Topic Author
Posts: 821
Joined: Tue Mar 28, 2000 2:45 pm

Trans World Express

Sun Aug 20, 2000 2:04 am

For a number of reasons, over the last few months, I have had to connect from TWA to TWAExpress at STL.Quite honestly if UAL had their act together, i would not be doing things this way.I am a Premier status member with them. However, time and relience is important too. Or so i thought. Anyway of my 6 last flights from STL to either BMI or PIA its been something less than reliable. In June I was on the plane ready for departure just as severe thunderstorms were moving in.However we were to beat it or so we thought. As we were at the end of the runway a mechanical problem developed and we returned to the gate. The problem resulted in the flight being canceled and the thunderstorms moved in. . i wa rebooked on a flight for 20 hours later as everyuthing else was booked solid. Instead I drove to PIA, which was not offered as a solution I just appeared at PIA and was able to get on a flight leaving in about 20 minutes. Much to TWAs credit TWA did mail me a letter of apology with a coupon for $50.00 a future flight. It could have been more but at least they did try to contact me first.From that point on until i reached DCA everything was fine. A few trips after that was some small delays but nothing really awful.
This past week the cycle started all over again On August 15, i flew from DCA-STL-BMI. We arrived in STL 37 minutes early. Two hours later our flight was due to depart for BMI. Close to departure time a whole string of miss communications and no communications bewtween gate agents, mechanics etc resulted in delays. Finally after a 2 hour delay we board the flight. While we were on the plane waiting for departure the pilot thought something hit the plane. So there is a big inspection of the aircraft looking for damage etc. Thirty minutes later they find some damage and the flight is canceled. I was put on the next flight which itself left 35 minutes late. Finally i left STL close to 7 hours after arriving STL.
In PIA, a 35 mile drive from, from BMI there is terrible drop off in passenger boardings this year. Much of it was due the very high fares and parking fees in PIA. However in recent weeks much of that problem has been eliminated. So i went to the airport in PIA and tried to change my departure from BMI to PIA. I was told by the station manager there that there would be a $75.00 fee for change. i refused to pay it and kept the BMI departure.
Upon arrival last night at the BMI airport there was going to be delay in the TWA express flight, a very long delay. i was offered the option to drive back to PIA for a later departure that would get me to DCA right on schedule. I accepted the offer.The irony is that it was the same flight i tried to change to when they wanted the $75.00 change fee. From that point on things went very well and i arrived in DCA about 12 minutes early.
Now the question becomes does TWA really think another $50.00 flight coupon will smooth things over? Why does TWA, another wise wonderful airline, accept this kind of action from TWA Express over and over again. When will they get the message? Also the station manager for TWA Express in PIA is one of the most uncooperative, inflexible, unprofessional, lacking in common courtesy, persons i have ever met in the travel businesor any other industry for that matter. I have heard that recently there was an episode in PIA that someone had. The way it was presented to me was that she gave some passenger a difficult time about some minor thing. At the end of the conversation he produced 3 first class round trip tickets from PIA-Saudi Arabia and demanded a refuund. Even then she apparently did not back down or at least become courteous. Perhaps when someobody in the chain of command finds out this is going on changes will happen. Trust me that wont come too soon.
In the meantime there are a few very truly wonderful and sincere, courteous, professional and very helpful employees TWA Express employees in both PIA and BMI. They are truly a marvel. Its just that it seems the presence of the station manager on the scene gives the impression to the employees that she is watching them like a communist dictator. Maybe that is one of the causes of the drop off in passenger boardings in PIA. Are you listening TWA?

RE: Trans World Express

Sun Aug 20, 2000 2:45 am

you need to realize that TWA and TWE are not the same company and TWA does realize that TWE is now mainly run by Trans States Airlines. TWA is getting rid of that company as a commuter and phasing in service of "Corporate Airlines", "Chataugua", and in the LA region we are adding service and provided by "American Eagle" (yes all planes will be in TWE colors.) So just remember that when you see TWE service that it is run by a couple companies. You were on "Trans States" which does not have a very good on time and cancellation record. It was not TWA's responsiblity to give you the gift certificates but TWA just wants to make up for the wrongdoing of TSA.

