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» Smilin' Jack   » Specific Airline Discussions   » TWA   » Good Bye JFK

Author Topic: Good Bye JFK
Post Captain
Member # 166

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For Immediate Distribution Newsgram 01-301
And Bulletin Board Posting September 24, 2001

As part of the company's ongoing effort to respond to the
state of emergency brought about by the September 11
terrorist attacks, TWA today announced an accelerate
schedule for the consolidation of TWA JFK operations into
American Airlines JFK operation. A letter to JFK employees
from Bob Baker detailing the changes follows:

September 24, 2001

Dear TWA Colleague,

There is additional serious news to report to you today as
we work our way back from the terrorist attacks of
September 11.

As you heard Wednesday, American, TWA and Eagle will be
losing at least 20,000 jobs as we drastically reduce our
combined schedules and take other steps to recover from
the current operating and economic crisis. I'm sure it
is no surprise that TWA's JFK operations will be affected
as well.

To cope with these new financial and operating realities,
we have no choice but to accelerate our consolidation with
AA at JFK against the backdrop of a severely reduced
schedule. We will go from 104 AA-TWA departures in August,
to a planned AA-TWA October schedule of 82 flights per day,
to just 62 AA-operated daily flights for the immediate
future. The difference between the planned schedule for
October and today's schedule represents the 20 percent
operating decline we have imposed systemwide.

Effective October 7, American will operate all JFK flights
from the AA terminals with AA airplanes. This means we
will close the TWA terminal in October, rather than in
December as we had planned. Unhappily, this means we must
give furlough notices to all TWA airport and maintenance
employees at Kennedy. Flight attendants and pilots are
expected to be furloughed as well. Employment decisions
in those latter workgroups are being made separately and
will be announced as they are made.

The decision to accelerate the closing of the TWA terminal
is a difficult and serious one, made at a difficult and
serious time in our company. Our plan was to integrate
the AA and TWA work forces and move into the AA terminals
over several months. We had hoped to use attrition,
retirements, and other means to keep as many of you on
the payroll as possible. Obviously, the events of
September 11 changed all that.

As TWA employees, however, you have several options.
Depending on your seniority and the work you do, you can
displace more junior TWA employees in the New York area
or elsewhere in the TWA system. Those who are eligible

may choose to retire. More detailed information will be
coming soon from your manager.

I know this news comes at a terrible time for you, as New
Yorkers, as Americans, and as employees. I wish there
were other options, but as you know, our company is in
a state of emergency and is suffering an extraordinary
financial crisis. These times demand immediate action.

I hope one day that we can resume the growth that we had
planned for JFK and New York, and I hope many of you can
be back with us when we do.

Please take care of yourselves.


Bob Baker
Chairman, TWA LLC

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Fourm Captain
Member # 75

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Am I too cynical, or are all of the airlines taking advantage of this trajedy to milk the taxpayers for money, and fire a lot of employees?

When the economy picks up new hires will come in at the bottom of the pay scale. AA is already decimating the TWA ranks at SFO, and now TWA employees will take the brunt of the JFK slowdown.

Maybe I should think long and hard about a different airline. Why should I have any loyalty to AA, when I no longer know anyone who works there?



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Post Captain
Member # 423

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I agree 100%. I can't begin to express just how outraged I am at this. I've been bilked for my portion of $20B and now they take further advantage of the situation and show TWA folks the door.

You'd think they'd show a little bit of sensitivity to NYers in particular given all that's happenned. This is a far cry from the days when the slogan at TWA was "we want to be YOUR airline."

On a personal note, as a passenger I'd like to thank ALL of the JFK staff for all of the help you've provided to me and my family over the years. I for one sincerely appreciate the professionalism you've demonstrated over the years through good times and bad. I wish I had a magic wand and could make this whole situation different. My thoughts are with you as the reprecussions of this madness continue to injure yet more good people. My hopes are for a brighter future for all of you on the other side of this unplanned detour.

