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Reflecting On TWA....

Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:39 am

Just thought of looking back at some older airlines that were popular. I ended up looking at TWA pics. Now I am from the caribbean, hence TWA was not really a big part of my past. But I kept hearing alot about it even as a kid. I rememeber the first time I went to NY, and saw endless TWA jets around JFK. The pics show pleasant looking cabins, and the last livery was really nice in my opinion. I would have loved to fly them at some point but never got the chance.

But what were your experiences on TWA? Have you ever flown them? How was the Trans World experiences?

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There is something special about planes....
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Mon Jun 05, 2006 6:23 am

Quoting Captaink (Thread starter):
But what were your experiences on TWA? Have you ever flown them? How was the Trans World experiences?

Flew TWA quite alot back in the day. First flight with them was in the early summer of '96, my first visit to the US. LGW-STL onboard one of their last 747-100s. After that I flew UM with TW several times, mostly connecting to BNA through STL. Very nice, I got to sit in the F/C section on most of my longhaul flights so the F/As could keep an eye on me.  bigthumbsup 

However, the holding pen for UMs in STL was awful around the holidays. Packed with kids visiting "the other parent" for Christmas. Of course, I was one of them, but still it was not a pleasant experience.

Still, a couple of times when the flight back across the pond stopped at BOS, STL-CDG if I remember correctly, they'd put me in the business lounge for the wait.

My last two flights with TWA were in 1999, flying home to Sweden after a 10 week stint in BNA. DC-9 to STL, and then a 767-300 to CDG.

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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Mon Jun 05, 2006 7:16 am

Here is a good video on TWA.
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:04 am

I have very fond memories of TWA. Some of my earliest memories on an aircraft were flying on a TWA L-1011 from JFK-MIA. I remember crying my eyes out because my dad had to sit a few rows back from us (I was very young hehe).

On the flight home on that trip, it was on a TW 727 FLL-JFK. I remember lots of thunderstorms and even remember the meal--salisbury steak. On the approach, the Captain announced that we were outside Canarsie and I remember this because we lived there and my mom pointed it out to me when he said it. When we landed it started raining. I remember leaving the airport and seeing the red TWA stripes on the top of Terminal 6 while the rain was pouring...

Several years later, I flew Carnival on July 18th, 1996 aka the day after TWA 800. Carnival left from Terminal 6 at JFK and I remember it being such a sad scene. Many people were crying, many employees had lost friends...It was a very somber morning.

In 1998, my father and I took a trip down to Florida on TWA. I don't remember much about this trip other than pulling up to Terminal 5 at JFK on a sunny afternoon and eating Rice Krispies there.

Around this time (I was in junior high school), my mother would often take me to JFK for fun. We'd park the car and walk around Terminal 5 before having a meal. I believe the restaurant was called the Paris Cafe. I remember eating Hot Wings there and watching aircraft pull into Terminal 4. We used to love seeing the board listing all of the flights and passengers checking in before they flew to various corners of the world.

In the summer of 2001, my father and I flew TWA for our last time. It was JFK-MIA (they no longer flew to FLL from JFK) on an MD-80. It was a quintessentially great TWA flight. I remember the crew was a very senior one except for one young guy who made some funny jokes on the intercom. I remember telling my father that I bet this F/A will work for jetBlue someday. I also remember loving his vest--It was in TW colors and just very elegant. I believe the aircraft was already in More Room Throughout Coach seating and had TWA LLC on the door when we boarded.

On the flight home from MIA, we were hoping to give up our seats for vouchers but they wound up not needing us. We wound up being one of the last to board. I remember the F/As being so gracious. Upon arrival at JFK, I spent sometime looking at some of the plaques airside. I remember seeing our Captain exiting the plane and his rolling suitcase had many 1970s-style TWA stickers on it. In the baggage claim area, American had already put up some signs.

I have very great memories of TWA's later days and always will. I still live under the Canarsie Approach and will very much miss the TWA 767s gliding in to their home. I am happy that the TWA sign is still up JFK and that T5 will be in use soon again.
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Mon Jun 05, 2006 11:52 am

Quoting RJpieces (Reply 3):

WOW is all can say RJ. TWA is among the airlines i wished were still around. NYC being something of a second home to me now, I miss the opportunity to have it with TWA being the home airline.
There is something special about planes....
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Mon Jun 05, 2006 12:18 pm

TWA was the first airline I flew on. I have strong confident that I was one of TWA's favorite unaccompanied minors ever.

