As American Airlines retires its final McDonnell Douglas MD-80 fleet on September 4, the carrier has launched a quirky way for ‘mad dog’ fans to get involved. The Dallas-based company has created a customisable commemorative boarding pass which enables enthusiasts to enter their name as a unique piece of aviation memorabilia.
“We understand what the iconic aircraft means for our customers and our team members. To help commemorate this historic day, we have created a special retro American Flight 80 boarding pass,” an airline spokesperson said in a statement. Fans of the aircraft can download a copy of the souvenir boarding card here.
Most of American’s remaining 26 MD examples will now make their final flights to New Mexico for decommissioning. The MD-80, also known as the Super 80 or ‘mad dog’, was the workhorse of the airline’s short-haul and regional fleet throughout the 1980s and well into the 1990s.
The Super 80 era began at the carrier in May 1983 with three jets serving six destinations across the USA: Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, New York/LaGuardia, Memphis, Nashville and Ontario, California. Despite being considered relatively thirsty compared to current generation models, when it was introduced, the MD-80 was one of the most fuel efficient commercial aircraft on the market. American was the first of the big US carriers to introduce the narrowbody and at its peak, operated 362 of the type, the equivalent of one-third of all MD-80s ever produced by McDonnell Douglas.
American’s final MD-80 revenue service, Flight AA80, departed the airline’s Dallas/Fort Worth hub at 9am on September 4, bound for Chicago/O’Hare. It will then undertake a ferry flight to Roswell where most of the carrier’s retired MD examples are being processed.