b52murph
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Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:36 am

After a recent thread here: Your First Flight (by CXfirst Feb 20 2007 in Aviation Polls & Prefs) , I was reminded of how often I used to fly Eastern Air Lines (not Airlines  Smile) back in the '70s and '80s, until their demise. When I went looking on this site for a tribute/memories...the closest I could come was: RE: Bring Back Eastern Airlines (by Trintocan Oct 17 2006 in Civil Aviation) , which isn't really close. So...here goes....what are your favorite (or worst) memories of EA? Did you fly the DC-8 (rare)? 747 (really rare)? or L1049G (really long time ago)?

My most memorable flights on EA are L1011 MCO-BOS in '80, DC-9 BOS-ATL in '83, 752 BOS-ATL in '87, and DC-9 SAV-ATL-HSV in '88. Also bumped to them in IAD from UA in '87--DC-9 IAD-ATL, 727 ATL-CHS, DC-9 CHS-SAV (If I have the route right). I'm sure there were others--727s for sure, L1011s likely, and possibly another DC-9 run. What's memorable about them is: A) Brown was the color of the day--brown crew uniforms, brown seat covers, brown carpeting. B) Very friendly flight attendants; and not just because I was young. Always gave me a deck of playing cards if I asked. During that layover/bump at IAD they also gave me a little brown toiletry kit--wish I still had it.

Not long after that '88 flight, I read Colonel Frank Borman's book COUNTDOWN, where he discusses the ups and downs--and his endless fight with Charlie Bryan @ the IAM. So for the second part of the thread, What did you think of Frank Borman's running of the airline? Do you think he's to blame for the failure? More Lorenzo's fault? What about Bryan and the other union heads? Personally, I think Colonel Borman was an able manager, but never was willing to meet a new airplane without buying it. (L1011s AND A300s AND 757s, all while they were still buying new 722s) I also think the IAM is as much to blame as any for the downfall.

Any EA comments welcome  Smile
 
whappeh
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:39 am

Apparently, my parents (who are both flight attendants) swear my first sentence was "Eastern has Lorzeno. Eastern has problems". Weather or not that is true, who knows. But they swear by it.
-Travel now, journey infinitely.
 
stirling
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 10:59 am

Quoting B52murph (Thread starter):
What's memorable about them is: A) Brown was the color of the day--brown crew uniforms, brown seat covers, brown carpeting.

I remember their boarding area at PDX. It had the brown carpeting as you mentioned, but the thing I remember most was that it had imbedded in it all the names of the cities they served; each city had it's own unique font. It kind of looked like one of those word-search puzzles, with the city names going both vertically and horizontally.....that was back in the day when Airlines actually marketed the destinations they served, rather than today's standard of saying things such as "900 cities on 4 continents...." or, "We serve the world with 2000 flights a day from our hub in Hooterville".

This would have been 1978....my Dad and I were dropping of my stepmother for the redeye to Columbia SC, via ATL of course, on an L1011....even though in the dark, it was the first time I'd ever seen the Lockheed widebody.
I can remember being a 14 year old kid thinking it looked very futuristic in the not so bright lighting of the ramp.
That was before they had transitioned to the bare metal scheme, and the white fuselage just seemed to sparkle....or maybe that could have been me falling in love at first sight with stars in my eyes.

Being a West Coast kid...Eastern was one of those "Exotic" Airlines that were very mysterious, serving all these places I'd never heard of before.
(National, Piedmont, and Allegheny held that same kind of fascination)

I had seen United DC-10s many times before, so the unique S-curve of the rear engine like the 727, was, I felt was a way more sexy design! (as much as a 14yr old knows what "sexy" means!)
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lgbga
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:46 pm

My first flight ever was in 1974. My mom and I flew Eastern from ATL to JFK with a stop over in Richmond, Va. Unfortunately I don't know what kind of aircraft we were on, maybe someone has a suggestion, anyway, while we were stopped in Richmond, the flight attendant took me to the cockpit to meet the pilot and have a look around. You can imagine what kind of impression this made on a 7 yr old. They also gave me a pair of "Eastern Wings". I don't remember much of the flight except we had to "circle" the airport for about 45 minutes. We had great views of the Statue of Liberty and I loved the turns the plane made. My mom however, did not, and was very grateful we when we landed safely.

