United Airlines has flown its final flight on a Boeing 747, aka the Queen of the Skies.
The aircraft flew its original commercial route from San Francisco to Honolulu, as it did for the first time in 1970. To celebrate the jumbo jet’s retirement, the gate party at the San Francisco International Airport featured cake and a huge card for all passengers and crew to sign. The flight attendants of the sold-out flight UA747 sported ’70s uniforms, and the in-flight menu included Mai Tais and Hawaiian food.
Watch the Queen of the Sky’s reception as it lands in Hawaii. Leis all around, and one for the Queen too! Video courtesy of United airlines.
A Few Words from Oscar Munoz
“The iconic 747 is a remarkably special aircraft that signaled a new era of air travel and was equally recognizable and beloved by our customers and crew alike,” United CEO Oscar Munoz said in a statement. “While today is bittersweet, we’ll continue to honor the Queen of the Skies’ game-changing legacy of connecting people and uniting the world with our next-generation of long-haul aircraft.”
Delta Air Lines and United are the last domestic airlines to fly the Boeing 747. Delta celebrated the jet’s domestic retirement from its fleet by flying from Los Angeles to Detroit in September, after which Delta sent a couple more 747s to Orlando to help with the evacuation efforts before Hurricane Irma.
Check out more footage from onboard, including this video of a couple — passengers Sean Worsley and Christine Ellis — getting engaged on the flight!
The “Future of Flying”
At one point, the Boeing 747 was crème de la crème when it came to luxury travel. However, as time went on, newer fuel-efficient twine-engine aircraft have surpassed the “Queen of the Skies.” Both Delta and United are switching to Airbus A350, and Delta dubs the experience as the “Future of Flying.”
After the send-off, United’s double-decker plane will make is final journey sans passengers back to San Francisco and then to an aircraft junkyard in the California desert.
Editor’s note. Many FlyerTalkers were aboard the final flight of the Queen of the skies. To join the Cpi-Web discussion and hear stories from the flight, head here.