I remember asking my father this question: "TWA stands for what? T - W - A ..." I had him write down what TWA stands for.

He wrote Trans World Airlines on a piece of paper. The movie "Airplane!" got me confused with TWA and TA   

I attended boarding school in St. Louis for eight years, from 1980 to 1988. Almost every week after school, I lured my dorm mates and houseparents to nearby St. Louis airport to watch TWA planes land and take off for few good hours. We went inside the airport as well. That was fun. The school knew I was an airplane nut.

I virtually remember TWA pilots/flight attendants strike in mid 1980s. One time, when I was flying out of STL, they (striking crew) stared at me as I walked past them in the concourse in STL. My flight to Columbus that time was delayed for hours and hours -- that's how I got interested in aviation business.

TWA's most popular domestic route was probably STL-LAX route. L-1011, 747, 767 all the time during the 1980s. I wanted to fly on that route badly -- and in 2001, when AA bought TWA, I decided to fly STL-LAX-STL on TW 763 just before TWA vanished.

I miss TWA.

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[Edited 2006-06-05 05:38:42] of the Future
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Mon Jun 05, 2006 1:11 pm

I really consider myself fortunate that I got to fly TWA as often as I did. The first time I stepped onboard TWA was on a 707 that had the space-age disc lighting in the ceiling, and it took me across the country overnight from SFO to EWR. As we were heading down the taxiway to our gate after landing, a gorgeous L-1011 arrived from LAX and touched down right next to us, the closest I'd ever been to one in motion up until that time.

When I was a teenager, my parents used to let me go down to SFO on the Airporter bus and I'd spend hours on the observation deck of the old Central Terminal watching planes take off and land, snapping pictures with my green and ivory Instamatic (yes, still have a lot of those pics). I still remember the first time I saw the Tristar in double-globe livery take off for Chicago in the early 70's. What a sight.

In the late 70's and early 80's, I worked in the Kaiser Center along Lake Merritt in Oakland, and as I was walking in, I always stopped to look up to see which planes were crossing over the lake on their way east. At that time the first flights of the morning from SFO to JFK were on 747's, and you could watch one after the other climbing out over Oakland on their way east. I told myself I'd be on one someday, too. It was a mixed blessing that my first trip to Europe got routed SFO-BOS-LHR on an L-1011 first, changing to a 747, but the next year I struck onto a delightful deal. TWA offered one-way standby tickets for $250 to either London, Amsterdam or Brussels in the fall. It was luck of the draw, you could choose where to go depending upon where they had seats that morning. The day I showed up seats were available to all three, so I chose Amsterdam, and with that, I was off to Europe for several months. I finally got my dream to look down over the lake from a window seat on a TWA 747 bound for New York.

A couple of years earlier, my first ever trip to Las Vegas was on a TWA 727-100, in the days when TWA still ran the routes from the midwest through Vegas and onto the coast. The plane I took down was continuing on to Columbus or Dayton, or somewhere near there. It was always exciting to walk beneath the giant TWA departures board in the old South Terminal listing all the stops your flight was taking, right next to the Tiki Bar (you can see it in movies like What's Up Doc?, and possibly Bullitt, IIRC).

That trip to Vegas was bizarre in a number of ways. I'd booked through TWA Vacations (to get the beige bag with TWA running down the side in red several times, of course), and the lady who arranged everything over the phone for me told me about her favorite slot machine at the airport, and when I got there, I dropped 5 quarters in it, just as she suggested, and I won a $50 jackpot! I was sold on Vegas from then on.

Originally I was going to Vegas alone, but about a week before I left a friend wanted to join me, and we switched hotels from the MGM Grand (that a family friend had recommended) to Caesar's Palace (where he wanted to stay). We departed on the morning of November 21, 1980. That night the MGM burned. We were going to go over there to have dinner that night and gamble for a while, but we were absorbed watching some Italian lose a half million at baccarat at Caesar's, and went outside to watch the ordeal unfold when we first heard of the tragedy. There were some survivors on our return flight, and as we were deplaning, the local news had cameras and reporters at our gate to get interviews.

I had a lot of firsts with TWA. First L-1011, first time in First, first time in Business, first frequent flyer program I signed up with (October 1981), and the first time I did a mileage run (a simple SFO-LAX-SFO return to get two extra segments).

