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Topic: USAir And PSA
Username: 7E72004
Posted 2004-04-16 18:22:38 and read 2381 times.

How long did USAir operate the PSA routes before leaving the west? It seems like now that was a big mistake because USAir is concentrated in the East...if they would have kept the PSA routes or some of them then i think they would be in a better position. Any thoughts?

Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
Username: Quickmover
Posted 2004-04-16 18:27:47 and read 2354 times.

I don't know how their cost structure was back then, (or southwests) but it always looked like WN pulled a "Balitmore".

Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
Username: Kwbl
Posted 2004-04-16 18:37:49 and read 2331 times.

I think the merger was in 1987 and I believe the routes were essentially gone by 1990.

Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
Username: Aloha717200
Posted 2004-04-16 19:02:45 and read 2278 times.

And it will go down as one of the most wasteful mergers in aviation history.  Sad I'm still kinda sore at USAir for that one, though, if they hadn't bought PSA, maybe someone else would have. It sure would be nice to have the smileliners back.

Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
Username: Tom in NO
Posted 2004-04-16 19:10:53 and read 2256 times.

From http://www.catchoursmile.com

"On May 29, 1987 Pacific Southwest Airlines becomes a division of USAir."
"The last PSA departure leaves San Diego, California as flight 1486 bound for Las Vegas, Nevada on April 8, 1988."

I worked "for" PSA while taking an airline carriers occupational course while in high school at ONT, so I'm a little bit biased here. I was very disappointed with what US did to PSA after the takeover, taking employees from a classy, well-run organization, and dumping them into US's pit. Seeing the "smileliners" all over the southwest was like a breath of fresh air. To this day, I avoid flying US.


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Tom at MSY

Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
Username: Deltaflyertoo
Posted 2004-04-16 19:19:34 and read 2233 times.

THey operated the routes for about 5 years. They took them on in 88 and then starting in about 91-92 they started slowly dismantling the network. By 95 all was left was LAX-SFO and they held on to that one even to the last 90s possibly 98 to 99? I think they did have a higher cost structure in the west at the time. They also were dealing w/ the merger with Piedmont back east which raised costs across the board. It was during that time they had so many different a/c types. A Bae146 on one route, a 727 on another, yet a 737-300 or MD-80 on others, all w/in CA. WN didn't TOTALLY chase US out. I remember when WN came into OAK and it was fairly slow at first. US was already retreating. And US and WN never competed at SFO where US had a HUGE presence. Perhaps it was UAL? Had they kept the west coast network, they'd really had been in trouble. Looking at the east coast situation, they are dealing with the same issues now that they were back in the 80s, although in the 80s it slid by because it wasn't a big deal then. In hindsight they should have made tones of changes in 88 that they didn't that may have guaranteed a full nationwide network and survival today.

Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
Username: Aloha717200
Posted 2004-04-16 19:19:58 and read 2230 times.

What US did was ridiculous.


They merged with an airline that they had virtually no direct competition with. And then, instead of using the routes and planes of that airline to build a western market, they dumped them all.


All US got out of the deal was a bunch of very disgruntled employees, who watched their airline get decapitated for no real reason. It's complete nonsense...to knock out an airline that serves a region you barely even have a presence in, dump all of their assets, may of which would have brought US alot of money such as the intracal shuttle routes, and then going back to the east and pretending the whole thing never happened. Stupid. PSA wrote the book for service which WN adopted. The whole friendly WN approach was born in PSA. It really is a shame.

Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
Username: Tom in NO
Posted 2004-04-16 19:26:00 and read 2208 times.

All US got out of the deal was a bunch of very disgruntled employees, who watched their airline get decapitated for no real reason. It's complete nonsense...to knock out an airline that serves a region you barely even have a presence in, dump all of their assets, may of which would have brought US alot of money such as the intracal shuttle routes, and then going back to the east and pretending the whole thing never happened. Stupid. PSA wrote the book for service which WN adopted. The whole friendly WN approach was born in PSA. It really is a shame.

I couldn't have said it better myself!!!

Tom at MSY

Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
Username: Psa53
Posted 2004-04-16 19:35:45 and read 2185 times.

Most has been said, what had be said-

US mismanaged badly after the PSA and Piedmont
mergers.To this date,I have no idea what upper
management was thinking.


Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
Username: FATFlyer
Posted 2004-04-16 19:50:34 and read 2155 times.

Southwest started service to San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego in 1982, long before US bought PSA. Oakland service didn't even start until 1989, with a crew base not established at OAK until the 1990s.

Although WN might be called the winner in the battle for the west, don't forget that several majors bought up the existing carriers and could have been the winner. AA took AirCal in 1986, NW took Republic (the old AirWest) in 1986, DL took Western in 1987.

