When I saw the news yesterday that United Airlines would retire its 747 with a special Hawaiian-themed celebration to recreate its first flight, I resolved to be part of the flight…no matter the cost.
I braced myself for the cost. Would I have to sell my first born son in order to afford a seat on this flight? At around 12:07pm PT, the flight was loaded. Economy Class was $550, First Class was $1978, and business class was blocked…presumably for media and special guests.
Within seconds I had booked two economy class seats…one for myself and the other for my uncle, the uncle who flew with me on my first 747 flight (LAX-ORD on UA / September 2004) and my first time in business class (the ORD-LAX flight home). He designed aircraft, including the L-1011, at Lockheed and loves planes almost as much as I do.
> Read More: A Love Affair with United Airlines
I’m glad I booked swiftly because the flight sold out within an hour.
Delta recently hosted its last 747 domestic flight and now United will follow. It’s a sad final chapter for the Queen of the Skies in the United States. At least we will still have Lufthansa to take us to Frankfurt aboard the 747-8…
Missed the Final Flight?
If you want to take part in the final flight but found that seats were sold out, I recommend you monitor space closely around 12pm PT / 3pm ET today. Many people (wisely) booked without even thinking about it, knowing they had 24 hours to cancel. I am certain many seats will be cancelled today.
The complicating factor is that dozens of passengers are now waitlisted for the flight, so when someone cancels a seat it does not necessarily mean that the new seat will open into general inventory for the public to book. The waitlist must first clear.
Second, United has said that the 747 will make one final tour of domestic hubs in October. We don’t have any details on that yet, but I will provide updates as they become available.
Flying my favorite airline (it’s a complicated relationship) on my favorite aircraft is going to be so much fun. I’m happy that my uncle will be joining me on the flight as well and hope to meet many readers as well.
If you missed out on the flight, don’t give up yet. My gut tells me you’ll get on if you are persistent.
image courtesy of United Airlines