Just admit it was a mistake

Now-defunct TWA’s biggest problem — it was the only major airline losing money in the late 1990s — was that its primary hub was in St. Louis.

All the other major airlines were pulling in about 6% full fare travelers. TWA, based in a dying city without the high flying commerce of major centers like Chicago, San Francisco, and Dellas, just wasn’t pulling in premium revenue.

It always seemed strange that American saw acquiring the St. Louis hub as desireable when they acquired the bankrupt airline. They explained that they would relieve the pressure on Dallas by routing more travelers through St. Louis. That strategy turned out to be a dog, as American is scaling back flights out of St. Louis, and building up flights out of Dallas.

American says their focus on St. Louis will be the St. Louis origin/destination market — but that’s precisely the weakness that doomed TWA.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has a FAQ on how this move impacts local travelers.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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