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AA/UA/TW - Who Was The Biggest Transcon In The 60s  
User currently offlineJackbr From Australia, joined Dec 2009, 668 posts, RR: 0
Posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 15 hours ago) and read 2829 times:

Out of what I believe were the 3 main domestic airlines in the US (or at least 3 of the biggest) in the 1960s, American, United and TWA, which had the biggest trans continental network between the East and West Coast?

Did any of the airlines have their own 'niche' market in regards to passengers? Eg, was one airline preferred by bussinessmen, one by families, one by "celebrities" etc? I ask as I believe, yet may be wrong, that TWA was popular amongst those in the Hollywood scene.

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineYXwatcherMKE From United States of America, joined May 2007, 1020 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 2702 times:

As to the Trans-con it is a tie between AA and UA. With TW being popular with the "rich and Famous" crowd. UA had the ORD LGA market and AA had ORD west coast.


I miss the 60's & 70's when you felt like a guest on the plane not cattle like today
User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11969 posts, RR: 62
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2603 times:

While I don't know about the transcons overall, I believe that, at least in the case of the New York - Los Angeles market specifically, AA has pretty much always been the leader, and still remains so today. In addition, AA definitely did have quite a robust transcon schedule in the 1960s beyond just New York - Los Angeles, but not sure how big United and TWA were.

User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 10 hours ago) and read 2566 times:

Quoting Jackbr (Thread starter):
Out of what I believe were the 3 main domestic airlines in the US (or at least 3 of the biggest) in the 1960s, American, United and TWA, which had the biggest trans continental network between the East and West Coast?

Network-wise, that would go to TWA. From both SFO and LAX, they had daily or near-daily service (multiple on many routes) to:

Boston
New York-Kennedy
Newark
Philadelphia
Pittsburgh
Washington-Dulles
Baltimore

No other airline came even close.

Quoting commavia (Reply 2):
I believe that, at least in the case of the New York - Los Angeles market specifically, AA has pretty much always been the leader, and still remains so today.

TWA inched out AA in the early 70s in the LAX-JFK market by a few extra 707 sections per week. I'd assume they were pretty much neck-and-neck in the 1960s as well during regulation.

Quoting commavia (Reply 2):
AA definitely did have quite a robust transcon schedule in the 1960s beyond just New York - Los Angeles, but not sure how big United and TWA were.

AA didn't serve any city on the east coast other than JFK from SFO nonstop. Outside of LAX-JFK, "robust" isn't a word I'd use to describe AA's transcon service.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11969 posts, RR: 62
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 2497 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 3):
Outside of LAX-JFK, "robust" isn't a word I'd use to describe AA's transcon service.

As of 1969:

LAX-Baltimore (1 daily)
LAX-Boston (3 daily)
LAX-Hartford (1 daily)
LAX-Newark (3 daily)
LAX-Philadelphia (2 daily)
LAX-Toronto (1 daily)
LAX-Washington/Dulles (3 daily)
San Francisco-Newark (1 daily)
San Francisco-JFK (5 daily)
JFK-San Diego (1 daily).

21 daily flights on 10 routes, all in addition to LAX-JFK (9 daily).

I don't know about you, but I would call that fairly "robust."


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2465 times:

Quoting commavia (Reply 4):
I don't know about you, but I would call that fairly "robust."

And to SFO? SEA? PDX? The OP asked about the transcon "network" of the three. AA had a fairly good network out of LAX, as your post reiterates. For the rest of the "transcon" market from the west coast to the eastern seaboard, AA was pretty much a niche player to/from LAX without much breadth and depth otherwise.

Heck, even UA had a larger network to west coast cities nonstop from JFK than either AA or TWA (SEA, PDX, SFO, and LAX).



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11969 posts, RR: 62
Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2446 times:

Quoting Jackbr (Thread starter):
Did any of the airlines have their own 'niche' market in regards to passengers? Eg, was one airline preferred by bussinessmen, one by families, one by "celebrities" etc? I ask as I believe, yet may be wrong, that TWA was popular amongst those in the Hollywood scene.

