What do Truck Drivers who remember what the Flying J truck stops were like, think about the changes Pilot has made to them.?

What do Truck Drivers who remember what the Flying J truck stops were like, think about the changes Pilot has made to them.?

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0 thoughts on “What do Truck Drivers who remember what the Flying J truck stops were like, think about the changes Pilot has made to them.?”

  1. Sure Flying J wasn’t perfect, who is?
    But the FJ was a proper truck stop. It had a sit down restaurant, with good food. It was a great place to get away from the road for an hour or two. Not some lukewarm fast food joint, sure, you can fuel and grab a quick bite and hit the road again.
    You can’t get a steak and baked potato, or a ham and cheese omelette at a Pilot.
    Personally I fixed a lot of my own food, microwave, electric cooler. Personally I always looked for Petro.

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  2. It’s actually the other way around! Flying-J has done things to Pilot that I wish had never happened! That horrible “Deli” bar being chief among them – where they got this crap fried food. Pilot didn’t have those until after they merged with Flying-J!
    I have always, and I mean always hated Flying-J! When I heard back in the day that they were going bankrupt, I honest to goodness cheered! I found them to be the most detestable truck stop chain anywhere on the highway! And I cheered even more when I heard (or thought I heard) Pilot was buying them out. But Flying-J has brought their crap to Pilot, which in my opinion, has significantly taken away from the brand.
    Another for-instance: Pilots never asked you for your rewards card before the Flying-J merger thing. Now, you have to hear it every single time you go into either!
    I still use the brand. I get all of my fuel at them, buy my coffee there and so on. But it’s a “Lesser Evil” thing, not because I like the brand. I do my business there because I refuse to patronize TAs and Petros – which I started doing after they started getting super aggressive with paid parking. If I buy more than a soda at these brands, it is because I had no other choice and I had to or had to go without. But I do not enjoy going to Pilot or Flying-J. I hate being asked for that stupid rewards card, and I despise that horrible food they sell at their counters.

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  3. Well, let’s see. Flying J of the past wouldn’t accept Comdata cards. That made it difficult. If you were low on fuel, and you only had a Flying J nearby, you have to hope the manager would accept a Comcheck, or the company had the means to get a T-Check for you. They also didn’t accept American Express, so you were pretty much screwed.
    Then there was the Country Kitchen restaurant. If you enjoyed ossified fried chicken, cold baked fish that wasn’t sushi, or bread pudding that was little more than warm toast, cinnamon flavored goo, and vanilla frosting smeared all over, yeah, I guess it wasn’t that bad.
    And, there was the service. Oh, such service. Managers who would berate you because NO WE DON’T TAKE COMDATA! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU, DRIVER? GTFOH! Clerks who would berate you with DIDN’T YOU HEAR WHAT MY MANAGER SAID? GTFOH, DRIVER! Oh, and the extra high prices for things like bungees, for lights, for fuses, you know. The usual stuff a rig needs.
    And food and such? You know, like needing to send a fax or something? Get out your wallet. You will need it, driver. It was EXPENSIVE AS HELL.
    So, after Flying J got burned due to the collapse of Arrow Trucking, they were bought out by Pilot.
    Now, we have Denny’s. The food’s still not as tasty, but at least it isn’t dried out to jerky. And someone knows how to make bread pudding at least.
    And, yes, they DO take Comdata. No calling dispatch in a panic.
    The staff is much more polite. If they cuss at you, they’re rapidly unemployed. So, they don’t cuss you out, and you can actually get SERVICE.
    Still expensive. Maybe now that Warren Buffet and Berkshire Hathaway are taking over, maybe prices will drop a bit. Maybe not, but one can dream, right?

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  4. You take the good with the bad.
    Pilot has the best coffee. Hands down. Their bean-to-cup system is awesome. But you pay for it. Flying J would give a free coffee with every fill-up.
    The restaurants in the Flying J were crap, unless you just wanted the salad bar, which was a reasonably healthy option. The PJ Fresh deli at pilot is crap. The fare is mostly fried junk, or if not, too salty to eat. No healthy options.
    Nobody does a better job of keeping their facilities clean than Pilot. Inside and out.
    Their attention to the fuel island, especially, is commendable. Regular power-washes to remove spilled deisel grunge, windshield washers replaced in a timely fashion, and windshield cleaning fluid buckets kept full. Boot brushes are found at some locations.
    Parking lot trash is picked up regularly. A trash can is never more than a few steps away, and they are emptied before overflowing.
    The inside of their stores are among the cleanest anywhere. It is not uncommon to see the store manager dusting the merchandise!
    The shower facilities are adequately cleaned and sanitized. The towels are completely dried before coming out of the drier, so they don’t have a funky mildew smell.
    I prefer Pilot over other places for fuel, shower, and sleep, but I rarely eat there.
    Overall, I rate Pilot/Flying J above the old Flying J.
    As a rule, where the big chains are concerned, TA/Petro has the best food.

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  5. Wow, the last 3 years been kind of living local. Didn’t know Flying J sold. Always avoided the Pilots, didn’t care for them. There is always the T&A. I always fueled at the Flying J’s and they would send me vouchers for free meals. Worked good for me.

    Victor Allen’s

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  6. To me, it’s six of one , half a dozen of the other. They really sucked to get fuel at, as they stopped taking Comdata. Who in the hell didn’t take Comdata? It seemed that they were more interested in getting business from the RV crowd. I had many issues with “The Flying Hook” over the years.
    The worst was on a Monday night in October. I don’t quite remember the location, but I believe it was in Ohio. A large group of drivers were gathering in the TV room to watch Monday Night Football. The game is about to start, and the janitor shuts the TV off. Mind you, there are about 20 some drivers in there. Many of them had snacks and drinks in hand. Many, like myself, had eaten their overpriced slip in their restaurant. I thought that kid wasn’t going to live to see his 21st birthday. The manager got involved, and tried reasoning with us. We stood our ground, and he turned the TV back on. Funny thing, the one in St. Augustine, FL had their TV constantly stuck on Lifetime. If you asked for the remote, they would tell you that it’s locked in the manager’s office, or some dumb place, and they don’t have access to the key.
    Since Pilot bought them out, you can get fuel there on your Comdata, which is nice. They are much cleaner, and the deli is much nicer. They did away with the sit down, full service restaurants and put in Denny’s. I’m personally not a huge fan of Denny’s, but it will do. They kept the Flying J name. I’m really not a huge fan of Pilot. It’s nothing more than a convenient store with truck parking. The only Pilots that I would go to were the ones that we’re the old Bosselman truck stops, which are located further out west. They have awesome full service restaurants, and huge parking lots. For the most part, those truck stops may sell Pilot fuel, but they’re still run like the old Mom And Pop truck stops. I’ve been out of the trucking business for five years now. It seems like all the good old Mom And Pops are fading away, and these chains are moving in.

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  7. Most of them are still run down crap. But it’s better than nothing in a pinch. Back when I started driving a few of the J’s had a buffet which was nice, but then they took them out and all were replaced by fricken subways and other fast food chains. I cant walk into a truck stop with a subway without gagging. The smell of subway makes me sick, I dont know why, but it does.

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  8. The old restaurant at Flying Dildo was never anything great… neither is Denny’s.
    Until Pilot took over, the J wouldn’t take Comdata, except for the Broadway Flying J locations. So that was a welcome change.
    I don’t eat at truck stops, so I could care less about the restaurants. The J at least has a lot which can accommodate oversized loads… try that at your typical Pilot or Love’s.
    Overall, the change to me wasn’t that drastic, aside from the Comdata thing.

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