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Eastern Air Lines: 1926-1991  
User currently offlineOB1504 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 3238 posts, RR: 9
Posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 4757 times:

Surprisingly, I don't think that a memorial thread was posted this year:


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Photo © Sunbird Photos by Don Boyd
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On January 18th, 1991, Eastern Air Lines ceased operations. Two Sundays ago, we marked 18 years since their demise.  tombstone 

34 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJfk777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 8094 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4691 times:
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Very sad for Miami and Florida, it was our home town airline. WE can all thank one Charles Bryan, machinist uion local head.

User currently offlineAzstar From United States of America, joined May 2005, 597 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4672 times:

Eastern was known for its notoriously poor inflight service. One fourth of July I flew them to San Juan. The meal consisted of ground beef in dark brown gravy, mashed potatos, and peas. Catering had forgot to include any forks or spoons, so they only had plastic knives on board. It was pretty funny watching everyone eating this glop with plastic knives. The desert was a kind of pudding in a pie shell. Since it was the fourth of July, the flight attendants were supposed to put little U.S. flags in the pie, but they forgot so they went up and down the aisles sticking the little flags wherever they could in the meal; in the pie, in the potatoes, in the meat glop.

On the return night flight, the male attendant was hitting on a single female traveler. A little later I noticed he was sitting in the empty seat next to her and they were necking, passionately.

Ah, those were the good old days. Not as much fun flying today.


User currently onlineMSYtristar From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 6417 posts, RR: 51
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4656 times:

First flight I ever took was on EA...MSY-HOU on a 727-100 in 1979.


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EA was a great airline in its time.



Next trip: MSY-SEA-GEG-SEA-LWS-BOI-PDX-SEA-LAS on AS
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16694 posts, RR: 51
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 4607 times:

My first flight ever was Eastern EWR-ATL-MCO ('78), the return flight was MCO-JFK.


Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5641 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 4528 times:



Quoting Azstar (Reply 2):
It was pretty funny watching everyone eating this glop with plastic knives.

...Almost as funny as watching flight attendants nowadays asking passengers for $2 for a glass of water?


User currently offlineNWOrientDC10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1404 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4445 times:
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Although I was primarily a TWA flier during the 1980's, I liked seeing EA's blue liveried jets at various airports. In fact EA and TWA shared a terminal at LAX (Terminal three).

http://www.departedflights.com/LAX1084.html

I have a question about EA. When did they retire their DC-8's? Upon looking at flight schedules on the above website, I noticed that DL, US, Transamerica, and World Airways had DC-8 flights but not EA.

Good Day  Smile

Russell



Things aren't always as they seem
User currently offlineJMBWEEBOY From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 266 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4393 times:

I know they were often referred to as the "Subway of the Skies" in their time but by today's standards of air travel, they were a first class operation!

JMBWEEBOY


User currently offlineUnited787 From United States of America, joined May 2005, 2641 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 4387 times:

Although I can't confirm it, my father believes my first flights were on Eastern and connected through MIA. I was 2 1/2 for the first one...

3/25/75 ORD-MIA-FLL
4/75 FLL-MIA-ORD

3/76 ORD-MIA-FLL
3/76 FLL-MIA-ORD

3/77 ORD-MIA-FLL
3/77 FLL-MIA-ORD

Surprised we flew Eastern because I remember that my grandmother loved Delta...


User currently offlineFlyASAGuy2005 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 7004 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4363 times:



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 5):
...Almost as funny as watching flight attendants nowadays asking passengers for $2 for a glass of water?

I was taken aback when I was on a US flight quite some time ago and I heard them announce over the PA "water for $2". I was pretty disgusted. But this was before I found out about their policies.



What gets measured gets done.
User currently offlineNorthStarDC4M From Canada, joined Apr 2000, 2951 posts, RR: 37
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4319 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR



Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Reply 6):
I have a question about EA. When did they retire their DC-8's? Upon looking at flight schedules on the above website, I noticed that DL, US, Transamerica, and World Airways had DC-8 flights but not EA.

The last EA DC-8s were pulled from service in 1974, in fact the entire fleet ws retired between 1971 and 1974, DC-8-21s, 51s, 61s and 63CFs... However EA had ownership of several DC-8-61s until 1980, they were on lease to JAL, they never re-entered service with EA however.

The Dc-8 was just not the right plane for EA. Ironically Eastern launched the Dc-8-21 and put it into service in 1960. They got the Dc-8-60 when they were promised routes to the West Coast, a certain President overturned the CAB decision awarding the routes to EA and gave them to AA and BN instead... EA tried to make the Dc-8-60s work on high-capacity runs into Florida, but the L1011 was better suited so they dumped them.

Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 1):
Very sad for Miami and Florida, it was our home town airline. WE can all thank one Charles Bryan, machinist uion local head.

Bryan, Borman, Lorenzo... many names to burn in effigy on the EA downfall.

Truth is Bryan really was speaking for his members much of the time, the IAM at EA was notoriously militant and hard to get along with, even before Bryan's term. Though his bombastic approach to Lorenzo after the TI takeover was probably a catastrophic event.

Borman i kind of feel sorry for, he got dealt a bad hand and every time he tried to redeal it someone kicked him in the shins. Borman brought in a operations revamp (A300 which remember they got for a song, the 757 and the international expansion) which should of saved EA, except for the economic crash of the early 80s. Honestly if Lorenzo had continued to invest in EA instead of carving bits off of it, it might of survived, or at least been able to find a merger partner.

Now Lorenzo, well... he never really had any idea how to work with the unions, and he wasn't willing to either probably. He broke a strike at CO using replacement, and almost forced people to become scabs or walk away empty handed, something that STILL stings some people to this day. And there is the fiasco with Texas International and the Airline Strike fund in the 60s...



Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
User currently offlineRW170 From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 430 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 4299 times:



Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Reply 6):
I noticed that DL, US, Transamerica, and World Airways had DC-8 flights but not EA.

USAir never operated DC-8s.



319/320/321/712/733/734/735/73G/738/752/753/763/CR2/CR9/DH8/135/145/170/175/190/D9S/D94/D95/M82/M83/M88
User currently offlineNWOrientDC10 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 1404 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4244 times:
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Quoting RW170 (Reply 11):
Quoting NWOrientDC10 (Reply 6):
I noticed that DL, US, Transamerica, and World Airways had DC-8 flights but not EA.

USAir never operated DC-8s.

I meant to type UA, not US; a typo.... embarrassed 

Russell



Things aren't always as they seem
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24109 posts, RR: 23
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4165 times:



Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 10):
The last EA DC-8s were pulled from service in 1974, in fact the entire fleet ws retired between 1971 and 1974, DC-8-21s, 51s, 61s and 63CFs...

The 6 EA DC-8-63PFs were the only examples of that model built. They had the structural reinforcements of the freighter model but lacked the main deck cargo door. Made them easier to convert to freighters later.

CP acquired one -63PF from Eastern in 1972 and named it "Empress of Athens". I flew on it a few times. It had a slightly different cabin and door configuration than CP's other DC-8-63s.

Five of the EA -63PFs with various subsequent operators. I think one or two are still flying. And last photo of one in original livery.


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Photo © Anders Nilsson



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Photo © Michel Gilliand
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Photo © Jayson Romeo



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Photo © Gerhard Plomitzer
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Photo © George W. Hamlin



User currently offlineTommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4153 times:



Quoting Azstar (Reply 2):
On the return night flight, the male attendant was hitting on a single female traveler. A little later I noticed he was sitting in the empty seat next to her and they were necking, passionately.

Good for him! What a hustler  Silly

I never got to fly on eastern but I will always see them as a very well respected airline with good service and employees until lorenzo essentially plowed the airline into the ground and destroyed morale. Marty was just too late.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineGSPSPOT From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 2968 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4085 times:

Ah, yes - the only airline that ever really gave DL a fight in ATL (although at one time, the original Piedmont, Southern/Republic & UA had sizeable presences also).


Finally made it to an airline mecca!
User currently offlineStratosphere From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 1647 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 4045 times:



Quoting Jfk777 (Reply 1):
Very sad for Miami and Florida, it was our home town airline. WE can all thank one Charles Bryan, machinist uion local head.

And Umm Frank Lorenzo had nothing to do with it I suppose.  banghead 



NWA THE TRUE EVIL EMPIRE
User currently offlineWA707atMSP From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 2179 posts, RR: 12
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 3980 times:



Quoting NorthStarDC4M (Reply 10):
They got the Dc-8-60 when they were promised routes to the West Coast, a certain President overturned the CAB decision awarding the routes to EA and gave them to AA and BN instead... EA tried to make the Dc-8-60s work on high-capacity runs into Florida, but the L1011 was better suited so they dumped them.

Just to clarify, EA bought two types of DC-8-60s, the -61 and the -63.

