United Airlines today announced the retiring flight of their 747 fleet. The farewell flight will take place on November 07th, 2017 as “UA747” from San Francisco (SFO) to Honolulu (HNL). The aircraft is scheduled to departure from San Francisco International Airport at 11:00 AM* and land at Honolulu International Airport at 02:45 PM*.
By coincidence (or not) this flight has the same route which United made when the airline performed its first Boeing 747-100 commercial flight on July 23th, 1970.
The airline plans to make a remarkable throwback flight with the intention to recreate the United’s first 747 commercial flight. Customers, employees and invited guests will be present. The travelers can expect a 1970s-inpired menu to retro uniforms for flight attendants to inflight entertainment befitting of that first flight, passengers will help send the Queen of the Skies off in true style. With the same name of United’s first 747 aircraft, this flight will be called “Friend Ship”.
Tickets for this upcoming United 747 goodbye can be purchased now at United’s website or via its app. Seats in the traditional “hump” area of the aircraft (upper deck) will not be sold since the airline will give for all the guests the opportunity to spend time in this iconic space.
For customers with a seat in United Polaris First Class or United Polaris Business Class, the airline will hold a drawing that will happen at the gate prior to boarding for an opportunity to occupy one of a select number of seats in the upper deck during the last journey of United’s 747.
This farewell journey will start at 09:00 AM* at San Francisco International Airport, featuring a Boeing 747 gallery, remarks from United employees and executives, as well as refreshments.
Upon landing in Honolulu, local employees will welcome the Queen of the Skies with final festivities to finish this magical day. Everyone is encouraged to use the #UA747Farewell hashtag in social media posts.
United Airlines has been one of the driven forces of the 747 Program, since the beginning the airline has made several orders and has bet on the 747 performance.
With acquisition of the new Boeing 747 variants over the years, new routes to Europe, Asia and Oceania were possible and the airline made a record. On 1988, an United Airlines Boeing 747SP-21 took off from Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA) towards to Athens (Greece), the aircraft made one stop and then took off again towards to Taipei (Taiwan), before returning to Seattle on the following day. This flight was called “Friendship One” due to the donation of the entire profit of this flight to the Friendship Foundation, a San Francisco-based charity organization who donates millions of dollars to terminally-ill children. It has also marked the first two-stop round-the-world flight, Neil Armstrong and Moya (Bill Lear’s widow) were onboard. The precise record is a flight time of 36 hours, 54 minutes and 55 seconds and a distance of 23.125 miles.
United is making path on their fleet for more state-of-the-art and eco-friendly aircraft like the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 777-300ER and the Next-Generation 737’s. Upcoming aircraft as Airbus A350 XWB (which got an order update early September) and the Boeing 737-10 MAX (historic order of 100 units and the worldwide largest operator of this aircraft variant) will also help together with the Eco-Skies initiative the airline with this mission.
*: Local time.