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VC10er
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United's International Fan Base?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:03 pm

As we all know when United and Continental first decided to merge well over a year ago, it was decided that the United brand name would live on due to the fact that the name United was far more famous around the world than Continental. Naturally I thought widely well known is one thing, widely respected is another. Now, I have always been a big United fan and very loyal. But given ALL American carriers have a poor reputation internationally vs their own countries airlines and UA especially with it's Asian rivals, how many people outside the USA actually like United for United to source international travelers? I "assume" as things have become better for UA with the new F and J and even E+, but still when held up to SQ or EK or BA, United still would not do well in comparison even if hard and soft products improved a great deal given UA's past reputation. And I don't mean to single out UA as I don't think people internationally highly rank Delta or AA very highly either (based solely on all my international business travels and having to constantly be bombarded about how bad USA airlines are- so my take on how the ROW feels is not from scientific research)
However...I have read recently in many posts that their are actually many people from other countries that are fond of United. There is (IMHO) something about United Airlines that can and does endear people to United.
Now, as the worlds biggest airline with the most impressive route map and palpable improvements across many parts of United, with the merger of the great CO, and especially United's new premium products, so, has their been an uptick in international fliers to the USA being more open, even happy to fly United? Any flier reports to suggest this?
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:21 pm

Personally, I will give UA more of a chance knowing that CO is a huge part of what now constitutes UA - but, of course that only really applies to people who know the two have merged.

Here in Ireland, CO had a pretty loyal following. UA never flew to Ireland in it's own right. Key to transferring that to the new UA, will be education of the consumer about the Merger, and I'm not sure a really good job is being done with that at the moment.

In other markets, say the UK, where UA has flown, the new identity and branding may convince people to give the airline another try, and with the various improvements being implemented, hopefully they will be impressed enough to repeat the experience.

It takes a very long time to shake off a bad rep - I think another perhaps 2 years are needed before one will be able to accurately judge if UA have risen in the esteem of International customers.
 
avi8
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Sat Dec 03, 2011 9:42 pm

With Central American fliers, UA (the new one) has an excellent reputation. People enjoy fliying them as they are the only airline with flexible schedules, PTV's, good service, and IAH is a very comfortable place to make connections. Delta is also up there with the disadvantage that, with the exception of SJO, they only offer one flight a day.
avi8
 
VC10er
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:44 am

So MOST of it comes down to using the Continental livery...which visually makes a new promise which may make travelers reconsider them? So United's efforts otherwise were or are just not enough to overcome it's checkered past?

I keep reading how downright rude their customer service and FA's are...while after 1.3 million miles I had one rotten FA?

Are their fliers in Tokyo or Hong Kong who like them? Can UA sustain a fleet their size with just Americans flying them? Or won't they need many German, British or Asians actually asking "I want to fly United?"
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:50 am

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
As we all know when United and Continental first decided to merge well over a year ago, it was decided that the United brand name would live on due to the fact that the name United was far more famous around the world than Continental. Naturally I thought widely well known is one thing, widely respected is another. Now, I have always been a big United fan and very loyal. But given ALL American carriers have a poor reputation internationally vs their own countries airlines and UA especially with it's Asian rivals, how many people outside the USA actually like United for United to source international travelers? I "assume" as things have become better for UA with the new F and J and even E+, but still when held up to SQ or EK or BA, United still would not do well in comparison even if hard and soft products improved a great deal given UA's past reputation. And I don't mean to single out UA as I don't think people internationally highly rank Delta or AA very highly either (based solely on all my international business travels and having to constantly be bombarded about how bad USA airlines are- so my take on how the ROW feels is not from scientific research)
However...I have read recently in many posts that their are actually many people from other countries that are fond of United. There is (IMHO) something about United Airlines that can and does endear people to United.
Now, as the worlds biggest airline with the most impressive route map and palpable improvements across many parts of United, with the merger of the great CO, and especially United's new premium products, so, has their been an uptick in international fliers to the USA being more open, even happy to fly United? Any flier reports to suggest this?

You sure you want to do this?

You're asking fanboys for subjectivity plus unsupported opinion and speculation.
 
