HomeAirlinesAmerican AirlinesThrowback to August 1992 when American Airlines operated to three 'London' airports

Throwback to August 1992 when American Airlines operated to three ‘London’ airports

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Aeroroutes has published a fun post in which it shows what American Airlines operations between the US and London looked like almost 32 years ago. Back then, TWA was still around, American Airlines still had the iconic polished airframes, 10-across seating in Economy Class was still a few decades away, reality TV wasn’t a thing, and to be a ‘celebrity’, you actually had to do something of note. Halcyon days!

American Airlines London schedule in August 1992

In August 1992, American Airlines served ‘London’ (this includes Stansted which isn’t anywhere near London but somehow gets to call itself a ‘London’ airport) from six US airports while operating seven different routes.

This is what those routes and schedules looked like:

Boston – London Heathrow

a statue of a man on a horse in a park with a city in the background

AA108 BOS 19:50 – 07:10+1 day LHR (DC-10)
AA109 LHR 11:30 – 14:00 BOS (DC-10)

This route was operated daily.

Chicago O’Hare – London Heathrow

AA086 ORD 17:05 – 06:50+1 day LHR (MD-11)
AA046 ORD 20:20 – 10:20+1 day LHR (767)

AA087 LHR 09:55 – 12:40 ORD (MD-11)
AA047 LHR 13:45 – 16:25 ORD (767)

Both flights operated daily.

Chicago O’Hare – London Stansted

AA156 ORD 20:35 – 10:35+1 day STN (767)
AA155 STN 13:20 – 16:25 ORD (767)

This route was operated daily.

Dallas/Ft. Worth – London Gatwick

AA050 DFW 17:30 – 08:45+1 day LGW (DC-10)
AA078 DFW 20:10 – 11:10+1 day LGW (DC-10)

AA051 LGW 10:40 – 14:45 DFW (DC-10)
AA079 LGW 13:10 – 17:15 DFW (DC-10)

Both flights operated daily.

Los Angeles – London Heathrow

a view of a city from a hill

AA132 LAX 11:45 – 06:25+1 day LHR (767)
AA136 LAX 17:10 – 11:50+1 day LHR (767)

AA137 LHR 10:40 – 14:15 LAX (767) – Daily
AA131 LHR 13:55 – 17:30 LAX (767) – Wed
AA131 LHR 14:25 – 18:00 LAX (767) – Tue
AA131 LHR 14:55 – 18:30 LAX(767) – Mon, Thu, Fri, Sat & Sun

American offered two daily flights between Los Angeles and Heathrow.

Miami – London Heathrow

AA056 MIA 19:15 – 09:20+1 day LHR (767)
AA057 LHR 10:00 – 14:55 MIA (767)

This route was operated daily.

New York JFK – London Heathrow

AA106 JFK 09:20 – 21:15 LHR (767)
AA100 JFK 18:10 – 06:15+1 day LHR (767)
AA116 JFK 18:20 – 06:15+1day LHR (767)
AA104 JFK 19:50 – 07:50+1 day LHR (767)

AA101 LHR 09:30 – 12:20 JFK (767)
AA115 LHR 11:00 – 13:55 JFK (767)
AA105 LHR 12:00 – 14:50 JFK (767)
AA107 LHR 18:00 – 20:55 JFK (767)

All four flights operated daily.

Quick thoughts

I’m not an avgeek so my knowledge of all things to do with aviation schedules and aviation history is limited (at best!), so I’m looking at this information through a layperson’s eyes.

Before I saw these schedules, it never occurred to me that the flight numbers used today may have been used in decades gone past, and yet here I’m looking at AA136 from LA to London (a flight I’ve taken more than any other), AA104 from JFK to London (a flight I connected to three times last year alone), and AA50 from Dallas/Ft.Worth to London (a flight on which I managed to use Systemwide Upgrades more often than on any other flight), all operating exactly the same routes 32 years ago.

There’s something very cool about that.

It’s also interesting to see just what an international workhorse the Boeing 767 was for American Airlines, and it’s easy to forget that the bigger 777 was still in testing when this schedule was live.

Also (and as Aeroroutes shows), if you include two other airlines that ended up being folded into what is the American Airlines we know today (TWA and US Airways) and consider their flights as being American Airlines flights as well (yes, I know that’s a stretch), you could add four more departure cities to the list above (Baltimore, Charlotte, Philadelphia, and St Louis).

Compare that to today when the modern-day American operates to just one London airport (Heathrow) out of 10 US cities (Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Dallas/Ft.Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, & Raleigh/Durham).

That just goes to show that when we complain about American Airlines being too London centric nowadays, we’re not complaining about anything new – the airline has been very London centric for decades! 🙂

Bottom line

I like a bit of nostalgia every now and again so it’s nice to be given a chance to look back and see what a set of schedules looked like in the summer of ’92 and to see what aircraft were operating back then.

It’s tempting to think that everything was better back then and to a degree, a lot of things were, but would you give up the modern-day lie-flat premium cabins, the more reliable aircraft, and the miles & points game (which didn’t exist in 1992) for what air travel was like 32 years ago?

I don’t think I would – although that may change the next time I lose my exit row seat and I have to spend 5 hours in a seat designed for someone 3ft tall – how about you?

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