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Thread: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

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    Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    Other than Air France, does anyone know what other airlines might have corporate offices in Manhattan?

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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    I know there are a couple I've walked by, but I can't remember who...I'll keep an eye out next time I'm walking down 5th or 6th Aves.

    I think Swissair was one of them.

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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    Swissair had an office way out on Long Island someplace. I have to ask my cousins wife, she worked for them and Sabena as an accountant.
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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    For those of you too young to remember, just about every major international airline used to have a storefront city ticket office (CTO) here, mostly around Fifth Ave. between 42nd and 57th but some were also over on or by Madison. They served not only as ticketing (street level) and administrative offices (upstairs usually), but also as sort of 'brand showrooms' to promote the airline and, in the case of foreign flag carriers, their national tourist board. Personally, I can recall Lufthansa, Varig, Swissair, Pan Am, Turkish, PIA, KAL, and BA just off the top of my head. As I kid I used to like to go check out the big model airplanes in the windows, and sometimes there would also be a sort of mini cabin display with seats, or other cool stuff to see. Later, in the '80s while in high school, I had a summer job at a major midtown travel agency/tour operator where I often had to go courier tickets and other documents back and forth to the airline offices.

    From the mid '90s, the proliferation of web-based booking and customer services plus the high rents led first to the closure of most of the CTOs, and then to the relocation of many of the 'upstairs' admin offices out of Manhattan. BA used to have a big storefront CTO around 46th and 5th and I remember going there sometime in 1996 or 97 to get a paper ticket changed and finding it having just closed for good, with a sign in the window telling people to go to the website or call the call center. The last old-style CTO in Manhattan I know of is Air France as you say, opposite the Parker Meridien.

    For what it's worth, someone I know works in corporate sales at one of the world's fastest growing, premium-oriented global airlines and after decades in the business he is 100% convinced that eventually all airline marketing and sales will be online because the cost savings is so compelling. He believes that when he retires in the next few years, no one will be hired to replace him in the function he performs. Actually it's pretty telling that everyone I know who has this sort of job in the airline business, and there aren't many left, is over 50 years old and has been doing it at least 20 years. Last week I met a lady who has been with the same European airline since the early '70s. These folks will probably be the last generation in this line of work. In my job I sometimes deal with corporate/group airline contracts, and while in the old days, you used to have your local rep at each airline, today, especially at the domestic carriers, they want you to go through the call center or website as retail ticket buyers do.

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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    I remember going to the Alitalia offices with my dad in 1995 to return an unused paper ticket for a trip to Italy. My mom couldn't go on our trip to MXP. If I recall there were still a few ticket offices in Manhattan. Now they're all gone.

    Even the Satellite Airlines Terminal across from Grand Central has closed. I'd go there to use travel vouchers on AA rather than go out to JFK or LGA. It was handy, and now it's closed. Any ticket exchange/purchase using vouchers must be done at the airports. I also remember the Satellite Offices that used to be downtown on Water Street by the Seaport.
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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    BA actually has offices in the Bulova Building.
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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    Great post nonstop!

    Have a retired AAunt who was at a CTO for AA on Park Ave over 20 years ago.

    Bulova w/ BA, yes, while you are correct, but isn't it in Queens?

    And Yep, the old building that housed SwissAir only 3-4 years ago is now being updated. Its at the corner of the LIE and Pinelawn Rd. Now houses OSI Pharmaceuticals.
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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    EMS - Yes, BA has for some time had offices in the Bulova Center in Jackson Heights, I think originally it was both executive offices and a reservations center (no ticket office though), and then the res center was outsourced so I guess it's just admin offices now. I think the displaced res people were offered a chance to work at an airport and so some of the former Jackson Heights reservations agents are now doing check-in or working gates at JFK T7.

    Since the Satellite Terminals were mentioned, you might also remember that there used to be airline desks in the lobby of 1 World Trade Center, but in the '90s they sort of closed one by one, probably because of the internet. Probably by 9/11 there weren't any left.

    CTOs seem to still exist in certain other countries where either e-ticketing isn't common or where culturally, consumers value face to face transactions. I think mostly you find this in Asia and the Middle East.

    IIRC, a few years ago Song did a 'pop up' storefront space downtown, more to promote the brand than to sell tickets. It was for a limited duration but kind of interesting the marketers reached back for an old concept to boost a new brand.

