Ryanair01
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TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:25 pm

Welcome to the past


I recently came across some notes and a couple of pictures of the TWA flights I took for my 21st birthday, which were shortly before their shut down. Some of the pictures are my own, easy to tell because they are the low quality ones (no digital photos back then), others are some I’ve collected. Sorry the pictures are are of low quality but I hope you enjoy anyway!

I wanted to visit New York, but the options from London all looked a bit boring. Then one day I jumped off the back of an old London bus and by chance TWA’s ticket office was right in front of me. By then TWA had almost completely pulled out of Europe, but did still operate a daily 767-200 (non ER) from CDG to JFK. The staff were really helpful, even arranging for me to be posted a New York city guide, subway and street map compliments of TWA.

Image

Armed with my TWA ticket I flew from Stansted to Paris with Buzz aboard one of their Bae 146-300s.

Buzz Bae146-300 at CDG
Image

My TWA ticket
Image


Paris CDG - New York JFK TW925 767-200 8th February 2001

Pre flight:

I arrived at Charles de Gaulle One (the original round terminal) three hours before departure. For those of you unfamiliar with the place in 2001, it's was a real blast from the 1970's with no obvious sign of any work having been carried out from those days.

CDG 1 Check in
Image

I went to the TWA Ticket desk to enquire when check in opened as it was closed, but they told me it was already open and directed me to it. Unfortunately the route they directed me to take was closed, something a very nice young French Lady with a Machine Gun told me. Miss Machine Gun had clearly seen what was going to happen and was amused not angry. When the TWA counter manager saw they'd directed me into the arms of a machine gun toting army type, he literally ran over apologetically to disentangle me. The situation had a certain Cluesoesque feel to it.

He then walked me around another longer route, where he opened a check in desk and checked me personally. The days before online checkin!

Having passed through CDG's Central Travelators the queue for passport control was long and slow, there were people becoming anxious they'd miss their flight.

CDG 1 Satellite 2
Image

The TWA staff in Satellite 2 were very helpful, although announcements were not clear and they gave up trying to board by row numbers half way through which caused some confusion. The people in front of me couldn't find their boarding pass so another agent jumped out of no where and kept the line moving which was good.

N602TW Delivered December 1982, withdrawn April 2001 - 2 months after my flight
Image

The Flight:

The aircraft was still in TW's old red stripped bowling shoe scheme but looked clean and well kept, both inside and out. The seats had the new covers, in Trans World One they were grey with red pattern and in coach the seats had the same pattern but were blue. The bulk heads were covered in a blue carpet tapestry with they stylised TWA globe logo, although the walls had an awful brown pattern.

These photos give you the idea

TransWorld One 767-200
Image

Comfort Class (Coach) 767-200
Image

The layout was quite spacious, offering 60 inch pitch in business (compared to the industry average of about 42 inch pitch at the time). I seem to remember thinking that economy was 32 inches, but the thick seats made it appear far tighter.

Seat map
Image

The seat pocket only had a safety card, it seems Ambassador Magazine had ceased by that stage.

The flight was completely full with two large groups, neither of whom admitted to speaking French or English and they refused to sit down.

You can watch the TWA 767-200 Safety Video from 2001 here:
https://youtu.be/86NWf3fPa04

Departure was on time, with a 30 minute wait to take off and quite a long take off roll. It was very turbulent for the first hour.

After that the meal was served, I had Pasta (I think you could have chicken but no choice was offered) which was topped with Mozzarella, with Cucumber and Peppers. The tray also had a Guylian Chocolate, Bread Roll, Soft Cheese, Cracker, Salmon Salad and Water. I don’t have any pictures but I remember the portions were generous. There were two rounds of drinks served with lunch. All up there was a lot of food and it tasted nice.

Entertainment was via the main screen only. PTVs were not standard on a lot of longhaul aircraft at that time. After the meal our first movie started (Relative Values starring Julie Andrews). Once that finished a round of drinks followed (flat lemonade only), after which another movie (Remember the Titans) was played. Following a maybe 20 minute break a second meal was served. Apparently it was a tray with Ham and Salad Rolls, Chocolate Sponge Cake, Fromage Freit, Orange Juice, plus two rounds of drinks.

There was also a drink and snack set up in the galley for passengers to take from during the flight.

