United Airlines’ final 747 flight will take place next month. It will also mark the final day a 747 operates scheduled passenger service for a U.S. airline. In anticipation of the historic occasion, United has created a very nifty video honoring the 747.
The video traces back the 747’s history to Boeing’s announcement in 1966. A timeline charts historic 747 moments over the years, focusing on Continental and United in particularly.
Did you know that Continental actually flew the 747 before United? Less than a month before United’s first 747 flight from San Francisco to Honolulu on July 23, 1970, Continental made its first 747 flight from Chicago to Los Angeles to Honolulu.
It is an interesting deference to legacy United that the final flight will be a re-creation of United’s first flight, even though Continental flew it first…
Here is the 6-minute documentary video:
I love some of the stories on here and I do not doubt the sincerity of the FAs who asserted that the 747 became a second home to them. Even as the four-engine 747 (arguably) no longer makes sense in the world of efficient 777-300ERs and 787s, the aircraft evokes many happy memories.
Not just concerning the aircraft itself, but for the places it took us and the people it connected us to.
Travel Skills also writes about this.
> Read More: Booked! Last United 747 Flight
I just flew RT SFO-LHR on BA on a 747. They still have a massive fleet of 747s and don’t seem to have any plans to get rid of their fleet soon. Anyone know why they are keeping their 747’s while all the US airlines are getting rid of theirs ?
Jason, the BA business model relies on providing huge capacity in premium-heavy configurations on medium-range TA routes (esp to US east coast). This is one of the “sweet spots” remaining for the 747, since the extra (especially premium) capacity on their 744s probably offsets the fuel efficiency gains they’d get by switching to 772/77w/789 aircraft on many TA routes. Note they don’t use them any longer on Far Eastern routes. Also their fleet of 744s is so large they have enough spares to keep them flying for a very long time.
Hehehe – upstairs on the 747 – so cool. Flew it last year LHR-SFO on one of United’s $550/20K miles upgrade “deals”. Downstairs in cattle – not so cool – and I was there many more times. However, very safe plane.
Flew UA this year SFO-ICN, seat 1A, 70K MP award. First time flown UA F domestic or international. Service was bland, food average, seat definitely worn out, but it was the 747 that steals the show every time. And drama, suspense added: Boarded at SFO, announced the aircraft has mechanical, all deplaned. Waited with baited breath to see how UA would get us to ICN. Mercifully they used the inbound ICN 747 to get us out. So a 3 hour plus delay, but I did get the 747- just. I’ll again fly a 747 later this year – on LH’s 747-8i using J award having reserved a F seat on the unusual 2 month FRA-SEA switch to the -8. Hope my seat isn’t switched for some Senator or Honors member. Sad to see the 747 pax craft disappear, a safe plane, reliable. Consider the few accidents over 47 years – and most attributable to human error. Boeing built.
I will miss flying in the attic; it was always my favorite place because it was so quiet and relatively small. My last United flight was from Narita back to San Francisco back in April but will probably fly Lufthansa’s refurbished 747s from Denver to Frankfurt a couple of times in the next few years. In the winter they are barely half full upstairs.
My favorite trip was on a NW 747-SP, LAX to SYD. Fantastic!