Post by Dennis the menace on Jul 17, 2020 19:14:54 GMT -5
Hi everyone. I hope all is well in these trying times as we try to avoid the virus sweeping the planet. I do my best at staying home as much as can be expected, and find that YouTube and FS helps keep what sanity I have left. Hoping all of you are doing well also.
This reads like a story, not just a flight.
The idea of this flight started with this: I have a dear friend in St. Louis I've known for 30 years who is exhausted. He is dealing with his 93 year year old mother who lives alone (by choice), and due to her choice of "news" information, chooses to dismiss the Coronavirus even though she has breathing difficulties and is on oxygen at home. And she is having other medical issues, so he must drive the 60 miles each way to her home several times a week and take her to the hospital, and she has become belligerent towards him (because of her politics, not because of his actions), almost combative at times. He regards this virus as "real, and dangerous", which it is. He is depressed because of her choice of "news", she is not the nice woman he knew growing up. She has become angry and believes in conspiracy theories which drives him up the wall. He also has a myriad of other issues, and the constant depressing news is not helping. The other day he asked if I was flying in FS, I said yes, and he said "I wish I could fly someplace far away from all of this and just not have to deal with it for a little while". He likes to travel, and usually flies 2 or 3 times a year. He is at home, working from home, and he's getting what I call "cabin fever".
So..........I got to thinking about what he said, and I came up with a flight that fits his personal requirements. He likes adventure, but not something dangerous like a Congo cruise. He does not like camping or hiking or "roughing it". He likes low bargain fares, is not afraid to fly at odd times, but he does not like changing airports just to save money. For example, he would not like to go from Newark to Idlewild, or from Los Angeles to Burbank just to save money. Taking luggage and dealing with a shuttle bus is not to his liking. He likes confirmed tickets, does not like "standby" or chancing getting a seat on a plane. He's from the Midwest, so that means American style food, no sushi or barbecue Zebra! He is not limited to US airlines, but shies away from a third world carrier. He hates paying for a hotel, and would prefer to take a chain of flights (again to save money), napping on the plane instead of paying for a room. That means no overnight airport stays, if possible. And everything should be in English, although he is not in the least xenophobic - he just does not like confusion and is afraid he would order something that he would not like, and then have to deal with it. Me, on the other hand, I can deal with just about anything, the stranger and more exotic and adventurous it is, the better! I'm a Sagittarius (flighty and adventurous, usually opinionated and outspoken, easy come - easy go) and he is a Taurus (earthy, practical, tends to be reserved and has little tolerance for complications - a real Midwest "meat and potatoes" kind of person). So what type of trip to put together to satisfy both people and to what destination? Hmmmmmm.....
I went though timetable images, and my OAGs, and this is what I came up with. I will post this trip in parts as I complete them, leaving the final destination a mystery. I will say this, it involves five distinct sections of travel, each with a different airline. And at the end of this, I will announce the final destination, AND a new scenery upload of that destination, along with an aircraft repaint that flies to it, and a second aircraft repaint that is part of this trip, but NOT part of the final destination. I am using FS2004, FSrealWX, and I am currently using the 1959 traffic.
So, here we go! Its Sunday, June 21, 1959. Summer solstice, the 172nd and the shortest day of the year. Dwight David Eisenhower is President, and Richard Milhous Nixon is Vice President. America is in the middle of the "Rock and Roll" era, the space race is getting into full swing, Castro is nationalizing US companies in Cuba, and we are quietly sending military "advisors" to South Vietnam. Cars are longer, lower and wider than ever, and even an standard sized car like a Chevrolet is now over 18 feet long. Jet airliners are starting to really cut into commercial aviation. This is the last summer where piston power will dominate on long haul overseas routes. The "Baby Boom" generation is still putting out record numbers of kids, in the US the top five names (first to last) for boys in '59 is Michael, David, James, John and Robert, and for girls Susan, Linda, Karen, Donna and Patricia. Also this June, Queen Elizabeth II opened the St. Lawrence Seaway, the US Air Force Academy graduated its first class, Singapore became self-governing, the US launched its first ballistic missiles from a submarine, and on the sports side of things, on this day Hank Aaron hit his 755th home run. On the "big screen", the hot pictures are Warlock, A Nun's Story, Hiroshima, Mon Amour, The Horse Soldiers, and Darby O'Gill and the Little People. Top 10 Billboard smash hits are (first to last): The Battle of New Orleans by Johnny Horton, Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison, Dream Lover by Bobby Darrin, Quiet Village by Martin Denny, Personality by Lloyd Price, A Teenager in Love by Dion and the Belmonts, Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb by Edward Byrnes and Connie Stevens, Sorry, I ran All the Way Home by The Impalas, Only You by Frank Pourcel's French Fiddles and The Happy Organ by Dave "Baby" Cortez. Lipstick On Your Collar by Connie Francis just got bumped out of the top ten....sorry Connie!
St. Louis Lambert field. After a $3.20 taxi ride from his house, my friend Greg arrives at Lambert Field for his flight. He proceeds to the TWA ticket counter and gets checked in on Flight 527 to Los Angeles. Flight 527 is a "Sky Club Coach" flight on a Lockheed L-749. The fare is $78.20. Passengers who boarded the flight on the east coast could purchase a meal for a nominal cost, but for my friend leaving St. Louis that is not an option. The first class fare on another flight would have been $109.15, and for "Golden Banner Coach" (with complementary hot meals) it would have been $96.10. So you can save money by flying coach. This L-749 is an older aircraft, but at least its been upgraded with radar. Because its strictly a coach "no frills" flight, the galley has been reduced to only a snack galley. The lounge is removed and seats added. TWA normally used 74 seats on this type of plane. TWA found that these coach flights were growing very popular, and most flights left with 80% plus of the seats sold. The writing was on the wall - people were willing to accept less if it meant a lower price. Our flight started in Boston, flew to New York, then on to Pittsburgh, Columbus, Dayton and Indianapolis before arriving at St. Louis. The ticketing lady has told us to proceed to gate B-7. Our departure is scheduled for 10:00 PM, and our boarding starts at 9:40. The night is hot and humid, the smell of raw avgas and oil smoke is overwhelming, and when piston engines are not roaring, the sounds of millions of cicadas fill the air as we make our way from the departure gate door over to the airstairs. No furs and strings of pearls here, oh no, just ordinary people in their "Sunday best", looking very much like they normally do on any trip downtown for shopping.
Our running total so far is "$81.40. That's the same as $721.63. Had we flown a nonstop first class flight it would have been $112.35, or $998.74 in today's dollars. OUCH!