TWA was, indeed, quite popular with the Hollywood crowd, although my sense is that that was mostly in the 1950s, and began tapering off by the 1960s as Hughes' star faded and he went nuts. My sense has always been that by the 1970s, AA had become the de facto airline of the entertainment industry on LAX-JFK and that hasn't changed since - AA still captures the largest share of entertainment industry in general (and celebrity specifically) traffic in this market.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 5):
And to SFO? SEA? PDX? The OP asked about the transcon "network" of the three.

Okay, so is the "biggest transcon network" now defined as the most flights into SFO, SEA and PDX? The question referred to transcon, not transcon to the Pacific Northwest. LAX counts as transcon.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 5):
For the rest of the "transcon" market from the west coast to the eastern seaboard, AA was pretty much a niche player to/from LAX without much breadth and depth otherwise.

And TWA was so massively huge to SEA and PDX? I don't think so.

You stated that TWA "network-wise," TWA was the leader, based (according to your post) on its large network from ... LAX and SFO. AA had 23 transcons out of LAX and 6 out of SFO.

So I guess "network-wise," AA, too, had a fairly "robust" transcon network.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 5):
Heck, even UA had a larger network to west coast cities nonstop from JFK than either AA or TWA (SEA, PDX, SFO, and LAX).

Okay - yeah, and? Every airline has unique strengths. That's as true today as it was then. The question posted was which airline had the largest transcon network in the 1960s - not who had the largest transcon network out of JFK, or to SEA/PDX/SFO, but overall.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2384 times:

Quoting commavia (Reply 6):
"network-wise,"

Are we going to define this term as total number of flights or the breadth and depth of coverage? I picked the latter, without counting the number of flights from my examples when doing my original post. Outside of a couple of destinations from SFO/SAN, AA simply didn't match TWA in this way, and was highly LAX-focussed.

One could even point out that only TWA served the three most important and robust east coast markets (BOS/JFK/IAD) from the two most important and robust west coast markets (SFO/LAX).   UA came next-closest, but didn't serve LAX-BOS nonstop.

But if you simply want to count up all of AAs flights that are mainly out of LAX, and say that in the 1960s AA could be considered having a robust transcon network by the rest of the west coast, or in the influential eastern markets, plus the smaller markets we've both identified, you're certainly entitled to your opinion.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 3258 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 8 hours ago) and read 2358 times:

Quoting commavia (Reply 6):
And TWA was so massively huge to SEA and PDX? I don't think so.



TWA didn't serve SEA and PDX in the 1960s (which might be what you meant). Nor did AA, DL or National.

UA and NW would have been the only transcons from SEA. I don't believe there were any from PDX at the time. EA flew SEA/PDX-OMA-ATL. (Interestingly, EA didn't serve SFO until after about 1976 either).


User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11969 posts, RR: 62
Reply 9, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 2277 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 7):
Are we going to define this term as total number of flights

Well, since that was basically the original question - which airline had the "biggest trans continental network" - I'd say yes.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 7):
or the breadth and depth of coverage?

Well, define "breadth and depth."

By that measure, I still contend that AA's network was huge.

AA flew 30 daily nonstop transcon fligths in a no fewer than 11 markets. Seems like a good deal of "breadth and depth" to me, even if many of those flights were to and from LAX.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 7):
AA simply didn't match TWA in this way, and was highly LAX-focussed.

In what way? TWA had a few daily flights from San Francisco to Boston and Dulles, and that somehow makes them so vastly superior to AA's network? Based on your post, AA had more daily flights out of LAX, to more Eastern cities. So it's basically a trade-off between AA's more extensive LAX-East schedule (to say nothing of AA's larger schedule in the core LAX/SFO-JFK markets) against TWA's SFO-Boston/Dulles schedule.

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 7):
But if you simply want to count up all of AAs flights that are mainly out of LAX, and say that in the 1960s AA could be considered having a robust transcon network by the rest of the west coast, or in the influential eastern markets, plus the smaller markets we've both identified, you're certainly entitled to your opinion.

Well, let's break this down.

For starters, I was answering the question.

And I think that if you asked most people to define a "robust transcon network," they would probably look at an airline's schedule of transcon flights. That's sort of obvious. And in that measure, AA was pretty "robust" by any measure relative to its competitors.