The crew were..... very experienced, all 60/70+ and mostly French people living in New York. I built up a good rapport with one who I think took pity on this lowly 21 year old backpacker and kept fetching drinks and generally cared for me above and beyond. Sadly she had no name badge, I'd have written to say thanks otherwise. I do recall she remembered everyone’s name and how they took their drinks.

Arriving into JFK the Manhattan skyline was on our right and clear in the sunshine, which was very nice. The landing was smooth.

Today you read about Saarinen building as a jet age marvel, back in 2001 it was an Airliners.net hobby to slam the place. In my view the JFK Terminal wasn't run down, although I was surprised how small the underground arrivals hall was.

I don't need a Visa for the US (I hold a UK passport) and the cabin crew were convinced I did, giving me the wrong forms etc. The worry of being told you needed a visa could be quite distressing to some, worrying that one might get sent straight back for having the wrong documents. I did have the right documents, except for ones TWA gave me, which did cause me problems and delays at Passport Control and the immigration staff were very unpleasant about it, even though it was nothing to do with me.

The Verdict:

Overall it was a very good flight, there was tasty food and we arrived on time. The crew were excellent to me (particularly the one lady) and had good language skills. I would say they either liked you or not, it seemed to me the crew could be a tad ‘rough around the edges’ with passengers they took a dislike to. Either way these guys were definitely pros, the service flow's timing meant there was always some kind of service going on, be it drinks, a meal or a movie.

One quite funny thing, having arrived I went around to departures to get a drink. A very large flight attendant saw the staff shuttle leave and went into complete melt down hysterics in the middle of the terminal screaming, "Stop the bus, oh my god stop the bus, somebody stop the bus". The entire terminal stopped dead, even if the bus didn't. By chance a TWA baggage handler was stood next to me. He turned to me and said in a classic real dead pan New Yorker voice, “she could use the run to the next terminal!”.


New York JFK - Paris CDG TW924 767-200 13th February 2001

Pre flight:

I sat and had a late lunch in Borders at 5 World Trade Center. Someone had abandoned a copy of some news magazine, which featured the latest conspiracy theory about the downing of TW800. It was strange reading about the downing of the flight I was about to catch. A few days earlier I'd flown past the Twin Towers in a helicopter and figured I’d try my luck to eat up there. Unfortunately it wasn’t possible.

Picture from my helicopter flight
Image

Slightly dejected I headed for JFK. From Manhattan getting to JFK was no easy task, the subways were not running and the roads were dug up. When I finally made it, the check in desks were heavily understaffed and a queue of literally several hundred people went the entire length of the terminal. To make matters worse, half of the small number of desks which were open were First Class only and empty. It wouldn't have taken much imagination to use them for coach passengers. Thank god pre 9/11 you could check in with hand baggage only at the gate!

Check in area - without long queue
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I had a coffee in the Saarinen head building at a very sad and run down cafe where I was the only customer, although the view was nice.

Paris Cafe
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Main headhouse
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Passing through the famous red carpeted walkway I entered the Satellite. Although the Satellite was in good condition, the facilities were extremely limited with just a news counter, a liquor counter and a duty free counter. Apart from the toilets which were heavily vandalised, everything else was extremely clean and well maintained. Grey carpet with red dots and red seats were the theme.

The gate agents were very junior and offered neither good nor bad service. We boarded via a jetbridge to Door 1R, not something you see very often. Push back was early at 1810 with a 30 minute take off queue at JFK. There was no pre take off service or comfort kit and again no magazine. It was also a very full flight.

The Flight:

Soon after take off drinks were served and then a meal, which was once again very good. I had Pepper Steak (well done) with home fries and Californian Chardonnay (they did try to convince me to drink red, but that was a little too heavy for me). The flight attendant ‘gave’ some passengers pasta and ‘recommended’ steak to others, of whom I was one.

Ambassador Video was then shown on the main screen which consisted of (even then) vintage Friends, E TV and a History of TWA. There was then a break followed by a movie (Remember the Titans) which I'd already seen on the Westbound flight.

View from my seat
Image

Overall I didn't enjoy this flight. The guy behind was hugely tall, I made it too his chin and his foot passed my seat, I had to step over him to get out and his knee jammed into my back. Over hearing a conversation with one of the cabin crew (about how they both came from the same Paris arrondissement) it turned out he was a basket ball player. I felt for all our comfort TWA should have moved him to a roomier bulkhead, where there was a spare seat available. To top it off the person in front decided their seat's rightful place was in my face until landing, right from the second we pushed back off the gate including during the meal service. That left me with no space.

