United’s Partying Like It’s 1970 to Say Goodbye to the 747

Nov 7, 2017

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In case you haven’t heard, United’s retiring its 747s. Today. Yes, it’s reallyreally happening. To celebrate the airline’s long history with the Queen of the Skies, it’s throwing a retro-themed party on Tuesday at the San Francisco airport  to send the aircraft off in style, on flight UA747 (yes, that’s intentional) to Honolulu.

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Both myself and TPG Editor-at-Large Zach Honig are here at SFO to bring you all the details. We’ll be boarding the flight soon, but now let’s take a look at how United pulled out all the stops to celebrate the last flight of its iconic jumbo jet.

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There’s no mistaking that shape waiting at the gate. It’s a 747-400.

Gate 86 at SFO’s Terminal 3 has been packed since 8 o’clock Tuesday morning with throngs of United employees (even the airline’s CEO Oscar Munoz was in attendance), AvGeeks, travel writers and probably some people who just like a party, all excited to fly the Queen of the Skies just one more time before she’s brought to the desert for retirement.

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United CEO Oscar Munoz and a happy passenger.

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but United’s famous 18-million miler is on board the flight, and he shared that this specific flight would push him over the top of yet another million miles with the carrier.

The flight attendants working the flight nailed the theme — today’s uniforms are totally groovy outfits that look like they’d be right at home in the early ’70s.

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Passengers got decked out too — some chose to dress in Hawaiian theme, to celebrate United’s first, and last, 747 destination — HNL — while others chose to adhere to the fashion of the decade.

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Also on display was a giant timeline wall, which displayed pictures and milestones of UA’s Queen of the Skies.

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United had a giant-sized card for the 747, where all in attendance could write a note to the aircraft if they wished.

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Some were very sentimental:

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It wouldn’t be a party without cake, and United had two large ones ready.

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The day’s just getting started, and soon we’ll be on our way to Honolulu. Stay tuned to TPG for more coverage of United flight 747.

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