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What was Pan Am, TWA and Eastern like during their Final Years?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 5:11 pm

Hi guys I have a question what was Pan Am, TWA and Eastern like in their final years mid to late 80s and 90s? What was their service like? Did they offer the same product they offered during the 70s to early 80s?
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Re: What was Pan Am, TWA and Eastern like during their Final Years?

Mon Aug 31, 2020 9:23 pm

Nobody offered the pre-regulation service after deregulation. But, at EAL, we still offered meal service on most flights near a meal hour. Breakfast on most morning outbound flights before 9am, for example. Always has crew meals. The planes were getting ragged and notably worse after the Lorenzo takeover. West coast service thru KMCI, never profitable was dropped. SJU was always a VFR operation—low fares, worst service.

Can’t say after Mar 6th, 1989.
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Re: What was Pan Am, TWA and Eastern like during their Final Years?

Wed Sep 02, 2020 9:28 am

I don't remember flying Pan Am or Eastern in their final years (probably depends on what the duration of "final" is) but I flew TWA out of T5 at JFK in 2000 and they were just like any other airline. The terminal was still pretty immaculate, but I don't think I realized how special it was at the time. I do remember eating lunch with my wife there before leaving, though, and seeing the view of the tarmac. The flight was on a 757 to I think SFO, or possibly LAX. I remember the captain apologizing for the turbulence that was basically constant all the way across. He said we were too heavy to fly higher and that it would be worse if we flew lower.

The return flight was a redeye and I did sleep most of it so don't remember much. I do remember clearly being woken up by feeling like we had hit a brick wall on descent, and the captain of that flight then coming on and apologizing for passing through the "jet wash" of another plane. That was an interesting sensation. Not like regular turbulence.

But the service, seats, etc. didn't suggest an airline about to go under, or be acquired. Everything was clean, seemed well maintained, etc.
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Re: What was Pan Am, TWA and Eastern like during their Final Years?

Thu Sep 10, 2020 8:09 pm

I last flew Pan Am early 89 just a few months after Lockerbie. The flight was packed and as usual service was very good, we always liked flying with them transatlantic they were much better than BA at the time. Looking back on it now I'm glad we did fly on them. Very different times then of course.

Flew Eastern once on an A300 SEA-PDX in 1987 so only a very short flight. It had come in from ATL and was largely empty. I remember at the time there were lots of stories in the media about questions over their maintence standards and the slightest thing got a lot of attention. .(nothing changes does it!) ...they were nothing special but to fair a flight like that is hardly a good opportunity to get a feel for them.

Regret now never having flown TWA but that was because Pan Am was always first choice, so didn't get the chance to.
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Re: What was Pan Am, TWA and Eastern like during their Final Years?

Sun Sep 27, 2020 1:34 pm

I flew these three quite a few times just before their demise. In my opinion, they were all pretty terrible. It was as if the employees all knew their airlines were no longer viable and they just stopped caring. Eastern was probably the worst, followed by Pan Am. TWA actually was getting its act together but the equipment was old and most of the prestige transatlantic routes were gone.

All three, in my opinion, were at their best in the mid-seventies. You always got a hot meal and the service was pretty good. The first/business class long haul products were not nearly as good as what is available today.

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