Eastern Air Lines Shuttle

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Eastern Air Lines Shuttle (or Eastern Air Shuttle) was the brand name of Eastern's air shuttle. It began operations on April 30, 1961 and was sold in 1989 to Donald Trump, and later became the Trump Shuttle.[1] In April 1992, the shuttle service began as the USAir Shuttle (presently American Airlines Shuttle). The shuttle originally flew between New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Newark. The shuttle's slogan was Imagine life without us


On April 30, 1961 Eastern inaugurated the Eastern Air Lines Shuttle. Initially, Lockheed 1049 Super Constellations left New York-LaGuardia every two hours, from 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM, to Washington National and to Boston. The shuttle flights soon became hourly, from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM out of each city.

Reservations were not needed, seat assignments were not given, and initially no check-in was required and no boarding passes were issued. But Eastern guaranteed everyone a seat; if the flight was filled, another aircraft was ready to go. On Sunday after Thanksgiving 1961 the 10 PM flight between La Guardia and Boston carried 623 passengers.

The Shuttle peaked in January 1963, when weekdays saw hourly Super Constellations 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM each way LGA-BOS and LGA-DCA, hourly DC-7Bs 7:30 to 10:30 each way EWR-BOS, DC-7Bs every two hours 7:30 to 7:30 each way EWR-DCA and five DC-7Bs each way DCA-BOS.

Fare in May 1961 was $10.95 to Boston and $12.75 to Washington, slightly below regular coach fare (passengers could pay in cash after boarding, so the fares soon dropped a few cents to $12 and $14 including the 10% federal tax). Lockheed Electras started Shuttle flights in 1965 (the last Constellation flights were in 1968) and became backups to 727s or DC-9s a few years later.

Eastern Air Lines Shuttle's landing rights and some aircraft were sold to Donald Trump to run the Trump Shuttle. USAir later bought the service from Donald Trump and named it USAir Shuttle. Pan Am's shuttle service was bought by Delta Air Lines in 1991, and later became the Delta Shuttle, which now competes with the American Airlines Shuttle.

Eastern Air Lines Shuttle ad from 1983