My husband, he doesn't remember what year it was, probably early 80's, flew Eastern ATL- MIA on an L1011? don't know if they had those or a 747? with only 40 people on it. He said he changed seats 4 times.
 
WesternA318
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:14 pm

Quoting Stirling (Reply 2):
that was back in the day when Airlines actually marketed the destinations they served, rather than today's standard of saying things such as "900 cities on 4 continents...." or, "We serve the world with 2000 flights a day from our hub in Hooterville".

Or better yet..."Now serving 900 destinations worldwide with our so-and-so alliance partners, abc air, fedup lines, yaddah air, and yada yada intl"..
Check out my blog at fl310travel.blogspot.com!
 
jetdeltamsy
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:20 pm

Quoting B52murph (Thread starter):
So for the second part of the thread, What did you think of Frank Borman's running of the airline? Do you think he's to blame for the failure? More Lorenzo's fault? What about Bryan and the other union heads?

I personally think Col. Borman was not the most savvy airline executive of his time. His response to People Express really accelerated our downward spiral.

Lorenzo was after our computer system, and other extremely valuable assets the company owned..like the Latin American Division, the Philadelphia hub, our well organized sales force and other things. His intention from the beginning was to dismantle the company and ultimately eliminate the Eastern brand all together.

As for Charlie. I can only blame him to a point. He was a nut case. But we all chose to listen to his crazy words and believe what he was saying. We stopped thinking for ourselves and put a crazy man in charge of our future and our destinies. That is our own fault. We should have ran him out of town long before the company shutdown.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
jetjeanes
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:25 pm

Kinda flew then twice if this counts, first time but off a pied mont flight and i think it was between Sav to Orf??

The second ti i go out to Mem to fly to atl.... I start on the plane and realized im on a leased Branniff 727
i can see for 80 miles
 
Type-Rated
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 2:45 pm

For some reason, I don't associate brown with EA. I do remember the last uniforms for ticket/gate agents. No offense, but they kinda looked like somthing Idi Amin would wear.
What I remember most was the blues. Their concourse at ORD (now demolished) was on the left and NW was on the right and EA was on the left with CO at the end. The EA gates were lavish with a deep blue carpeting and lighter blue furniture with very comfortable upholstered seating. By contrast just across the walkway of the concourse NW had those concrete floors and molded plastic seats. Also, EA had those curtains that were white with the names of the cities served on them. BN had similar drapes, but with a different font on them. EA in the 70's & 80's had about as much blue as KLM has now!
I used to fly them ORD-ATL-MCO or ORD-MCO on DC-9's and 727's Whisperjets. I also flew the ORD-ATL-IAH route on occasion with 727's/DC-9's. I took my first L1011 ride on EA about two weeks after they began service with the TriStar, SJU-ATL-MIA. What a magnificent plane, especially with the original "you are never more than one seat away from an aisle" setup. There was a center divider that had a small closet in it between the seats in the middle row. I also marveled at the "polarized" windows that didn't have shades, but you turned a knob and the polarized windows darkened or lightened depending on which way you turned the knob.
I also got to fly a A300 on the Moonlight Madness route IAH-ORD a few times and also a regularly scheduled A300 flight PHL-IAH-SAT.
Personally, I liked the blue on white livery rather than the blue over silver. For some reason I didn't think that it looked that great.
Onboard service was nice. I thought it was much better than Delta's, but not as good as Braniff's. Maybe on a par with Southern's, who I also flew quite a bit. The planes were always clean and the F/A's freindly.
But after I relocated to Denver, I switched my alligence to Braniff as they offered better flight schedules out of DEN than EA did.

By the way, in the late 60's EA had a DC-8 crash into Lake Ponchartrain just after taking for from MSY for the Northeast. The findings were inconclusive about what happened. Does anyone know whatever caused it? I went to school with the son of a crew member on that flight, but at the time I didn't think it was proper to ask him about it.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
 
BHMNONREV
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 3:22 pm

Quoting Stirling (Reply 2):
Being a West Coast kid...Eastern was one of those "Exotic" Airlines that were very mysterious, serving all these places I'd never heard of before.
(National, Piedmont, and Allegheny held that same kind of fascination)

Growing up in St. Louis in the 70's I longed to see those tails that graced other airports like United, Continental, Pan Am and National. Back when the CAB dictated who flew where, how often and how much they charged...

I remember flying to IAH in 1974 and seeing those CO and NA DC-10's parked at the banjo gates, they may have well as been something from outer space..