LN-KGL
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:24 am

Americans are most likely to fly with American carriers, Germans with Lufthansa or Air Berlin, Swiss with Swiss, French with Air France, Londoners with either British Airways or Virgin Atlantic Airways, Manchestrians with either Virgin Atlantic or an American carrier (they hate "London Airways" after they closed down the direct 763 BA flights to NYC). In other words, the foreigner share may vary dependent on if the American carrier being the only direct operator or if the American carrier has a domestic competitor. I fear the foreign share will go down considerably, since we now speak about the price performance ratio - and quality and quantity isn't two words with the same meaning.
 
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shamrock604
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:24 am

Quoting VC10er (Reply 3):
So MOST of it comes down to using the Continental livery...which visually makes a new promise which may make travelers reconsider them? So United's efforts otherwise were or are just not enough to overcome it's checkered past?

I keep reading how downright rude their customer service and FA's are...while after 1.3 million miles I had one rotten FA?

Look, if you won't like the answer, dont ask the question!

I'm just saying it how I see it.
 
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huaiwei
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 5:25 am

Quoting kgaiflyer (Reply 4):

You're asking fanboys for subjectivity plus unsupported opinion and speculation.

I am not a fanboy, and I have never flown UA or any American carrier. But as I have mentioned before, I have a soft heart for UA and the former NW, simply because they are the only two American carriers to fly here, and I still remember their TV ads since seeing them as a child. Of course as a young child I was fascinated by anything to do with planes, and would not have been aware of service levels, but as an adult, that admiration sticks even when I knew better and I would refuse to fly any American carrier.

And it was for the same reason I actually detest DL...for swallowing up my beloved NW which I still feel had one of the most lovely liveries. I was thus a quiet supporter when UA merged with CO and became the world's largest, and felt sadness when the tulip disappears.

It is strange that I have such feelings for airlines I did not and will not fly on, but I can attest to the fact that such support do exists and will indeed fly UA if they only upgrade their services!
It's huaiwei...not huawei. I have nothing to do with the PRC! :)
 
JQflightie
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:17 am

UA in Australia, is well known............. but for all the worng reasons! personally not a fan, far superior service on SYD-LAX route with other carriers, DL QF VA .

QF has the most superior service on the SYD-LAX route that no other airline can compare to on this route, and im not just saying that as im a QF employee.... but you just cannot beat that QF A380 product!! 

I Flew DL LAX-SYD back in August in Economy Comfort, the service was fantastic! the crew were middle aged but extreemly helpful and friendly, which UA struggle with on the SYD-LAX route, i dont know if its a senior trip, but loking at the crew and the lack or care in their service one could only presume so...

I must admit, the best UA flight i have had, were everything was great was LAX-PHX on a CRJ200 with UA Express in Premium Economy....  
When is my next holiday?
 
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kgaiflyer
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:58 pm

Quoting JQflightie (Reply 8):
I must admit, the best UA flight i have had, were everything was great was LAX-PHX on a CRJ200 with UA Express in Premium Economy....

Uum . . . small CR2s don't have Y+ since they're frequently weight-restricted.

Perhaps you flew on a larger CR-7?
 
VC10er
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:20 pm

Quoting shamrock604 (Reply 6):

I am sorry, I didn't respect your answer. I guess I was attempting to clarify... if the CO livery will go so far as to have Brits reconsider them, therefore the new livery makes a "new" promise. If people do indeed decide to give them another chance, UA better not disappoint them. Then no more chances! From a branding POV if what you communicate via branding over promises, you may get customers to come back once: but if the experience is bad then it will just make them even more angry...it had not occurred to me. But with real UA upgrades from their premium products to cleaner aircraft, I wondered..will all that be enough?

I am not afraid of answers I don't like. I asked to learn not to garner answers I'd like to hear. I found it enlightening that Ireland may have fond feelings towards UA because it contains much of CO which had a loyal following...I found that really interesting. I never heard of any country having a following for a US carrier. But I get what you say. I've been to Dublin a lot as Baileys Irish Cream was a client for years - about 5 years ago and I recall seeing the CO 777 there. I just assumed that 777 was filled with Yankees and the Irish were on Aer Lingus. My short sightedness.