It was really sad to see TWA slowly decline. The last time I thought it really had a future was right after they took over Ozark. I remember having lunch in Business flying MXP-CDG, and all the silverware had the Ozark logo on them. Quite surreal while flying above the Alps.

In the early 90's the handwriting was clearly on the wall, and it had been called "the great shrinking airline" by no less than AW&ST. I was a bond trader at that time, and we made a market in TWA bonds, that we always called "tee-way" for short. That's still the name I call it by even today.

Flight 800 hit home rather hard. A friend of mine's sister-in-law was a flight attendant with TWA, and she flew just enough to maintain health insurance and other benefits. She liked to fly to Paris, and often took that run. I remember hearing about the crash while I was on my way home from work, but didn't hear until later she'd been scheduled to be on it. It was a couple of hours before it was learned that her incoming flight from St. Louis (where she lived) had been delayed, and a couple of reserve crew took the place of those on the delayed flight. She had just boarded her return flight for St. Louis when 800 went down.

If I have anything close to halcyon days, TWA is part of the fabric of it all, taking an adventurous young man places I'd only dreamed of before, and I wish it was still here to be a part of all my future adventures. One last time I'd like to board a TWA 747 bound for Europe, having spent my connecting time in the Ambassador's Club in Saarinen's masterpiece, being a part of the excitement Kennedy airport was back then.
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Mon Jun 05, 2006 5:29 pm

First ride I had on TWA was from JFK to FRA on an L-1011 in 1980. I had been home on leave from Germany and was trying to cheap-seat it across the pond. I managed to get to the states okay, but just couldn't get out of McGuire AFB back to Germany. With leave running out, and $$$ too, I opted for the commerical route . . . TWA offered the best price, and was leaving that night. So, I hopped a bus and off to JFK I went. Nine hours later, I was aboard the L-1011 and flying to Germany. I had a bulkhead seat, window, exit row. . . that's pretty much all I remember about the flight.

The next and the last time I flew TWA from STL-DCA on an 757. I was in F, and it was just before AA raped TWA. I managed to get my hands on an F class espresso set, napkins and silverware. I still have it . . .
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Mon Jun 05, 2006 10:58 pm

Quoting ANCFlyer (Reply 7):
I managed to get my hands on an F class espresso set, napkins and silverware. I still have it . . .


I had a few flights on TWA that were very good. Most of my memories are of working around them here at STL. All the big boys at the gates, getting in line for departure. One fun memory was taking bets on whether flight #1 (HNL) was making money or not. For those familiar with STL, my work station is in the mini tower at the end of the B concourse which is right at the mid point of 12R/30L. Who ever was upstairs at the time, we'd lay down a buck and bet. If the 747 rotated before our tower, he was losing money on that flight, after, they were making money. It was really fun to cheer on a TWA 747 to keep it on the ground beyond taxiway Bravo! (at that time) I always bet making and won most of the time.  Wink

Then the decline started. The L-10's left, the 72's and finally the 747's. I was truly bummed when the whales left because I knew we'd never see them in STL again on a regular basis. The last day of 727 operations was a neat day. He did a couple fly by's and on the last one, nearly all rampers on the north side of C stopped what they were doing, walked out to the edge of the movement/non-movement line and watched the fly by, cheering loudly. A very neat moment. Then the AA takeover. (I was taught if you don't have anything nice to say.....) *crickets chirping*

TWA isn't completely dead though. There is a site called Trans World Virtual Airlines (TWVA) and thier web is It's pretty cool, check it out.

Long live TWA!
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Wed Jun 07, 2006 8:58 am

My first flight was on TWA SFO-JFK on a 747 in August 1971; then onto Milan on a 707. I knew from the first time I boarded that I loved flying. My second trip was many years later, 1998, was SFO-St. Louis-San Antonio-MD-80's and 727's. Finally, in 2002 I flew SFO-JFK on 767's. By the end, it was a tired airline-the food service trays were very old and worn, etc. I had hoped they would make it when they developed their Carribean push into San Juan. But, too many years of rape and pillage brought them down.
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Thu Jun 08, 2006 5:23 am

Every time I read 'TWA', TWA800 somehow recalls.
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Thu Jun 08, 2006 10:08 pm

How about the TWA 707 that landed at Ohio State University's Don Scott Field by mistake when I was at Ohio State? On a 4400-foot asphalt runway!!! If anyone wants the details of this incident, I'll be glad to email you a document that I wrote up telling about this incident. Just email me per my profile contact, mentioning in the subject line TWA 707 so I don't just delete the email from my inbox without reading it as suspicious, which I'm prone to do.

