What was your first airline flight alone?

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by jbcarioca, May 14, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    We have a thread on first flight experiences, most of which seem to be with family. It would be intersting to know about first ones alone.

    Mine was in 1963 from D96 to MZZ, both pretty tiny places, in a Lake Central Airlines DC-3. Even the tiny distance was not non-stop, but I don't recall where we stopped. Eventually it became part of what much later because US Airways. No milage program. I was very happy to be flying alone, although I'd been on airplanes since I was born, but never by myself.

    After that flight my life changed. I left almost all of my prior life behind and have never regretted doing so. Aviation changed my life. Now, with 7.6 mm miles in AAdvantage, >3mm SR/LX and a few millions on others I still love flying as a passenger and as a pilot. It clearly is an addiction for me. Why else would I fly 4,787 actual flight miles just to attend the BRT DO?
     
  2. DAS02135
    Original Member

    DAS02135 Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,216
    Likes Received:
    1,504
    Status Points:
    1,095
    Mine was when I was 18. I flew from Boston to Santa Barbara, CA via LAX to visit friends from high school. The flight was very uneventful, and the only thing I remember is the gate agent was looking to bump people on the LAX to SBA.

    In hindsight that was one of the few opportunities for an easy bump, and I didn't take the compensation! My how my perspective has changed since then...
     
  3. FlyingFree
    Original Member

    FlyingFree Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,255
    Likes Received:
    5,018
    Status Points:
    4,145
    1976...Cleveland to Roanoke, VA, via Pittsburgh on Eastern Airlines. Airsick and terrified of flying. Never in a million years could I have predicted that one day flying long distances in airplanes would become one of the things in life that I enjoy most!!!
     
  4. 2007 moving from Philippines to the US to work on my graduate degree. I flew Emirates and loved the experience (actually decent airline food, comfy seats). I remember listening to Simon and Garfunkel's "America" over and over as we approached JFK. Long haul flights are still my favorite!
     
  5. Wurm
    Original Member

    Wurm Silver Member

    Messages:
    843
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Status Points:
    825
    Mine was in 1971, on United from FAT to SFO. I think it was a 727 (definitely a mainline jet), and it cost all of $11 each way (this was during the 'gloryious' pre-regulation days of the Civil Areonautics Board and of mail subsidies.
     
    uggboy, Zor, Jubileesmom and 2 others like this.
  6. JennB
    Original Member

    JennB Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,472
    Likes Received:
    6,265
    Status Points:
    4,470
    CVG to CAE when I was 16. I was so excited and at ease about the experience. I knew I'd end up on many more planes after that.
     
  7. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Welcome to MP. and (belatedly) to the USA for graduate school.
     
  8. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    During my first year of college, probably to come home for spring break, on United with a student stand-by fare.

    My first experience travelling FC by myself was about fifteen months later, returning home for a long weekend from a summer job in order to attend my parents' 25th wedding anniversary party. Coach wasn't available, but FC was cheap enough. This was also UA mainline. I was 19 and I don't remember whether I was offered alcohol on board. However, I suspect not because I think it was a late morning flight with a hot breakfast during a short flight, probably not much over an hour.
     
    uggboy, Jubileesmom, Chimpy and 2 others like this.
  9. Chimpy
    Original Member

    Chimpy Gold Member

    Messages:
    43,572
    Likes Received:
    228,655
    Status Points:
    20,020
    My first flight alone was from Fiji to New Zealand when I was 13. We were living in Fiji at the time and I flew back to NZ to visit my grandparents.
     
    uggboy, Kalboz, Jubileesmom and 2 others like this.
  10. Frequent Freak
    Original Member

    Frequent Freak Silver Member

    Messages:
    427
    Likes Received:
    1,652
    Status Points:
    900
    PIT-MCO roundtrip I was 14 or so to attend golf camp. Nonstop on US.
     