I can see how my answer after re reading it didn't pay respect to your post. Sorry about that! And thanks for the insight.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
727fanatic
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:45 pm

I am a 100k UA flier, with trips to Europe and Asia on a regular basis. Only fly UA because my employer has a contract with UA. Like all USA carriers, UA service is mediocre. Have been on flights with very good FA's and have also been on flights with FA's who have been rude to passengers for no better reason than they are tired/having a bad hair day. And I'm talking about C class flying. Also, UA's new business class is an inferior product compared to foreign airlines, IMHO. Have you seen their new C class on their 747's? 2-4-2 seating, are they serious?

Personally, I would prefer to fly foreign carriers to Asia, as I find their FA's are more courteous and their airplanes are more comfy. When I use my UA miles, I try to book on Star Alliance carriers other than UA. I want to enjoy my flight as much as possible. How do they (UA) expect people in other countries to warm to their brand when they offer a lesser experience?
 
greatansett
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Sun Dec 04, 2011 9:20 pm

I actually prefer UA out of all carriers worldwide. I know that the soft and hard products are not the greatest but I always enjoy their flights. Something about them. Like an old friend.
Ron Paul 2012
 
IL96M
Posts: 120
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 1:40 am

I have flown both airlines for decades, just recently intercontinental on each of them (SFO-PEK on UA, and LHR-EWR on CO) in Business, and each is a fine product that seems to be integrating well. Even the new "United Club" at EWR looks fresh and dignified.

However, I do hope that the CO livery is just a temporary measure and goes away. Ideally, the Saul Bass Tulip makes a comeback but I somehow doubt that. Even if they keep the CO Globe, they do need to come up with a new, uniform livery that wants to underscore the fact that it now one single, integrated airline and not the artificial blend of two separate entities.

IL96M
 
DogsOfWar
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:59 pm

I've always enjoyed UA international, domestic flying you have to have the mind set its point A to B and service will be good or bad. I love flying Lufthansa and United Internationally.
 
sq_ek_freak
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:27 pm

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
There is (IMHO) something about United Airlines that can and does endear people to United.

I agree! I have been drawn to them since I was a child. Living in Manila, only UA and NW served the city, and for some reason my family chose UA over NW, and it's stuck ever since. With UA in Star alongside SQ and TG, it makes the connection all the stronger.

Quoting GREATANSETT (Reply 12):
I actually prefer UA out of all carriers worldwide. I know that the soft and hard products are not the greatest but I always enjoy their flights. Something about them. Like an old friend.

I agree. While UA is not my first option worldwide, its definitely my top choice in the US. They have treated me well over the years.
Keep Discovering
 
Nimish
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:35 pm

I flew UA long haul for the first time due to a missed connection at FRA - and loved it! My next flights have UA long haul metal whereever possible - essentially BLR-FRA-BLR is LH, and FRA-SFO-FRA is going to be UA. If they continue to impress me on the next 3 sectors I fly them, I'll be convinced UA long haul is not a bad thing! I just wish cocktails were free in Y (or at least Y+) - that's one thing where LH scores big time...

Am I a UA International fan - not yet - but close to becoming one - already a UA MP member for some time now (actually CO Onepass, but now it's coming together ).
Incredible India!
 
Cessna172RG
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:40 pm

From a customer standpoint, I avoid UAL like the plague. Having had several poor experiences with them and seeing how their ground handlers busted one of my suitcases on an AC Jazz flight in SEA...well...yeah, I don't fly them. My personal preference is Delta (I still choke when I say Delta because I'm a diehard NWA fan...) for Domestic, then I choose international airlines wherever possible for the long hauls because I can get more for less on carriers from other countries.

International fan base, back to the topic at hand...

Having lived in Japan, UAL has some notoriety in Japan, and I have friends who are Japanese natives, one of which who is currently living in the states, that prefer to fly United whenever possible. No idea as to why. I treat it like religion--believe in what you want and fly who you want.

