62 years ago: Miami-bound in airborne ‘living-room comfort’

Eastern Air Lines ad

Who wouldn’t want sunny Miami on a chilly late-winter day in 1954, when Eastern Air Lines advertised non-stop flights from Louisville — especially with the promise of both air-conditioned cabins and “luxurious living-room comfort”? And all for just $38.20, plus tax — a sum equivalent to $340 in today’s dollars. But was that a round-trip fare? This ad from the March 5, 1954, Courier-Journal doesn’t say.

Eastern Air Lines, which traced its beginnings to the 1920s, is long gone. Weakened by a strike, higher fuel costs, and unable to compete in a post-deregulated market, the company entered bankruptcy protection in 1989, eventually shutting down at midnight Jan. 19, 1991.

American Airlines is the only carrier currently offering non-stop service to Miami from Louisville. It recently advertised roundtrip tickets for $423.

Related: For those who noticed Eastern’s phone number back then — JACKSON 4131 — here’s a history of telephone exchange names.

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