Eastern was one of the few airlines I did not fly much, maybe a half dozen times in my life. But they were a great airline, with great people...
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:36 pm

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 5):
As for Charlie. I can only blame him to a point. He was a nut case. But we all chose to listen to his crazy words and believe what he was saying. We stopped thinking for ourselves and put a crazy man in charge of our future and our destinies. That is our own fault. We should have ran him out of town long before the company shutdown.

Bryan was batshit crazy, and 99% responsible for EA's demise IMHO.

Any man who would lie down in back of a 727 to keep them from testing powerbacks to see if they'd work (which became an industry standard, thank you) is someone you should not trust. Ever.

If there's a God, Charlie Bryan is scrounging through dumpsters to get by these days.

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 7):
I also got to fly a A300 on the Moonlight Madness route IAH-ORD

You mean Moonlight Special.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
scotron11
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 4:37 pm

I have many memories of EA. On their 757 with the 757 on the tail LGA-MIA; JFK-SJU on their L1011, one-time with the alarm going off just before touchdown with flashing red lights in the cabin (someone must have pushed the wrong button)!

I think their livery was quite classy. Sorta like AmericanAirlines, with all that bare metal.
 
Toulouse
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:10 pm

I loved their livery. To be honest I don't have many memories, but I did fly them twice (one 727 definitely and possibly anothre 727 or DC9) on domestic US flights. I remember having quite a few souvenirs from one of the flights for a few years (cards and I don't know what else) back at home in Ireland, so the crew were obviously a friendly bunch. I think EA stands out "a little" bit more in my mind for their livery. I flew to and around the US a few times as a child, and stngely enough the only "real" memories I have are of flights to the US with either Aer Lingus or British Airways, and remember very little of my domestic US flights.
Anyway, I've always had a soft-spot for Eastern Air Lines, yet again, why? I don't really know.
Long live Aer Lingus!
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:19 pm

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 9):
You mean Moonlight Special.

Oh I loved those flights all arriving IAH around 2350-0030, then getting them all out of town again around 0300-0400, sure made the ole midshifts go by in a hurry at IAH in the day. IIRC, EA had something like 22 aircraft at their peak schedule running those things from DC9's to A300's.  Smile
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
WDBRR
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:43 pm

Quoting Stirling (Reply 2):
I remember their boarding area at PDX. It had the brown carpeting as you mentioned, but the thing I remember most was that it had imbedded in it all the names of the cities they served; each city had it's own unique font. It kind of looked like one of those word-search puzzles, with the city names going both vertically and horizontally.....that was back in the day when Airlines actually marketed the destinations they served, rather than today's standard of saying things such as "900 cities on 4 continents...." or, "We serve the world with 2000 flights a day from our hub in Hooterville".

Yes, I have pictures of this wallpaper. I have to scan them and post them here.
When Kiwi International started flying into ATL and took over 4 EA gates in the
C concourse, they left it up until the concourse was renovated in 1996 for the
Olympics. Having worked for both carriers, I think it was a touch of nostalgia.
The podiums in ATL were brown carpet covered with a blue 1 foot horizontal
stripe going across. The carpeting was blue also. so blue and brown ruled.
The uniform was actually army green and/or beige and splash of red tie/bow.
After the strike and during the bankrupty, the uniform was changed to blue
with red/purple colors. I have seen pictures of both uniforms on the web too.
 
MSYtristar
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:57 pm

I had my 8th birthday party in a conference room at MSY, and as part of the deal (never found out how my mom managed to make it happen), we all got to go on an Eastern 727-200 sitting at one of the gates. We were on the plane for about 15 minutes while the captain talked to us about the aircraft; then, I got to go up into the cockpit and press a whole bunch of buttons. For an eight year old, it was a great experience.
 
tymnbalewne
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:08 pm

Growing up in NY my memories of EAL are of the Shuttle service to BOS and IAD from LGA and the EAL's terminal at JFK. I'd love to find some history on the EAL JFK terminal because, in my opinion it was the least aesthetically pleasing terminal at the airport. It looked like an bland hangar. The "piers" that took you to the aircraft were at ground level so when jetbridges were attached there was a steeper than usual climb.

From an amenities point of view I only recall a coffee shop in the rear of the terminal for public use and MAYBE a couple of shops.

These are all hazy recollections.

