SkyVoice
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Posts: 230
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:34 pm

45 Years Later, Looking Back At A Trip I Almost Took

Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:45 pm

Every year, when December 15 comes around, it is something of an empty anniversary. Had things gone as I had planned, December 15, 1973 was to have been the day that I traveled from Lexington, Kentucky, to Brownwood, Texas, via Knoxville, Tennessee, Atlanta, Georgia, and Dallas, Texas. I was 17 years old at the time and would graduate from high school the following Spring. I had grown up in Richmond, Kentucky, home of Eastern Kentucky University (EKU), but I was looking to get out on my own and attend college elsewhere.

I had an older friend from Richmond who was attending Howard Payne College (now University) in Brownwood, Texas. Like me, he didn't know a soul in Brownwood, but a friend of his family had recommended Howard Payne to him. He went there and he seemed to be enjoying it and was doing quite well academically. I had checked Howard Payne College out as best as I could, and I heard and read good things about my planned course of study.

So, the plans were made. My Dad would drive me to Blue Grass Airport (LEX) in Lexington, Kentucky. Three flights and seven hours after departing LEX, I was scheduled to land at Brownwood Municipal Airport (BWD), where I would disembark, pick up my bag and get a lift to campus. I had saved my money for the airfare, and I had made my reservations by telephone back in the summer. These were the days when air service in the USA was strictly regulated by the CAB. My young age was an advantage, as I qualified for youth fares (class YZ) on all of my flights. My airlines of choice, Delta and Texas International, gave youth fare passengers confirmed seats at 25% off regular Y fares, with no deadline to purchase tickets after reservations were made.

Now, let's get to the good stuff!

Delta Air Lines Flight 731, STD LEX 1:59PM (EST), STA TYS 2:32PM, STD TYS 2:52PM, STA ATL 3:33PM, Douglas DC-9-32. I had flown Delta to Chicago the previous year, and I couldn't wait to fly with them again. Now, here comes the flight that I was really looking forward to!

Delta Air Lines Flight 19 Heavy, STD ATL 4:30PM, STA DAL 5:29PM (CST), Boeing 747-100, Snack served on board. Delta used their first-generation 747s domestically on hops such as ATL-DAL-LAX. In the bubble, the upper deck was still set up as a lounge. And, you could rent it out as a "Private Penthouse" for the cool price of 6X the flight's F fare. (I hadn't saved THAT much money!) Once on the ground at Love Field, I would make an interline connection.

Texas International Airlines Flight 637, STD DAL 7:10PM, STA BWD 7:55PM, Convair 600. I had heard of TT's reputation as "Tree Top" and "Tinker Toy," but that didn't bother me at all. People used to say the same things in Kentucky about the turboprop twins flown by Allegheny and Piedmont, but I had flown with both of them and I thought they were just fine.

Once I was in Brownwood, I would make my visit to Howard Payne College, then catch a lift with my friend back to Richmond, Kentucky, as he was coming home for Christmas break.

SO, WHAT HAPPENED? During August and September, 1972, I seriously suffered from hay fever (ragweed allergy). My folks got me in to see the best allergist in Lexington, but our insurance had a high deductible and my folks didn't have that kind of money. I did, and after a heart-to-heart talk with my Mom, I decided to use my airfare money to pay the deductible. And, things turned out all right! I ended up going to college at Eastern Kentucky University in my hometown, Richmond. I was pleased with my courses at EKU, which was also where I met, fell in love with, and married a girl from Cincinnati. We are still married after all these years! I got to work full-time at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG), and I don't have seasonal hay fever any more!

Still, I wonder what might have been. What I am looking for are your thoughts about my itinerary, what I might have experienced had I actually made that trip. It would have been my only trip through the old Hartsfield terminal. How easy would my connection have been at DAL? Thank you in advance for your musings!
"Son, don't ever try to make sense out of nonsense." - my grandmother
 
SkyVoice
Topic Author
Posts: 230
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:34 pm

Re: 45 Years Later, Looking Back At A Trip I Almost Took

Sat Dec 15, 2018 11:22 pm

My thanks to the folks at http://www.departedflights.com/ . . . without their posting of past timetables, my trip report would not have been possible! ;)
"Son, don't ever try to make sense out of nonsense." - my grandmother
 
mchei
Posts: 61
Joined: Thu Jan 04, 2018 1:20 pm

Re: 45 Years Later, Looking Back At A Trip I Almost Took

Sun Dec 16, 2018 12:29 am

You could have flown a 747-100 on a very short trip, you could have flown a Convair - but you met your wife instead. That was heartwarming!
Thanks for this beautiful non-report and all the best!
F70-F100-E145-E170-E190-319-320-321-735–736-737-738-752-763–742-744-333-343-ATR72-Metroliner-Saab2000-Lockheed Electra-C172-C182-C182RG-MD11
 
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Super80Fan
Posts: 1173
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:14 am

Re: 45 Years Later, Looking Back At A Trip I Almost Took

Sun Dec 16, 2018 6:42 am

Ugh, the days when you could fly 747's domestically. Now, you're lucky if you get a one off 767, 777, 787, or A330.
RIP McDonnell Douglas
 
Bobloblaw
Posts: 2090
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 1:15 pm

Re: 45 Years Later, Looking Back At A Trip I Almost Took

Sun Dec 16, 2018 9:33 am

Your whole life would b different. Did you ever travel though DAL? It was just weeks before DFW opened.
 
KLDC10
Posts: 1191
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:15 pm

Re: 45 Years Later, Looking Back At A Trip I Almost Took

Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:30 pm

Astonishing that not taking this trip changed the course of your entire life. What a fascinating story, thanks very much for sharing it with us!
DC9/MD90/MD11/F70/BAE146
737/738/739/744/748/752/763/772/789
A319/A320/A321/A332/A333/A346/A359
Q400/E170/E175/E190/CS300
 
SkyVoice
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Posts: 230
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2017 9:34 pm

Re: 45 Years Later, Looking Back At A Trip I Almost Took

Tue Dec 18, 2018 2:39 am

Bobloblaw wrote:
Your whole life would b different. Did you ever travel though DAL? It was just weeks before DFW opened.


I never did travel through Love Field, but during a trip to visit family in 1968 (I was all of twelve years old) my Dad turned me loose at DAL and let me looked all through the place! It made quite an impression on me. I remember the Braniff jets--mostly 707s and 727s--in their different colors. American had Boeing 707s and Lockheed Electras, while Trans Texas Airways had their Convair 600s (I don't remember any piston-engine powered 240s or 440s). My favorite non-aviation related item was the statue of the Texas Ranger with the caption, "One Riot, One Ranger."

Years later, in February 1999, I was in a window seat aboard an American Fokker 100 on approach to DFW. We passed close enough to DAL that I recognized the layout of the runways and of the passenger terminal, which by then was dominated by Southwest 737s.
"Son, don't ever try to make sense out of nonsense." - my grandmother
 
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Domthepax
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Nov 14, 2018 7:31 am

Re: 45 Years Later, Looking Back At A Trip I Almost Took

Sun Dec 23, 2018 1:05 pm

It's nice that you remember, although it seems your life turned out pretty well anyway. Aviation is always fascinating, but when an aviation fan is young, all the details are very big deal. I also bought my very first plane ticket with my own saved up money. Hehe, Kosice - Bratislava with the now defunct SkyEurope Airlines.

Happy holidays
 
ewt340
Posts: 363
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:22 pm

Re: 45 Years Later, Looking Back At A Trip I Almost Took

Mon Dec 24, 2018 9:32 am

Phew, I thought something bad would had happened!

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