To make it worse the padding in my seat base had completely broken, when I stood up there was literally an inch deep canyon. The broken seat base meant I had no lower back support (my pillow didn't fill the gap). The ash trays on both arms had been removed but were not covered over and there was ten years of ash sort of encrusted within. To top it off the radio and therefore TV entertainment didn't work.

Overnight there was no snack or drink set up in the galley, a welcome feature on my first flight.

Somewhere over Ireland breakfast was served, a Banana Muffin.

Cabin after landing at CDG
Image

Although the crew were friendly and food good I was glad to get off what had been a very uncomfortable flight.

The Verdict:

All up, despite the problems it was a fair effort on TWA's part, a mostly good service, let down badly by a few minor factors which did lead to a fairly miserable flight. The seats on their 767-200’s were not up to overnight longhaul flights and spoilt a lot of good work elsewhere - although these aircraft were being retired and replaced with new 767-300s around the time I flew TWA. The catering was superb.

I took a picture of my plane from the coach as I left CDG bound for Central Paris, before heading back to London. It was the last time I ever saw a TWA plane.

TWA in 2001

Running up to my first departure it had appeared TWA were enjoying a mini renaissance, with brand new 717's, 757's and new Airbus narrow bodies just around the corner.

757 cabin training video
https://youtu.be/x8nCBgHyeVo

They were investing in a superior Business and First Class product backed by customer friendly upgrades.

TWA Trans World One (Long haul)
https://youtu.be/yOqcN562Zm0

TWA Trans World First (Short haul)
https://youtu.be/lJcpr5MET_s

TWA were winning many awards for customer experience and had paid down most of their debt.

However, by the time of my first flight it had just been announced that TWA had entered Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and that they would close down operations unless short term loans from American Airlines were allowed by the court. So as I left it was unclear that they'd be in business for more than a few days. Luckily for me by the time I returned it had been agreed that most of TWA's assets would be acquired by American Airlines and they would continue to fly. However that deal also meant that TWA would cease to exist, leaving me very glad I choose them for this trip.
 
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KLASM83
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:56 pm

Very nice! I flew a lot with TWA domestically, so it's nice to see what the international service was like. Thank you for this trip report.
"The goodness of the true pun is in the direct ratio of its intolerability" -Edgar Allan Poe

Don't you want to hang out and waste your life with us?
 
debonair
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:14 am

Nice TR, unfortunately the pics don't come up - can you fix it?
 
klm672
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:36 am

debonair wrote:
Nice TR, unfortunately the pics don't come up - can you fix it?



Pictures work fine..
 
luckyone
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:39 am

This was an enjoyable read!
 
Bobloblaw
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:01 pm

TWA often had a huge gap in service westbound versus eastbound. TWA had no money to upgrade their product. It maybe 2001 but this was no different than 1985. By 2001 United’s 777s and 763s had PTV with I think 8-10 channels and in first the suites starting showing up in more and more long haul markets on the 777s and 744s.

On one of your picture the floor looks dirty.
 
ilyagran
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sun Jun 02, 2019 2:06 pm

Wow, what a flashback! My first trip to the US was back in 1996 on TW885. I clearly remember T5 arrivals, where you exit the plane and go along the corridor that leads to CBP with windows facing the beautiful 747 parked at the gate. We then connected to a flight to STL, departing from T6 - the historic Sundrome, also gone by now. I went through T5 again in 1998, flying with SunCountry, but by then the terminal looked a lot emptier and sadder.
Would love to spend a night in the new T5 hotel. Never stopped admiring this iconic building.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sun Jun 02, 2019 8:53 pm

This is such a great report. Thank you. I was just at the TWA Hotel last week reliving memories of 747 flights to LHR, FCO, and CDG. By the time you took this flight, was CDG the last TATL destination TWA served from JFK? I can't remember now.
 
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fbgdavidson
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sun Jun 02, 2019 11:16 pm

Great report! I really enjoy reading these older ones....

