RDU nostalgia

Discussion in 'RDU/GSO/ILM/EWN/PGV/FAY | North Carolina Airports' started by joejones, Aug 29, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. joejones
    Original Member

    joejones Silver Member

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    My father worked for AA at RDU for the entire period they had a maintenance base there (1988 to 1994 or thereabouts), so a lot of my earliest aviation memories come from that airport. It's changed a lot, but I can recall many things about it:
    • There were three terminals back then. AA was in Terminal C and most other airlines were in Terminal A. Then there was a Terminal B, a really ancient thing between the two, which Piedmont and USAir occupied for a while. I think it was torn down around 1990 or so.
    • I-540 didn't exist back then. When we drove to the airport from north Raleigh, we would take Glenwood Avenue and turn into the airport by the Angus Barn, passing through all the general aviation facilities.
    • The AA terminal was pretty big, but the check-in and baggage claim areas were TINY. They hadn't equipped it for O&D traffic at all.
    • Before the RDU-LGW flight began (which was actually around the time the hub shut down), there was an RDU-ORY flight which the mechanics had dubbed "The Chicken." I never found out why they came up with this name.
    • There was a three-class DC-10 (I think) flying MIA-RDU-JFK and back every day. This was where I first experienced an international F seat. I was shocked to discover that I couldn't reach the next seat back pocket without unbuckling myself.
    • There were lots and lots of ATRs at RDU back then, and you could fly practically anywhere in the Carolinas on AA metal. Now the region is a sort of gaping void in the oneworld network compared to the excellent regional coverage that DL and US offer.
    • When AA shut down its hub, my father was transferred to MIA, where he worked until he retired from AA a few years later. I passed through RDU again on a Midway flight a few years later and was shocked to discover that half of the terminal was blocked off with a row of chairs. Another couple of years later, I came in on an AA flight and the north half of the terminal was completely walled off. Sad sight.
  2. mowogo
    Original Member

    mowogo Gold Member

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    Terminal B was not torn down. It is currently the active portion of Terminal 1 (It was reopened for Southwest). Terminal C is thankfully gone, now replaced with the wonderful Terminal 2

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