The battle for dominance in the west between UA, WN, AA, NW, DL, and US was financially bloody with fare wars taking their toll. Cost structures would have been a part of that.

I think another of the reasons that WN rose in the west was a culture that was close to what most westerners were used to in PSA and the other west coast carriers. I'm not sure that most of the majors grasped the differences between the east coast and the west coast.

PSA and AirCal got their starts as intra-state carriers, regulated only by the the state of California until 1979, not the feds. I think that developed a different style of operation and corporate culture. Likewise, WN didn't start flying outside of TX until 1979, regulated only by the state of Texas until then.


Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
Username: Dutchjet
Posted 2004-04-16 20:19:22 and read 2093 times.

The US - PSA deal was one that never made any sense, and the results were terrible. The prior posts tell the story well - the real question is what was US thinking when it bought PSA? Although US was operating transcon flights at the time, the entire PSA network was on the west coast while US was (and still is) an east coast carrier. There was little overlap, the corporate cultures were very different (US could have learned a lot from low-cost PS,,,if it did maybe US would not be in the trouble that is in today) and the fleets had little in common. It seems that US simply bought PSA to have a presence on the west coast, but did very little to intergrate the route systems or take advantage putting the airlines together, instead, within years, everything assocated with PSA was gone except some loyal employees and the MD80s. Its easy to blame this all on Southwest, which was growing in California at the time and of course took advantage of the situation, but the real fault lies with US and the inability to capitalize on the opportunity of using PSA to develop a western US route network.

Also remember, at about the same time, AA went out and purchased AirCal to build up their west coast operations - what happened there? Exactly the same thing, AA essentially closed down AirCal and opened the California/West Coast market up even more for Southwest. If that wasnt enough, AA then went on to buy Reno Air, to expand west coast services and reacquire the San Jose hub (which it closed down earlier) - little is left of the Reno operation. And, now there is TWA...........

Some things are just hard to understand.

Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
Username: Psa53
Posted 2004-04-16 20:21:50 and read 2083 times.

Tom in NO wrote:

  • To This day,I avoid flying US.


    It's seems that everyone else is too!

    Siegel's,"Last Stand Alamo" statement says it.


  • Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
    Username: Aloha717200
    Posted 2004-04-16 20:36:25 and read 2044 times.

    It is a known truth that Herb Kelleher observed PSA and then modeled Southwest after them. Southwest was, in the beginning, the PSA of Texas.

    Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
    Username: Haveric
    Posted 2004-04-16 21:47:03 and read 1990 times.

    People -- it was a long, long time ago. The airlines business has changed a lot since then. Holding grudges helps no one.

    Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
    Username: Flyboy7974
    Posted 2004-04-17 00:12:08 and read 1917 times.

    being that burbank was home for me and where i grew in aviation, we all loved psa. psa operated out of terminal B, and had five gates all to their own. they dominated routes to the bay, las, smf and operated 1X daily to reno at the time of the purchase. fares were low, flights were fun, and they owned burbank at the time. before this, they also operated to san, phx, sea nonstop. after the purchase, usair killed the market. fares jumped, they tried offering full meal service on flights of 40 min to las, flights less than an hour to the bay, they just couldn't do it. us air offered hourly service to sfo which was a bang, but fares were incredible in comparison to the hourly shuttle service offered out of lax. after the md80 were moved east, the bae146 were parked in mohave, and the 737 came from the east coast, but the problems were that they didn't base 737 crew out west. so flights would come in from the east coast hubs of phl, pit, ind, mci through destinations like phx and las, and then into the california system of flights like lgb, bur, sna, san, smf. it just couldn't work. now terminal B in burbank has everybody almost except swa, it has ua, aa, alaska all have taken over B. in A in burbank only last america west, aloha, and swa.

    Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
    Username: Iflyatldl
    Posted 2004-04-17 00:26:39 and read 1893 times.

    Is it just me, or have you noticed that everything US touches just turns to crap almost instantaneously?  Innocent

    Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
    Username: PSAjet17
    Posted 2004-04-17 01:22:21 and read 1845 times.

    in reply to Aloha717200
    It is a known truth that Herb Kelleher observed PSA and then modeled Southwest after them. Southwest was, in the beginning, the PSA of Texas.


    Actually, Southwest spent a lot of time with us at PSA in San Diego observing our operation prior to their startup. The first flight attendant outfits were old PSA outfits. PSA utilized the NCR cash register to print the old 3x5" tickets and Southwest used the same machines. Many of the operational procedrues used by PSA were readily adopted by Southwest including the "ticketing on board" which many passengers enjoyed about the PSA system of the 60's and early 70's.

    Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
    Username: M404
    Posted 2004-04-17 01:31:49 and read 1820 times.