  11. Exiled in Express
    Original Member

    Exiled in Express Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,205
    Likes Received:
    6,837
    Status Points:
    4,410
    PHL-MCO first flight with family (US Air, aircraft unknown)
    PHL-LHR first without family, but with school group (British, 747)
    LEX-PIT first travelling solo (Us Air, Fokker 100)
     
  12. Chic Silber
    Original Member

    Chic Silber Silver Member

    Messages:
    336
    Likes Received:
    470
    Status Points:
    500
    In 50 when I was 7 on a 3 hop Eastern DC-3 from IDL to MIA

    Allowed to curl up in the open overhead with a blanket

    High mileage flying started in 61 mostly for work

    Still at it (but sadly no longer allowed in the overhead)
     
    uggboy, jmrich1432, PanAm and 3 others like this.
  13. canucklehead
    Original Member

    canucklehead Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,895
    Likes Received:
    22,059
    Status Points:
    11,070
    18 or so YYZ-YVR-HKG. Decided I did not want to go to school at the start of the year, so I skipped the first week and flew halfway around the world! That was the start of my love of flying!
     
  14. Jubileesmom
    Original Member

    Jubileesmom Gold Member

    Messages:
    13,494
    Likes Received:
    74,185
    Status Points:
    16,520
    ERI-PIT-PHL on US where I was left stranded at the airport by the "friend" I was supposed to meet and attend a concert with. Funny sort of story as to the rest of the trip but, at first it was distressing. Still, I loved the flights.
     
    uggboy and MSPeconomist like this.
  15. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    You started flying a lot for work at age 18? That must have been especially unusual in the early 1960s.
     
    Jubileesmom, uggboy and jbcarioca like this.
  16. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    How did you get a ticket for such a trip at that age without parents helping?
     
    Jubileesmom, uggboy and jbcarioca like this.
  17. avflyer
    Original Member

    avflyer Silver Member

    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    597
    Status Points:
    720
    First trip on an airline was on Golden West Airlines from LGB to TWH on a Grumman Goose, sitting in the co-pilots seat no less! Therefore, my first landing was on the water. I don't think they had a FF program back then.
     
  18. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

    Messages:
    58,563
    Likes Received:
    98,528
    Status Points:
    20,020
    Wow, I haven't yet done a water landing, although I watched a bunch of them in Vancouver, I was so fascinated by the comings and goings of the little pontoon planes.
     
  19. canucklehead
    Original Member

    canucklehead Gold Member

    Messages:
    5,895
    Likes Received:
    22,059
    Status Points:
    11,070
    I told my parents that I did not want to go to Uni yet, and wanted to go somewhere. They suggested HK as we have relatives there. I paid for the ticket which was purchased through a consolidator less than a week before I left (it was not cheap, but to me, it was worth it!)
     
    Jubileesmom, uggboy and jbcarioca like this.
  20. DenverBrian
    Original Member

    DenverBrian Silver Member

    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    529
    Status Points:
    670
    Late June, 1976, UA 727, LNK-ORD. I had flown a few times in noncommercial prop planes before and was madly airsick in those, so was doped on Dramamine. Turns out I didn't need it. Something about the size of the aircraft and (perhaps) looking out the side instead of the front, and I didn't and don't have any issues at all in jets. And I do miss the WhisperJets!
     
    Jubileesmom, uggboy and jbcarioca like this.
  21. DenverBrian
    Original Member

    DenverBrian Silver Member

    Messages:
    459
    Likes Received:
    529
    Status Points:
    670
    Male prostitute, silly. :D :D :D
     
  22. BurBunny
    Original Member

    BurBunny Silver Member

    Messages:
    355
    Likes Received:
    375
    Status Points:
    475
    Around 1977 when I was 12, from ANC-HNL and on to OGG. Back in the days before there was door-to-door supervision and hand-offs. Flying alone as my parents had already gone down for holidays, and I had to wait until I was out of school for the semester. We flew this regularly, so when we had IRROPS and were late, I told my seatmates (who happened to also be flying to OGG, but first time in HI) to trust and follow me, and we were the only ones who made it over to the intra-island terminal and on to our connecting flight. Otherwise, we'd have had to overnight in HNL Seems to me I had to persuade the FA that I knew what I was doing so she'd let me go. Was already quite the FF by that time, and Mom (ex-FA) had taught me the ropes. I was flying before I could walk.

