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timz
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History of US transcon nonstops

Wed Jun 29, 2016 5:22 pm

Plan is to get the starting date (year) for all US transcon nonstop flights-- transcon being loosely defined. On the west California-Oregon-Washington-- east end is Cleveland, Atlanta, and east of there. We'll put a bit of effort into LAS and PHX (and Reno and Spokane, if they had any), but not going to try hard to figure out when LAS-CLE and PHX-BUF started. Not going to work hard on Saturday nonstops to LGA, either, or beyond-perimeter nonstops to DCA. Add what you can, with some sort of date.

Start with LAX-- in summer 1947 TWA showed a fuel-stop-may-be-necessary LAX-to-LGA nonstop; no idea how often it succeeded. Regular eastward flights to IDL started October? 1953, regular westward in November 1953. LAX-DCA in 1954 (or conceivably 1953), LAX to PIT and PHL to LAX in 1956, CLE and BOS in 1957, LAX to PHL 12/57 or 1/58, Baltimore only with jets, in 1959. ATL and TPA in 1961, and a TW 880 LAX-PIT both ways; MIA in Jan 1962, just four days a week.

Don't have a 12/62 OAG; the 15 Nov says TWA was planning to start IAD-LAX and IAD-SFO on 19 Nov (AA and TW are both doing IAD-LAX in Jan 1963). EWR in 1964, BDL in 2/68, FLL in 1969-70-- didn't last long. MCO in 1982, CLT in 1984, then nothing more until RDU? Departedflights.com says Midway did LAX-RDU in 1996.

The OAG said somebody was going to start an ABE-LAX 757 in April 2003-- did that happen?

Ontario: ATL in 1984, EWR 10/87 (gone by 2/88), JFK 2000.

Long Beach: JFK 2001, IAD 2001-02, BOS and FLL in 2003-04.

Burbank: ATL in 2004-05, JFK in 5/05.

Orange County: JFK start 1991, ATL 1993 westward 1995-96 eastward, EWR 1993-94

Palm Springs: ATL 12/02.

More to come.
 
timz
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Re: SAN and Nevada

Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:34 pm

San Diego: JFK in 1967, IAD in 1969, CLE on UA in 1978, ATL 1980, PIT 1986, EWR 10/87, CLT 1995-97, BOS 1997-98, BWI 2003, MCO by 2012, MIA in 2012-13.

First transcon from Las Vegas was TWA to Idlewild in 1963, eastward only-- mostly an 880, a long flight for it. First westward nonstop was a 707 in Feb 1966. (Was surprised to see LAS had no nonstop to NY for a couple years 1985-86.) TWA started a twice-a week nonstop to EWR in 1970-71 (it's not in the 12/70 OAG); first daily nonstop was CO in 1987.

ATL and CLE in 1975, then no more until HP started BWI in 1987. USAir to PIT in 1988 and to PHL in 1989, then HP to BOS in 1990. Tampa in 1992-93, FLL was CO in 1993-94, MCO was DL 1995-96, IAD in 3/96, MIA don't know when but by 7/99.

Then a bunch of Southwest: BDL Sat-only in 1999 (then HP daily by 8/00), ALB in 5/00, BUF and ORF in 10/01, MHT in 9/03, ISP in 2004, PVD Sat-only in 2004 then daily in 2005-06.

Departedflights.com says Midway did LAS-RDU in 1996; WN started a Sat-only 6/01.

Reno: DL Atlanta started 2004-05.
 
s4popo
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Re: SAN and Nevada

Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:19 pm

timz wrote:
San Diego: JFK in 1967, IAD in 1969, CLE on UA in 1978, ATL 1980, PIT 1986, EWR 10/87, CLT 1995-97, BOS 1997-98, BWI 2003, MCO by 2012, MIA in 2012-13.


For San Diego, I would add FLL as of 2016.
 
timz
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Re: PHX

Wed Jun 29, 2016 9:09 pm

Another correction: PIT-LAS started 1979 on UA and TWA.

