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TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:36 am

Just killing some time looking at some tour demands in musical artists contracts. Found a rider in KC and the Sunshine's Band contract that forbid's travel on 2nd rate airlines, with TWA being listed as an example

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/backstagetour/sunshineband/sunshineband1.html

Man, KC and the Sunshine Band calling anyone second rate, especially a great airline like TWA.
 
moman
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 7:50 am

Unfortunately TWA did have a bad name for themselves with their flight delays and old planes, although most perceptions like those were a hold-over from the early 1990s and not an accurate reflection of the airline in the late 90s and 2000.

Now that TWA is gone everyone thinks it was such a great airline (revisionist history). I think it was a great airline, but I also know a lot of people in STL complained about TWAs high fares and such, and the same people are now complaining that TWA is gone and longing for the "glory days".

Moman
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Codasco
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:23 pm

Ehh...although I only flew on TW twice (roundtrip STL-OMA), I found them to be pretty good.On time for both flights. I also think that perhaps their "high fares" was just the public's perception, much like that of AA today. My flight to OMA and back was actually cheaper on TW than on WN. Going out, I was on the Rams 727..OK, so maybe the 727 was a little old. Coming back I was on an MD-80, which wasn't too shabby. Again, my experience with TW is very limitedl, so I don't know that much.
 
atcrick
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:27 pm

I remember flying on Southwest into STL back in the early 90's and seeing all the TWA aircraft there during a bank. Granted, with their paint scheme and old aircraft it looked more like a boneyard than an active terminal, but I personally have never had a bad experience on TWA. R.I.P.


ATC Rick
natch!!
 
Codasco
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 12:42 pm

I agree with you on the paint scheme. Though a portion of their fleet was...well.....elderly, I think that white paint tends to show an aircraft's age easier. I think their last navy, gold, white, and red scheme was great.

And yes, we do miss TWA here!!!!

[Edited 2005-02-12 04:45:15]
 
trnswrld
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:08 pm

Well it seems that most of you are referring to the early 90's TWA. Dont forget that TWA went from having one of the oldest fleets to one of the youngest as a major airline. In the end STL was only loaded with 767-300's, MD-80's, 717's, and 757's. They also won several consecutive awards for their on-time performance in the late 90's. Its too bad things happened the way they did because TWA really was turning around. Everything just happened too late :-(
 
ANNOYEDFA
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 2:23 pm

High fares my a$$.... Thats why they are gone.... They were basically strapped to one of those discount web sites. In the end TWA had a modern and common fleet S80,717, 75/76.... The A318 was to come in for long thin routes along with with A320. The problem is TWA just had no money and if AA did not buy them whole they would of been broken up. TWA had about $35 million left in cash before they were taken over. Excellent airline though!
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Beaucaire
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 3:45 pm

It was on TWA I flew transatlantic for the first time in the '70s ( CDG-BOS on Tristar ) - they used to be my favourite transatlantic airline. Very good staff (friendly,seemed motivated,excellent food ).Great pity the airline dissapeared.
On top they flew into the Middle East and those flights ware packed !
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WesternA318
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:21 pm

*sigh*

More memories keep floating in from the great Red Tail fleet. Or was it the Lindbergh line?  Big thumbs up. I will always miss TWA, Ive have also flown them many a time before working for them. (1st flight on TWA was a 747SP from ATH-JFK)
Check out my blog at fl310travel.blogspot.com!
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sat Feb 12, 2005 11:36 pm

I never had a bad experience on TWA. If anything made them "second-rate" it was lack of decent management from the 70's to the early 90's.

And I LOVE KC and The Sunshine Band..."That's the way (uh-huh uh-huh) I LIKE it (uh-huh-uh huh)!" "Do a little dance, make a little love, get DOWN tonight!"
Next up: STL-OAK-RNO-LAS-ICT-STL
 
lijnden
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 12:07 am

I flew a few times on TWA during the 70's and 80's; LHR>LAX (747) / SFO>JFK (L1011)/ LAX>LHR (747) / AMS>JFK (L1011)/ JFK>LAX (747). I thought the airline was good, the crew was dedicated both on the plane and on the ground, the food was good even in Y-class and I arrived on time on my destination. The fares were actually not bad either; not too low and not too high. Fact remains that TWA, just like Pan Am, will always stay a very important part of US aviation history that brought not only the aviation technology but also made flying for the common people possible. Because of this these airliners also became targets of hi-jacking and terrorists in which both never could recover from.
As for KC and his noisemakers making such statements back then, I really wonder what airline they did fly and what do they fly now?
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Thrust
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 4:11 am

HOW CAN YOU CALL TWA SECOND RATE? They were becoming an LCC on their way out, and were always on-time with their flights. Before then, they became the world's first global airline with a highly extensive domestic network. You can call TWA a lot of things, but second-rate simply is just not one of the them.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
FLY2LIM
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 4:35 am

HOW CAN YOU CALL TWA SECOND RATE?