RE: Trans World Express

Sun Aug 20, 2000 8:32 am

And what about DL Connection's use of TSA? Any Delta reps out there who know of any plans regarding TSA? I can understand that Trans States is/was in Chapter 11, but even still, they aren't going to get out of finiancial trouble by pissing pax off.
Is DL planning to stop purchasing services from TSA, leaving them in a permanent bankruptcy hole?
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Joined: Tue Nov 23, 1999 3:51 am

RE: Trans World Express

Sun Aug 20, 2000 8:40 am

Anytime I knew that I had a TSA connection, I cringed.

Most of the time I was lucky, it was someone else's flight that was delayed or cancelled.

For lack of a better description, Trans States sucks.

The sooner they're gone, the better.

RE: Trans World Express

Sun Aug 20, 2000 12:32 pm

Yeah TSA has severe operational issues in reliability, ontime arrivals, and courteous service. TWA however knows that Trans States is the weak link in the TWE system. To combat TSA's pathetic service record Chattaqua and Corporate were brought in to take over a few of TSA's old STL feed routes with new J31s and Saab 340s. However, TSA still feeds a majority of TWE's STL flights and all of TWC's JFK flights. At JFK, Trans States flies in house colors for, in addition to Trans World Connection, Delta Connection. Like, TW DL, also realizes that Trans States is a second rate airline and to imrpove service DL is supplementing JFK TSA service with LGA service by ACJet, a subsidiary of Atlantic Coast Airlines in Dulles, VA.

If TW continues to enlarge Chautaqua's role at STL and downplay TSA's STL will become a stronger hub and more reflect TWA's first rate mainline service.

One more thing. TWA Agent, you said that American Eagle's new service dba Trans World Connection at LAX fly in TWC livery? I hadn't heard that. In fact I head quite the opposite, that Eagle will not rebrand its livery (as it will still continue to fly primarily for AA), and that pax not flying TW mailine through LAX won't even receive Aviators credit on Eagle TWC service. Also, Eagle won't reschedule its flights to better meet TW arrivals and departures as that will interfere with American mainline scheduling.

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Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2005 11:12 pm

RE: Trans World Express

Tue Aug 22, 2000 10:07 am

TSA is in Chapter 11?
That probably explains why they withdrew from their west coast operations and pulled several markets from their east coast operation.
What is in the likes for their future?

747first class, I know for a fact that there are several ex-TWA agents working in PIA, so perhaps that lady is one of them.

This brings up a topic I am very interested in, airlines and their commuter partners.
For instance, why did UA pull Mesa's contract?
Was it fully because of the service they provided or were there other reasons as well? I have never flown Mesa when they were UAX but I know Great Lakes is a pretty bad commuter partner for UA. Why don't they pull their contract? Did they also pull UFS or did UFS just shut down its UAX ties?

any enlightment would be greatly appreciated.
Posts: 1911
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 8:25 am

RE: Trans World Express

Thu Aug 24, 2000 2:28 pm

TSA is definately scaling back operations with TWA and Chautauqua, Corporate, American Eagle and Gulfstream have scaled up operations. In STL Corporate and Chautauqua continue to grow as TSA (except for RJ service shrinks) and in SJU TWA is Gulfstream's biggest partner. A new partner may be announced in STL as well as JFK/LGA in the very near future. Keep checking the press releases as TWA continues to clean house with it's partners and keeps the turnaround going.

RE: Trans World Express

Fri Aug 25, 2000 12:19 am

Al, you probably know this, but wasn't United Feeder Services (UFS) the same guy, whats his name Hulas (?), who is running TSA presently? I think I read that and that yes UAL did pull UFS' contract because of the pathetic way the airline's operations were run. Al says that TW will perhaps announce a new commuter partner for STL, whats wrong with Chautaqua and Corporate? Is TW's new relationship with Chautaqua already on the ropes, especially after the failure of the LAX feed? Why wouldn't Chautaqua continue to expand with new RJs and become a significant TW partner in STL providing better, friendlier, and more efficient service than its predecesor: TSA?
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Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 12:16 pm

RE: Trans World Express

Fri Aug 25, 2000 12:32 am

I think Chautauqua is doing fine in STL. The on time record could be a little better, but we are working on it. I expect to see more Chautauqua cities added as the jets come in. It was to my understanding that the SAABs were not to be a part of STL, but due to the quick start up and the lack of jets, they had to be used. I know a 17th SAAB was recently added to the USAirways Express operation. I don't think that the TWE side will see any more SAABs. I think expansion will most likely be with jets only.
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Joined: Mon Feb 21, 2000 1:12 pm

RE: Trans World Express

Fri Aug 25, 2000 3:37 am

A consulting firm a few years back was hired by FWA to outline a plan to attract back all those pax that drive to other cities. One of the recommendations was regarding TWE (TSA). The recommendation...evict TSA. they concluded TSA provided such poor service, it actually repelled customers. Chautauqua has since taken over TWE and things are greatly improved from what I'm hearing. I just wish they'd put those RJs in here.  

