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.
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