    Start of my career talking myself into things with airlines and helping people with their travel, I guess.

    First time alone in FC was during college. Mom was interior designer for Neil Bergt of Mark Air at the time. Was comped on my flights back and forth to college. The FAs used to like to introduce me to new and different drinks :eek:
     
  23. PanAm
    Original Member

    PanAm Silver Member

    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    465
    Status Points:
    545
    This is fun hearing about everyone's story...

    First trip ever was in 1979 at age 5 with my dad, CMH-ORD-RST on UA, for my post-op checkup at the Mayo Clinic. Flew in F, bulkhead on the lefthand side - I still distinctly recall my mom waving at us from the window was we pulled back from the gate. I don't know what aircraft type but my father thinks it was a 727. Anyway back on topic...

    First trip without family was on Pan Am, CLE-JFK-MAD/CDG-JFK-CLE, a week after my 16th birthday. Though I can't count it as totally "alone" as it was with a small school group, but they didn't keep too tight of a leash on us at least. We had a long delay at JFK due to a broken engine that required flying in some critical part. I recall what a mess it was waiting in rebooking for hotel vouchers, etc. We students were so pumped up we could've slept in the airport but I suppose our chaperones wanted a proper bed! I think the flight departed around 3:00 AM. Oh what a glorious trip, though - that's the one that got me hooked for good on traveling and flying - as a pax and pilot. Still today, every international trip I take, in my mind I still have that trip in the background as a point of comparison.

    So my longwinded route to answer the OP... I believe my first trip purely alone would've been either STL-MDW-CMH or STL-CMH, on WN, around Oct '92. Freshman year at college and I would've been coming back from school for a long weekend to visit my girlfriend, now my wife. Made a ton of roundtrips on that route over the next 4 years. It was cheap enough that I was able to swing it even as a student. Even accrued enough...what was it then, points? Whatever Southwest called their FF system (haven't set foot on WN since '96) - to get free tickets that we used on our honeymoon to Florida.
     
    Jubileesmom, uggboy and jbcarioca like this.
  24. jmrich1432
    Original Member

    jmrich1432 Silver Member

    Messages:
    570
    Likes Received:
    846
    Status Points:
    770
    I was 7, PIE - RDU to meet grandma for a summer trip. I think it was called Kiwi Airlines, they've since gone out of business. This was the test to see if I would be able to handle Europe with grandma the following summer. I guess I passed since I was on my way to LHR at 8 for a summer around the Baltic. London, Dover, Oslo, Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Copenhagen, Helsinki & Berlin.

    Hardly remember the actual flights, but I do remember the GAs asking for volunteers in CPH and offering several hundred airline dollars in compensation. I remember telling grandma we should take it and come back, but she was worried my parents would freak if I didn't get back on time! I've taken the bump almost every time since then. I guess it made an impression :D
     
    Jubileesmom, uggboy and jbcarioca like this.
  25. Gardyloo
    Original Member

    Gardyloo Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,421
    Likes Received:
    4,431
    Status Points:
    2,470
    At age 7 on a United DC-6 from PDX to LAX. I got to visit the cockpit, got a set of pot metal wings, a coloring book, a deck of cards, and two desserts.

    At the time my mother was the secretary to the VP for commercial sales at Douglas Aircraft, of which UAL was customer No. 1 (KLM No. 2) and I've always wondered if there wasn't a twix (old term for telex) somewhere saying I was a Very Important Squirt. I was certainly treated like one.
     

Share This Page