Keep the faith,


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Post Captain
Member # 123

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some people should never be allowed near computers...and that "some people" is me! i registered at Smilin' Jack's, over a year ago ...and tonight i finally figured out how to make the parts work! i really mean it when i say that i'm sadden by the JFK decision. i have great memories of TWA and JFK, along with 747's to get me through the mushy moments. with all the news coming out of NY everyday, it seems that the hurt travels on every street.

[ 09-25-2001: Message edited by: mioguido ]

[ 09-25-2001: Message edited by: mioguido ]

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JFK Fleet Service
Post Captain
Member # 822

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Originally posted by nyc6035:
now they take further advantage of the situation and show TWA folks the door.

Mike, you think there aren't going to be more cuts in NY despite laying off an entire station? We've been told to expect anywhere from one to three hundred more cuts at JFK,and I can only imagine whats going to happen at LGA and EWR.Not to mention the ONE THOUSAND probationary flight attendants at AA that got "Released",EVERYONE is getting hammered.Personally,I think that Donny is hiding behind this "State of Emergency" at AA to tie up quite a few loose ends, at both TWA and American.

You know what really irks me? Donny Boy's "Special Hotline" message for today..he'd like non represented workers to take a "Voluntary Pay Cut", nothing drastic,just whatever you think you can afford,then he goes on to pat himself on the back for snapping up 40K shares of AMR stock.Then he's big enough to say he'll forgo any compensation for the remainder of the year....what a guy! *&%&%*#^%!

I'd like to see the SOB take the money he spent on those 40K shares and donate it to the TWA people from JFK,they'll need it, it's not like they're getting severance or anything.Usually I'm the first to defend my employer,but this I simply can not defend.This is pure exploitation of a national tragedy.

So now what happens to the JFK flights? They expect us to work them? Good luck,I for one will do all in my power to avoid working those flights.

As an employee of American, I am deeply sorry for the heartless actions of my company.My sympathies go to all who got the moist end of the stick on this one.

[ 09-25-2001: Message edited by: JFK Fleet Service ]

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Post Captain
Member # 406

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TWA JFK closed October 7th? I can't believe it... it's a thought I can't quite comprehend... TWA IS NEW YORK... it used to be and somehow always was, even when it didn't have enough flights to justify it to an outsider... What happens to T5 now? There aren't any airlines using it right now, are there? And there's hardly going to be any airline expansion, so it's unlikely any airline will move in. Will they just take the signs down and lock the place up? What a chilling thought.

When the news of TWA being taken over by AA first hit I figured AA would become my new favorite airlines (but by no means replace TWA or achieve "TWA status"), but I agree with you Rob... what reason is there to fly AA? They are firing the people that made TWA special, closing the buildings that made TWA special, and have already removed the name that made TWA special... TRANS WORLD AIRLINES - not TWA LLC.

TransWorldForever, looking for a new favorite airline. Please send in suggestions.

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Post Captain
Member # 803

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From a selfish standpoint,,,,,

Since January, 2001, I was able to fly TWA to Hawaii, I have been able to see very few signs of AA in STL, except that on or two polished plane, and JFK was gonna be a kind of "last hurrah" for me in December, as I knew Europe wasn't gonna happen. Well that's not gonna happen either I guess, unless I can sneak out next week.

Flying to New Orleans and back this weekend gave me a preview of where AA would cut, at least now I am assuming it was AAs doing, in personell. The delay I encountered last Friday was not due to tighter security, but striclty UNDERSTAFFING FOR THE SITUATION!!! If my flights and the gates I observed were true to form for TWA ops this weekend, loads were about 50%. Maybe someone can verify this. So on a Friday in STL, with loads running about half of what a normal Friday would be, the ticketing area appeared to be about 75% staffed from a normal day. Keep in mind, ticketing agents are now doing the work of 3 groups,,, Curbside baggage checkers, their own work, and gate agents. Other than having another person checking your boarding pass at security, it was just about the same as always. First class check in had 12 people in line when I arrived and had ONE person working it, and wasnt moving until another agent was assingned, as the passengers at the counter had a problem. When it started moving it had at least doubled in size. This doesn't seem to be good math?

