Thrust
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Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Mon Nov 15, 2004 5:24 am

I can only think of one situation which would describe the worst decision made in aviation history. That would be way way back in the late 1940s when C.R. Smith decided to sell American Overseas Airlines to Pan Am, deeming them as a waste of money. This killed international service for AA for the next two decades. My second vote for the worst aviation decision in history was the selling of TWA's LHR routes to AA (ORD-LHR, JFK-LHR, PHL-LHR, LAX-LHR, BOS-LHR). This cut off $500 million of their revenue and nearly bankrupted them. What are your votes for the worst airline business conduct in aviation history?
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skysurfer
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Mon Nov 15, 2004 9:36 am

The KLM Captain deciding to take off at Tenerife in 1977 is to me the worst business conduct in history!!!!  Sad

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September11
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Mon Nov 15, 2004 10:38 am

airline deregulation in early 80's by the Reagan administration
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RCS763AV
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:30 pm

Past:

- The National buyout by PAA.
- TWA selling LHR.
- Ansett´s fleet.

Currently:

- Delta´s ridiculous contract with the pilots! (though now solved)
 
PPVRA
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Mon Nov 15, 2004 12:38 pm

-Fundacao Rubem Berta management of RG.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Mon Nov 15, 2004 4:53 pm

The KLM Captain deciding to take off at Tenerife in 1977

I second this.
regds
MEL
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Thrust
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Tue Nov 16, 2004 12:04 am

I actually have another to add to this. The postmaster's decision in the 1930s to turn the mail-hauling responsibility over to the military. The army proved to be terrible at the job. Within several months, plane crash frequencies more than doubled. The mail responsibility was handed back to the airlines, who were forced to change their names.
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planespotting
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Tue Nov 16, 2004 1:49 am

September 11

Actually, the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 was signed into law by Jimmy Carter. The Reagan administration had nothing to do with the initial deregulation of the airlines.

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RCS763AV
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Tue Nov 16, 2004 2:13 am

And in my country;

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ltbewr
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Tue Nov 16, 2004 3:34 am

The failure of USA airlines the government and our citizens to have real security as to passanger airlines operations in place long before 9/11. The managers and officers at most USA airlines didn't want the higher costs or have their customers inconvenienced by stricter security measures. They gave major contributions to politicans in the government and pressured air safety and security regulators to make sure they didn't pass stricter security laws or rules. The politicans also didn't want to pick off the people who voted for them by putting into place stricter security either. All this despite the proof of the benefits of stricter security in Europe and elsewhere since the 1980's due to their local and international terror threats. It was only after 9/11 that the all parties here within the USA realized they all had made the wrong decision. Those decisions have lead to threats as to the continued existance of some airlines, the deaths of thousands of humans on 9/11, our policies as to Iraq and a big change in attitude to security in the USA. I would suggest that had their been stricter policies as to security the chances that the events of 9/11 happening could have been substantually reduced.
 
monorail
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Tue Nov 16, 2004 2:01 pm

I would have to agree with TWA selling the LHR routes. After all, think about where they and AA would be today if TWA kept those routes and AA was not in LHR.


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Thrust
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Tue Nov 16, 2004 2:58 pm

Monorail, first off, almost any aircraft would look good in the last full TWA colors Big thumbs up So sad they are gone. AA would be nowhere in my opinion without those LHR routes. That was the beginning of their rise to international prominence. I believe TWA never would have sold those routes had Icahn not been in control.
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Thrust
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Wed Nov 17, 2004 6:41 am

Anybody else wanna comment on the worst aviation decisions you believe have ever been made?  Smile
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767-332ER
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Wed Nov 17, 2004 8:28 am


September 11, yes, just like Planespotting said, the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 was proposed by Kennedy/Kahn and was passed by the Carter administration.

Now to answer to the post, I am doing a project and study of analysis of the Tenerife disaster and I couldn't agree anymore with what was said that one of the worst moves ever made in aviation was Capt. Van Zanten's eagerness to leave Tenerife to go to Las Palmas.
I also will say that the PATCO's (air traffic controllers in early 80's) decision to strike was pretty bad...they all found themselves without a job. I think the AFA's move to strike now is also one for the books.
Regards
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justplanesmart
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Wed Nov 17, 2004 10:03 pm

Since Thrust seems to be looking for airline business decisions specifically:
"What are your votes for the worst airline business conduct in aviation history?" I will leave out politics, human errors,and the like, and focus on that.

