This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

This week, TPG Editor-in-Chief Zach Honig is reporting live from the Paris Air Show. Today, he’s looking at the oldest airliner on display at Le Bourget.

Once you pay for admission to Le Bourget airport, most of the attractions at the Paris Air Show are free. This one is not. Attendees (and anyone else — it’s open year-round) pay €8 (about $9) to enter a poorly maintained relic of yesteryear. At the Paris Air Show, fancy new airliners come and go, but the airport’s Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace (Air and Space Museum) is a constant from year to year.

The main attraction is a former Air France 747-100 that first flew in 1973. It was retired in 2000 and has been parked at this airfield just outside Paris ever since. The exterior looks decent enough, but unfortunately it’s a dump inside, with torn upholstery, sparse exhibits and creepy mannequins dressed as flight attendants. You’ll probably be through the plane in less than five minutes, so I’ll spare you the 9 bucks and show you what you’re not missing.

Paris Air Show 747 Museum

Your first view of the 747 after climbing the air stairs. The windows haven’t been washed in ages — I did my best to clean this up in Photoshop.

Paris Air Show 747 Museum

The highlight of the plane: First class in the 747’s nose. Believe it or not, these seats are relatively recent (note the fold-out TV at the bottom right). Not a terrible way to fly, but hardly acceptable by today’s standards.

Paris Air Show 747 Museum

Then there’s just a bunch of empty space between the nose and the seats behind (you can see the spiral staircase above, but unfortunately the upper deck is off-limits). You do get an idea of just how wide the 747 is, though — I wouldn’t mind having this as my living room.

Paris Air Show 747 Museum

More first-class seats — all the “well maintained” seats are hidden behind glass. These probably haven’t been touched in years.


Paris Air Show 747 Museum

If you think you don’t get much legroom now, you might be relieved to see that things weren’t any better in the ’90s. And instead of power ports, every seat gets an ashtray.

Paris Air Show 747 Museum

This is what a 747 looks like without a floor or ceiling. So much room to stretch out!

Paris Air Show 747 Museum

The 747 is wide enough to transport little French cars in the cargo compartment. And pets, too. 🙁

Paris Air Show 747 Museum

The retired 747 is home to raggedy seats, someone’s unwanted car and past-their-prime mannequins. Also this pigeon.

After you’re done, you can enjoy a trade show kebab under the tail. Poor 747.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
16.49% - 23.49% Variable
Annual Fee
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.