I never got the chance to fly TWA but your report makes me feel sad for it in a way. You can tell there had been no investment for years thanks to all the people raping it for all its assets. Frankly those cabin pictures look like early 1980s. By this time BA were flying flatbeds in business class across the Atlantic and TWA had these?
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
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September11
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:09 am

I like this trip report
Airliners.net of the Future
 
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Domthepax
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:18 am

Nice one! Really cool to see the pics of the terminal. I spent a night at the TWA Hotel and remember wondering what it must have been like when it was an actual terminal.
 
nicode
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Mon Jun 03, 2019 1:13 pm

Nice TR.
I took the same flight as yours, in October 1998. I also took N902TW. However, this is a 762ER and not a 762 non-ER. This aircraft was indeed a 762 non-ER, but transformed into ER later.

Which reg did you have on the return flight ?
 
767747
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:16 pm

What a great trip down memory lane. Thank you for the great read!
I love to fly!
 
Ryanair01
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sun Jun 09, 2019 7:10 pm

KLASM83 wrote:
Very nice! I flew a lot with TWA domestically, so it's nice to see what the international service was like. Thank you for this trip report.

Glad to bring back memories.

debonair wrote:
Nice TR, unfortunately the pics don't come up - can you fix it?

Thank you. Think whatever bug is now fixed

luckyone wrote:
This was an enjoyable read!

Thank you

ilyagran wrote:
Wow, what a flashback! My first trip to the US was back in 1996 on TW885. I clearly remember T5 arrivals, where you exit the plane and go along the corridor that leads to CBP with windows facing the beautiful 747 parked at the gate. We then connected to a flight to STL, departing from T6 - the historic Sundrome, also gone by now. I went through T5 again in 1998, flying with SunCountry, but by then the terminal looked a lot emptier and sadder.
Would love to spend a night in the new T5 hotel. Never stopped admiring this iconic building.


It did feel a little sad when I passed through in 2001, but 1970s-1990s summers with all those 747s leaving to Europe must have been chaos!

Cointrin330 wrote:
This is such a great report. Thank you. I was just at the TWA Hotel last week reliving memories of 747 flights to LHR, FCO, and CDG. By the time you took this flight, was CDG the last TATL destination TWA served from JFK? I can't remember now.


I think Lisbon, Cairo, Riyadh and Tel Aviv were still going from JFK.

September11 wrote:
I like this trip report

I'm pleased, thanks!

Domthepax wrote:
Nice one! Really cool to see the pics of the terminal. I spent a night at the TWA Hotel and remember wondering what it must have been like when it was an actual terminal.


I saw your trip report and enjoyed the read.

nicode wrote:
Nice TR.
I took the same flight as yours, in October 1998. I also took N902TW. However, this is a 762ER and not a 762 non-ER. This aircraft was indeed a 762 non-ER, but transformed into ER later.

Which reg did you have on the return flight ?


I didn't know it had been upgraded. Unfortunately I don't have a note of my return aircraft.

767747 wrote:
What a great trip down memory lane. Thank you for the great read!


It doesn't seem so long ago, but almost 20 years!

Bobloblaw wrote:
TWA often had a huge gap in service westbound versus eastbound. TWA had no money to upgrade their product. It maybe 2001 but this was no different than 1985. By 2001 United’s 777s and 763s had PTV with I think 8-10 channels and in first the suites starting showing up in more and more long haul markets on the 777s and 744s.

On one of your picture the floor looks dirty.


fbgdavidson wrote:
Great report! I really enjoy reading these older ones....

I never got the chance to fly TWA but your report makes me feel sad for it in a way. You can tell there had been no investment for years thanks to all the people raping it for all its assets. Frankly those cabin pictures look like early 1980s. By this time BA were flying flatbeds in business class across the Atlantic and TWA had these?


Thanks! Re the product, hmmm yes and no. Flatbeds and PTVs were along way off being standard across the pond.

This is what Air France were offering on the same route aboard the 747:



Delta into JFK




or Continental into Newark aboard the DC10:




Certainly new aircraft types (if your flight was aboard one) may have had a PTV, but flatbeds etal weren't standard for a long time to come on most airlines. Aboard Air France, KLM, Lufthansa, Swissair not much had really changed since the 80s for transatlantic.

KLM Business


Swissair


Lufthansa


Don't think TWA stands out particularly, which is a surprise, although clearly there was better out there.


 
FlyingColours
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:57 am

A very enjoyable trip report, thanks for sharing :)

Phil
FlyingColours
Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil
 
PSAatSAN4Ever
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Wed Jun 12, 2019 5:00 pm

Excellent report!

