747 no more

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  • AMcWhirter
    Participant

    My first 747 flights from 1970-1975 were all Y class with PA and JL.

    Thinking back now I recall the spacious 9-across seating and the wider seats compared to when all 747 carriers began the conversion to 10-across.

    What began to spoil my impression of the 747 was in the later 1970s when I took an travel agent’s trip with AF in Y all the way to Mauritius (747 was deployed ex-ORY).

    I am sure it was one the 747s which had been converted to 10-across.

    But it was an awfully long drawn out flight with en route stops (not only in Paris where there was a change from CDG-ORY) but also in Djibouti, Nairobi and Reunion.

    Y seating on the main deck was dense. After all it was one of AF’s holiday flights.

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    ontherunhome
    Participant

    I recall my first 747 flight was with Aer Lingus from Shannon to JFK,in the mid 80’s, cant recall the type, but it was huge, and also very full. My honeymoon to Florida in ’92 started on a 747, they gave us the 2 seats together at the back, all very exciting. Upon return check in we awere asked if we mineded being upgraded to Business, as it was the end of our honeymoon. I remember the old big seat, and recall not getting much sleep, trying to enjoy my first busibness class flight, I clearly remember star gazing across the Atlantic.

    I also recall severasl KLM flights, one in the lower deck nose area, and anothe rto Shanghai of a combi. We had to wait until cargo offloaded before getting off, due to weight and balance of the plane. I think that was a 300 series with the galley along one side of th eplane rather than across.

    My first 400 flight was a white tail to Auckland with Air New Zealand,via LAX. Has a great flight, as sat by emergency exit, and crew member was rugby mad, so as a Welshman, we had a lot to talk about. On the return we did Sydney to LAX on a 400 on th etop deck, as we had an upgrade, the sheepskin covers on the seat were so comfy. From LAX to LHR we had to go back downstairs to the back, it was so cramped in comparison.

    I bet we all remeber these milestone flights on a 747, whilst all the rest are just blured memories.

    Sad but inevitable. Must pop to CWL to see some parked up, saw many of them fly over Bridgend as they were taken for storage at CWL or St Athans.

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    JDTraveller
    Participant

    The 747 has had a good run, and she will be fondly remembered as with Concorde before her. My earliest memory of the 747 was a TWA flight from LGW-STL and being upgraded to J at the gate – experiencing freshly cooked steak to my liking and feeling like I was king of the world (I was 8). What a way to travel!

    However, my lasting memories will be from flying the BA birds that have long needed some love and attention. From a TV screen in WT that would only stay up with the help or Micropore from the first aid kit, and the worst CW seat ever, I will miss the legacy liveries that just bring back that golden age of travel when BA was an innovator and market leader.

    Unfortunately it is about time that the old girl put her feet up and let us fondly remember the good times and not the most recent.


    MartynSinclair
    Participant

    I will also miss the huge, lumbering and iconic 747, but more from its outer visual impact and the love for aviation it gave me over the current dated and shoddy fittings it certainly does not deserve.

    Retire gracefully and I hope one will remain perhaps parked next to a Concorde to remind us fussy passengers of the graceful days of travel from previous years.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    In early 2000s I was doing Johannesburg return every month. BA had just introduced flat beds and it was really a market leading experience.

    Fast forward 15 years and the 747s were old, tired and dirty and the service second rate (I recall the President of Ghana taking to the media about it).

    Shame but in life everything moves on. I’m sure they will be around as freighters for a fair few years yet.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    GBAIR72
    Participant

    My first flight was on a 747 was on Continental Airways B747-100 London – Orlando in the days when you could smoke at the back of the plane. My last flight was this year on a British Airways B747-400 from London – Miami on BA Landor Livery. One of my fave metal I have flown, following Concorde and TU-144

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    TominScotland
    Participant

    onetherunhome, your EI flight would have been a 747-100 – that was my first 747 flight as well, in 1984 DUB-SNN-JFK. I also flew the -100 with Alitalia and variants of the -200 (BA and CO) and -300 (LH, KL among others). My first -400 flight was from Kai Tak to Changi on one of SQ’s early testing/ training flights in early 1989, I think. My favourite 747, however, remains the 747SP which I have flown with QF, South African and, more recently, Iran Air.

