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.
Yesterday marked a somber final flight: United’s last scheduled flight from Chicago’s O’Hare Airport (ORD) using the legendary Boeing 747. United flight #881 departed O’Hare yesterday afternoon for Tokyo’s Narita airport (NRT) — arriving in NRT just after 2am Eastern time this morning.
The same aircraft was turned in NRT and is currently en route back to ORD operating as United’s flight #882. As United has confirmed that yesterday’s flight is the final scheduled 747 service from ORD, this aircraft (N116UA) will either be ferried to San Francisco (SFO) for continued flights or an aircraft boneyard.
Interestingly, the final route (Chicago to Tokyo) is the same route that TPG’s Zach Honig reviewed just over a month ago, on one of the first ever United Polaris flights. While you’ll still be able to experience United’s Polaris service on the 777 that’s taking over on this and other international routes, sadly you’ll no longer be able to fly the original Jumbo Jet out of ORD.
This move comes as United is slowly but surely phasing out the 747 from its fleet. According to an investor presentation from November (caution: PDF link), UA plans to retire all 20 Boeing 747s left in its fleet by the third quarter of 2018.
If you’re still longing to fly United’s Queen of the Skies, the airline will continue to operate its remaining 747-400s on international routes from San Francisco (SFO). United is currently flying the 747 to Beijing (PEK), Frankfurt (FRA), Hong Kong (HKG), Seoul (ICN), Taipei (TPE) and Tokyo (NRT) — with service to London (LHR) scheduled to resume on April 4.
As aviation geeks, we’re sad to see yet another chapter being closed on the storied history of the Boeing 747. However, as the original jumbo continues to age and newer more-efficient aircraft are being bought into service, we understand how the Queen has lost her edge in the competitive airline industry. If you haven’t had the chance to fly the 747, make sure you try it out before it’s too late.
H/T: Live and Let’s Fly
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 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
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.