A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 02, 2013
The Worst Airline (Trans World Airlines or TWA backronymic nickname)

Trans World Airlines (TWA) existed from 1925 through 2001 and was once one of the world’s largest airlines, with a terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport. TWA has been given the backronymic (back acronym) nickname of “The Worst Airline” since at least 1976.

TWA has also been nicknamed “Teeny Weeny Airlines” and “Try Walking Again.” A once-popular dirty joke about the airline is “TWA tea.”


Wikipedia: Trans World Airlines
Trans World Airlines (TWA) was an American airline that existed from 1925 until it was bought out by and merged with American Airlines in 2001. It was a major domestic airline in the United States and the main U.S.-based competitor of Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) on intercontinental routes from 1946 until deregulation in 1978. TWA had hubs at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport for much of its history. Focus cities also existed at various times in Kansas City, Los Angeles, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. In the 1980s it built up a hub in Atlanta, an operation which was reduced in the 1990s. TWA had pilot bases in Frankfurt and Berlin during the 1980s and it operated Boeing 727-100 type aircraft within Europe. The company flew inter-European routes between Berlin, Frankfurt, London, Zurich, Hamburg, Stuttgart, Vienna, Amsterdam and Istanbul.

Flying to most major U.S. cities, TWA was one of the largest domestic airlines; before deregulation TWA, American Airlines, United Airlines, and Eastern Air Lines were collectively known as the “Big Four”. It also had a substantial feeder operation from smaller cities in the Midwestern United States. Beyond the U.S., TWA had a large European and Middle Eastern network, served mainly from its hub, the iconic TWA Flight Center, at John F. Kennedy International Airport. For a few years its routes circumnavigated the globe. Along with Pan Am, it was considered to be a secondary unofficial flag carrier for the United States, especially after Pan Am was dissolved in the early 1990s.

12 August 1976, The California Courier (Fresno, CA), “Hye Reflections” by Dr. Art Margosian, pg. 2, col. 1:
And who do we have to thank—TWA (The Worst Airline).

Google Books
What’s in a Name?:
Everything You Wanted to Know

By Leonard R. N. Ashley
Baltimore, MD: Genealogical Pub. Co.
1989
Pg. 50:
More likely are complaints: TWA is said to be The Worst Airline.

Google Groups: rec.humor
Fly if you dare !!!
B|rge Haga
7/2/91
(...)
TWA (Transworld Airlines)
- Travel Without Arrival
- Try Walking, Asshole
- Try Walking Again
- The Worst Airline
- Took Wrong Airline
- Try Walking Across (transatlantic perspective)
- Travel With Arabs
- Terrorist Welcome Aboard
- Teenie Weenie Airlines

26 August 1991, Boston (MA) Herald, “Trip on horror-show airline enough to make you snap‎” by Leonard Greene, pg. 10:
My enlightenment came last week at Kennedy Airport, while standing at the ticket counter line at TWA, which I am now convinced stands for “The Worst Airline.”

Google Books
Acronymania: A Celebratory Roundup Of Nomenclature Yielding Mischief:
Abbreviations, Neologisms, Initialisms, Acronyms!

By Don Hauptman
New York, NY: Dell Pub.
1993
Pg. 225:
TWA has spawned a plethora of pejorative redefinitions, including “Try walking across,” “Thousands wandering aimlessly,” “To wait always,” and “The worst airline.”

Google Books
The Language of Comic Narratives:
Humor Construction in Short Stories

By Isabel Ermida
Berlin: Walter de Gruyter
2008
Pg. 54:
TWA = The Worst Airline, To Wait Always, Try Walking Across, Travel With Assholes, etc.

JetPhotos.Net Forums
CanVoodoo
06-10-2009, 02:41 PM
Airline nickname list
This will not be new to most people here—it is an expansion of a list that has been around for years.
(...)
Transcontinental and Western Airlines, later Trans-World Airlines (TWA)
Tacky Wacky Airlines
Take Weapons Aboard
Take Whatever’s Available
Tammy Wynette Airlines
Teeny Weeny Airlines
Terrible Worst Airlines
Terrorists’ Wanted Airlines
Terrorists Welcome Aboard
Terrorists Will Attack
Terrorists With AK-47s
Terrorists With Arms
That Was Accidental
That Was Awful
Thieves, Whores and Alcoholics
Thousands Wandering Aimlessly
TightWad Airlines
Time Wasting Airline
Tiny Wings A-flappin’!!!!!
That Was Accidental
The Worst Airline
Today’s Worst Airline
Tomorrow We’ll Arrive
Tomorrow’s Widebody Accident
Took Wrong Airline
Top Whop Aboard
Totally Wasted Airlines
Touch Wood Again
Trans Witch Airlines
Travel With Amal
Travel With American
Travel With Arabs
Travel Without Arrival
Travelling With Angels
Traveling Without Air
Trembling Wings Airlines
Trolleys Without Airconditioning
Trouble, Worry, and Aggravation
Try Waiting Awhile
Try Walking Across (transoceanic perspective)
Try Western Airlines
Try With Another
Twenty Wobbly Airplanes

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • Saturday, March 02, 2013 • Permalink