Northwest Orient Trip Report JFK, NRT, KUL (1986)

I spent the weekend digging through old photos and found some from a trip to Kuala Lumpur in 1986. The routing was SYR-JFK (on Piedmont shortly after their acquisition of Empire Airlines) then JFK-NRT-KUL on Northwest Orient. That's right. Orient. Seeing as this trip was 25 years ago - I don't remember much. We flew in coach on the way over, but paid for an upgrade on the way back. Here are some (low quality) photos from different parts of the trip:

The gate area at NRT:

Proof of payment of the passenger facility charge:

Boarding pass. Where's the barcode? ;)

One of the 747's I flew on - I think this was taken in KUL:

The upper deck of this 747-200. Hmmmmm....those don't look lie flat.

No trip report is complete without a picture of the meal. (I wonder if I knew I would have a blog 25 years in the future and thought to take this snap?)

And finally our little F-28 to take us home.


Awesome! Thanks for posting your retro pics. Love the seat fabric!

Chris May 8, 2011 at 08:41 pm

Thanks for the timely post. :)

Mike May 8, 2011 at 09:15 pm

@Chris - lol

Be sure to watch for next week's trip report "My transcon DC-3 trip SYR-CLE-CMH-CVG-SDF-BNA-MEM-LIT-DAL-ELP-ABQ-LAS-BUR (1934)"

Awesome! Thanks for posting this.

Gene May 9, 2011 at 03:23 pm

Mike, you are showing your age. Matthew wasn't even born in 1986, was he?

@Gene: Not for most of it! ;)

Chris May 9, 2011 at 11:31 pm

Is this the glory days of aviation? Interesting to see that every aircraft pictured (NWA, TWA, Piedmont) represents an airline no longer around.

Brad May 10, 2011 at 12:24 am

Great post Mike.
I never experienced those seats on international flights, but I remember Regal Imperial Service on flights to Hawaii as a kid. I even had Northwest WorldPerks "Preferred" status in 1988, and still have the card to prove it.

Yikes, I just dated myself too....

Gabrielle May 10, 2011 at 09:41 pm

This is fantastic! Love the projector hanging from the ceiling.. thought we only had those on our 757s at US Airways..

Looking forward to the DC-3 post, Mike! ; )

Drew November 30, 2011 at 06:09 pm

Love it! Northwest Orient in the 70's and 80's was a strange bird. They never marketed glamour the way the other airlines had, their planes were often ugly and they were renown for strikes and poor service. I've wanted to see cabin photos from that era for a long time. Wish you had more pictures to share. That kind of first class would cause a rebellion today. At least the seats weren't the bright orange camouflage that I saw on a NW 727 before it was refurbished in the early 90's. I've also had a particular interest in Northwest Orient from that era because I had never had the opportunity to fly them as a kid. I flew UA, AA, Pan Am, TWA and Continental mostly, with Hughes Airwest and a couple of others thrown in, but never Northwest Orient. They didn't even have a logo on the tail- just painted red, which struck me as mysterious when I was a kid. It seemed so... so oriental! And by the way, I can't make out what was on that plate, but that meal looks pretty bad. Looks like mashed potatoes with a pickle!

Carol October 13, 2012 at 12:26 am

I stumbled upon this because I couldn't fall asleep, and was trying to remember the color of the NW bag tags to different destinations. I worked for them from 79-89 at JFK. I probably was the agent at the Int'l Arrivals Bldg when you landed on flight 18 from Tokyo! The non-stop JFK/NRT flight was reputed to have excellent service especially in F/C and Business Class. I flew n/s from SEA to NRT, and it was very good. We had our moments, that's for sure, but ask any of the old timers who are now working for Delta, and they'll tell you that with all the ups and downs, they'd STILL like to be working for Northwest. LOL!

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