United 747 Farewell Master Thread

Old Aug 11, 17, 11:40 pm
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: DCA/IAD/MIA/FLL/PBI
Programs: UA Lifetime GS, SQ*PPS
Posts: 10,585
Post United 747 Farewell Master Thread

We are less than three months away from the last scheduled 747 ICN-SFO flight.

United's first 747-100 joined the fleet in June 1970 and Continental's first 747-100 took its flight a month earlier in May 1970. Over the years, other 747s (100, 200 and SP series) also joined the fleets of both airlines from Pan Am, People's Express, and UA took over the two 747-400s that NW decided not to take (N105UA and N106UA).

That is an amazing 47+ years of history the 747s have had both both legacy United, legacy Continental and the New United.

I think the farewell and retirement of the 747 from United deserve its own thread for all of us to pay tribute to the Queen of Sky.

I started flying United's 747 on an ex-Pam 747SP on Oct 11, 1992 (MIA-SFO) and took my first 747-400 fight on the same day on an almost brand aircraft (SFO-HKG). It was my first ever transpacific flight and the longest flight I have taken in my life at the time. Sadly, my last United 747 flight will likely to take place on August 27 (UA 888 SFO-PEK).

I will share my United 747 memories in the thread a bit later.

I encourage all of you to share your United 747 memories in this thread. Photos, video links are all welcome. I am going to start sharing some of the 747 photos I have taken in the past 10 years. I need to dig into my negative files to find photos from the pre-digital age.

I have spoken to a number of UA flight and cabin crews, ground staff, gate agents and customer services staff on the phone since the news of 747 retirement in early 2016. I could sense the emotional attachments they all have on the 747. This thread is not just for us, Flyertalkers, but also for all the UA current and former employees who follow this forum, memories they can treasure and relate to.

Good Bye my United Queen of Sky!
UA_Flyer is offline  
Old Aug 11, 17, 11:48 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SF
Programs: UA1K .6MM
Posts: 2,264
Here is an absolute classic, March 28th 2007:

PremExecSNA and mdtakamine like this.
tuolumne is offline  
Old Aug 11, 17, 11:48 pm
  #3  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: DCA/IAD/MIA/FLL/PBI
Programs: UA Lifetime GS, SQ*PPS
Posts: 10,585




























More photos to come later in the thread
UA_Flyer is offline  
Old Aug 12, 17, 2:15 am
  #4  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Programs: UA 1K .97MM, IHG AMB-Spire, HH Diamond
Posts: 49,260
The final tulip livery was the high water mark for the UA747 IMHO. Especially that tail application. And tiny bit of red in the tulip. It truly went from first to worst after that. Great photos above.

in over 250K flown miles on the UA 747 since 1999 (DEL-HKG-SFO as part of RTW 1/2) I had a total of one 90 minute delay and that was a flight where I had been op-upped to IPTE C. Even when flying in E+ I preferentially booked it for my transpacs.

Very bittersweet to see it exit service. The new aircraft have buttons and switches but nothing can beat that distinctive rumble on takeoff or cyclic purr during mid transpac cruise. Nothing. And of course my one time in IFC aaaahhhh...
uastarflyer is online now  
Old Aug 12, 17, 4:21 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: ROC
Programs: UA GS, Library Card holder
Posts: 61
I took my final 747 flight a couple of days ago PVG-SFO (UD). I have really mixed feelings about United retiring these. In some ways, I feel like a beloved pet or relative has died.

It is a truly iconic aircraft and there is nothing quite like the upper deck experience. But United has really let them go. The interiors are really showing their age and I've found many of the 747 crews are surly and inattentive. (Maybe there is no correlation here, but it's my impression)

My one regret is that I never even once flew in 747 GF. 1A/K will go as an unfulfilled bucket list item. Ah well, for now I will be content to fly 773 and the 787 fleet and catch the occasional glimpse of other carriers' 747s. They were always better to look at from the outside anyway.

To paraphrase a Ronald Reagan quote, "There's nothing as good for the inside of a man as the outside of a 747."