Does anyone out there have any pics of the terminal and any knowledge of the history of the structure? Where NA had IM Pei and TWA had Eero Saarinen designing their terminals it looked like EA had a failed student from an architectural correspondence school design their building!

C.
Dewmanair...begins with Dew
 
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OzarkD9S
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:20 pm

I was lucky enough to get an Electra backup DCA-LGA in the 70's on the Shuttle. It was the only time I flew the Shuttle, and 1 of 2 times I flew Eastern. I was maybe 8 or 9 but remember it like yesterday, I was hoping that flight never ended as the Electra was perhaps the most "solid" airplane I've ever flown. My Mom hated it, as she was "airline" and had an aversion to the Electra, but not me...loved every second of it.
Coast to Coast and Border to Border, Ozark Flies YOUR Way!
 
Logos
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 8:56 pm

I have many fond memories of flying Eastern. I went to college at Rice when they had IAH as a focus city of sorts in the early 80s. I had enough bad experiences on USAir that I would actually connect in Atlanta with them to get home to Pittsburgh rather than take the nonstop on AL. One time they had a special going on a new nonstop to Cleveland, so I flew there as an alternate. On the trip back, they actually served us steak & shrimp for dinner (hard to imagine today). Another time, I got an L-1011 on the ATL-PIT segment (again, hard to imagine today) that was in Air Canada livery. Full meal service on that flight as well.

As for Borman, I think, as an ex-military, ex-astronaut guy he may have been too autocratic for a rapidly changing market under deregulation (if you read about his days as an astronaut, he was very much that way, even with his kids). With Bryan (who was, I agree, certifiable), neither of those guys were going to back down and it ruined the company.

Ah, the golden age of flying. It was great while it lasted.

Cheers,
Dave in Orlando
Too many types flown to list
 
MD95
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Thu Mar 22, 2007 9:37 pm

I have good memories of Eastern. I used Eastern 24 times from dec 77 to may 1980. I fondly remember the $ 199 fly-wherever-we fly promotional fare which I used twice to fly allover Florida, Mexico, and Bahamas from SEA and from LAX. I also remember a trip ATL-LAX with their L1011 that after 1.5 hour flight in dec 1977 hat to return because of pressurization problem. it was a good airline and never had a single problem with them. I was able to fly their DC9, 727, L1011 and A300.
dario
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 2:47 am

Quoting TymnBalewne (Reply 15):
Where NA had IM Pei and TWA had Eero Saarinen designing their terminals it looked like EA had a failed student from an architectural correspondence school design their building!

Hey pal, I LOVED that Terminal!


"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
WDBRR
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:40 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 19):
Hey pal, I LOVED that Terminal!

The picture looks more like an administration or reservations building
than an Airport terminal, way too much grass and their is no ramps,
seems like there is only one door. any other pictures?
 
L1011
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:14 am

I loved flying Eastern until it started to go downhill the last couple of years. I flew on 201 Eastern flights, according to my very accurate flight logs. I loved the Electra, especially. Whenever I flew on the Air-Shuttle, I always waited until the DC-9 first section was filled, then got in line in order to get the Electra. I flew on their DC-8s a couple of times. And I flew on quite a few Convair 440s, which I really liked. They were priced as prop first class, but service was no different than coach on a jet. When I first started flying Eastern, the seats were all a light blue or aquamarine with white headrest covers. Then they became alternating rows of dark blue and kelly green, with headrest covers in blue on the green seats and green on the blue seats. When the widebody look came in, the 727s, DC-9s, and Electras got a mix of pink, blue, and yellow seats. The L-1011 had different colors with stop sign designs on them. Next, they got seats with horizontal tiger stripes on them. The basic colors were blue, red-orange, and yellow, and the wavy stripes were brown. The last colors I remember were basic brown seats with pinstripes in shades of orange and tan. I never got to fly on a Connie, but I did fly on a DC-7B. But it was no longer an Eastern aircraft, although it still had an Eastern interior. It was on Turkish Airlines, and it crashed three days after I flew on it.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
 
TAG
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:15 am

When it comes to Eastern, I guess I was born lucky as both of my parents worked for them. I flew on everything they had from the Electra (one of my first flights) to the day they shut the doors.
 
stirling
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:44 am

Quoting MSYtristar (Reply 14):
I had my 8th birthday party in a conference room at MSY, and as part of the deal (never found out how my mom managed to make it happen), we all got to go on an Eastern 727-200 sitting at one of the gates. We were on the plane for about 15 minutes while the captain talked to us about the aircraft; then, I got to go up into the cockpit and press a whole bunch of buttons. For an eight year old, it was a great experience.

I know one 43 year old who would find it a great experience as well!  Wink

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 7):
The EA gates were lavish with a deep blue carpeting and lighter blue furniture with very comfortable upholstered seating.

Now that I think about it, the carpeting was a brown background, with the lettering being a deep-blue, almost black color.

Quoting WDBRR (Reply 20):
The picture looks more like an administration or reservations building
than an Airport terminal, way too much grass and their is no ramps,
seems like there is only one door. any other pictures?

That photo must have been taken prior to opening.....otherwise, where are all the cars, taxis, and people?!
But it is definitely the landslide view, the airside view had the same architectural theme, with just a lot more stuff going on. I have a book with a picture of the airside of the building, before the jetways, but I must honor the copyright. Sorry.
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tymnbalewne
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:44 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 19):
Hey pal, I LOVED that Terminal!

Thanks for the pic!! I had forgotten the "drive through" element of the building, Anymore pics out there??

C,
Dewmanair...begins with Dew
 
n917me
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 7:54 am

I believe that some old EA employees are planning a reunion of old PHL EA employees this fall.
 
bluemeatball
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:35 am

I had the pleasure of flying Eastern during the 60s and 70s. The 440 from ATL to CRW; the 640 from PSE to SJU after Eastern bought Caribair; the DC-8 between SJU and MIA/EWR; the 720 between SJU and MIA; DC-9s and 727s between ATL and GSP/MIA/SJU/PNS/BHM/RDU/HOU/IAH. 1011s were on the ATL-SJU-ATL and one RDU-ATL. Pleasant memories as I reflect.
 
TAG
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:47 am

I was pretty little when I flew the 747, but it seems like I remember us going to Aruba with mostly employees. Maybe it was some type of pre-service deal? Whatever it was, I remember being told that it was special. Things are getting a little fuzzier as the years fly by.
 
jmbweeboy
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:56 am

My first flight of the thousands taken since was Eastern #403, a Boeing 720, from Newark to Miami in July of 1963, nightcoach fare of $69.00 one way (I could not afford the $99.00 for the "daycoach from my newspaper route savings).

What a big day in my life! We got all dressed up, went out to a fancy restaurant before the flight! And after takeoff, I savored every drop of the ginger ale on ice I drank thinking how cool it was to have a "drink" on a plane.

Boy have times changed! Ugh!

JMBWEEBOY
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:04 am

Quoting TymnBalewne (Reply 24):
Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 19):
Hey pal, I LOVED that Terminal!


Thanks for the pic!! I had forgotten the "drive through" element of the building, Anymore pics out there??

Here's one of my favorites...


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images



..and a few other good ones.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John F. Ciesla



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © John F. Ciesla



Notice how the jetways angle UP to the aircraft?


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Dean Straw

"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
474218
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:11 am

In my 20 plus years in L-1011 product support I made many trips to Eastern and each one has its own memories, like the time we spent a week chasing a roll trim problem. We got it isolated to the left hand inboard aileron servo that we suspected was leaking internally. It was arranged that the servo would be shipped to the vendor for a complete tear down investigation. About a week later the vendor called and asked where the servo was, I checked with my contact at Eastern. Where is the servo? Good question. Somehow they had misplaced it, weeks went by and it could not be found. Then we got the report of another of Eastern's L-1011's was having roll trim problems, the problem was easy to fix and the long lost left hand inboard aileron servo was found. How does a servo with a big red "unserviceable tag" with "hold for engineering investigation" written in the remarks column get back on on an aircraft? Easy at Eastern.
 
b52murph
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:15 am

Quoting JMBWEEBOY (Reply 28):
My first flight of the thousands taken since was Eastern #403, a Boeing 720, from Newark to Miami in July of 1963, nightcoach fare of $69.00 one way (I could not afford the $99.00 for the "daycoach from my newspaper route savings).

This flight number brings up another related subject---did EA keep Flight 401 as an L10 JFK-MIA route after the crash? I remember hearing somewhere that they'd done that, but I can't think of any other carrier that's kept a flight number after a major crash. (i.e. AA11, UA 232, etc.)
 
aces727
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 10:16 am

I remember Eastern's L1011's at BOG, they also flew the 727 to CLO and, BAQ in Colombia and many other cities in South and Central America.
 
navairjax
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:22 pm

Quoting B52murph (Reply 31):
This flight number brings up another related subject---did EA keep Flight 401 as an L10 JFK-MIA route after the crash? I remember hearing somewhere that they'd done that, but I can't think of any other carrier that's kept a flight number after a major crash. (i.e. AA11, UA 232, etc.)

Actually IIRC PSA 182 was the crash that began the practice of retired flight numbers. AA 1 actually crashed on takeoff from JFK back in the early 60s and that number remains to this day.

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 7):
By the way, in the late 60's EA had a DC-8 crash into Lake Ponchartrain just after taking for from MSY for the Northeast. The findings were inconclusive about what happened. Does anyone know whatever caused it? I went to school with the son of a crew member on that flight, but at the time I didn't think it was proper to ask him about it.

Mechanical failure in the stabilizer according to any reports that are out there.
 
cairo
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 12:55 pm

My dad flew for Eastern for 30+ years. I've got MANY many memories.

...such as EA outflying DL in ATL.
...such as EA buying the first Airbus products in the US market (and those exit doors that slid up, not out)
...such as EA dominating the Caribbean and South America (after it acquiered routes from elsewhere)
...such as Eastern's prmominent exposure in the movie French Connection
...and many others


What many people under 35 or so don't realize is HOW BIG Eastern was: the largest airline in the world, besides Aeroflot, for many years.

It seems to me both Eastern & Pan Am both could have been saved if they had utilized the bankruptcy laws more aggresively, as seems to be the habit today. They were both well loved by Wall Street and the Banks, who largely kept them in business for the last bad years. Today, I think they'd easily be able to pull a United or Continental and come out with great assets (slots/gates/name value) - if they were managed by someone who really cared.

Cairo
 
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DL_Mech
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 3:08 pm

Quoting B52murph (Thread starter):
What's memorable about them is: A) Brown was the color of the day--brown crew uniforms, brown seat covers, brown carpeting.

and Brown Cabin Doors. Did anyone else have these? Delta had a few EAL 727's that flew from the FRA hub where the only thing that we changed (on the interior) was the Carpet and painted those hideous brown doors white.


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sampa737
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:43 pm

I flew Eastern from Memphis-Ft. Lauderdale-Memphis (and of course the change of planes in Atlanta) in the early 80s. If I remember correctly, Eastern set up operations and left the city 3 separate occasions. I flew a DC-9 I think on all 4 legs of the journey. There was meal service but it was soup! Though I was a teenager I recall a passenger saying, "Eastern can't last on soup!"
 
eastern023
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:11 pm

My experience with Eastern Air Lines was a flight to see my grandparents in Santiago-SCL. 1988 was when airlines did not fly to SCL nonstop to the US, So the route was MIA-EZE-SCL (EA 023 actually started in LAX) and the frame was no less than a DC10. I will never forget I got a timetable from one of the magazine holders in the back of the plane, I was only 12 years old. The airline bug bit me then. I starting asking questions, wondering about networks and where does a certain airline flies to and from, learned about hubs and so on. We started the flight at DCA and connected in ATL to MIA. We then catched the flight to SCL via EZE. I will never forget EA 023 displayed "El Interamericano Service". As a kid, I had the best service in the house, the flight attendants were nice and polite, even in coach!, My parents enjoyed their meal and the beverages on board and service too. On the return flight EA cancelled the flight so we were sent back home on a Pan Am flight that flew the same route. 747-200 service SCL-EZE-MIA conection to IAD on PA 727-200. Excellent service. Those were the times.
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EasternSon
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:17 pm

I have nothing but good memories about Eastern.

I wasn't as lucky as my sister, who got to fly with my father in the jumpseat of a DC9. My old man did make sure that I got to fly with him on several occasions though. I remember the DC9 vividly, but only have a vague recollection of my flight on the L1011. I was very young. I also go to go check out the cockpit of one of the new A300s.

Unfortunately, my father does not have such good memories of Eastern. He really loved the airline, but feels pretty poorly about how he was treated in the end. He says the first 27 years of employment were a dream, the last three, a nightmare.
"The only people for me are the mad ones...." Jack Kerouac
 
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STT757
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:20 pm

My first vacation my parents took me on was 1977 or 1978, EWR-ATL-MCO and the return was MCO-JFK. We were living on Staten Island at the time. Three or four at the time but have some memory of the trip, it was during one of the biggest snow storms in NYC history. Also remember EWR's runways were under construction.