My first "big boy" trip ever was in 1987, at the age of 21, to NYC and a TWA 747 from LAX to JFK. I remember landing at the famed TWA terminal and thinking, "what's the big deal?" I didn't get to see much of the terminal at all, and it was a domestic flight, so nothing special about it.

I only flew TWA once after that, LAX-STL-TPA-STL-LAX in August, 1996, helping a friend fly back home (her sister was on flight 800). It was, sadly enough, my one and only L1011 flight (LAX-STL), and although the proud bird was still magnificent, her interiors were just about completely worn out.

Both MD-80's to/from TPA were beautiful and like-new.

On the return legs we were in first class, and the 767-200 interior felt literally brand new. Amazingly comfortable and VAST amounts of legroom. Sad, though, that this was the only reason I ever experienced their first class, and my one and only time on a 767-200.

A great airline ruined intentionally by money-worshipers.
 
Theseus
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:07 pm

Great trip report, thanks!
It reminds me that I travelled on the same week from CDG to BOS, on AF 767-300, my first US trip, though I unfortunately do not have any picture left of it. Many of your cabin and terminal pictures remind me this trip.
 
Ryanair01
Topic Author
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sun Jun 23, 2019 4:25 pm

FlyingColours wrote:
A very enjoyable trip report, thanks for sharing :)

Phil
FlyingColours


Thanks, pleasure!

PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
Excellent report!

My first "big boy" trip ever was in 1987, at the age of 21, to NYC and a TWA 747 from LAX to JFK. I remember landing at the famed TWA terminal and thinking, "what's the big deal?" I didn't get to see much of the terminal at all, and it was a domestic flight, so nothing special about it.

I only flew TWA once after that, LAX-STL-TPA-STL-LAX in August, 1996, helping a friend fly back home (her sister was on flight 800). It was, sadly enough, my one and only L1011 flight (LAX-STL), and although the proud bird was still magnificent, her interiors were just about completely worn out.

Both MD-80's to/from TPA were beautiful and like-new.

On the return legs we were in first class, and the 767-200 interior felt literally brand new. Amazingly comfortable and VAST amounts of legroom. Sad, though, that this was the only reason I ever experienced their first class, and my one and only time on a 767-200.

A great airline ruined intentionally by money-worshipers.


Thank you. Glad some of the memories it brought back were nice ones, even if not all.

Theseus wrote:
Great trip report, thanks!
It reminds me that I travelled on the same week from CDG to BOS, on AF 767-300, my first US trip, though I unfortunately do not have any picture left of it. Many of your cabin and terminal pictures remind me this trip.


What a co-incidence. Hope you had a nice trip.
 
directorguy
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Sun Jun 30, 2019 7:45 am

Thanks for taking the time to share this trip report.
Your description of the TWA cabin crew was really funny!
Was just passing through CDG Terminal 1 and it really hasn't changed much...the essence is still the same.
The interiors look very dated and unappealing, and I could only tell some of the pics shared above were J/F by the seat configuration. The white/blue color schemes give interior a very cold, clinical impression. But back in the day, we didn't really notice this.
 
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DL_Mech
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Mon Jul 01, 2019 3:51 pm

Ryanair01 wrote:
This is what Air France were offering on the same route aboard the 747:





European carriers did not change out the 747 overhead bins and sidewalls as much as the US carriers did, but look at that Y class recline!
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.
 
Ryanair01
Topic Author
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Re: TWA Paris to New York by 767-200 in 2001 - when the TWA terminal was a terminal

Mon Jul 01, 2019 6:01 pm

directorguy wrote:
Thanks for taking the time to share this trip report.
Your description of the TWA cabin crew was really funny!
Was just passing through CDG Terminal 1 and it really hasn't changed much...the essence is still the same.
The interiors look very dated and unappealing, and I could only tell some of the pics shared above were J/F by the seat configuration. The white/blue color schemes give interior a very cold, clinical impression. But back in the day, we didn't really notice this.


Thanks. I've not been to CDG 1 for years and years now, interesting to hear.

DL_Mech wrote:
Ryanair01 wrote:
This is what Air France were offering on the same route aboard the 747:





European carriers did not change out the 747 overhead bins and sidewalls as much as the US carriers did, but look at that Y class recline!


Yikes, you're right. Imagine that in your face.... It's interesting that the US carriers did a more thorough job of refurbishing their 747s than Europe's airlines.

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