"Shaddap you!"

RE: Trans World Express

Fri Aug 25, 2000 7:13 am

Cody, could I ask? Are you a first officer with Chautauqua at STL?
Posts: 2183
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 12:16 pm


Fri Aug 25, 2000 8:44 am

A First Officer for Chautauqua....yes. At STL....no.
Posts: 1911
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 8:25 am

RE: Trans World Express

Sat Aug 26, 2000 3:13 am

The situation as I understand it is that TWA and Chautauqua are doing fine. TWA would like to add additional 30 seat catagory aircraft and additional 19 seat catagory aircraft into markets it is not currently servicing. Chautauqua and Corporate will only go so fast in their respective expansion and the next stage is going to be a little more aggressive into a region that has been dominated by a single carrier.

United Feeder Service was owned and operated by Hulas the same guy who owns and operates Trans States. That along with TSA's UA RJ's got the boot after absymal service levels that caused UA to bite the bullet and eat the contract just to get rid of him. The FWA turnaround is accurate with TSA's departure.

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Joined: Sun Dec 05, 1999 7:03 am

RE: Trans World Express

Sat Aug 26, 2000 10:47 am

I heard rumors that Delta has bought controlling interest in TSA. Is there any truth to that?
Posts: 1911
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 8:25 am

RE: Trans World Express

Sun Aug 27, 2000 1:56 am

Delta does not own any stake in TSA. Delta backed ACAI to start ACA Jet which will be replacing TSA service flown for Delta.

RE: Trans World Express

Sun Aug 27, 2000 4:08 am

So what'll happen to TSA now that their 3 main codeshares(United/Delta/TWA) are backing out of them?
Posts: 1911
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 8:25 am

RE: Trans World Express

Sun Aug 27, 2000 4:25 am

TSA no longer serves UA at all.

TSA will soon be only flying EMB-145s and ATR72/42s at TWA if my hunch is correct.

TSA will fly some ERJs for DL until ACAJet get big enough for DL to drop TSA.

All is fair in love and war. TSA is in trouble
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Joined: Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:16 am

RE: Trans World Express

Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:45 am

United Airlines did AXE UFS and Trans States ORD operation for a # of reasons.. for one, of the 9 operating BAe ATPs, at the most 7 were flyable.. stressing AT THE MOST. Sometimes there were up to 4 or 5 at the SBN hangar waiting for repairs.

The Jungle Jet operation.. BWAHAHAH.. United spent more money trying to fix it than they actually brought in. Not a lot of anymosity between the T-States ORD and UFS/T-States crowd... virtually hated eachother because, remarkably, UFS was a better operation that T-States STL

About PIA station-- it is all TWE staff. TWA did fly 2 daily DC-9-32s into PIA, only to be replaced by the Jungle Jets... I know a few of them, and their pictures can be found on the T-States website (www.transstates.net)

T-States in general is in trouble. Great Lakes used to be the black eye of the industry (i was with them at the time) and now it appears T States has stolen that rank from them. Lakes replaced all of the BE1900Cs with the newer D models they acquired (courtesy of UAL Corp) from the Mesa operation (Mountain West??). I guess Tom at Gulfstream now has the C models... unless they are in your pantry full of Campbells Chicken Noodle soup... heh

This will be interesting.. Bedford (Chautauqua CEO) really likes slow paced, moderated growth. Gives him more control.. so don't expect many ERJs in TWE colours under his banner YET......
~ ~ ~ ~ pRoFeSsIoNaL hUrRiCaNe DoDgEr ~ ~ ~ ~
Posts: 1911
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2001 8:25 am

RE: Trans World Express

Sun Aug 27, 2000 7:50 am

Bedford has a commitment to provide 18 ERJs at a set delivery schedule with TWE. I expect he will keep that and then evaluate further growth. I do not expect many more (if any S340s for the moment)

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