How is TWA?

Jun 15th, 1999, 10:39 AM
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How is TWA?

Fellow travellers,

I've booked a nonstop TWA flight from LAX to JFK for my summer vacation in NYC (primarily because I found a great fare on it, from the site run by an ex-president of the airline, HMMM. Lest that sound fishy, I am confirmed in the airline's computers so it is perfectly legit). Anyway, I've heard varying reports about the quality of air travel via TWA and am now wondering what I got myself into. Any travel tales (horrendous or otherwise) would be appreciated as well as any caveats which might come in handy.


Jun 30th, 1999, 05:17 PM
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Do ANY of the major airlines right now provide "quality air travel". In my opinion all of the major airlines are mediocre in service at best.

I fly TWA frequently [since in my town I only have 3 choices - TWA, Northwest, or United and I HATE United]. TWA is no better than anybody else, but it's no worse either. For what it's worth, TWA finished first on the JD Power/Frequent Flyer Magazine survey for Best Long Haul Carrier in 1999 [Frequent Flyer Magazine - June 1999].

Be glad you don't have to stop in St Louis - that airport need major renovation work. Try to get an exit row seat and bring your own sandwiches and you should be OK.
Aug 4th, 1999, 07:51 AM
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You mean That is the ex-presidents website and yes we talk about that website and his fares all the time in cheap flight forum. As for TWA I flew then on a transatlantic. The night flight was bad- stewardesses disappeared. Return flight much nicer. Two best airlines in USA to fly domestically are Southwest and US Air.
Aug 10th, 1999, 07:03 PM
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I can honestly say that I like TWA.
I first flew them in 1995 when I took my parents to Hawaii on their 40th anniversary. This was also my dad's fist time flying (at 70!). The attendants were fantastic!!! They even gave my parents a free bottle of wine for their anniversary!
I have flown TWA various times since then- to K.C., Detroit, Newark. My boyfriend flew TWA many times to Minneapolis. I have found the flight attendants to be very nice and helpful.
I had a conversation with TWA agent about the "former president of TWA". He really took the airline for a ride because they didn't realize that when they kicked him out of the company that he would use his contract "gimmee's" to buy tickets for anyone other than his family. They didn't think that he would open a travel company!
Aug 13th, 1999, 12:16 PM
cgc -- 990813
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I use TWA because it is one of only two airlines that uses jet planes (rather than prop planes) where I am at present. But, I second the complaint about avoiding the St. Louis Airport -- the hub of TWA. I would include it among the worst airports in the US.

Edward or Kittie: what is the name (URL) of the ex-president's travel company?

Aug 13th, 1999, 08:12 PM
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Agree with most above comments re TWA...all major carriers seem to be sliding back to the same baseline level of mediocrity, but TWA is no worse than the others.
BUT...Southwest the best carrier in the USA? Give me a break!! Because they're too cheap to assign seats, you have to spend an extra 75-90 minutes at the airport to avoid getting seated in a different zip code in back. Old planes. Very close seat pitch. The pioneer of the no-food fad. They used to be able to argue that all the no-frills amenity slashing was done to allow lower fares, but for many of their routes, they merely match fares of other low cost carriers. I gladly pay extra to avoid the hassles of dealing with SW.
Aug 13th, 1999, 08:28 PM
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Just to be objective and fair, checked the Zagat Airline rating, latest edition. Southwest and USAir are tied for worst airline in the US (Valujet notwithstanding). Tied with Aeromexico and Mexicana. In answer to the original post, TWA scored right behind AA, UA and Delta (which were all 18's) at 17. 14 for NW/USAir.
Aug 31st, 1999, 09:18 AM
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I just got back from New York and I can now safely answer this question. TWA is a third rate bargain basement airline and best suited for the adventurous and cheap (i.e. what I was trying to be).
The flight from LAX began in a less than promising fashion and got worse. The plane that pulled up to the gate was a slightly antiqued (read, decrepit) early 767. It is also not the most confidence inspiring sight, when 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure the plane is delayed due to mechanical difficulties, as you watch the ground crew remove the engine cover at the gate, indicating that something is amiss with the plane that is supposed to fly 3000 miles in a matter of minutes.
This, however, was only the tip of the wing, so to speak. The landing at JFK surpassed all the bad landings I've survved thus far. The pilot (who shall remain nameless) couldn't seem to line the plane up with the runway and so we pitched and swerved back and forth until the very last second. We hit the runway MUCH harder than is customary and promptly proceeded to skid and careen sideways across it (I've had my share of minor variances in course during the landing procedure, but this was a white kncuckle ride). Incidentally, there seemed to be no wind on the ground, or a wet runway which the pilot could have blamed the landing on.
TWA's JFK terminal is almost laughably ill-maintained, and looks like a parody of 60s architecture. Their staff is another story, and I was snarled at by a gate agent when I put forward my routine query about overbooking and bumping. The agent looked at me in a most suspicious manner and then snapped that TWA did not overbook its flights. (I'm sure some of you have horror stories to prove otherwise).
The flight back was only a slightly more well maintained 757, and went fairly smoothly until the landing at LAX. Upon entering the glide path for the first time, the pilot powered down the engines, but apparently not in a satisfactory manner, and the plane dropped in a very disconcerting manner. He then got put in a holding pattern and in turning, he failed to give the plane enough thrust, and sent the plane sliding down as it banked (a manuever usually only attempted by fighter planes). The landing itself was passable, but upon taxiing, I'm sure the FAA would have had something to say about the proximity of our wing to the tail of a departing plane which we narrowly avoided.
The luggage claim was almost laughably inept. The system broke down (thankfully after I had retrieved my bags) and after the system fitfully started and stopped a number of times, the baggage handlers began hurling luggage down the chute onto the coveyer belt, a course of action which was met with great chagrin and consternation by the onlooking passengers.
In brief, if you're flying, first attempt to get a European airline, then try for a reputable US airline (i.e. United, Delta, or American), before taking your life in your hands (and putting your luggage in someone elses) by flying TWA.


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