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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    Alitalia currently has their ticket/corporate offices in the Empire State Building.

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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    Olympic has an office on Austin St. in Queens. As most know jetBlue HQ is on Queens Blvd. EL-AL, Israir, and Turkish all have offices in Midtown East. Emirates has an office in Mineola and Lufthansa has a building on Hempstead Turnpike in East Meadow right near HOOTERS.

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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    If I'm not mistaken, there is still a tiny satellite ticket office with desks for several airlines on Broadway about 60th street (next block up from Time Warner Center). However, I know some of them moved out and have no idea who's still left in there, if anyone.

    With respect to the original question, it's not clear if he means ticket office, admin office, or marketing office. While retail ticket offices are largely gone, many airlines still have an admin or marketing office here. Some (presumably those that didn't have old leases) have also moved the admin and marketing function to less costly locations outside Manhattan. Old folks like me remember when this used to be a prestige business and back then, you pretty much had to have a Manhattan office to be a player. Today thanks to the web, margin squeeze and commoditization of service, it's really not important.

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    Senior Member Mateo's Avatar
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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    I thought it was a little further up, but if you're talking about the cubbyhole on the west side of Broadway just above Columbus Circle, there's just AA and Olympic now. El Al also used to have a pre-check-in facility in Boro Park. You could go the night before, check your bags, do the security questioning there, and get to JFK only an hour before instead of 3 when you were flying.

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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    I used to hit all those offices on 5th Ave, Madison and Rocky Center for postcards, wings (toy and real), publicity photos, etc,. This was back in the late '70's early '80's. The stuff they gave away was bountiful and unreal. My two most treasured freebies are postcards of China Airlines whole fleet and Aeroflot's 1980 Olympic Games logo postcards or their entire fleet.

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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    Was extremely bored Sunday so had a walk down Broadway to Columbus Circle area and can confirm that as Mateo says, only AA and Olympic are left at the satellite ticket office on the west side of Broadway between 60th and 61st. Not quite sure why Olympic is in there, I know Continental was there and perhaps Delta as well but both gone and there are 2 or 3 empty desks in there. BTW there is big subway construction going on outside so hard to see except from right in front of it. Also btw the Indian restaurant on the same block is pretty good, although probably losing alot of business because of the construction...

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    Re: Airlines With Offices in Manhattan?

    I found a list! I added the location details. Some are storefronts, some are within office buildings. I checked most of them on Google, but I can't vouch that it is 100% accurate other than the location of the Air France office on 56th which I pass every day. :)

    Aeroflot: 10 Rockefeller Plaza
    Aeromexico: 37 West 57th (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
    Aerosvit: 420 Lexington Avenue (The Graybar Building, between 43rd and 44th Streets)
    Air Europa: 1001 Avenue of the Americas (between 37th and 38th Streets)
    Air France: 120 West 56th (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
    Air India: 570 Lexington Ave (between 51st and 52nd)
    Air Jamaica: 95-25 Queens Blvd (between Junction Blvd and 62nd Drive)
    Air Plus Comet: 51 East 42nd (between Madison and Park)
    Alitalia: 350 Fifth Avenue (Empire State Building)
    ANA: 1251 Avenue of the Americas (between 49th and 50th)
    Asiana: 540 Madison Ave (between 54th and 55th)
    Avianca: 720 Fifth Ave (between 56th and 57th)
    Biman Bangladesh: 211 East 43rd (between 2nd and 3rd)
    British Airways: 530 Fifth Ave (between 44th and 45th)
    China Airlines: 633 Third Ave (between 40th and 41st)
    China Eastern: 339 Fifth Ave (between 33rd and 34th)
    Continental: Penn Station, Amtrak Ticket Lobby
    Czech: 1350 Avenue of the Americas (between 54th and 55th)
    Delta: 140 East 45th (between 3rd and Lexington)
    Egyptair: 19 West 44th (between 5th and 6th)
    El Al: 15 East 26th Street (between Madison and 5th)
    Finnair: 228 East 45th (between 2nd and 3rd)
    Korean: 609 Fifth Ave (corner of 49th)
    LOT: 500 Fifth Ave (between 42nd and 43rd)
    Malev: 90 John St (corner of Gold St)
    Thai: 60 East 42nd St (between Vanderbilt and Madison)
    Turkish: 437 Madison (between 49th and 50th)
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