Phoenix: Idlewild around Sept 1959, an AA DC-7. AA to IAD in 1967 and to PHL in 1974-75, then in Dec 1978 AA to CLE and TWA to PIT. Delta ATL 1979, CO EWR 1986-87, HP BWI 1987 and MCO 1992, then MIA by 7/99, TPA in 8/99, FLL in 1999-2000.

WN start PVD Dec 1999 and RDU and BUF Oct 2001.
 
commavia
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:14 pm

Prior to World War II, multiple airlines - arguably most notably AA and TWA - were flying multi-stop transcontinental schedules over various routes across the U.S. Following the war, three of the U.S. "Big Four" - AA, TWA and United - were flying transcontinental routes.

Regarding LAX-NYC specifically, TWA was the first to introduce eastbound nonstops LAX-IDL with the introduction of the L-1049C on 19 October 1953. However, that aircraft was still unable to make the westbounds nonstop. That did not come until just over a month later, with the introduction of the DC-7 on 29 November 1953, which allowed AA to become the first airline offering nonstop "Mercury" service in both directions between LAX and NYC. United followed suit with its own DC-7 flights the following year.

Fast forward five years later to 25 January 1959, and AA also became the first airline to introduce nonstop transcontinental jet service with the 707 on IDL-LAX. AA also introduced the 707 on other transcontinental routes over the next 18 months, including BOS-LAX (1 June 1959), BWI-LAX (7 June 1959), SFO-IDL (1 November 1959) and PHL-LAX (8 June 1960). TWA's transcontinental 707 jet service began 1 March 1959 and United's transcontinental DC-8 jet service began 18 September 1959.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Wed Jun 29, 2016 11:49 pm

I remember an interminable (actually many terminals) flight from New York to Seattle on a turboprop (superconnie?) in 1963. Fortunately by the next year jets had arrived and there was, at the most one stop.
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Viscount724
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Thu Jun 30, 2016 1:02 am

Moving north, Canada's first transcon nonstop service started June 1, 1957 when AC (then TCA) began nonstop YYZ-YVR service with the L-1049G Super Constellation. Block time in June 1958 timetable was 8:10 westbound and 6:55 eastbound. That trip became about 3 hrs faster in 1960 when the DC-8 replaced the L-1049G on that route.

CP started transcon service in 1958 if memory correct using the Bristol Britannia but under government regulations that then protected TCA from competition, CP was forced to stop at YWG between YVR and YYZ, and to continue the flight to YUL. But since the Britannia was faster than the L-1049G, YVR-YYZ with the YWG stop wasn't much longer than the TCA nonstop. CP replaced the Britannia on that route with the DC-8 in 1961, but still with the mandatory stop at YWG and continuation from YYZ to YUL for many more years.
 
highflier92660
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Thu Jun 30, 2016 4:50 pm

Arguably the first U.S. nonstop transcontinental flights from Los Angeles to New York- Idlewild could have been inaugurated years earlier than the Fall of 1953. Author R.E.G. Davies quoted famed Lockheed designer Kelly Johnson as saying the early Constellations were more than capable of flying the route nonstop "but the unions wouldn't let them do it. " This seems logical as the 049 and certainly the 749-series Connies were already flying substantial distances in the mid to late 1940s across the north Atlantic. Example: New York to Gander to London. Similarly the Douglas DC-6s were flying from the west coast to Hawaii from March of 1949 albeit it on the slightly shorter SFO-HNL route.

To garner prestige and publicity from such an historic event, TWA first flew (eastbound only) from LAX to IDL using a 1049A Super Constellation a few weeks ahead of American Airlines' DC-7 inauguration. Some sources erroneously state TWA used a 1049C Turbo-Compound version of the aircraft but until the arrival of the Super G in 1955, all of TWA's Super Connies were the underpowered A model. That his biggest airline competitor used a plain vanilla 3350 powered aircraft to inaugurate the first U.S. nonstop transcontinental service must have made AA's C.R. Smith gnash his teeth. After all, it was he who persuaded Donald Douglas to bolt the Turbo-Compound Wright 3350 version on to the DC-6B, minimally stretch the airframe and present it to the American flying public as a brand new DC-7, the world's fastest piston airliner.

Of course all hell broke loose when American DC-7 crews found the "world's fastest piston airliner" was incapable of blocking a IDL-LAX westbound flight in under 8 hours as their union contract stipulated. The pilot's union then presented American Airlines management with a demand to crew additional relief pilots on the route- immediately- or fatigue-related issues would jeopardize the safety of American's precious passengers. That was untenable since the Douglas DC-7's operating costs were already well above the DC-6B. So C.R. Smith, one tough Texan, initially told them to go pound sand. Only after a lot of sabre rattling did the two sides come to a monetary agreement and pilot fatigue issues on transcontinental flights exceeding 8-hours mysteriously evaporated.
 
timz
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:56 pm

highflier92660 wrote:
a IDL-LAX westbound flight in under 8 hours as their union contract stipulated.

No idea what the contract stipulated, but a federal rule said domestic nonstops couldn't exceed 8 hrs (with one crew, anyway). Think they increased it to 10 hrs in 1954, which made IDL-SFO possible.
 
timz
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Thu Jun 30, 2016 7:59 pm

commavia wrote:
TWA was the first to introduce eastbound nonstops LAX-IDL with the introduction of the L-1049C on 19 October 1953.

Like he said, no turbo-compounds on TWA until the 1049G in 1955. As I recall some TWA people had wanted to start transcon nonstops earlier, but were overruled.
 
timz
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Re: SEA-PDX

Thu Jun 30, 2016 10:31 pm

Another correction: USAir started PIT-SNA in 1992-93.

Seattle: A NW DC-7C to Idlewild probably late 1957-- anyway it's in the 1/58 OAG. Next was UA to Baltimore in 1967. In 1968 NW started IAD, and UA started BOS to SEA to PDX to BOS; SEA to BOS started 1992. EA to ATL in 1979, CLT in 1987, PIT in 1988, EWR in 1989, CLE in 1990, MIA in 1991, PHL in 1993.

Portland: American Aviation or somebody reported in 1957 NW was planning to start a nonstop to Idlewild, but guess it didn't happen-- it's not in the 1/58 OAG. UA started JFK in 1967. The nonstop to BOS in 1968, and the westward nonstop started Aug 1998. DL to ATL in 1986, US to PIT in 1993-94, IAD in 1996, EWR in 1997-98, then CLT, CLE and PHL in 2012-13.

Spokane has never had one?

I'll get to Northern Calif in a day or two.
 
Yflyer
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Thu Jun 30, 2016 11:19 pm

I'm curious when SMF, California's often overlooked airport, got its first transcons. Obviously BOS, CLT, and PHL (which IIRC isn't coming back this summer) are relatively recent; I could probably just search this forum to find when they were announced. But when did JetBlue start JFK, United IAD, and Delta ATL? Those seem to have been around longer, at least longer than I've been on this side of the country. Did SMF ever have any others that are no longer flown?
 
Viscount724
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Re: SEA-PDX

Fri Jul 01, 2016 2:46 am

timz wrote:

Spokane has never had one?



Pretty certain GEG has never had nonstop service to any points east of ORD. Lots of same aircraft flights with one or more stops but I can't recall anything nonstop beyond ORD.
 
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longhauler
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Fri Jul 01, 2016 1:04 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
I remember an interminable (actually many terminals) flight from New York to Seattle on a turboprop (superconnie?) in 1963. Fortunately by the next year jets had arrived and there was, at the most one stop.

More likely an L-188 in 1963, as Northwest flew many multi-stops from New York to Seattle.

Northwest also flew the route non-stop. Initially with a DC-7, then to the L-188 when the type became available. (It did briefly go back to a DC-7 during the Whirl Mode investigation of the L-188 that required slowing the type making non-stop impossible).

As far as I can tell, NW's IDL-SEA was the only scheduled transcon nonstop of a turboprop in the US.
Last edited by longhauler on Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
timz
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Fri Jul 01, 2016 5:27 pm

Except for BOAC.

