"We look for people who can understand a project from a user's point of view."
— Joe Nemecek, Vice President, AIS

Airline Large shop


Trans World Airlines, Inc. (TWA) is the seventh largest airline in the United States. The company's major hub is in St. Louis, Missouri, and a secondary hub is at John F. Kennedy airport in New York City. TWA flies to 75 U.S. cities and 18 foreign cities and transports more than 21 million passengers annually. The only airline to cross the Atlantic for the last fifty years, a New York to Paris round trip in 1946 cost $675 (equivalent to about $5,200 today if adjusted for inflation) and can still be flown for that price today.

Founded in the 1930s, TWA is publicly held, has revenues of $3.3 billion and employs 23,000 people. Corporate headquarters are in St. Louis, Missouri.



TWA has three IBM 3090s and 2,300 PCs. A number of Local Area Networks, primarily running Novell's Netware, connect the PCs. Development is in COBOL, using DB2 under CICS, with the Information Engineering Facility (TI) CASE tool. TWA uses Visual Basic for its imaging applications and incorporates electronic data interchange (EDI).

There are eight pay grades for TWA's 243 computer professionals, ranging from job series 91 (the equivalent of a programmer with one or two years of experience) through job series 98 (operations research). Functional areas include operations, systems programming, and application development and maintenance, both online and batch. Recent projects have included the implementation of a direct dial call-in preferential bidding system for pilots and flight attendants, developed in C on IBM 486/66 PCs, and the development of a revenue management system using Sybase on a Sun server.


Computer professionals work in cubicles and offices in a nonsmoking environment. Standard office hours are from 8 AM to 4:30 PM, with a flextime schedule and core hours of 10 AM to 2:30 PM. A 40-hur work week is standard. Professionals need to travel from five to ten percent of their time to support other domestic and international sites. Business dress is business casual with casual Fridays. TWA offers a variety of application assignments in flight operations, maintenance, and marketing, as well as significant travel benefits and job skills development programs.

TWA observes eight holidays and offers two weeks of vacation after one year, increasing to four weeks after ten years. The company pays almost all the costs for medical, dental, disability, and life insurance. There is a 401(k) plan. All employees receive travel benefits. Managers receive an annual pass to anywhere TWA flies and this may extend to other airlines as well. There was a layoff in 1994. Affected employees were given extended benefits and severance packages.


TWA looks for technical skills that are specific to the position being filled. Candidates should be neat, have good interpersonal skills, and be able to communicate effectively. Degrees in Business, Mathematics, or Computer Science are helpful. Current staff members have an average of eight years or nine years of experience and Bachelor's degrees. TWA seldom hires entry-level computer professionals.

TWA finds the 15 to 40 computer professionals it hires a year through unsolicited resumes, consultants who convert to full-time employees, advertisements, and occasionally employment agencies for specific skill sets.


Letters are preferred.

Mr. Joe Nemececk
Vice President, Airline Information Systems (AIS)
Trans World Airlines, Inc.
11500 N.W. Ambassador Drive
Kansas City, Missouri 64153
(816) 464-7342

Copyright 1998. Carol L. Covin. Covin’s Southeast Computer Job Guide