Although United won’t confirm it, it’s now being widely reported that the carrier is planning to retire its aging fleet of 747s earlier than expected. This could mean that its current fleet of 22 “queens of the sky” could fly away by the end of 2018– two years ahead of schedule.
But there’s one easy way you can jump on a United 747 on a rare domestic run…but more on that in a minute…
Delta has followed a similar, accelerated path to retiring its gas guzzling 747s. Last April it put six out to pasture, and plans to retire the final six by the end of next year, to be replaced by the newer, more efficient Airbus A350. Just last month, Air France celebrated the final flight of its last 747 after flying the plane as the mainstay of its intercontinental fleet for almost 46 years.
Brian Sumers, who first reported the United news, wrote: “For now, United flies 747s from San Francisco and Chicago. But this week, United also told pilots it will remove the 747 from Chicago in February 2017, leaving only San Francisco with 747 service.”
If you are feeling reminiscent about this beautiful bird, and fly frequent between Chicago and San Francisco, consider picking up a leg or two on an one of the few domestic 747 flights United is running this spring.
TravelSkills reader Daniel E emailed us this week with this tip: “Everyday from March 3 there is a 747 leaving SFO at 8:35am (UA1570) to Chicago, O’Hare. Then I dug around some more and there is another one returning from ORD to SFO, UA1213 leaving at 4:05 pm also from March 3. I’ve flown back and forth between San Francisco and Chicago A LOT in the last 10 years and wide bodies are rare, let alone a 747.”
We checked and sure enough, we found the 747 flights on SFO-ORD– and United confirmed to TravelSkills that it “will operate daily 747 service between March 3 – March 25 and then again from April 6 – May 25, 2016. The flights are loaded and available for purchase.”
Wouldn’t it be nice to ride on a gorgeous and graceful 747 instead of the standard 737s or A320s United normally flies on this route? Maybe upgrade for a sweet ride upstairs in the business class bubble?
What do you think about the retirement of the 747… on United or other airlines? Will you miss it, or have you found a newer, younger more efficient favorite? Please leave your comments below.
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