    Flyboy -- Yaaahh BUR - Me too. I was PC/RW

    Thinking about US/PSA reminds me of what happened to the Hughes Airwest network when bought by Republic. We hated having to eliminate probably 90 percent of our stations but it was same kind of thing. The combined routes looked like a dumbbell with thin connections in the middle. I guess it did make sense in a way when even with a combined fleet you still didn't have enough to lift to put it all together so RC stayed with there strength. Ironic though that it just ticked NW off enough to but the lot.

    Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
    Username: WesternDC1010
    Posted 2004-04-17 02:44:17 and read 1779 times.

    To AirCal/Air California, PSA, Western, Bonanza/Pacific/Hughes Airwest, Golden West & Pacific Express. Rest In Peace.

    We will never forget these airlines gracing us here in California and will love them forever.

    :::Sigh:::

    - Ron
    Western DC-10-10

    Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
    Username: TxAgKuwait
    Posted 2004-04-18 23:42:30 and read 1651 times.

    TRUTH ALERT***TRUTH ALERT***TRUTH ALERT

    >>in reply to Aloha717200
    It is a known truth that Herb Kelleher observed PSA and then modeled Southwest after them. Southwest was, in the beginning, the PSA of Texas.

    Actually, Southwest spent a lot of time with us at PSA in San Diego observing our operation prior to their startup. True! (Kelleher wasn't among them either. He had nothing to do with the operation of the airline until much later in '78-'79 or so...and despite some folks' claims to the contrary the manuals WN used were not plagiarized versions of the PS manuals. The reason PS was so accommodating is they thought they were going to sell WN some used airplanes. WN planned to buy some, too, until Boeing made them an offer they couldn't refuse on 4 white tailed 737-200s they had parked. When it became apparent WN wasn;t going to buy airplanes, the info exchange dried up abruptly. ). The first flight attendant outfits were old PSA outfits. False. They might have resembled them, but the WN Hostess uniforms (that's what they were called then) were designed by Lorch of Dallas, who was prominent at the time at the old Dallas Apparel Mart. PSA utilized the NCR cash register to print the old 3x5" tickets and Southwest used the same machines. Absolutely true. God I miss cash register tickets. Many of the operational procedrues used by PSA were readily adopted by Southwest including the "ticketing on board" which many passengers enjoyed about the PSA system of the 60's and early 70's. True again, but Texans...for whatever reason....seldom bought the ticket on board. They never were quite comfortable with that like the Californians.<<

    Good post.

    Things that Southwest didn't copy from PSA:

    Ten Minute Turns.

    Two Tiered Fare Structure.


    Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
    Username: BoingGoingGone
    Posted 2004-04-19 01:37:33 and read 1610 times.

    USAir was great until the day they bought PSA... RIP PSA... Rot in hell US.

    Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
    Username: Dasheighty
    Posted 2004-04-19 02:58:23 and read 1580 times.

    And I'm sure the employees of Piedmont would remember US air fondly......+

     Yeah sure

    Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
    Username: PanAm747
    Posted 2004-04-19 03:10:40 and read 1553 times.

    Southwest Airlines is the protege child of PSA. Like every parent and child, they might not have always seen eye to eye on every issue (and definitely have had their spats), but Southwest and PSA share a genetic business link - the child has taken what he learned from the parent and has expanded on it and made it better.

    One of the reasons Southwest has been so successful is their outstanding record of customer relations. You're not going to please everyone, but they certainly raised the bar in terms of customer loyalty. PSA's original slightly off-beat (and some might say kooky!) outlook on life made them one of the most popular airlines in California. Flying Southwest is the next best thing - the parent is gone, but the child lives on!

    Topic: RE: USAir And PSA
    Username: Aeroman62
    Posted 2004-04-19 03:49:54 and read 1500 times.

    I worked for USAir in Arlington from 1989 to 1990, in staffing, and observed first hand the chaos of trying to integrate two radically different cultures (PS and PI) into an arrogant, hierarchical company (USAir, nee Allegheny). The US folks acted like victors, and the PI/PS employees were treated like the vanquished. Really terrible integration - one night in CLT, in 1990, I listened to a former PI pilot trash the company to a group of revenue passengers. Since PI and AL were both successful in their own right, I can only assume that AL blew it when they did these deals, and they failed to appreciate the value of what they bought. I got out of there after 10 months, and never looked back.

    PSA, on the other hand, while a hoot to fly, and with a loyal corp of employees, made and lost money like a coney island roller coaster, i.e. up and down. If AL didn't buy them, someone else would have, or the recession of the early 90's, with WN's growing presence in CA, probably would have done them in. USAir was a bad match, no doubt, however PS' independence was going to end one way or the other.


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