SFO: eastward to Idlewild in 1954, westward in 1955. In Dec 1955 TWA's 1049G was scheduled 9-55 westward; in Jan 1958 BOAC's DC-7C was 10-00.

DCA in 1956, Baltimore in 1960, BOS in 1962 and presumably IAD-- the Nov OAG says TWA was to start IAD in Nov. PHL in 1963, ATL presumably in 1964-- it's not in the 12/63. EWR presumably in 1965-- it's not in the 12/64.

NA started SFO-TPA eastward in 1965, but who ever flew that westward? Only one I've found is a weekly PA DC-10, leaving TPA at 2330 Friday in Feb 1981.

PIT started 1967, an 880 both ways-- longest-ever 880 nonstop? UA started CLE Jan 1968, NA started MIA in 1968, then Charlotte in 1984 (at least the 10/84 OAG says it was to start Nov).

MCO in 1990, BDL in 1997, then FLL and RDU sometime 2005-2012.

San Jose: JFK start 1968, and Baltimore believe it or not-- it's not in the 15 Jan 1969, tho. ATL in 1985, EWR in 1987, BOS in 1991, MIA in 1992-93, PIT 1993-94, IAD 1997-98, RDU start 11/00.

Oakland: JFK eastward start 1964, westward 1967. World to/from Newark in 1980, then they did BWI to OAK in 1984, but nobody did it eastward-- until I guess Southwest has? ATL start 2001, IAD 2001-02, BOS 2003-04.

Sacramento: PIT start 1991, ATL 1997, JFK and IAD in 2003-04, EWR 2004, PHL and CLT in 2012-2013, then JetBlue to BOS sometime after that.
 
Viscount724
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Fri Jul 01, 2016 11:40 pm

timz wrote:
Except for BOAC.



Except BOAC obviously couldn't carry wholly domestic traffic on the sectors between IDL-SFO-HNL. They could only carry international traffic originating/terminating at another BA point, although stopovers in the U.S. were permitted.
 
timz
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:23 pm

Two Las Vegas corrections: UA started daily both-ways LAS-EWR and LAS-BAL in 1972.

Also, UA was flying BOS-SEA both ways in 1972.
 
DeltaRules
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:09 pm

CMH (if you want because, believe it or not, it's East of ATL):
-LAX: At least 1974 by TWA (707). Later operated by US (late 1980s-early 1990s, 733), HP (mid-1990s to 2002ish, 320), DL (2006-Present, 738/320/739), very briefly by AA (2014, 738), and US/AA (2014-Present, 319)
-BLI: 2007 (Skybus, A319)
-OAK: 2007 (Skybus). Later operated by WN (2015-Present, 73G).
-BUR: 2007 (Skybus)
-SAN: 2007 (Skybus)
A310/319/320/321/333, ARJ, BN2, B717/722/73S/733/734/735/73G/738/739/744/757/753/767/763/764/777, CR1/2/7/9, DH6, 328, EM2/ERJ/E70/E75/E90, F28/100, J31, L10/12/15, DC9/D93/D94/D95/M80/M88/M90/D10, SF3, SST
 
afcjets
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Re: SAN and Nevada

Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:35 pm

timz wrote:
San Diego: JFK in 1967, IAD in 1969, CLE on UA in 1978, ATL 1980, PIT 1986, EWR 10/87, CLT 1995-97, BOS 1997-98, BWI 2003, MCO by 2012, MIA in 2012-13.



IIRC CLT-SAN had a nonstop as early as 1991, but it was cancelled and not resumed until the late 1990s.
 
UARNO88
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Sun Aug 28, 2016 11:50 pm

Would like to add that JetBlue started RNO-JFK in May of 2015. DL over the years has intermittently done ATL and going way back, CO did Saturday RNO-EWR for a brief period.
 
timz
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Re: SAN

Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:02 pm

afcjets wrote:
IIRC CLT-SAN had a nonstop as early as 1991

True-- two 733s a day in July 1991.
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:43 pm

timz wrote:
Except for BOAC.