Goodbye.
UA_Flyer likes this.
K2BF is offline  
Old Aug 12, 17, 8:13 am
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: DCA/IAD/MIA/FLL/PBI
Programs: UA Lifetime GS, SQ*PPS
Posts: 10,585
Here are a number of TV commercials which featured the United 747

Business as Usual

Chicago Hometown Airlines

Whales

Across the Pacific's

To the US and Throughout the US

London

Transpacific Services

747 to Hawaii
MarkyMarc likes this.
UA_Flyer is offline  
Old Aug 12, 17, 4:14 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Programs: United Global Services, Amtrak Select Executive
Posts: 3,116
I've never flown a 747, and would like to before all are retired. Any suggestions for a route that is not super long-distance, and goes somewhere cool to visit?
physioprof is offline  
Old Aug 12, 17, 4:33 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Programs: Hertz PC
Posts: 551
Had one ride on 747. It was an equipment swap from a 757 ORD-DEN. Guessing equipment repostioning. Can't remember year but when they were battleship grey.

Remember had originally upgraded with the 500 mile paper certs. on 757. When they swap planes ended up with UD seat. (back then they were not lie-flat but cool anyway)

Before the meal they had these hot candied walnuts. Only time I have every had them. On all other planes was always just hot mixed nuts.
bhunt is offline  
Old Aug 12, 17, 5:36 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: EWR/LHR/SFO
Programs: UA 1K 1MM
Posts: 574
As a kid in the UK always looked forward to flying a "jumbo" on BA back when they were the backbone of the TATL fleet. More recently, I was booked in XN on a 744 flying LHR-SFO. Saw O open, thought "what the hell", and forked out 50k more miles for 1A. Still my favourite flight of all time peering out the (forward) window and enjoying the space in GF.

That said, for a "working" flight there's nothing better than UD in J. So smooth I once didn't realise we'd taken off, and forgot altogether that there was a giant plane below us until it came time to get off.

Have one last run on the UD tomorrow on SFO-FRA. Hope the crew will make it one to remember.
sfo789 is offline  
Old Aug 12, 17, 9:06 pm
  #10  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: MSP
Programs: DL PM, UA Gold, WN, Global Entry; +others wherever miles/points are found
Posts: 11,112
Originally Posted by physioprof View Post
I've never flown a 747, and would like to before all are retired. Any suggestions for a route that is not super long-distance, and goes somewhere cool to visit?
The concentration at the SFO base and recent ops planning have meant no domestic 747 runs, and the single exception this year turned into a huge party and media event such that they ferried in (and used) a backup aircraft to make sure it happened.

Sadly I think your best bet for a United 747 experience at this point is SFO-ICN (lots of award and upgrade space in all cabins). Coming to the same conclusion, we're dong a 1A/K run in a few weeks to ICN.
findark is offline  
Old Aug 12, 17, 10:23 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: CVG, originally LAX/SNA
Programs: UA MileagePlus Premier Platinum, Hilton Honors Gold, SPG Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 77
I'm planning to fly my first and only United 747 flight from SFO-ICN on an award ticket in two weeks and heading straight back after a day in Seoul on a half mileage run-half life goal achievement. Booked an upper deck seat and I hope that it'll live up to all the hype and that the crew will make it even better. On the way back, I'll also be taking the closing ICN-NRT flight on the way back home.

I'll probably post some pics up of my experience once I get back.
InterPlace55 is offline  
Old Aug 12, 17, 10:39 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 9,034
My first UA 747 flight was SFO-LAX, believe it or not, on a PA 74L in the early 80s. I think we paid $39 and somehow got upgraded to C without asking. Of course, back then I had no idea what was what class but I knew it was a 747 SP. I probably still have the boarding pass somewhere.

I was hoping for a final flight in September but my route already converted to a 77W So, my last UA 747 flight was in February 2017.
UA_Flyer likes this.
username is offline  
Old Aug 12, 17, 11:15 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: SEATTLE, WA USA
Programs: UAL, AA, AS, CX
Posts: 1,929
If UAL is listening they should literally have a farewell tour ex-USA airports!
JHIN is offline  
Old Aug 13, 17, 12:17 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MRY - CNX - TXL
Programs: UA 1K / *G / Marriott PE / Expedia Gold+ / Hertz PC
Posts: 7,060
Originally Posted by physioprof View Post
I've never flown a 747, and would like to before all are retired. Any suggestions for a route that is not super long-distance, and goes somewhere cool to visit?
I think it's incredible a GS has never flown a 747!
JVPhoto is offline  
Old Aug 13, 17, 12:25 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 9,034
And I was on a UA 744 out of NRT when we got hit by lightning. My only time. We continued to SFO.

Then the only time I did F on UA was TPAC award and had an 15+ hour MX at NRT. They gave me half of the miles back
UA_Flyer likes this.
username is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: