Vintage Airline Seat Map: Continental Airlines DC-10-10 Pub Configuration

Here’s a pretty unique variation of a Douglas DC-10 Tri-Jet from the 1980s for this edition of Vintage Airline Seat Maps. Operated by Continental Airlines, this DC-10-10 was configured with two classes of service seating 22 up front and 262 in coach. Special to this bird was the lounge area commonly referred to as the “Pub.”

According to reports on Airliners.net, Pub flights existed in earlier decades than the ‘80s, but were later re-introduced only on the DC-10s in the configuration appearing below. It featured a long L-shaped bar with stool seats and two additional seating areas complete with tables. It looks to be similar to Virgin Atlantic’s Upper Class bars flying the skies today.

In first class, you’d find me in row two or three, and I’d be especially keen to sit in 2E or 2F on red-eyes if the legroom is indeed as much as it appears to be on this seat map. In economy, you’d find me forward of the wing, and probably in a window seat as I enjoyed the large windows found on all DC-10s. Having only three lavatories for economy seems a bit punitive, especially when taking into consideration the capacity.

Where would you sit?

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  1. I flew several CAL DC-10 flights between Houston and Denver in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Once I even flew first class, really was superb. I do recall the “pub” flights and buying a hot dog instead of getting the usual meal.

  2. Thanks so much for posting this config. Brings back happy memories of the NY LGA to Mexico City dinner departure at 4:50 pm in the 80s. With a stop in Houston (my destination).
    Traveled on business several times on this flight and with the wife and kids twice when we lived in Conn. going ‘home’ more or less to Houston. The four kids, old enough to behave then, were all back in row 20 or so watching the movie and having dinner. Wife and I would be upfront in the pub. Nice to have a date night at 30,000 feet. Twice we did this and sat at the table seats marked A-B by the bar on this chart. Delightful dinner flight even in coach with the pub. On this LGA – IAH – MEX run they didn’t have sandwiches or hot dogs but instead a cheese and cracker trays on the two tables in the pub. And when we returned to coach after a visit to the pub, the FAs were kind enough to serve us dinner late as the kids had finished. As I said, thanks for the memories…..

  3. I’m dating myself…

    The CO DC-10s offered the very early and very crude Atari Pong games on the tabletops in their pub lounges, too!

    Anyway, see here – go to to 0:15 in the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eL4FJV4Xg44

    “With electronic Pub Pong it’s fun and games all the way!” – that’s Nicholas Hammond, Friedrich from “The Sound of Music” – and he follows the narrator around the rest of the way. He later went on to star as “Spider Man” in the 70s on teevee.

  4. I’m pretty sure this is the configuration for a flight I took with family around ’86 or ’87, YVR-HNL. That was the longest flight I’d take for many years and grew up thinking all planes that went a long distance would have a bar in the sky.

  5. I was a Director of Passenger Service working for Continental Airlines onboard the DC10 Pub A/C during the 80’s and 90’s.
    Continental had several Pubs that were flown daily out of LAX to HNL to NAN then either depending on the day of week would continue to either to SYD or MEL then return.
    That would be Flight Number 001 and the return flight was 002.
    The crews would board in LAX for the LAX-HNL segment and they would layover. Another crew would take over the flight from HNL to its final destination of Australia.
    As you look at the seat map, there no crew rest seats nor crew bunks as in todays 747, A380s, 787 or 777.
    It was a long duty day from HNL to SYD (with a stop in NAN)so the crew would find a couple of rows of center coach seats in the back and we would take breaks by either laying flat on the center 4 seats and someone would lay on the floor both in front of the row and behind on the floor on the last row. IT was gross but we were all tired.
    This of course of against all rules but we all kept this secret.
    Another fun crew fact is that the “PUB” working position went for bid. Meaning whom ever had the most Seniority could work that position. This position went SENIOR as this PUB was a cash liquor sales position. This area of the Pub was very busy and on many flights Liquor was sold for $3.00 Beer $2.00 . Because Continental was still in bankruptcy our pay was half that of other airlines and selling liquor in the PUB (and keeping/stealing the money was commonplace)could bring 200-300 in extra income per flight. Not bad.
    Its been said one flight attendant bought a car with all the proceeds of selling Liquor and Movie HeadSets that she bought a Custom Lic vanity plate that said “headsets”.
    The Pub was great but it had to go as Continental wanted to fly more non-stops and the DC10-10 pub could not fly HNL-SYD or HNL-MEL. Once Continental bought 2 used DC10-30’s from Alitalia (the a/c were nicknamed Gucci)the Pub went back into the Domestic System and later sent to the Desert once other used A/C were purchased.
    Because Continental had a poor financial performance, we could not buy 747-400’s but got stuck with the junk a/c from People Express during that merger. People Express operated 2 juck 747’s that did not even have ovens on board the a/c. They were awesome to work as nothing to cook. Just cold plates even in first class. Lots of storage room and the new continental paint job on the 747 looked very smart.