SFO: eastward to Idlewild in 1954, westward in 1955. In Dec 1955 TWA's 1049G was scheduled 9-55 westward; in Jan 1958 BOAC's DC-7C was 10-00.

DCA in 1956, Baltimore in 1960, BOS in 1962 and presumably IAD-- the Nov OAG says TWA was to start IAD in Nov. PHL in 1963, ATL presumably in 1964-- it's not in the 12/63. EWR presumably in 1965-- it's not in the 12/64.

NA started SFO-TPA eastward in 1965, but who ever flew that westward? Only one I've found is a weekly PA DC-10, leaving TPA at 2330 Friday in Feb 1981.

PIT started 1967, an 880 both ways-- longest-ever 880 nonstop? UA started CLE Jan 1968, NA started MIA in 1968, then Charlotte in 1984 (at least the 10/84 OAG says it was to start Nov).

MCO in 1990, BDL in 1997, then FLL and RDU sometime 2005-2012.

San Jose: JFK start 1968, and Baltimore believe it or not-- it's not in the 15 Jan 1969, tho. ATL in 1985, EWR in 1987, BOS in 1991, MIA in 1992-93, PIT 1993-94, IAD 1997-98, RDU start 11/00.

Oakland: JFK eastward start 1964, westward 1967. World to/from Newark in 1980, then they did BWI to OAK in 1984, but nobody did it eastward-- until I guess Southwest has? ATL start 2001, IAD 2001-02, BOS 2003-04.

Sacramento: PIT start 1991, ATL 1997, JFK and IAD in 2003-04, EWR 2004, PHL and CLT in 2012-2013, then JetBlue to BOS sometime after that.


Interesting stuff. I'm not aware of AA flying SJC-MIA in 1992-1993. AA flew SJC-MIA for a very short time around 2001 before they started contracting the hub. IIRC, SJC-MIA started the same day that SJC-OGG did, but only lasted about six months. The SJC-RDU flight was Midway Airlines and also lasted a short time. AA announced SJC-RDU but never started it.

US did SMF-PIT? I thought they did SJC-PIT for a very short time, but never knew about SMF.

I vaguely recall seeing NA doing SFO-TPA for a short time in the 1970s.

What equipment did UA use on SJC-BWI and SJC-JFK in 1968? I assume either a DC-8 or 720. Remember that UA also flew BWI-HNL so BWI must have had some importance to them at the time.
 
Qantas59
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:12 pm

Regarding AA from SFO, I believe the service that started on 14 Nov 1955 was SFO-MDW on a DC-7.
I don't believe that SFO-IDL began until 1 Nov 1959 on a 707.
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superjeff
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:29 pm

Qantas59 wrote:
Regarding AA from SFO, I believe the service that started on 14 Nov 1955 was SFO-MDW on a DC-7.
I don't believe that SFO-IDL began until 1 Nov 1959 on a 707.


I know United flew IDL-SFO earlier than the jet age with DC7's, so I would assume American also flew the route with DC-7's, and TWA with L1049 Super G's. American was traditionally one of the three transcontinental airlines (United flying the "northern route" via Chicago, TWA the "middle route" through St. Louis and Kansas City, and American the "southern route" through Dallas. The three of those airlines were as competitive as could be in a regulated era. Thus you had American's "Mercury," United's "Red Carpet Service," and TWA's "Ambassador" service.
 
timz
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:21 pm

BoeingGuy wrote:
I'm not aware of AA flying SJC-MIA in 1992-1993

Daily 757 in the 18 Dec 1992 timetable.

BoeingGuy wrote:
US did SMF-PIT?

Two 733s a day in July and Nov 1991.

Airport Activity Stats says in the year ending 30 June 1969 UA had 163 DC8-20 departures from SJC, 48 -30s, 23 -50s, and 7 -61s. Also three 720s, and a bunch of 727s of course.
 
timz
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Re: History of US transcon nonstops

Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:23 pm

Qantas59 wrote:
Regarding AA from SFO...I don't believe that SFO-IDL began until 1 Nov 1959 on a 707.

Maybe so. UA and TW both started nonstop SFO-IDL (eastward only) in 1954.

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