YMMV / Airport

  • Adaptation Displacement: Most people nowadays will probably be surprised to know that Airport was based on a book.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: The landing in the first movie.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse:
    • Joe Patroni became a Recurring Character in each of the sequels, though not with the same job. He was always played by George Kennedy.
    • Helen Hayes' Oscar would also cement this status.
  • Deader Than Disco: At the time of its release, the first film was a box office hit, making 10 times its $10 million budget, and was critically acclaimed, getting nominated for 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture (losing to Patton). But since then, it has fallen from grace considerably, having a score of 6.6/10 on IMDb and 80% on Rotten Tomatoes, the good reviews praising the film because it's so enjoyably crappy. Burt Lancaster even went on to describe it as "the biggest piece of junk ever made." Between that, the later emergence of more widely praised disaster movies like The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno and, of course, the fact that Airplane! pretty much took the piss out of the airplane disaster movie genre, Airport is today mostly enjoyed for its campy, old-fashioned charm and its impact on the disaster movie genre.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • In Airport '75, there is a collision between a Boeing 747 and a private propeller plane after the pilot of the latter plane has a heart attack while both are on approach to Salt Lake City International Airport. Just 3 years later in September 1978 a PSA Boeing 727 on final approach collided with a private Cessna 172 over San Diego. Both aircraft crashed into a suburb, killing all 137 people on both aircraft and 7 people on the ground in houses. Despite the resultant tightened ATC clearance and separation rules, a similar accident happened in 1986 when Aeromexico Flight 498 crashed into Cerritos while on approach to LAX after colliding with a Piper Cherokee, killing all 67 people on both aircraft and 15 people on the ground. In another similarity to the film, it was also suspected that the pilot of the Piper Cherokee had a heart attack while flying after an autopsy revealed that some of the arteries in his heart were blocked, but this was later ruled out. Fortunately, after the Cerritos crash, the FAA required all airliners entering U.S. airspace to be fitted with Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). Another accident like this has never happened in the U.S. since.
    • In Concorde: Airport '79, Robert Wagner is trying to murder his girlfriend. Some might see this as a cruel irony to the dispute over his real-life drowning of spouse Natalie Wood.
    • The Concorde that was used for that film (and is seen exploding in the end) crashed as Air France Flight 4590 on July 25, 2000 in Paris, killing 113 people.
    • In Airport '79 again, the corrupt mechanic who sabotages the Concorde's cargo door opines that "bombs are unreliable". Nine years later came Lockerbie....
  • Jerkass Woobie: Karen Wallace in Airport '75, who is emotionally abusive towards her dedicated marine biologist husband, yet is clearly lonely and miserable.
  • Product Placement: Despite being over twenty years since its first flight, Boeing couldn't have written a finer commercial for the 707.
  • Sequelitis: While the first film was critically praised at the time of its release and can still be enjoyed by some people today, the three airplane disaster films released under the Airport banner that followed are pretty unanimously considered bad.
  • Special Effects Failure: In Airport '75, the scene where the plane's cockpit collides with a smaller plane. Rather than actually show two planes crashing into each other, the film cuts footage of the small plane flying in the air at different distances into the cockpit and makes several fast cuts to make it look like the plane is coming closer. Because the small plane moves so fast between cuts and yet so slowly when its shown, it looks very unconvincing.
  • Tear Jerker: The death of Dorothy, right before the others are rescued.
  • The Woobie: Inez, and arguably Sarah Demerest.