    Watching a 747 lumbering down the runway to take-off must be one of the iconic aviation experiences.

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    ontherunhome
    Participant

    TominScotland, thanks for that confirmation.

    Another recolection was an Iberia 747 flying from Madrid to the Canaries, sat in the back in the yellow smoking section. Horrible. It was a big surprise getting on a 747 for a domestic flight.

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    Bullfrog
    Participant

    A sad day indeed .. the end of an era for the Queen of the Skies. Thankfully I have my memories to remind me.

    I remember my first 747 flight well. It was December 1977 with TWA from LHR to LAX, and with headwinds against us, we had to land in Las Vegas for fuel. Our onward same day connection was to San Francisco. I was 13 years old & this was my first holiday to California, Hawaii and then Nevada. The return flight was from Vegas to Boston with a stop in St Louis. Our flight from Boston to Heathrow had an inbound delay from Philadelphia due to snow. It was all so exciting, and our family of 5 were all travelling economy.

    We flew BA to Asia in December 78 for a family trip, and those were the days when BA operated to Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane, & Sidney .. the ME3 have killed those routes.

    Our January 79 return BA flight from Bangkok went via Delhi, an extra stop in Bahrain (I think due to Afghan air space closure), Frankfurt and then LHR.

    My last 747 flight was in February 2019 from JFK to LHR on the day flight .. my first option for any flight from NY to LHR. Now in my 50s, I’m able to enjoy the fruits of my labour, and this was seated in what I would consider ‘best seat in the house’, 2K.

    Having lost count of the number of flights I’ve taken over the last 43 years, I only wish I had kept all the boarding passes, menus and memorabilia. For me, air travel is unlikely to ever be the same again.

    Thank you 747 ! great journeys, and great memories.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    SenatorGold
    Participant

    My first flight on the B747 was on 10 January 1972 on BOAC flight BA030 LHR-Rome-Nairobi-Johannesburg. I was one of a group of about ten unaccompanied minors on the flight. On arrival in Johannesburg at the then Jan Smuts International Airport, the cabin crew took all of us UAMs up to the First Class lounge in the bubble to wait a short while before deplaning as a group.

    My last flight on the B747 was on 9 November 2019 in seat 61A on the upper deck on flight BA208 from Miami to LHR.

    There really was nothing like the upper deck on the BA747.

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    canucklad
    Participant

    Watching a 747 lumbering down the runway to take-off must be one of the iconic aviation experiences.

    One take-off I’ll never forget ……flying on a staff pass I managed to get the last seat on CP’s nonstop flight from YVR to AMS. At the gate I remember watching the cargo guys shimmy a red Ferrari into the cargo hold.

    Window seat, last row on the right hand side …….. we slowly taxied out to the runway threshold. Rather than turning right , the aircraft turned left , did a 180 degree turn that epitomises the phrase turning on a dime . By the end of the turn there was no concrete underneath the back end of the plane., just grass being crushed by the engines powering up .

    As we started to rumble down the runway, slowly picking up speed we started to pass exit way after exit way. Anxiety started to increase in the cabin for those who knew that we would normally be airborne at , or just after passing the terminal. Yet we kept going, and going , even past the last exit way. I’m convinced that most of the frequent flyers onboard thought our journey would end in the Georgia Strait . Just as our take off roll started it ended , as our orange jet gracefully took to the air with little or no concrete left . Maybe aided by the large intake of air from the communal gasps of relive .

    I wonder if the pilots factored in the sighs in their pre-take-off calculations

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    J_Pathmore
    Participant

    Will be interesting to see replacement choices on certain routes.

    For example, the CPT route is a huge money maker for BA with limited competition. They overbook 2 747’s every night in the winter, and sometimes a 777-2 to LGW too. One would assume they’d put an old 777-2 on the route, but they’d be leaving a lot on the table in the way of passenger numbers, even soon after COVID I believe. What else is there? The A380 cannot land at CPT, and the 777-3 is in short supply at BA.

    A logical choice for passenger numbers include the 787-10 and the A350-1000. However, these are modern aircraft most useful on routes with heavy competition (UAE, N America, certain Asian routes).

    Keen to hear thoughts from the group.