Subsequent trips I've taken on Eastern were EWR-TPA (L-1011) 1982-1983, EWR-MCO 757-200 1987, MCO-EWR 727 1987, LGA-MIA L-1011 1989, MIA-EWR 757-200 1989.

My most memorable experience was being taken into the cockpit during my EWR-TPA flight on the L-1011, I will always remember the view of the clouds from the front and the pilots pinning on my Eastern Wings.
Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
 
beechnut
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:41 pm

I flew maybe a half-dozen trips with them over my lifetime back in the days when I was a frequent business traveller, which would be towards the end of Eastern. The biggest memory I have of Eastern is that on *every* single one of those trips, they managed to lose my luggage.

Good riddance if you ask me...

Beech
 
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:04 am

My first airline trip was in 1955, from MLI TO MIA, via a UA CV-340 to MDW and then a brand new EA DC-7B Golden Falcon, all first class 4.5 hour nonstop to MIA. I didn't fly Eastern again until 1961, when on my 2nd Jet flight, I flew on an EA DC-8-21 with the DC-8B Fly Eastern Airlines Titles. Through the 60's, I flew on EA Electras, more DC-7B's, one L-1049C Shuttle, more DC-8-21's, 720-025, 727-025's and DC-9's, of both the 10 and 31 variety. The 70's brought the 727-225's, the A300, L1011, and DC-8-61. In the mid 80's, I moved to Atlanta, and while always preferring Delta, flew on my share of DC-9's and 727's with an L1011 thrown in the mix. I flew on the EA 757 once. I remember that January day in 1991. I can't say I was saddened. The airline had always been second rate in my opinion, first when Captain Eddie gave less for the same price because he could, and later, when Borman was at the helm, with a not so sterling set of people beneath him. Then there were the union problems, Charlie Bryant, etc., and when Lorenzo came in, well let's just say his intentions were not to help the company or its employees. But the demise of Eastern began long before deregulation, probably with their overordering DC-7B's and L-1049's in the mid 50's and their failure to order enough Jets in the late 50's. Floyd Hall turned the ship around in the mid60's but when he left, there was no one there to keep it going in the right direction. Case in point. In 1973, while Delta and other airlines competing with Eastern offered full meal service in coach on 500-600pm departures from ATL to ORD, and similar routes, EA offered a snack. Not a big deal as no one feeds you in coach, but then for the same money, why would one fly Eastern , when Delta went at the same time, and gave you a steak or a chicken breast? This was Eastern's way of saving money. There was graft in their purchasing department in Miami too, which I was personally exposed to, as a vendor, but that was 32 years ago, and the details aren't important. Let's just say there were employees in management on the take.
 
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turk223
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Sat Mar 24, 2007 2:35 am

Easetrn holds a special place in many of our hearts!

I remember my first flight well - EA965 MIA-STX-BGI on a 727-100 on July 4, 1979. I recall the bright blue, purple, and yelllow seats that alternated throughout the cabin...

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I also got my frist TriStar ride with Eastern.

Later on, the enteriors were definitely brown-themed.

Memories...
 
N702ML
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Sat Mar 24, 2007 5:55 am

If anyone is interested, I just posted a complete Eastern Airlines timetable dated September 6, 1972 on my webpage:

www.departedflights.com

Enjoy!
The opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Southwest Airlines.
 
dc863
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:10 am

I flew on Eastern every summer from 1969-1986. They were a great airline but service really began to suffer around 1984 from "Wars" between management and the unions.
Without a doubt the worst flight was in Dec. '84 on an A300 flight from ATL-SFO. We had a 5 hour mechanical delay which began after I witnessed fuel pouring out from under the right wing while still boarding pax.
The return EA flight from SFO-ATL got cancelled owing to a mechanical and we were put on a DL L1011 instead.
Btw the Ionosphere Club was fantastic in ATL. My father was a member since 1977 and visited their clubs in ATL, BOS, SFO, MIA.
 
TrijetsRMissed
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Sat Mar 24, 2007 6:32 am

Quoting Type-Rated (Reply 7):
By the way, in the late 60's EA had a DC-8 crash into Lake Ponchartrain just after taking for from MSY for the Northeast. The findings were inconclusive about what happened. Does anyone know whatever caused it?

