A Crown Fit For A Queen: Final 747 Delivery Flight

United's final 747 flight, greeted with a lei in Honolulu on 11/7/17. © DansDeals
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Boeing delivered its final 747 yesterday. US cargo carrier Atlas Air was the recipient, it now has 56 of the aircraft.

Many of the 747’s original engineers were honored at the delivery ceremony.

Atlas gave the Queen of the Skies a fitting delivery flight, drawing a crown for the Queen with its flight route:


It reminded me of when El Al drew a 747 in the sky on its retirement flight:


Alas, that was just before it bit the dust:


Despite the fanfare, there are 2 more 747-8s that were originally built for defunct Russian airline Transaero that have yet to be delivered. Those will become Air Force One aircraft once they are retrofit.

I’m just a bit of a 747 junkie.

I flew it as a toddler to the holy land.

12 years ago Mimi and I flew in first class on several Cathay Pacific and Qantas 747s using the now defunct, but incredible AA round-the-world award chart.

7 years ago I took Rafi to San Francisco to let him experience flying on the upper deck of the glorious 747, before United retired it. The captain was even gracious enough to show Rafi the ropes in the cockpit and it’s an experience he still talks about today.


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In 2017 I flew on United’s final 747 flight and it was a truly incredible experience. We were treated to scenic views and a party flight atmosphere that befitted the sending off of The Queen of the Skies. It was easily one of my favorite flights of all time.

747 swag from its final United flight:


I even have a piece of a 747 in my office:

And I have another piece of one in my sock drawer:

Here’s how AMEX did that.

The augmented reality site that AMEX created to go along with the card is also awesome. Open that link on your phone for a fun ride and tour of the 747’s history and how they turned the retired plane into credit cards.

Haven’t flown on the 747 with your own kids yet to make some priceless memories?

You can still fly on one, but it’s not easy anymore.

Air China flies the 747-400 and 747-8, Asiana flies the 747-400, Korean Air flies the 747-8 on routes like Seoul to/from Atlanta, Honolulu, JFK, and Los Angeles, and Lufthansa flies the 747-400 or 747-8 on routes like Frankfurt to/from Chicago, Houston, JFK, Los Angeles, Miami, Newark, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. The 747-8s are newer aircraft, which should certainly survive this decade despite the high cost of operating the jumbo jet.

Share your memories of the Queen of the Skies in the comments!

HT: ExGingi and Oiheivyisroel, via DDF

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32 Comments On "A Crown Fit For A Queen: Final 747 Delivery Flight"

All opinions expressed below are user generated and the opinions aren’t provided, reviewed or endorsed by any advertiser or DansDeals.


I don’t have memories like you but it was certainly a beast and will be missed..


I think what you’re saying is you want to fly on Airforce One (technically, not the name of the plane, but I digress…)


Never flew on one all my life and this past year I flew business upstairs on the 747-400 and in first downstairs on the 747-8. Definitely owe you thanks for the tips earning all the miles needed to make it possible!


Once got a coach seat upstairs on el al.
Was a great experience despite being coach.


747’s always make me think of Tenerife


Me too. That accident was insane.

Chad Bidoro

Just googled it. Grisly


flew the rare coach on upper deck on virgin atlantic once


Did that too! Vegas to Manchester – were only 10 passengers in Economy on the Upper Deck


I flew the 747 numerous times as a kid (TWA and Tower Air anyone?) and I also flew business class in a BA 747 about 20 years ago.


ROTFL another one in the sock drawer

The judge

Haven’t seen Korean air 747 from Jfk in a very long time, they fly single story planes and once a day a380. But no 747 that I have seen in years

Jack out of the Box

I once flew on Elal 747 economy downstairs in the nose. Due to the shape of that section there was loads of legroom.


i flew a lot on 747’s back in the day – EL Al, TWA, Tower Air, BA, etc., mainly JFK-TLV. However, i think my best 747 flight is my last one – thanks to LY’s weird aircraft assignments they flew a 767 worth of passengers from CDG to TLV on a 747. Not only did we get home crazy fast, but every passenger had a row to themselves. Not a set of seats – the whole width of the airplane. Best ghetto business class ever.


its just another airplane no?


Yes, the way that Jerusalem is just another city.


Is this a serious comparison?


I remember as a child in the late 60s/early 70s, witnessing the very first 747s flying in/out of LAX. I’ll never forget how my father, an aerospace engineer, marveled at how slowly they appeared to float in the air, most likely an illusion due to their massive size. In Feb 1998 my family and I were on the final TWA 747 flight – it was N93108 from Tel Aviv (via Shannon Ireland) to JFK. According to http://twamuseumguides.blogspot.com/2017/02/weekly-museum-photo-each-monday-well.html it joined TWA’s fleet back in 1970 (I wonder if it was one of the ones I saw flying near LAX!). AT the end of that flight we were greeted in New York with great fanfare including huge arcs of water from NYFD firehoses.


Recently went to Seattle, saw the first 747 at the Museum of Flight then went to Boeing Future of Flight at Everett Field and saw the last one parked on the tarmac with it’s Atlas livery.


Why are they being retired?

Why are they more problematic now as opposed to the past decades?


4 engines vs two on the big jets today. And not very fuel efficient. But man, what a nice ride. Always thought that when sitting in first class, the pax arrived at the runway, before the pilots did. LOL


The answer is money. Now what’s your question?


I flew my first 747 as a pimply faced pre-teen in the late 1980s on swissair between JFK and Zürich on the upper deck in the first row of cheap seats, getting a spare business class meal for my troubles. I flew one between Chicago and Tokyo in 2017 in United’s business class pre-Polaris. It was memorable because I left my $300 Bose noise-canceling headset in the storage compartment next to my seat in the upper deck. You win some, you lose some.


I remember my father z”l flying on one of the first ones from Miami to JFK. In those days non flyers could go right up to the jetway to meet and greet. I was able to stand right by the window while the plane came straight in stopping a few feet away.
I will never forget the first thing he said to us. ” IT’S LIKE GETTING THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING OFF THE GROUND ”

It is already missed especially on the TLV- NYC runs.


Boarded a 747 in frankfurt after an awesome trip to reb levik in almaty.
Stewardess introduces herself using my name and offers me a beer.
Quickly realized that i wasnt so inconspicuous being the only frum kid in the lounge chugging beer for hours….


Just flew the Lufthansa on the 747 roundtrip JFK-FRA over the weekend had an amazing experience. Had the time of my life. Just sobering up now……