ABC Evening News for Monday, Sep 26, 1977
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(Studio) President Carter overrules Civil Aeronautics Board and approves reduction in transatlantic air fare for all passengers, not just those on standby. Civil Aeronautics Board had approved decrease on NYC-London flights, but only on standby. Upheaval in transatlantic air fare is result largely of service which begins today between New York City and London: Freddie Laker's no-frills Skytrain.
REPORTER: Frank Reynolds
(London, England) Report on beginning of Laker Airways Skytrain service. Fashion executive Ann Campbell is 1st to buy ticket; people had been waiting 2 days, but plane still has 70 empty seats on takeoff. Laker hosts party for customers and staff. [Freddie LAKER - cites money made on 1st flight.] Most experts say it will be some mos., maybe next spring, before evaluation of success of project can be made, since it's no longer peak travel season. This might explain lack of sellout for Laker's 1st flight and why British Airways and Trans World Airlines, Inc. (TWA) have been selling only about half standby seats they offer. Round trip between New York City and London is now as little as $235.
REPORTER: Mike Taibbi
(NYC) Unless Laker Skytrains fill up every day, big, competing airlines may succeed in putting no-frills flights out of business In NYC, people had lined up at Laker ticket offices, but by afternoon, more than 30 seats left. Reason is that some travelers decide to fly with big scheduled competitors. In London, some buy standby tickets on Pan Am flight from Heathrow airport, which is closer to city than Gatwick airport, where Laker arrives. Trans World Airlines, Inc. (TWA) and British Airways report similar sales.
REPORTER: John Martin