Skip to main content

United Airlines is Retiring its Last Boeing 747 in Retro Style

boeing 747
Image used with permission by copyright holder
After the Wright Brothers’ early success at Kitty Hawk, no plane made more of a mark on aviation history like Boeing’s 747. However, with the advent of bigger, better, faster, more efficient aircraft, the iconic jet’s days are numbered. For the send-off of its last in-service Boeing 747, United Airlines is recreating the aircraft’s maiden 1972 flight in beautiful, retro style.

The first Boeing 747 in United’s fleet took off from San Francisco in 1972, bound for Honolulu, Hawaii. On November 7, 2017 the airline’s last 747 will take its final flight along the same route as the appropriately named Flight 747. Ahead of the flight, United pilots and employees will celebrate gate-side with plenty of speeches, cocktails, and reminiscing. En route, passengers will be treated to a custom dining menu and exclusive entertainment that correspond to the early ’70s. Flight attendants will also don outfits original to the period. After touching down in Hawaii, airline employees will offer one last round of celebrations to conclude the historic day.

A post shared by United (@united) on

Every passenger on the final flight will have the opportunity to spend time in the 747’s luxurious upper deck lounge. United Polaris first class and business class passengers will also be entered into a lottery at the gate. A select few will be upgraded to spend the duration of the flight in the upper deck.

When the first Boeing 747 launched in 1968, it was a marvel of aviation technology and innovation. Construction required a staff of 50,000 Boeing employees working almost round the clock to bring the plane to life in just 18 months. Nicknamed the “Queen of the Skies,” it almost single-handedly ushered in the Jet Age of the last century. Passengers fortunate (read: wealthy) enough to fly the aircraft were treated to one of the world’s most glamorous and elegant modes of air travel. The first class cabin boasted a spacious lounge with comfortable seats, full cocktail service, and often even a piano.

United’s last international 747 route will fly from Seoul to San Francisco on October 29, 2017. Limited seats aboard the final, celebratory Flight 747 on November 7 are currently available via the company’s mobile app and the United website.

Feature image courtesy of Bill Abbott/Flickr

Mike Richard
Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He's kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South…
Going-to-the-Sun Road is open: What to know about summer exploring in Glacier National Park
What you need to know before exploring Going-to-the-Sun Road
Glacier National Park via Going-to-the-Sun Road

Going-to-the-Sun Road, Glacier National Park Ryan Stone via Unsplash

Montana’s Glacier National Park offers pristine wilderness and rugged landscapes, letting you experience nature in its purest form. From its 700 miles of hiking trails to stunning glaciers, the park is a playground for the modern explorer. 

Read more
Travel traffic: This 4th of July could be the busiest yet
Don't stress: What to know about 4th of July travel this year
Congested traffic on highway

On July 4th, we celebrate our nation’s independence by spending time with friends and family and enjoying fun foods and fireworks. Visiting the coast or lighting up the grill provides the perfect background for a cheeseburger and an ice-cold pale ale. It’s good old-fashioned Americana.

Some years, the Fourth of July occurs at an ideal time, creating a nice opportunity for a long weekend. This year, there’s a perfect Thursday through Sunday window, giving travelers more time to unwind under the sun. But with that comes a drawback: record travel activity.

Read more
Why I love booking an all-inclusive resort when I travel
The benefits of an all-inclusive vacation
Domes Aulūs Elounda waterside view

Hilton Domes Aulūs Elounda Resort, Greece Hilton / Hilton

Going on vacation brings the opportunity to let loose and enjoy. Free from work and hassle, you can do as you please, while taking in new sights and experiences. Or can you?

Read more