My first jet flights were on TWA, a round trip between CMH and PIT, going to PIT on a 707, returning to CMH on a 727. Ah, those were the days.

My first 747 ride is with TWA right after they started flying it, I rode in First, and enjoyed the upstairs lounge. What an experience at that time!

I flew a TWA 707 home from Ireland once, too.

It was a good airline, and I flew with them many times, including my "firsts" mentioned here.

[Edited 2006-06-08 15:10:39]
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Mon Jun 12, 2006 6:31 am

Somebody doe the old folks a favor and post a picture of twin globes?
Thank you in advance.
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:24 pm


I grew up looking to TWA good old 707's flying to LIS since mid 60's. I remember then seeing their final seasons of the 707 at LIS and see them beeing replaced by the L1011 Tristar and also the 747. TWA would use LIS has a stop to Spain ( either MAD or BCN ) and it was an incredible sight to see their airplanes always in LIS. Finnally in 1989 I had my chance to fly TWA to USA......but first flight actually was not from LIS, in that day of the week TWA didn't have a flight from LIS so I had to take an early morning TAP flight to MAD at get the flight to JFK. Has my tribute to them here goes my flights and the pictures of the TWA planes I flew:

Date: 1989/03/13
Airplane: Boeing 747-100B
Registration: N93106
Flight: MAD/JFK
Flying time: 7:30 minutes
Age of the airplane at that time: 18 years and 11 months

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Photo © Erik Frikke

Date: 1989/03/16
Airplane: Lockheed L1011-100 Tristar
Registration: N31030
Flight: JFK/SJU
Flying time: 3:20 minutes
Age of the airplane at that time: 13 years and 7 months

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Photo © AlainDurand

Date: 1989/03/18
Airplane: Lockheed L1011-100 Tristar
Registration: N7035T
Flying time: 2:30 minutes (SJU/MIA) + 2:15 minutes (MIA/STL)
Age of the plane at that time: 7 years

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Photo © Ole Johan Beck

Date: 1989/03/18
Airplane: Lockheed L1011-1 Tristar
Registration: N31013
Flight: STL/LAX
Flying time: 2:00 hours
Age of the plane at that time: 15 years and 7 months

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Photo © Ellis M. Chernoff

Date: 1989/03/22
Airplane: Lockheed L1011-50 Tristar
Registration: N31019
Flying time: 4:30 minutes (LAX/JFK) + 6:30 minutes (JFK/LIS)
Age of the plane at that time: 15 years

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Also I would like to mention how great it was to leave the Saarinen TWA Terminal when I arrived to JFK from MAD!!! Such a great place!!!
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:02 am

Quoting Isitsafenow (Reply 12):
post a picture of twin globes?

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Just sitting there, it looks like it wants to take off, doesn't it?
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:55 am


My favorite Airline, ever!

I have so many memories of TWA, being near STL of course. it was 90% what we flew.

My favorite memories would be flying TWA Flight 161 MCO-STL, it was an L1011. and we were bumped to first class.

All my charter flights I flew with the SIU team were on a TWA 727.

My last Flight with a TWA crew was STL-DFW on an ex TWA 757. Before they got laid off. Such a sombering flight for me, I didn't know I'd be experiencing my last true TWA flight. I told the F/A i was a big fan of TWA and such , she gave me a hug and said she was sorry to see TWA go, and she said she would give me the best flight ever, TWA style (even though it was an AA flight). And sure enough, even though I sat in coach I had one of the best flight ever in my life. After I got off the plane in DFW, she came up to me , gave me a hug, smiled and said "thank YOU for flying TWA" and winked at me. I had to hold back Tears, it really became the end for me.

I always will hold a place for TWA in my heart.

Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Tue Jun 13, 2006 11:04 pm

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 15):

I think I've heard you tell this story before ...................................

It's a good one.
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RE: Reflecting On TWA....

Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:23 am

Quoting Boeing Nut (Reply 16):
I think I've heard you tell this story before ...................................

It's a good one.

Oh im sure I have  Smile

I love to tell the story cause it really is the last time I ever experienced TWA in true fashion!

Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!

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