TWA hopes to get stranded travelers in the air soon
December 27, 1998
At least 200 TWA passengers were stranded
Web posted at: 12:39 p.m. EST (1739 GMT)
ST. LOUIS (CNN) -- Trans World Airlines officials said Sunday they hoped several hundred passengers, stranded by an apparent flight attendant "sickout," would be in the air by later in the day.
At least 200 travelers remained stranded overnight, mostly in St. Louis, as TWA had to cancel dozens of flights because of the action by flight attendants, unhappy over the lack of progress in contract talks.
"We're cautiously optimistic that we can get everyone else moving today," TWA spokesman Jim Brown told CNN.
Brown said about 700 travelers were stranded Thursday and Friday at the peak of the sickout. A federal judge in New York issued a back-to-work order Friday, and that helped bring the flight attendants back to work, he said.
Dozens of disgruntled flight attendants had called in sick starting Thursday, paralyzing TWA's St. Louis hub traffic during the busy holiday season. Delays and cancellations applied to flights of all lengths and all directions.
TWA officials could not say how many flight attendants called in sick.
TWA canceled more than 90 flights on Christmas day and another 45 on Saturday. Delays Saturday were averaging 38 minutes, Brown said, but some passengers reported waits of up to three hours.
The spokesman said the flight attendants union and the company have been ordered back to the bargaining table January 18 by a national mediator.