  6. Agree what good memories – I lived in DEN and rode my 1st Pub DC10-10 around ’80 between ORD-DEN and remenber talking on my 1st AirFone from the pub. I also traveled regularly to the South Pacific on CO until ’87 (when Fiji govt was overthrown again). I rode the 10-10 between San Francisco or Los Angeles to Honolulu (HNL) and also HNL-Nadi – and the plane continued on to Sydney. The flight left HNL around modnight and arrived Nadi at ~5AM their time (~3100 miles). I also rode CO DC10-30’s without the Pub directly from HNL to Auckland and HNL to Sydney, between Sydney and Auckland and to Papette. I was lucky to sit up front most of the time and the 30’s had 3 classes and sleeper chairs in 1st (no Pub), but the 10’s were 2-class. Pub plane 1st Class seats had access to the Pub all night, but there was free booze in the whole plane. On one trip, a friend from Quantas gave me a tour of their Sydney ops – and they had sold and were overhauling a couple 747-200’s going to People Express. Of course those ended up at CO when PE got picked up by CO – and I rode one of those later from Seattle-Tokyo (Business Class was upstairs). I missed CO when they dropped the South Pacific and left Denver! I really miss them now!

  7. Loved the DC10 pub flights between Denver and Chicago way back around ’79. Took a lot of the anxiety out of flying for me.

    Every plane should have a “pub” of some kind. So much better than waiting for handouts from the flight crew. Would be a money-maker too – just jack up the prices of the booze / beer / wine. Video games on LED screens at pub “tables” like on the old pub flights, and you’ve got revenue up the kazoo. Get creative, airlines!

  8. People don’t realize all the “extras” cost money. There is an interesting article about “stop complaining about air travel because you are getting exactly what you want…cheaper fairs..I will try to find and post it here, but it’s true. Customers expect surf and turf, pillows, blankets, Mountain Dew, free upgrades to first or business, shoe shines, and who knows what else. really? I go to the same super market and dry cleaners every week, sometimes more, and I don’t get anything discounted or friggin flyer. Get over yourselves.

  9. Today, for no reason, I suddenly remembered ‘The Pub’ and, via Google, arrived here.

    I’m a Brit and discovered a ‘Go Anywhere’ ticket on CO for about GBP200 in the late 70’s and, boy, did I use it!!

    My favourite seats were 29c on the 727s because there was tons of legroom in front and, more importantly, it was next to the galley so I got a beer before the trolley had even arrived at 1st class.

    On the DC10s, it was 8b, from which I could see when ‘The Bar’ was ready for drunks like me, who also preferred the finger snacks to the regular food!!

    Great days!!

  10. I still have my desk pen set I got from Continetal for fly many miles with them, it had little madellion you’s achive for fly different places Continetal flew. The DC 10 was one I liked to fly, company let us fly 1st class most of the time and was treated to the best service ever. Sad to say not that way anymore! Flying is not the same and I don’t care to fly like I use too.

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