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Thegoodolddays
    Participant

    Hi All. Really like this website so I thought I would try to be helpful.
    I have found this on another website but it gives everyone an idea in what aircraft are replacing the 747s as they have now unfortunately gone.

    It’s only for September at the moment but a good British Airways this week filed changes to its Intercontinental operation for the month of September 2020. As of 22JUL20, planned operation as follows.

    Various travel restrictions continue to impact the airline’s planned operation and passenger traffic rights. Additional changes expected in the next few weeks.

    London Gatwick – Antigua – Providenciales 1 weekly 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – Antigua – St. Kitts 2 weekly 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – Antigua – Tobago 2 weekly 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – Bermuda 1 daily 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – Bridgetown 6 weekly 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – Cancun 4 weekly 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – Kingston 3 weekly 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – Las Vegas 1 daily 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – Mauritius 3 weekly 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – Orlando 11 weekly 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – Punta Cana 3 weekly 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – St. Lucia – Grenada 2 weekly 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – St. Lucia – Port of Spain 5 weekly 777-200ER
    London Gatwick – Tampa 1 daily 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Abuja 1 daily 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Accra 1 daily 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Atlanta 1 daily 787-9
    London Heathrow – Bahrain 3 weekly 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Baltimore/Washington 4 weekly 787-8
    London Heathrow – Bangalore 3 weekly A350-1000XWB
    London Heathrow – Bangkok 1 daily 787-8
    London Heathrow – Boston 2 daily 777-200ER/A350-1000XWB
    London Heathrow – Buenos Aires Ezeiza 4 weekly 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Cape Town 3 weekly 777-300ER
    London Heathrow – Chennai 3 weekly 787-8/-9
    London Heathrow – Chicago O’Hare 2 daily 787-9/A350-1000XWB
    London Heathrow – Dallas/Ft. Worth 1 daily 787-10
    London Heathrow – Delhi 10 weekly 777-200ER/787-8
    London Heathrow – Denver 1 daily 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Dubai 1 daily A350-1000XWB
    London Heathrow – Hong Kong 1 daily 777-300ER
    London Heathrow – Houston 5 weekly 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Hyderabad 3 weekly 787-8/-9
    London Heathrow – Islamabad 3 weekly 787-8
    London Heathrow – Johannesburg 1 daily 777-300ER
    London Heathrow – Kuala Lumpur 5 weekly 787-9
    London Heathrow – Kuwait City 3 weekly 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Lagos 1 daily 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Las Vegas 1 daily 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Los Angeles 2 daily 787-9
    London Heathrow – Mahe Island 2 weekly 787-9
    London Heathrow – Mexico City 4 weekly 787-9
    London Heathrow – Miami 1 daily 787-9
    London Heathrow – Montreal 3 weekly 787-8
    London Heathrow – Mumbai 10 weekly 777-200ER/787-8
    London Heathrow – Nairobi 4 weekly 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Nassau – Grand Cayman 4 weekly 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Newark 1 daily 787-9
    London Heathrow – New York JFK 4 daily 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Philadelphia 1 daily 787-9
    London Heathrow – Riyadh 4 weekly 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – San Francisco 1 daily 777-300ER
    London Heathrow – Sao Paulo Guarulhos 1 daily 787-9
    London Heathrow – Seattle 1 daily 787-10
    London Heathrow – Seoul Incheon 5 weekly 787-8
    London Heathrow – Shanghai Pu Dong 2 weekly 777-300ER
    London Heathrow – Singapore 1 daily 777-300ER
    London Heathrow – Tel Aviv 2 daily 787/A350
    London Heathrow – Tokyo Haneda 1 daily 787-9 (this route is not served from 01AUG20 to 28AUG20)
    London Heathrow – Toronto 1 daily 787-8
    London Heathrow – Vancouver 1 daily 777-200ER
    London Heathrow – Washington Dulles 1 daily A350-1000XWB

    British Airways previously planned to add London Heathrow – Portland OR service from 02SEP20, however this route is now cancelled as the airline removed schedule and reservation entirely.

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    Alextpa
    Participant

    I thought this may happen at some point this Year, BA would scrap 747s early. So I was glad I took one more ride home from JFK in March. Seems it could well be one of the last revenue flights on a BA747, as lock down came the very next day.

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