ORDnDFW777 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2088 times:
Has anyone flown the Eastern Moonlight Shuttle? It operated briefly at O'Hare (during construction of course) in the wee hours of the morning. It was my first scarebus experience (althought their A300s were not that bad).
LTBEWR From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 13692 posts, RR: 17
Reply 1, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 2060 times:
I recall the ads for these overnight/'red eye' specials. They were operated for a few years in the 1980's, mainly for freight transport, but carrying pax at very cheap prices ($99 o/w to most places, even at the last minute). I believe you were limited to carry on or maybe one checked bag. All of the flights departed in the late evening, just before most airports closed for the evening. All flights were hubbed through Houston and all arriving around 2:00 am. You would then transfer to a 2nd plane to go to your destination airport, getting there in very early morning, when most airports opened for service for the day. I thought they used 757's for most flights in this service. I believe they operated out of JFK, Miami, LAX, and about 7-8 other cities.
Iflyatldl From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 1936 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 2023 times:
It operated for a period in the 80's. It used IAH as one of the hubs and mostly used the A300's, some 757's and L10's. You could fly, as I did ATL-SFO for $99.00. The only catch was, you couln't check luggage as the lower compartment was used for strictly cargo. It wasn't bad at all. They even gave you a decent snack
Ah, Summer, Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox and Beer.....
Gr8slvrflt From United States of America, joined Jan 2002, 1631 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 1924 times:
It started with a Houston hub using A-300s exclusively. 727-200s and DC-9-30s were added later as smaller markets were added. To my knowledge, no L-1011s or 757s were ever utilized on the service. When it began seats 10A & 10B were removed at the gate to lower the minimum F/A crew required to five then reinstalled in the morning but it became more trouble than it was worth and the practice was discontinued. When the Moonlight Special began having too strong an impact on sister company Continental's business, the operation was moved to O'Hare. O'Hare was totally unsuitable due to weather and lack of gate and ramp space. The Moonlight Special was shut down sortly thereafter. CF Airfreight then started using its own aircraft. I believe Pan Am tried a similar product out of Las Vegas called the Starlight something-or-other. IIR, main Airbus routes out of IAH were to: ATL, LAX, SFO, PDX/SEA, ORD, EWR, BOS and MIA. 727s were used to PHX and IAD with DC-9s to CLT. I think MCO also had a Moonlight Special flight. I remember working the ORD-DFW-LAX run towards the end. They were a blast to work in the early days with tons of backbackers, seniors, and young families who had never flown before. The rampers in Houston used to sell barbeque and tamales to all the crews milling around in the middle of the night (ground time was usually two to three hours while all the cargo was being reshuffled). Another one of Eastern's brilliant innovations that died due to management incompetence.
Timz From United States of America, joined Sep 1999, 7092 posts, RR: 7
Reply 8, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1799 times:
As I recall you could check baggage, for a fee-- it just wasn't guaranteed to get on the plane, and if it travelled on a later flight Eastern wouldn't deliver it. You'd have to come back to the airport and get it. Sounds fair enough.
Kurt From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 429 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1724 times:
I have an EA timetable from early 1987 that lists "Moonlight Shuttle" service (it's a little icon that looks like a quarter-moon). I'll have to go and dig that one up if anyone's interested. I was in college then and flew DEN-MCI-OMA and back very cheaply. I think DEN-MCI-DEN was 727s and MCI-OMA-MCI was DC-9s.
FoxBravo From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 3063 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (11 years 8 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 1673 times:
I wonder why more airlines don't try that today. It is far better than having the planes sit idle throughout the night.
Good point, Rjpieces.
Notice that JetBlue has launched lots of transcontinental redeyes, as well as late-night flights to/from Florida and Puerto Rico, soon to include BQN and also the new DR service. As a result, few--if any--of JetBlue's planes sit idle overnight.
Notice also that JetBlue is one of the few profitable airlines in the U.S. Coincidence? Hmm...