This passenger for one, would not mind paying more in these times to have proper staffing to do the job. Perhaps thats an issue that needs to be dealt with,,rethinking the pricing structure. After all, did a fuel surcharge slow people up in 2000? And what kind of profits did the industry make in 2000?

Back to topic, It seemed like TWA as usual in STL, but since we have heard that AA still is iffy on what to do with STL, I thought the recent events may have put the TWA changover in low gear. It looks like I am wrong. Am I still too cynical also, or is this looking like getting rid of a competitor more now than ever? We knew TWA/JFK wouldnt be around forever, but it appears that the in "big picture" JFK and TWA were always viewed even by AA as an unnecessary cost, and the recent events are speeding up cost cutting.

The sad thing is, especially after reading comments from some cockpit members on the other threads, there is probably NO reason to be afraid of flying, and the trickle down effect from industry to industry will be staggering. The government should look at ways not only to financially assist these people, but assist them in finding jobs in industries that may have benefited from 9-11.


[ 09-26-2001: Message edited by: donuway ]

Posts: 414 | From: St. Louis, Mo  |  IP: Logged
Jeff Isenberg
Post Captain
Member # 421

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Don -

I don't think you're overly cynical in your comments. I've always felt that a large part of AA's motivation for putting TWA through a bankruptcy and buying it on the cheap was, in fact, to take back the Caribbean for itself, grab some more midwestern and transcon passengers, etc. Further, as I've stated in the past, I believe the STL community is going to be sorely disappointed at what will happen to the hub they had been used to having with TWA. Even before September 11th, I thought the handwriting was on the wall. There was absolutely no way AA was going to continue running STL as a full-blown hub in the manner TWA had when it was the lynchpin of TWA's system. For AA, STL is "very" secondary to its core business.

On a related matter, I've posted on PB an inquiry to see if there might be any interest in holding a get together on October 5th or 6th at JFK. If there is strong enough interest, I would be happy to look into the possibility of organizing something. I realize our time is short but it still might be something we could pull off.

Jeff I.

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Fourm Captain
Member # 75

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Hey Jeff,

I thought about that but I would have to fly AA (grumble) Also, the fares do not seem to be reflecting any downturn in the industry. I hear of fare specials, but whenever I look up a flight, the fares are normal or higher!


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Jeff Isenberg
Post Captain
Member # 421

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Hi Rob -

In fact, there was an article in the NY Times or WSJ a couple of days ago that talked about the airlines attempt to NOT discount business fares during this period. Their feeling is that once traffic begins to pick up again, they don't want to be in a position of making big hikes in fares to get them back to the level they're at now. And ... as you mentioned ... I checked AA's business class fares the other day and, sure enough, they were asking the same $3,600+ for JFK-LAX roundtrip as they had been before 9/11.

In re: to the possibility of a 10/6 JFK party, though, would you still be able to fly TWA on a SFO-STL-JFK-STL-SFO itinerary?

Jeff I.

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Fourm Captain
Member # 75

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Technically I could but I can't leave early Friday, and the overnighter from SFO is not flying (as far as I can tell). So, I would get in late Saturday and have to leave at dawn on Sunday.



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upgrade lover
Post Captain
Member # 798

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You are so right about the fares. I thought I was crazy or something but some of the fares I find on line are actually higher than they were 2 weeks ago! Also and get this... every time I check on fares from LAX to the DC area (now BWI and IAD only), the AA fares are much lower than TWA!!! in some instances the TW fares are 50% higher for the same dep/arrival time. Does AA not want any body to fly TWA to have an excuse to shut more locations early. Someting to think about.

Jeff I . The more I look at things the more I think you have been right all along. I guess I was just blinded by my affection for TWA that I could not see the writing on the wall. I hope we can get together on the 6th at JFK. In any event I will be there


John Stuart

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