Love them or hate them, American’s MD-80s are on the way out. This should not come as a shock as we’ve known for years the day was eventually coming. But late last month American Airlines announced details for the MadDog’s final day of operations. Mark your calendars, folks. September 4 is the day the “Super 80s” carry passengers off into the sunset one last time.
When I mention the upcoming retirement to friends, the majority of responses are positive. It seems the general consensus is that these DC-9 descendants have overstayed their welcome in the AvGeek and frequent flyer worlds. While few folks seem willing to admit they will miss the MD-80s, I fully expect it will only be a matter of time. For decades the MadDogs were ubiquitous. Airports just won’t be the same without them.
No matter how we feel, these retirement dates tend to sneak up on us. The official final flight on September 4 is sold out, but there remain many options to get out for a goodbye flight, including many options on the final day of operation…
American Air MD-80 Fleet Detail
Despite a reputation for being old and dated, the average fleet age for those which remain is just shy of 21 years. That’s not terribly old in aircraft years. Aviation history buffs might recall that the final DC-9 flight operated by Delta was aboard a nearly 36-year-old airframe.
Just 28 American Air MD-80s remain in service today. Two (N9618A and N980TW) will retire in August. Between 1997 and 1999 TWA accepted delivery of all but one of the remaining silver birds. N501AA is special and sticks out for two reasons. First, it is the last active Super 80 which American received directly from McDonnell Douglas. It is also the oldest with a delivery date of October 30, 1989.
Book your farewell flight today
We reached out to American Air PR and chatted with resident MD-80 expert Linda Brock who provided us with fleet details and some base-level guidance on where folks might still find MD-80 service. Above is a map showing city pairs with MD-80 service on the September 4, the final day of operation. A few additional cities still have MD-80 service to DFW, including my home base here in Kansas City, MO.
If your favorite city pair isn’t listed, perhaps a quick search on FlightRadar24 or simply looking at equipment listed on AA’s booking page can help.
Big takeaway here? DFW is where it’s at. Does anyone fancy a trip to Dallas for old time’s sake?