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Tan Flyr
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LAX TWA Ambassador (retired captain)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:22 pm

Last week I had a chance to chat with an ex-TWA FA about the good old days! We both were trying to remember the name of the retired TWA captain that donated his time to being an "official-unofficial" TWA ambassador at LAX. He would meet flights, assist and direct passengers to gates, etc. Just one of the most pleasant folks you would ever meet.

I think his first name was Randy??? but maybe not.

If any of you recall the gentleman and can provide his name it sure would be great.

Many Thanks!
 
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FlySail2015
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Re: LAX TWA Ambassador (retired captain)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:47 pm

That would be Captain Randy Kramer, a TWA legend! I never met him, but my dad (a TWA pilot) would tell me how every time they parked at LAX, the door would open up and Captain Kramer would be there in his sharp, crisp, perfectly-pressed Captain's uniform to greet everyone. Randy retired in the mid 1980s off the L-1011 based in LAX, but kept showing up to "work" all the way to the end of TWA.

If I remember the story right, I believe AA management asked him to leave after the acquisition. Then a petition was formed and signed by pilots from both TWA and AA, but the damage had been done and Randy didn't return.

He died just over a year ago at 93 years old.
 
highflier92660
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Re: LAX TWA Ambassador (retired captain)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:49 pm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTGyqyNEbhY

This is a KABC news broadcast from 1999 with Harold Greene and Laura Diaz. Captain Randy Kramer had that stereotypical, distinguished senior captain "look" of the day with grey hair and a mustache. Trans World Airlines had a lot legendary captains like Kramer and Bob Buck.
 
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Moose135
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Re: LAX TWA Ambassador (retired captain)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:49 pm

FlySail2015 wrote:
That would be Captain Randy Kramer, a TWA legend!


You may be familiar with his brother, Captain Rex Kramer:

Image

:D
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
wjcandee
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Re: LAX TWA Ambassador (retired captain)

Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:03 pm

TWA appreciated Randy. AA didn't. TWA dedicated the LAX Ambassador's club to him. Big portrait of him inside, of which he was -- in his quiet, gentlemanly way -- very proud. He also had a little closet in there where he kept a few things that he liked to give away to people.

That some midlevel ass-hat AA manager would decide after the acquisition to bar him from the club in which his own picture hung was just beyond the pale. Apparently, once the story hit the executive suite, they were duly-horrified and tried to make things right, but Randy was such an extraordinary gentleman that he did not want to be any kind of irritant to anybody and just quietly stayed away. I think I recall Sally making a funny comment or two about having him around the house more, but I'm sure she appreciated the extra time with him. I had the great joy of visiting with him several times at LAX, and to see the respect that all crews from all airlines showed him was a testament to what an extraordinary, humble gentleman he was. In fact, I had a flight out on ATA one afternoon, and after visiting with Randy, I boarded the plane. A few minutes later, the ATA station manager came on the plane and kneeled next to my seat. She had heard from Randy that I was a friend of his, and talked so glowingly about him. She pointed me out to the FAs for extra attention, and they also made a point of telling me what a lovely man he was. And this was from people at a different airline.

Randy's brother flew for AA after the war, and Randy saw the linkup between the two carriers as kind of a nice coda for him and his brother -- before AA proved itself to be the bunch of (don't get me started) that they are. How they dealt with Randy was proof positive of, and a fine bit of iconography for, the pervasive culture of disdain that they demonstrated for the operations and people of one of America's most important airlines, one that they immediately set about erasing.

Let me say, though, the the burning anger that I still feel about how Randy was treated is in no way a reflection of his own feelings. He was unfailingly upbeat, positive, appreciative, gracious, honorable, stoic and dignified, and never for a minute would have the kind of emotions that I did. He was of that generation, where its best didn't complain. Indeed, I'm pretty sure that it would have made him sad to see that something related to him troubled me for even a second. I just pulled out a photo of the two of us at LAX from about 20 years ago, which made me smile. I have never been good about taking momento-photos; Randy handed someone in the Club his camera and insisted; he later sent me the photo and a lovely note, which I am now of course so glad he did.

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