Haven't seen UAL advertised much in Asia, based on my experienced, and always seen more ads for Delta/Northwest and other airlines like Australian, Singapore, Malaysian, etc., over UAL or other American carriers.
Save the whales...for dinner!!!
 
caetravlr
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 9:56 pm

Another part of the equation that might have played into the decision to keep the United name might have to do with familiarity as a Star Alliance member. I know that Continental was a member too before the merger, but UA was a founding member and one that most international *A members might have associated with the alliance. If you are flying to from Singapore to Charleston, SC for some strange reason, you might associate United with who you are used to booking your onward flight on once you reach a U.S. hub on SQ.
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
UAL777UK
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Mon Dec 05, 2011 10:07 pm

Quoting caetravlr (Reply 18):
Another part of the equation that might have played into the decision to keep the United name might have to do with familiarity as a Star Alliance member

Or the fact that in Europe most people associate Continental as a tyre!!

I have been flying UA TATL since 1995. I am lucky I usually get F or J Seat. Have I had some bad flights, yes I have but they are out weighed by the good flights and when they are bad, they are not as bad as what I have gone through in the past with a couple of rather friendly OW carriers over the pond. For me then, when I can I will fly UA Internationally, they have looked after me well.
 
Carpethead
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Tue Dec 06, 2011 3:39 am

Here in Japan, their reputation on service is just satisfactory to the occassional bad. Same applies to all US carriers.
Most Japanese business travellers will avoid US carriers unless there are cost issues (some US carriers tend to be on the lower side) or some scheduling issues. Otherwise, most will travel with NH or JL to their gateway airport and then connect if they have to travel beyond.
For passengers in economy, many are travelling on package tours so they really have no choice but to fly on the carrier that their travel agency has picked out. Individual travellers will vary with how much English they can speak and of course, cost. If their English is poor, they will usually pick NH or JL to take them overseas.
 
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aerorobnz
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Tue Dec 06, 2011 4:41 am

They have an international fan base with their existing product? I have flown them, but their fleet is tired, their product is tired and the competition is that much better that I would probably pay a bit more to go on most competitors than fly them (unless I need the mileage).

I'm sure if they weren't part of the Star Alliance international travellers would avoid them like a dose of bubonic plague. Sadly Continental have been integrated as I think they were a much better company. I do hope that UA once again become as good as they once were once all their new aircraft are in service. I will be looking to use AKL-IAH once they return.
Flown to 147 Airports in 62 Countries on 83 Operators and counting. Wanderlust is like Syphilis, once you have the itch it's too late for treatment.
 
Lufthansa
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:13 am

I think the point about what city you are flying from, with the MAN example is relevant. A person living in MAN who does a lot of short haul is probably going to Pick UAL thanks to the strong star presence out of the city as a preference. And although the germans do well in this market, UAL offers fully flat etc.

In my home market of Australia, UAL doesn't have the world's best reputation. I think this was largely due to its refusal to update its 747s for quite some time, but back in the 1990s it did actually have a good reputation, and a bit of a following with the Ansett crowd. It's now the carrier you take "for the cheapest option". QF still manages in all classes to get a slight revenue premium if you look purely at fares offered (though QF needs to because its costs are higher), and VA and DL are throwing shiny new products at the market. Unfortunately for UA it's probably at the lowest point in its reputation down here. I think if changed the way it operated, it could turn that around but when you have a CEO making statements like "flying is for everbody these days, our job is to get people from A to B as efficient as possible, no need for anything fancy" type statements well it really doesn't wash well with the local Culture. Because of the sheer distance associated with this place, we tend to hold our carriers to a higher standard. The media are all over jetstar every time they screw something up and everybody knocks it, Americans just don't seem to hold their carriers with the same level of criticism we do. I have felt this is an American carriers mistake for a long time. It's the foreigners who dominate travel to and from the US, so I have always wondered why carriers like UAL don't put more of their efforts into marketing things/designing their long haul product for people outside the US. I'll probably get in trouble for mentioning this name (nobody wants to hear it anymore because everything comes back to them) but Emirates dose it really really well. Lots of big billboards, exotic locations, promises of suburb service and high tech gizmo's aboard. UAL have had flat beds into Australia for years now and I have yet to see a single add pushing it. (QF 747s are only just getting it! they should have been all over this!). Personally i've liked UAL as my preferred US carrier I just hope the current management are going to lift their came and not settle into near enough is good enough mindset.
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Tue Dec 06, 2011 7:56 am

I'm a loyal UK based UA flyer and have just been made a Premier Exec due to this years flight mileage. Flown CO on 6 flights as part of that this year as well and they seemed pretty good. The transatlantic 757 experience was actually just like any other 757 flight I've been on really, but with the addition of AVOD.  
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
CO777DAL
Posts: 430
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RE: United's International Fan Base?

