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Countdown to Retirement: American Airlines Super 80s

American Airlines readies the end of the Mad Dog era with the retirement of 20 MD-80s today. ( More...

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Great aircraft choice for people flying as a couple with their 3-2/2-3 seating and, unless you are way back by the P&W's, it's a nice, quiet ride. The aft position of the wings also allowed for more economy seats with unrestricted vision. Nice, solid, dependable aircraft and I sought when making reservations. I would even go to another, non-preferred airline to get on a Mad Dog. Our own, Home Town Airline, Midwest Express and then Midwest used them on long hauls which made our trips to Vegas, Phoenix, and The Left Coast pleasurable. Indeed. The Mad Dogs will be missed. But thanks for the joy.
josh homer 1
The only thing I didn't like about the Mad Dogs when I worked for AA in the 90's was the lack of an entertainment system. Brutal on 4 hour flights!
Agreed and an excellent point but I've been flying since the 60's and the only time anyone had any entertainment was on long-hauls. Who can forget barely audible and marginally visible movies on those horrible "screens?". I've since adapted by bringing my own music or, on long flights, my lap top and a couple of DVD's if I feel like it. Usually I just like to gaze out the window and listen to my favorite music and let Mom Nature and the beauty of flying be my entertainment. To each their own!
norman chab 1
That's what great books are for....
Stefan Sobol 0
Most passengers either watch the aircraft video screens or their own devices. Having an unrestricted view means nothing to them. I bet if you removed the windows on airliners, most people wouldn't much care. On one airline I was on, the FA's came around and closed all the shades right after T/O. If you opened the shade and then left your seat, it would be closed when you came back.
Jesse Carroll 1
I beg to differ! I love to stare into the sky and ground to see whats out there.
On a flight from Denver to Hawaii a few years back, they pulled my shade and I put it back up. When I asked them why, they claim it helps the passengers adjust to "jet Lag", well I informed her I would rather watch the clouds etc: and she rudely said, other people don't. Cheez what a sour puss.
Darryl Lyons 1
"Jet lag" going east to west?? Window shades down to watch the entertainment system is a better guess.
Jesse Carroll 1
True also, however on the 777 we had a big screen in the middle!
I just know it was very hard to get up the next AM due to staying out until 2300 hours their time after leaving KSAT @ 0630 hours!
PaulN2719 8
I will sure miss the Mad Dogs. Great aircraft.
EliteAirInc 5
Sad to see them go!
Mike Grant 4
After all these years it is still a beautiful aircraft. My favorite!
Gary Gregory 2
I always thought it was "interesting timing" when AMR/AA made their big MD-80 order announcement on March 1, 1984 - the same day Braniff, Inc started flying.
Jesse Carroll 1
Well, Braniff went Bankrupt and AA is still flying. Maybe it was the right choice!
Rick Hundley 2
Loved your article on MD80. My father worked at M.D. in Long Beach, he worked interiors on the aircraft.
James Simms 2
Normally visiting relatives in ETX & DFW from AL, I'd drive; breaking it into a two day trip out & back, & picking places I wanted to see. One Summer I drove from Tuscaloosa, AL to Longview, TX via US 11 then US 80 never touching the Interstate system unless I just absolutely had to. Another Summer, I decided to fly out/back ending up on an '83/90...I just don't remember. I just sat by the window gazing out watching the landscape pass by..sometimes trying to ID where we were.
skylab72 1
This type is a serious piece of aviation history. The climax of the DC-9 story came with the purchase of Douglas Aircraft by Mc Donnell, in order to "rescue" the company from >serious< accounting shortcomings. The first one hundred and something-teen DC-9s were sold for LESS than it actually cost to build them. Given that in that era commercial aircraft were expected to return enough profit to cover development costs sometime before aircraft #75, discovering this issue left Douglas in a serious hole. McDonnell on the other hand was about to deliver the 5000th F4 Phantom Two to the USAF, every one of which returned profit because Uncle Sam paid the development costs for the upgrade from the old Phantom Ones. My employment with McDonnell in those days was focused on insuring those pesky accounting issues never happened again. Our project, "Omega", was specified in the purchase contract with Douglas.
ken young 1
why retire a good reliable well made aircraft?...Yes the seven three is a workhorse, stable and reliable aircraft. I don't get it.
The simple solution is to update the design and keep building them.....
boughbw 1
Three words: poor fuel economy. They are gas hogs. If AA didn't have the pink slips on these Super80s and was just leasing them, they would have been gone a long time ago.
ken young 1
even with the updated power plants?
Ant Miraa 1
Re engining a plane is not as straight forward as it sounds. Besides, tge md80 was not a boeing designed plane
Buzz Schranz 1
Never did like them and that's why I stayed on the three holer for nineteen years before upping to 75/76 International....
Ant Miraa 2
Ah the 757, the successor to the 727
gt banahan 1
Solid reliable AC in many ways, spent 20 years in left seat for AA. Amazing how they kept improving the plane over the years, the GFMS was user friendly but it is noe time to retire them to Roswell. ADIOS!
Jesse Carroll 1
Seeing how the airlines, are packing us in like sardines nowadays, there are lots of retired birds that need to be back on line!
Al Gagne 1
My favorite all time aircraft. I spent many hours in the jump seat in addition to hundreds of flights as a passenger.
I always loved these beutiful planes. As I was young I remember seeing the Mad Dog take off and hear its loud sharp scream over my head. (Lived by an airport).
scott8733 1
Delta needs to rapidly follow suit and do the same with their 88's and 90's. They remind me of certain Vegas hotel rooms that haven't been updated in 20 years. They get tired, down for maintenance too often, and have few creature comforts that today's PAX want. So go the times.
boughbw 2
The 88s are on their way out. But the 90s and 95s (717s) will be around for a long while, thankfully. They are my favorite planes in the sky for short-to-medium haul trips. Lots of power, quiet, and the 3-2 seating reduces by 50% your chances of being stuck in a middle seat.

I really hate to see these planes go. I hope you like the looks of 737s, because all planes will soon look just like 'em (A32x, Embraers, Bombardier C-Series)...
Lewis Tripp 1
DC 9's
Jesse Carroll 0
I love the 3-2/2-3 seating. I can sit with my wife and not worry about some drunk goon pawing her during the flight. Actually have had to move to the center seat several times on the 3's arragement.
I know, it's my fault for marrying a "hottie"....LOL
SootBox -5
Another sooty 2 holer bites the dust.


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