Let's speak clearly here, folks. Whether or not TWA was second rate, the fact that KC and the Sunshine Band calls anyone "second rate" is the joke here.
KC had his moment of glory, and they were a great disco band. However, they were definitely a "one trick pony" and their glory faded quickly.
As far as TWA, they were a shell of the airline that spanned the globe in the fifties, sixties, and seventies. Different times, different reality. They were definitely "second rate" if you compared them to what they once were.
Anyone who did not fly them before 1977 or so cannot compare what they were with what they are.
I don't recall ever flying them but I have heard a lot of stories from people who did. In the old days, they were "the" airline for many.
FLY2LIM
Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
 
isitsafenow
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:22 am

Fly2LIM....heres a vote for your post. I flew TWA in the 50's,60's,70's,80's and 90's. I can add that I worked for TWA at the MCI overhaul base for a short while.
When you turn the clock back a short time, the standout airlines in this country were Pan American and Trans World. They were a cut above the others and there was something about walking past a crew from Pan Am or TWA different then walking past a crew from say Continental, Northwest or Delta. They just seemed to be a "higher level" than everyone else in the industry except BOAC(British). They also had class

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777STL
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:28 am

TW in the 90s is what US is now. Shells of their former selves.

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September11
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 10:37 am

TWA was my favorite airline. Hence 727-200's!

STL was a great scene for TWA.


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pilotpip
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:19 am

If KC and the Sunshine band were first rate performers, they would be flying around on a Gulfstream.

Having said that, ANNOYEDFA, that internet ticket deal was all the doings on one Carl Icahn. The ticket deal was called the Caribou agreement. That clod killed a great airline. He sold off some of the most profitable routes, sold off landing slots and gates and other assets to pad his pockets with cash. Had he not taken the airline over, the lease rates on the 717s and other new aircraft would have been favorable and I think they would have be in better shape than any of the other legacies. Ah, hinesight...
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doug_or
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Sun Feb 13, 2005 11:37 am

The contract actualy says seconday, not second rate. Perhaps they had a TSA flight with a TWA ticket and didn't understand the diffrence?
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masseybrown
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Mon Feb 14, 2005 4:03 pm

TWA's reputation was up and down like a yo-yo throughout their history. Basically, they were high on glamor and low on reliability. Their "glory" days were probably the 1970s when, for a time, they managed to be both.
 
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usdcaguy
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 9:34 am

I remember flying them before they pulled most of their flights out of JFK; I always thought they were a good airline. Most of the staff, save the guys working in the international recheck area at JFK, were quite friendly and helpful. They flew me to some memorable places (ATH, FCO, BRU, TXL, CDG), so I have some clear memories of them. In the late ninties, I remember that the staff had become a little old and surly, however, and the planes had started to show some wear and tear. That all changed a few years later, when they brought on more 717's. Oh, for the Good Ol' Days...
 
FLY2LIM
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 11:01 am

TWA's reputation was up and down like a yo-yo throughout their history. Basically, they were high on glamor and low on reliability

Not sure what you people mean when you talk about "reliability" in the sixties. People flew to go from one place to another for an extended period of time. If you arrived on time or five hours later, it wasn't such a big deal. The notion of flying, for example, JFK to BOS and back in the same day was not terribly common back then. However, as Isitsafenow added, there was something about flying "Pan American" or "Trans World Airlines" (back then people used the name, not the initials or shortened name) that stood out. Often, celebrities flew those airlines because that's what other celebrities did. This is not a knock on AA, Delta, United, but that's how it once was.

If KC and the Sunshine band were first rate performers, they would be flying around on a Gulfstream.

KC and the Sunshine Band was a first rate band, for about two years in the early eighties. Not sure what they flew back then. Then, their bubble burst.

Fly2LIM....heres a vote for your post. I flew TWA in the 50's,60's,70's,80's and 90's. I can add that I worked for TWA at the MCI overhaul base for a short while.

Isitsafenow:
Looks like you are about the only one qualified to talk about Trans World. I am impressed by your "resume".

FLY2LIM


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masseybrown
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RE: TWA A 2nd Rate Airline?

Thu Feb 17, 2005 4:06 pm

By "reliability" I mean, in addition to the usual on-time and flight completion problems, you were never sure what TWA was doing with its routes. Because of erratic and tardy aircraft procurement in the Howard Hughes days, they were in and out of transcons, ORD, PIT, and varied their schedules pretty radically for Ohio Valley and Southwest cities. Then finally in the 70's their fleet stabilized at an adequate level and their ops were pretty consistent and profitable.

After that Icahn the Terrible arrived and it was torture for everybody who loved the airline.

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