The aircraft N8607 had a history of mechanical problems. The pitch trim compensator had been removed 15 times over a four year period, most as a result of uncommanded extensions. The unit was inoperative from the previous day of the crash. The aircraft crashed with its horizontal stabilizer set in full nose-down trim. The pilots might have done this to counteract a nose-up attitude which would have been caused by a PTC extension, or the trim position may have been uncommanded. The black boxes were never found so we'll never know for sure. Severe weather may have contributed to the loss of control.
There's nothing quite like a trijet.
 
ordpark
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Sat Mar 24, 2007 10:40 am

I flew the Air Shuttle all the time when I was in college....DC-9's, 727's, Electra's and the Constellation...never appreciated it at the time, however.
 
RICguy
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:02 pm

Quoting Stirling (Reply 2):
but the thing I remember most was that it had imbedded in it all the names of the cities they served; each city had it's own unique font.

Eastern's RIC ticket counter had the same wallpaper for their ticket counter prior to the 1985 terminal expansion. They used the location that Northwest used just before the second floor ticket hall expansion was complete. @ RIC Eastern used two gates 4 and 5. I flew them several times to ATL over the years. They usually offered 5 daily roundtrips using DC-9s and an occasional 727-100.

Has anyone ever noticed that the interior walls of all of Eastern's gates/jetways were brown and orange? You can still spot them today. Many of the gates are still in service. I know several gates in ORD (American Eagle G8 or G10) have the same interior. I also remember that all of Eastern's ground equipment was a turquoise color. My father was a member of their Ionosphere club too. We spent a long layover at the PIT location waiting to catch our USAir flight back home to RIC. Those were the days.
 
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:26 pm

Quoting Cairo (Reply 34):
It seems to me both Eastern & Pan Am both could have been saved if they had utilized the bankruptcy laws more aggresively,

Maybe Eastern, but not PanAm.....I have been on a PA research kick lately, tracking the time post National-merger to the shutdown.
From what I read into it, PA was in a continual state of constraction. (Getting smaller)

I cannot understand the NA-merger at all...sure acquiring an airline with DC-10s was wierd considering they JUST ordered a crapload of L1011s, but that was the tip of the iceberg.....the point was to gain a domestic presence...so what did they do?

One by one they axed damn near every domestic route and station they had, or reduced frequencies to single dailies to JFK to meet the afternoon European bank, and the same to MIA, but not as much as NYC. They were still an International only airline, with a few token domestic routes, like 6 dailies MIA-MCO.....? Routes such as IAH-SEA, PHL-MIA, TPA-MSY, MSY-LAX, ORF-JAX, CHS-IAD, were gone in less than 3 years. Again I ask what was the point? They just rolled over to Eastern, since many of the routes were in direct competition, but shouldn't they have realized that anyway beforehand? Did anyone at PA look at the NA route map?

PA had a good thing in Houston.....Continental was already substantial in town, but they by no means owned it; Delta, American, and National had good sized operations. There was time for them to beat them all to the punch and make IAH the southern transcon hub.....that EA eventually attempted, albeit after midnight.

National gave Eastern a serious run for its money on the lucrative Eastern Seaboard.....What did they do with that?

Down to 4 daily flights between JFK and MIA is what they did.....Down from the hundreds of flights every day from cities all up and down the Atlantic and Gulf Coast.

PanAm is a head-scratcher. They remind of this guy I know who waited years to be able to afford a new Dodge Ram 4X4, over-sized tires, lifted, tricked out in rims worth as much as new KIA; a super deluxe ride, candy apple red, a real beauty.....within a year the thing was a total piece of crap. He might as well have just stuck with his old beater 82 Ford.
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fewsolarge
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RE: Eastern Air Lines Memories

Sat Mar 24, 2007 12:40 pm

In high school, a couple of my friends and I used to make pilgrimages every few months to ATL. This was often after visiting various sales offices downtown and around Lenox. We would collect every available timetable, then we would visit all the concourses (except for the mysterious Concourse T). I was partial to Delta (go figure), and one friend was a rabid Eastern fan. One of our favorite places to hang out was the downstairs Metro Express waiting area at the South end of Concourse C. Naturally, also, I remember the "757" on the tail of a certain aircraft, and the gray A300s and the porpoise-like L1011s. Loved the "Whisperjet" and "Whisperliner" monikers. Everything's relative ... yesterday's whisper is today's scream.