Tue Dec 06, 2011 9:54 am

Considering PMCO flew to 3 times as many international destinations than PMUA, I'm always puzzled as to how UA could be more know worldwide. UA flew into a few very populated cities in Asia whereas CO flew to a ton a smaller cities in many more countries all over the world. I know from my travel patters, most of the places I go UA is not know at all as UA didn't fly to those places.

I was told this by a branding specialist. Loosely paraphrase what they said. As to the new CO/UA brand. UA is larger in Asia and they said Asians associate branding with name. United is big there, so keep the name. They said in Mexico/Central/South American/ Caribbean, people there more associate brands by their logo. Since CO is large in that area is makes sense to keep CO brand. In the end you end up with UA name and CO logo. They were much more detailed about it, this is a shorten version of what they said.
Worked Hard. Flew Right. Farewell, Continental. Thanks for the memories.
 
Beardown91737
Posts: 896
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2011 10:56 pm

RE: United's International Fan Base?

Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:36 am

Quoting VC10er (Thread starter):
There is (IMHO) something about United Airlines that can and does endear people to United.

Ch 9?

Quoting JQflightie (Reply 8):
I must admit, the best UA flight i have had, were everything was great was LAX-PHX on a CRJ200 with UA Express in Premium Economy....

The FAs on OO are definitely the friendliest.

Quoting Lufthansa (Reply 22):
I think the point about what city you are flying from, with the MAN example is relevant

I wonder if it works in BA's favor at SAN and PHX.

In general our experience on UA domestic has been better than most others, with some blips.
135 hrs PIC (mostly PA-28) - not current. Landings at MDW, PIA, JAN.
 
Delta777Jet
Posts: 1466
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2000 6:19 am

RE: United's International Fan Base?

Wed Dec 07, 2011 10:30 am

I am Star Gold with Lufthansa but living in Berlin the only link to NYC is Continental Airlines (Delta just stopped and Air Berlin just started though).Never liked Air Berlin´s longhaul route (cause its still like flying a Charter Plane across the pond) and Delta 763's in Y are just a joke!° Always liked CO 757. Fast boarding , nice planes , nice seats, nice "younger" crew, good food. I was shocked when UA/CO announced a merger as I stopped flying UA several years ago as their hard product was bad, FA's often rude and Y on the 744 like flying Air India in the 80's ! Simply bad.

Most of my friends and coworkers like CO and their reputation in general in Germany is very good! It's simply the best US Carrier around.

I flew the following routes the last 6 month:

LHR - EWR 757 CO ---- Service very good, very good expirience
EWR - MIA 738 CO ---- OK Flight, no Meal Service but PTV's
TPA - IAH 738 CO ---- Good Flight, nice crew, No Meals Service but PTV'S
IAH - MSY 753 CO ----- Good Flight, very nice crew, NO PTV's
IAH - EWR 738 CO ----- Bad Flight, rude crew (1st for CO for me!) , 1x Drinks and Crew nowhere to be seen again), but PTV
JFK - LAX 757 UA ps --- Very nice crew, Y+ all the way, no PTV, but Wifi - Good Flight
CLE - IAD CRJ UA express --- Very nice crew, nice flight!
IAD - SFO 757 UA --- worst flight ever! Wierd old stressed crew. NO PTV, NO WIFI.
IAD - BRU 777 UA --- bad food, unfriendly crew!

This was my expirience the last 6 month on UA/CO and I still hope that UA will take over some Customer Service Skills from CO. The UA planes not only need to have the CO Livery, they also need some updates in the Cabin like PTV, WIFI would be good!

Looking forward to see how the new United (well it's Continental Airlines with a new name right? ) will do !

Good luck !
I still miss Trans World Airlines and the L-1011

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