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.

In 1968, the first Boeing 747 rolled out of the hangar to gasps. The gigantic “jumbo jet” was nothing like any passenger jet that came before it. Now, just shy of 50 years later, another chapter in the 747 era is coming to a close.

A couple of weeks ago, we shared with you the roll out of the last outstanding passenger 747 order. Yesterday, Jennifer Schuld provided us stunning photos of the takeoff this Korean Air 747-8 headed to Seoul (ICN) on its delivery flight — potentially the last ever passenger 747 delivered for commercial aviation:

There remains just one last passenger 747 on Boeing’s order books: a March 2, 2017 order from “Unidentified Customer(s).” Unless Boeing can convince another carrier to order the 747, this unknown buyer will have the distinction of getting the last-ever produced passenger 747.

If you’re still interested in flying the Queen of the Skies, there aren’t many more options left from US carriers. United just operated what some assume will be the last domestic 747 flight. Delta and United both plan to fully phase out their 747s by the end of the year.

However, foreign carriers are still flying plenty of 747s. British Airways just refreshed 18 of its newer 747-400s, planning to milk another decade out of these aging birds. While BA’s Club World business class hard product isn’t anything special, I’d still recommend grabbing a seat upstairs on a BA 747.

Lufthansa 747-8 748 upper deck business class cabin

The upper-deck business class on a Lufthansa 747-8. Image by JT Genter

But, you don’t have to rely on an old 747-400 to get your Jumbo Jet fix. There’s a newer, much better version of the Queen of the Skies. However, just three airlines — Air China, Korean Air and Lufthansa — operate this new 747-8. Of the two flights I’ve had on the “748,” I can definitely recommend the Lufthansa business-class upper deck (review coming soon!) over Air China economy.

While it’s a passenger favorite, unfortunately economics is dooming the future of the 747. No matter how much General Electric improves the efficiency of the 747 engines, the simple fact is that a four-engined aircraft can’t compete with the fuel efficiency of twin-engined long-haul planes. With engines as reliable as ever, there’s no need to spread out engine power across more engines in case of failure. While fuel prices are relatively low right now, airlines are ever-wary of what’s to come in the future and are continuing to order fuel-efficient twin-engine aircraft, instead.

So, while the end of this era is understandable, it’s certainly a sad day for us AvGeeks. And hopefully we’ll be able to enjoy a couple more decades of life out of the few dozen 747-8 ordered by Air China, Korean Air and Lufthansa.

Featured image courtesy of Boeing.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

LIMITED TIME OFFER. Aside from the 100,000 points welcome bonus (available until 8/8/18), Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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.