80's/90's in order to spend money on being the launch customer for the 777? I can't seem to find any SEC filings from those years.
pseudoswede is offline  
Old Dec 13, 19, 10:25 am
  #324  
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: NYC: UA 1K, DL Platinum, AAirpass, Avis PC
Posts: 4,561
Originally Posted by pseudoswede View Post
I might have asked this in another thread, but I can't find/remember it.

What kind of profits was UA raking in during the 80's/90's in order to spend money on being the launch customer for the 777? I can't seem to find any SEC filings from those years.

AA/UA were cash machines in the late 80s, and then again in the late 90s - which didn't help with the cost discipline they needed as Southwest, etc were gaining domestic share heading into 2001 and companies figured out paying $2k for a roundtrip Y LA-NY refundable fare wasn't necessary - make employees buy nonrefundable

They placed the 777 order right around the Gulf War recession

You could argue they took the order of the 777s and 747-400 too quickly - basically 1995-1999 over 100 widebodies (unprecedented before or after in the western commercial aviation world I believe in such a short span) - rather than spreading them over 10 years - and got left with boom time capacity and cost heading into a corporate recession in 2001
cerealmarketer is offline  
Old Dec 13, 19, 1:33 pm
  #325  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chicago
Programs: UA1MM*GL, AA Plat, WN, BnVy PlatL, HH Silver,
Posts: 642
Originally Posted by cerealmarketer View Post
AA/UA were cash machines in the late 80s, and then again in the late 90s - which didn't help with the cost discipline they needed as Southwest, etc were gaining domestic share heading into 2001 and companies figured out paying $2k for a roundtrip Y LA-NY refundable fare wasn't necessary - make employees buy nonrefundable

They placed the 777 order right around the Gulf War recession

You could argue they took the order of the 777s and 747-400 too quickly - basically 1995-1999 over 100 widebodies (unprecedented before or after in the western commercial aviation world I believe in such a short span) - rather than spreading them over 10 years - and got left with boom time capacity and cost heading into a corporate recession in 2001
Yes and no...these weren't really additive to the fleet but were replacements...the 747-400s coming on line from 1989/90 (so over a 10 year delivery cycle by the final ones in early 2000s). By 1998 UA still had 24 DC-10s and 13 747-100/200s against orders for 18 remaining 777s (34 in fleet) and 15 remaining 747s (36 in fleet). So mostly these were the final replacements that also brought savings in fuel efficiency 1-2 fewer engines (i.e., 777-->D10, 747 early gens/SPs from PA) and the elimination or the flight engineers from all widebody types.

United financially was better positioned than most in the 1990s, but one key difference that kept UA going very strongly was the ESOP that lifted UAL stock to somewhere north of $200 in 1995 dollars. It gave the extra capital to modernize the 1970s jet fleet in a way that escaped say TWA (also needing to replace it's aging fleet of 747-100s, L-1011s, 727s and DC-9s)

$2k for LA-NY seems cheap. I regularly was paying $2.5k for ORD-SFO/LAX and at least $1.6K for ORD-NYC/DC/BOS flights for a coach seat pre-economy plus and then being angry that an upgrade didn't clear. That should give some indication of the cash cow UA was during the dot.com boom of the late 1990s.
mike1968 is offline  
Old Dec 13, 19, 1:40 pm
  #326  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Federal Way, WA
Programs: Mileage Plus 2P, Marriott Silver, many others
Posts: 1,161
Originally Posted by seagar View Post
Anyone else remember getting to the gate early so you could ask the agent for your seats which were on a board behing the counter and they would actually pull the seat number/sticker off the paper layout and stick it on your paper ticket? Or, the monthly OAG subscription that you used to find flights...a 4x9 booklet that came in the mail for the traveler.and a larger version in the office? There was no internet, only the OAG guide or the telephone.
I have a nice collection of those OAGs!

Also remember the days before electronic gate displays and the flight's destination(s) were on sliding plastic strips. I pointed out a mistake to a gate agent once who had a flight shown as ORD-MKG-GJT-MBS-CLE (GJT, of course, should have been GRR).
dliesse is offline  
Old Dec 13, 19, 3:33 pm
  #327  
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: USA
Programs: UA Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 767
Originally Posted by xzh445 View Post
1987. HNL-LAX. Redeye. Two from the last row. Middle seat 2-5-2. Full boat. Holding 10 month old lap rider. Oh yeah. 1987... smoking section. I’ll take 2019 any day.


AWESOME earbuds rankourabu. !!!
(as I recall) there were two pronged jack in the armrests. Speaker(s) behind the jacks. Those little tubes literally “piped” the music up to the ear pieces. (Think stethoscope)
Originally Posted by rustykettel View Post
I believe the later ones were all black? I remember needing to pay for them as the FA went around distributing them.
Originally Posted by 747FC View Post
These were headphones. State of the art at the time Channeled sound waves through hollow plastic tubing into the auditory canals of user's ears. No electironic components. Used by all major airlines I flew. Useful for listening to the one movie that played at a time, either on a screen that was pulled down over the center bulkhead, or--later--on Cathode-Ray Tube TVs mounted on the ceilings. There might be a few music channels to listen, namely classical, easy-listening, and country. And, on UA, Channel 9.
As was stated, these were pneumatic headsets. The tubing was plastic so different airlines had different colors. IME, the eartips were usually an uncomfortable rubber rather than the foamy ones you see in the picture. As 747FC says, the picture was generally projected onto a screen that dropped down or was pulled down over the center bulkhead. The channel selector was usually a dial. The headsets were free on a long-haul (at least they were on Pan Am). The picture and sound couldn't compare to what we have today but movies were fabulous in an era when you were lucky to have a 19-inch standard definition TV with mono speaker.
ExplorerWannabe is offline  
Old Dec 13, 19, 3:52 pm
  #328  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: SFO/JFK/MGA
Programs: UA 1P MM, AA-PP, AS, DL, HH G, SPG Gold, TA nada
Posts: 1,955
Originally Posted by Bear96 View Post
I was a UA F/A once upon a time. I seem to remember that internationally it was phased out by country. For a time it was banned except for Italy and Japan flights (early / mid 90s?), I guess because those countries still had more of a smoking culture than others by then, but then of course it was ultimately banned everywhere.
Air France had a smoking "closet" well into the mid 90's. So weird.
zoegksf is offline  
Old Dec 13, 19, 3:56 pm
  #329  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Denver, Colorado, USA
Programs: AS MVP 75K, UA PremEx-MM
Posts: 3,103
You won't remember this unless you are old enough:

"Program continues on DC-8s only"
zoegksf, mike1968 and 1984SW like this.
Kurt is offline  
Old Dec 13, 19, 4:56 pm
  #330  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Chicago
Programs: UA1MM*GL, AA Plat, WN, BnVy PlatL, HH Silver,
Posts: 642
Originally Posted by seat38a View Post
Instead of National, I wonder if merging with United would have helped PanAm or if it would have still sank and brought down United with it.
For all practical purposes, pmUA was effectively the merger of UA and PA without the actual hassles of a merger that would have caused an uproar if it was done all at once. Granted it was done in blocks, but of the 4 major PA divisions that survived, UA got 3 of them --all the TPAC routes and planes in the 1980s; then the entire LHR hub including the intra-Europe flights (big deal at the time as only PA and TWA could fly to LHR) and then finally the LatAm division with the MIA hub and JFK-LatAm nonstops. DL got the JFK terminal and JFK nonstops to Europe including the FRA hub for the eastern Europe routes. I think that part was the dog that nearly clipped DLs wings.
mike1968 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: