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Flashback Fridays: Love Field Operations

Aviator C

In past editions of Flashback Fridays, I’ve written about our early 10-minute turns, an operational procedure that helped secure our survival.  Today, we go back to that period, specifically the year 1974.  To be honest, I couldn’t tell exactly what I had here in these photos—was it an originating flight, or instead, was it another photographic record of a quick turn, this time at Dallas Love Field?  After staring at the photos, I think it is a Dallas quick turn, and unlike the post on San Antonio, these photos seem to have been taken with the express intention of illustrating a quick turn.


Here we see Captain Sam Cohn and two Flight Attendants as they climb the outside of the jetbridge to await the arrival of the aircraft at the gate. 


From the next photo, this appears to be Gate 1 at Love Field.  Note the Braniff passenger steps in the distance—this would have been during the short period that Braniff continued to maintain Love Field to Hobby service.


The Flight Attendants go through the cabin picking up trash, and you probably can’t see it in the “blog sized” photos, but the cold air coming out the ceiling air conditioning events is vaporizing, leading me to think it was a typical hot, humid Dallas summer day—my guess is 1974.  The Provisioning Agent hustles the trash can to the back galley.


Outside, Station Manager Carl Worrell and a Ramp Agent are loading the outbound flight.  The building behind the Employees is the baggage claim area at Dallas, and (after 1973) it contains what we call T-point, which is where bags are staged for their outbound flights.


The First Officer does the walk-around inspection of the aircraft prior to departure.  Today, the flight is being operated by one of our original airplanes, N21SW.


The next few photos were mixed in with the others, and they come from about the same timeperiod.  Even if they aren’t from the same photo shoot, they provide us a bit more detail about what our Dallas facility looked like at the time.  The first photo is behind our Ticket Counter in the baggage claim wing, looking toward the end of the building.  At the far, end you can just make out Braniff’s ticket counter—it’s under the row of “dotted” lights in the background.


Our "Counter to Counter Cargo" facility was located on the far end of the counter.  Unfortunately, no one replaced the missing “T” before the scene was recorded for posterity.  The stairs beyond the desk lead up to the passageway that takes you to our concourse.


Back out at the aircraft, the Mechanic on the pushback tug asks the Crew to call for pushback clearance, and another Southwest turn has been completed.