My vote? Braniff shutting down completely after their bankruptcy filing in 1982. At the time, the airline's executives probably thought it was the honorable thing to do. However, as other carriers have shown since, it is possible to keep flying while reorganizing, thereby keeping a loyal customer base (which Braniff certainly had at the time). Who knows if that might have kept the Flying Colors around for many more years.

"So many planes; so little time..."
 
AZjetgeek
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:21 am

I have two decisions that date back to the Reagan administration of the 1980's: (1) Secretary of Transportation Elizabeth Dole allowed Texas Air's Frank Lorenzo to buy out Eastern Airlines; (2) Dole's failure to block Carl Icahn from buying out TWA.

Perhaps it was the Reagan administration's attitude toward organized labor that motivated Ms. Dole to allow the infamous "union buster" Lorenzo to acquire Eastern. Perhaps it was that administration's intense love of big business that inspired Dole to allow Icahn's buyout of TWA.

A candidate for a third foul-up by the Reagan administration was allowing PeoplExpress to buy out Frontier in the early 80's. This move doomed two airlines, whereas the government could have blocked the buyout and only one airline (Frontier) would have bit the dust.

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Bicoastal
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:37 am

Worst decision was allowing airline workers to unionize.
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AZjetgeek
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:37 am

Bicoastal, your opposition to unions in aviation amuses and disturbs me. Were it not for unions, airline management could force pilots to fly twice as many hours as they do per month, thus placing thousands of passengers at risk. They would do the same to mechanics and flight attendants, which would, in turn jeopardize the lives of passengers.

I realize that the unions have reputations for squeezing as much money out of airline management as they can, but folks like you fail to recognize that the working conditions in those contracts protect the passengers in ways the average customer fails to understand or consider.

ALPA and PATCO are largely responsible for many of the safety measures currently in place at most airports, at least in the United States. ALPA is largely responsible for forcing airlines and aircraft manufacturers to install more accurate navigational equipment aboard the aircraft they fly.

Before you condemn airline employee unions, think about who is responsible for your safety and comfort. It certainly isn't the airline executives.
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WrenchBender
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Fri Nov 19, 2004 12:46 pm

In Canadian Aviation it had to be the day the AVRO Arrow was cancelled.

WrenchBender
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monorail
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Fri Nov 19, 2004 2:09 pm

Lockheed closing the L-1011 line  Sad
Well, maybe that qualifies as more disappointing than 'worst'
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AlitaliaMD11
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Sun Nov 21, 2004 4:22 am

Hey


When Sept 11 happend, COs descion to retire there MD80s and DC10s, as well as Deltas deciosion of retiring there MD-11s.

I also thought it was pretty bad when TWA agreed to hve AA buy them out

:-(
No Vueling No Party
 
andz
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Sun Nov 21, 2004 6:38 pm

Retiring Concorde ahead of its time.
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lamedianaranja
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Sun Nov 21, 2004 7:36 pm

The sale of VIASA, Venezuelan airlines, to Iberia instead of to KLM, the other bidder. This was a complex political decision which lead to their shameful bankruptcy eventually.
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AlitaliaMD11
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Sun Nov 21, 2004 10:25 pm

Hey


I also do agree on the concorde, retired it way ahead of the time it was sopposed to be.

They came up recently with some crapy exuse that it was a main terorist target sure..  Yeah sure
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Thrust
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:40 pm

Actually, it was better that AA bought TWA out in the long run anyway. TWA would've been destroyed by 9-11 anyway. AA saved TWA from almost certain death. STL would have lost almost everything, including the routes it still has. TWA was on the verge of death when AA bought them out.
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Thrust
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:48 pm

I also agree that Icahn should never have been allowed to touch TWA. At the same time, neither should've Lorenzo. TWA chose the lesser of two evils, Icahn, but they should've at least had a "fair" owner. Unfortunately TWA never was able to get the experienced executives AA and UA have had. Which brings up one more bad aviation decision on TWA's part for me. TWA in 1972 had Robert Crandall (yes, him  Big grin, the man who transformed AA into one of the world's largest megacarriers. They never realized his potential...that would come back to haunt them when they sold their LHR routes to AA, of whom he was in charge of then.
Fly one thing; Fly it well
 
EZEIZA
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Mon Nov 22, 2004 2:54 pm

not the worst decision in history, but the captain was not too bright when he decided to attempt take off from AEP on LAPA 5 years ago despite warning signals were on.
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aireuropeuk733
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Mon Nov 22, 2004 10:45 pm

I agree - retiring Concorde at least 10 years too early!!

Mike
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vatveng
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RE: Worst Aviation Decisions In History

Tue Nov 23, 2004 10:48 am

Piedmont Airlines selling out to USAir. Should've been the other way around.

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