Further, in terms of "influential eastern markets," AA was larger than - for instance - than TWA in the most important and most influent Eastern market, New York, when it comes to the most important and influential Western markets (9 daily LAX flights versus 5, 5 daily San Francisco flights versus 4). AA had 3 daily flights each from Boston and Dulles to LAX.

And as for the "smaller markets," using your accounting of TWA's schedule (which seemed fairly LAX-centric to me), AA had more service to more of those places as well.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 10, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 2239 times:

Quoting commavia (Reply 9):
In what way? TWA had a few daily flights from San Francisco to Boston and Dulles, and that somehow makes them so vastly superior to AA's network?

If that's how you define the list of cities for TWA's network from both SFO and LAX that I posted in my first reply, then there's simply no use to reading beyond this point in your post, or replying to you further. Obviously you're arguing a point that isn't addressing the facts at hand.



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2264 posts, RR: 8
Reply 11, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 7 hours ago) and read 2225 times:

Quoting YXwatcherMKE (Reply 1):
UA had the ORD LGA market

UA was not as strong as AA on ORD-LGA until the late 1980s, and at one point, in the aftemath of the air traffic controllers strike, completely suspended ORD-LGA.

AA added DC-10 service ORD-LGA in Sep 1971 - this was AA's 2nd DC-10 route after ORD-LAX. UA added ORD-LGA DC-10 service a few months later, but because UA was not as strong as AA on the route, UA was not able to fill such a large aircraft, and had to move the DC-10 to another route.

UA was, however, stronger than AA on ORD-EWR; UA often flew 747s on this route.



Seaholm Maples are #1!
User currently offlinecommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11969 posts, RR: 62
Reply 12, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 2198 times:

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 10):
If that's how you define the list of cities for TWA's network from both SFO and LAX

Wow.

You said that TWA had the "biggest transcon network," and as proof, you listed the flights TWA operated from LAX to various smaller East Coast markets, and then added that they also had additional flights from SFO to all the core east cost markets, defined as BOS, JFK and IAD.

The quote of mine you are now responding to was simply to make the point that TWA's extensive SFO schedule outside of JFK (where AA was larger) consisted of a few daily flights each to BOS and IAD. Beyond that, it looks like TWA's transcon schedule looked much like AA's - except smaller, both in the core JFK-LAX/SFO markets, and in the LAX-smaller East Coast markets.

Quoting WA707atMSP (Reply 11):
UA was not as strong as AA on ORD-LGA until the late 1980s, and at one point, in the aftemath of the air traffic controllers strike, completely suspended ORD-LGA.

AA added DC-10 service ORD-LGA in Sep 1971 - this was AA's 2nd DC-10 route after ORD-LAX. UA added ORD-LGA DC-10 service a few months later, but because UA was not as strong as AA on the route, UA was not able to fill such a large aircraft, and had to move the DC-10 to another route.

It has always been my sense - perhaps incorrectly - that AA has pretty much always dominated ORD-LGA. Even as UA grew further and further ahead of AA in the ORD market overall throughout the 1970s, 1980s, etc., AA always retained the top spot in the core ORD-LGA market, a legacy going back to the DC-3s in the 1930s.


User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 13, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 2189 times:

Quoting commavia (Reply 12):
You said that TWA had the "biggest transcon network," and as proof, you listed the flights TWA operated from LAX to various smaller East Coast markets, and then added that they also had additional flights from SFO to all the core east cost markets, defined as BOS, JFK and IAD.

Once again, you misread my first post (and subsequent ones as well, I might add.)



International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinetimz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 6902 posts, RR: 7
Reply 14, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 4 hours ago) and read 2004 times:

Quoting Jackbr (Thread starter):
which had the biggest trans continental network between the East and West Coast?

Hard to see why there's any arguing about this half of the question, if he means what he says. Just count up the total number of nonstop transcon routes (not flights or passengers) on each airline. (With just AA-UA-TW there won't be much question which routes count as "transcontinental".)


User currently offlinesrbmod From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 15, posted (3 years 9 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 1899 times:

At this point, due to a few participants deciding to snipe at each other, this thread is now locked.

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