"Yes, We Got No ‘New’ Parts"

Posted 01/19/04

By Bob Paul

Bill Dixon's article on the Constellation (The Connie Lives On) brought to mind a story that occurred in DCA. Eastern had just taken delivery of its first Connie and the sleek beauty was on its way to MIA with Captain Eddie on board. They experienced mechanical problems and had to land at DCA to have it corrected. At the time, we TWA stalwarts had already grown tired of Eastern advertising "The New Type Constellation" as though it was somehow different or better than ours, which it wasn't.

But the Connie was so new to Eastern they hadn’t stocked a full complement of spare parts for it in DCA, and they had to turn to TWA for help. They mentioned that Captain Eddie was on board, and that it was "imperative" that they get the aircraft repaired quickly so they could continue on to MIA where he had important appointments.

The TWA gentleman in charge of our parts department told the Eastern mechanics that he would be glad to help, but that he didn't have any parts for the "New Type" Constellation … and that it was possible that the parts he did have would not fit their "advanced" machine. He eventually coughed up the part they needed, but only after considerable fun had been logged teasing the Eastern crew.

I don't know that the story ever made the rounds among others at TWA, but it gleefully spread among all of us in DCA, that's for sure.

Bob Paul (1940-1973) worked in a number of TWA departments and cities, concluding his career in NYC Sales Promotion.

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