View Full Version : TWA Checks Its baggage

2nd Dec 2001, 21:40
The last TWA flight arrived in STL this morning. A story whose headline is the title of this message may be found here: http://www.stltoday.com/ (The full URL will wrap). The print edition of the St. Louis Post Dispatch contains a chronology that I did not find in the web edition. Here's a brief synopsis in case anyone is interested:

1925-Western Air Express is incorporated.
1929-Transcontinental Air Transport offers N.Y.-L.A. service along a route laid out by Charles Lindbergh.
1930-TWA formed when WAE and TAT merge (TWA stands for Transcontinental and Western Air).
1931-TWA offers first air cargo in US (livestock from STL-EWR).
1939-Howard Hughes acquires control of TWA.
1950-Name change to Trans World.
1965-Hughes sells his entire stake.
1985-Corporate raider using other people's money acquires control.
1988-Same corporate raider sucks US$610,300,000 from TWA, of which he pockets US$439,000,000. In the process, US$539,700,000 is added to TWA's debt.
1991-Raider sells off most of TWA's most lucrative routes.
1992-First bankruptcy. More major routes sold.
1995-Second bankruptcy
1996-TWA announces best quarter since 1989 just hours before flight 800 takes off.
2001-Final bankruptcy.

3rd Dec 2001, 06:07
And so? Sorry about that, but don't those guys still have jobs?

3rd Dec 2001, 09:52
It's sad they are out of business, but a new job (same job, different company)with a huge raise is nothing to complain about. There are a lot worse things.

3rd Dec 2001, 09:57
Several who worked for TWA for many years have mentioned that it was all downhill after Howard Hughes sold his stake in the airline...

3rd Dec 2001, 23:10
Add them to the ranks of colors gone by- Eastern, Braniff, Pan Am, and now TWA.

At least some of the TWA employees still have jobs, but it takes some of the variety out of the skies.

The Guvnor
4th Dec 2001, 00:09
Fittingly, TWA's last flight was piloted by this man:


Bill Compton, who was TWA's last CEO.

4th Dec 2001, 03:24
A pilot as CEO?
Perhaps that is why they went out of business?
Remember Frank Borman and Eastern?
Kiwi Airlines? (Ex Pan-Am and Eastern crew starting a new airline. Hat off for the attempt and guts, but...)

Uh, Guvnor, you are also a pilot, be careful starting that airline: Pilots may not be the best managers except perhaps in the cockpit. :D

Oh yeah, them TWA guys were lucky, they kept their job and got a big payrise.
I wish some Major had bought Tower Air and given us guys intergrated seniority and pay increases.
Reality for many airline employees working for a company in the ditch is quite different however: Personal bankruptcy, divorces and in a few cases suicide.

You still think pilots are overpaid and underworked Guvnor?

Pan-Am, Eastern, Braniff, Midway and a bunch of others. Gone but not forgotten.

Welcome aboard TWA guys, but uh, running off to your local Senator to have him pass a law giving you D.O.H. seniority was a pretty low blow to the AA guys.
You guys got a job, a number and a big paycheck and that was not enough? Had to try to butt-screw the AA pilots for good measure?
Not impressed.


4th Dec 2001, 03:53
Tower Dog,

Have you heard anything more on the negotiations?

Last press release was from Pastore talking about the unfairness of the proposed APA plan for the integration (and the upcoming furloughs).

4th Dec 2001, 04:11
The original post was intended to be an obituary notice. Like OldAg84 I am saddened by the disappearance of another great old name of air transport. (Hey, I even regretted the departure of TCA.) I did not anticipate that the thread would touch on any labour issues but now that they have been brought up I may as well address them. I suppose, downin3green and penltbx2, that you are referring to cockpit crew. I don't know the current state of their negotiations. The last news release I saw is here: http://www.alpa.org/internet/news/2001news/nr01114.htm
Other TWA workers have not fared well. The machinists union claims that American will eliminate 6000 jobs. American claims the number is only 3000. Either way, lots will be out of work. Last Monday pink slips went out to 766 ticket and gate agents. They were offered part-time security screening jobs with limited medical benefits. Not everybody is better off. Guv, I am not going to take the bait about TWA's last CEO but you are wrong. He piloted a 40 minute ceremonial flight on Saturday. The last flight ticketed as TWA was TWA 2, which arrived from Honolulu in STL Sunday morning.

4th Dec 2001, 04:33

You are correct that I was referring to the cockpit crew, and my post was insensitive as I didn't think of all of the other employees this has affected.

However, these things do unfortunately happen in aviation, but that doesn't make the reality any more palatable.

4th Dec 2001, 04:40
My apologies also BB.

I certainly did not mean to add to the deviation.

4th Dec 2001, 05:04
Yeah, sorry about the TWA machinist and others.
AA laid off 20,000 total after 9/11.

Sad times for all, but don't blaim AA for "eliminating" positions, Arab Muslim terrorist's had much more to do with.

4th Dec 2001, 08:28
Peace, guys. I don't think AA can be blamed. In pitching the deal former TWA management painted too rosy an outcome to its employees. Although there is plenty of resentment directed toward that guy smiling at us upthread, the demise of TWA can be traced directly to an earlier CEO who knew nothing about aviation but plenty about looting. I hope the industry turns around so that everyone will prosper and some of it will trickle down to me.

The Guvnor
4th Dec 2001, 13:44
Actually, my post was meant as a tribute to a guy that did his best for his company - nothing more (or less).

I still say the best pilot CEO was Sir Adam Thompson..

Read a St Louis Post-Dispatch article on TW220 (the commemorative flight captained by Bill Compton) here. (http://home.post-dispatch.com/channel/pdweb.nsf/text/86256A0E0068FE5086256B1600401B09)

[ 04 December 2001: Message edited by: The Guvnor ]