The -61 had US / Canada transcontinental, or US West Coast - Hawaii range, and was designed mainly for UA, EA, DL, and AC. They were a good aircraft for EA's routes from JFK to MIA and SJU, until the even larger L-1011 entered service.

The -63 had intercontinental range. EA ordered -63s in hopes of getting routes from the US East Coast to Hawaii, and on to Australia and New Zealand. EA was recommended for the routes, but the routes to Hawaii were awarded to AA and BN, and AA got the Hawaii - Australia / New Zealand routes. Many EA managers said after the fact that EA was lucky not to have been awarded the routes. AA lost a lot of money trying to compete against PA, QF, and NZ, and suspended the routes within four years after they were awarded. There are photos of EA -63s in Asia, because EA did use them on government charters to Vietnam.

AA and BN were never awarded any routes to the West Coast that EA wanted.



Seaholm Maples are #1!
User currently offlineFlyer62 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 127 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3887 times:

I flew Eastern many times and the service I had was excellent, clean aircraft ,friendly flight attendants. food service was good as well. However due to lorenzo and morale,service suffered. the strike and great money losses Hurt Eastern,and another airline that wont be mentioned also I believe helped Easterns demise!

User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 5961 posts, RR: 17
Reply 19, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3850 times:

The airline itself classifies May 1, 1928( Pitcairn) as it's start. Where are you getting 1926 from?


Listen Betty, don't start up with your 'White Zone' s*** again.
User currently offlineKellmark From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 683 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3800 times:

I was with them for 23 years, until the very end. While they obviously had their problems, I loved every day that I went to work with them.

User currently offlineOceanic From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 131 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 3767 times:

This is one airline that I truly do miss, mostly because I'm a Florida boy. My first flight was on Eastern from SRQ-ATL on a 727-200 in the mid 80's. That was when SRQ still had the old terminals and no jet bridges:

http://oldterminals.topcities.com/sarasota.html

I also remember "If you had wings" at Disney World. Later became Delta DreamFlight, then the unsponsored TakeFlight, and now is Buzz Lightyear:

http://www.omniluxe.net/wyw/iyhwmain.htm

Truly a sad loss. There was something very special about the folks at EAL.


User currently offlineFX1816 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 1400 posts, RR: 4
Reply 22, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3691 times:

I flew EA once in 1985 TUS>PHX (unusual route) on a 722. The crew was so friendly I really enjoyed the experience.

EA circa 2008: Eastern Boeing 767-325ER (WL).......

Big version: Width: 1600 Height: 1200 File size: 472kb


FX1816


User currently offlineCairo From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3621 times:

Now that airlines return from bankruptcy as a matter of right, we're left to wonder if the legal mood at the time had been different, or the creditors more reasonable, Eastern would have declared chapter 11, got rid of the IAM contracts and be re-born possibly forever...same could be said for PanAm.

Sidenote: Bush's First Gulf War eclipsed Eastern's bankruptcy, and of course was the final nail in its coffin.

Cairo


User currently offlineUltimateDelta From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 2064 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 3607 times:

I never realized they lasted until 1991. I thought they went out of business in the '80s sometime. My dad said he really enjoyed the times he flew them, though.
And I have to say, love that bare metal livery!



Midwest Airlines- 1984-2010
25 Floorrunner : I flew Eastern once back in the mid 80's EWR MIA one direction L- 1011 and the other direction an airbus. I do not know which airbus. I loved the expe
26 Prinair : Working for EA was the best time I ever had as a worker in the airline industry. The people of EA worked very hard to have a top notch operation. I ho
27 NorthStarDC4M : A300... only Bus EA flew (1st in Airbuses in the US too) ... probably an A300B4-103 on that length of flight... only other ones they flew were the ex
28 BAC111 : The OP's photo on the right--showing several prop planes in the foreground--what type of planes? Swearingen Metros? And what routes did EA fly with th
29 GSPSPOT : Those look like Saabs to me...
30 Ogre727 : I flew with them between MIA and SFO in 1981... I was just 5 at the time. However, I do remember the flight, and that the service was really good. My
31 IgneousRocks : Bush did not start the first Gulf War. Saddam did. My first jet ride in the 70s was courtesy of Eastern Airlines and one of their L1011s
32 Post contains links N702ML : If anyone is interested, I have completed a chart showing the number of daily departures Eastern operated from their Atlanta hub at various dates from
33 IgneousRocks : Thanks N702ML, I enjoy your site very much especially the OAGs
34 WA707atMSP : These two books are excellent. Hard Landing is the best book I've read about how deregulation did not work out the way it was supposed to. A third bo
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