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30 Years Ago: People Express Merged Into Continental Airlines

People Express was a bit of a different airline, and embraced it as “the first airline that’s smart enough to respect your intelligence.” ( More...

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time flies doesn't it!i remember when there were lots of "good" airlines who were slowly gobbled up,merged or went to their demise in the late 70's,80's and 90's..sad fact of life and business..pan am,eastern,twa,braniff,air cal,hughes airwest,western..the list goes on and on..
jwmson 2
From the start, a total disaster. Led the airline industy into today's attitude of passengers being self-loading cargo. "The cattle will refrain from mooing."
djames225 2
No wonder can openers were scarce on the shelf those days..sounds like People's Excess bought them all up.
mags stumpp 1
I sure miss the Bethune-era CO. The toxic combination of bean counting executives and United's bureaucracy made a mess of it.
Pat McKinzie 1
I worked for Britt Airways at the time of People Express demise. we were acquired because People had trouble hiring Pilots during times of industry "good times." Cheap pilots were available in "bad times" as future pilots were interested in building flight experience then moving to a carrier that paid better when possible. Of course when the industry experience "good times" the cheap pilots left for greener pastures & new hires were hard to come by as anyone with any experience could also go to the greener pastures "real airlines." Peoples then hire some students directly out of flight school and even promoted flight attendants to FEs. Two years later when it came time to upgrade many of these pilots needed to learn how to fly. PBA was acquired for this purpose, but was promptly shutdown by the FAA. Hence Britt even though we had no feeder link to Peoples.
The mechanics union at Frontier blocked United from being their savior, so those folks became unemployed. Continental eventual became our savior purchasing the whole company including Britt for Pennies on the dollar. I remember those quick few days as when each time we arrived in Chicago O'Hare a Britt hub the board would be considering a new lower offer only to have lowered before the could meet. Finally the board approved the next offer in advance at what ever the offer would be, just so the bleeding would stop. At Britt we finally got to train those FEs when operating as Continental Express.
As passengers, many of us read their statement as "the first airline that's stupid enough to insult your intelligence." Not for nothing was there the parody ad, "Just like a cattle car with wings." Being left stranded at night in Tampa/St Pete, traveling on business, with no customer service, was enough to swear me and my company off of them forever.
tuba 1
Still recall a business trip with my partner, EWR-LAX, at $700 a pop for squalid seating in the butt end of a 737; being magnanimous, we invited the wives to join us later in the week, but being a young firm, we'd have to fly them via People Express. They giggled all the way to the baggage claim after a pair of $200 first class tix landed them in the nose of a People 747, replete with champagne, hot towels and the rest.
bbabis 1
The first deregulation new airline. I remember pilots being paid a bare pittance but getting 100-200g a year in company stock that they weren't allowed to sell. It was like printing your own money! The company knew that when they were allowed to sell, it would be almost worthless.
Chris Coogan 0
Peeps was a hoot to work for. They encouraged every individual to be fearless in their pursuits. Certainly worked for me


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