Finally, Today Delta Operates Its Final, Final 747 Flight
Delta seemed to be shooting for a Guinness World Record for the "most 'final' 747 flights by one airline." But, today is actually Delta's final 747 flight. At least for now.
As of this writing, Delta flight 9771 is the last 747 flying in Delta colors, from Atlanta (ATL) to an airplane boneyard at Marana, Arizona. The aircraft with the distinction of flying the last Delta 747 flight is N674US, which first flew for Northwest in September 1999.
However, until the flight lands and the aircraft is stripped of its engines, we can't be sure that this will actually be Delta's last 747 flight. After all, Delta is known for crying wolf on final 747 flights.
Internationally, Delta announced the "final regularly scheduled flights of the Delta 747" for December 17 before adding two more scheduled flights on December 17 and 19. While Delta had to cancel its final 747 flight from the US due to a missing pilot, it rescheduled the flight the next day. Finally, TPG was on board Delta's final Delta 747 revenue passenger flight when it took off on December 19.
Before that flight landed, Delta launched a "farewell tour" with another one of its 747s. But even that wasn't the end of it, as Delta added even more "final" flights to ferry football teams to games — including taking the Georgia Bulldogs to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl and the Buffalo Bills to Miami. In fact, today's flight will be the 13th flight for this 747 since the end of the Delta 747 farewell tour:
The January 2 flight from New Orleans (MSY) to Greenville-Spartanburg (GSP) carried the Clemson Tigers football team home from their loss in the Sugar Bowl.
Delta is calling that MSY-GSP flight the "last passenger route flown by a US carrier 747" — although it issued boarding passes to passengers for this ferry flight into the desert. However, neither of these are true, as Atlas Air still flies charter 747 flights.
While this is the end of scheduled 747 flights by a US-based airline, there's still plenty of ways to fly on a 747 to/from North America. While there are nine airlines listed there, your best bet is probably going to be on British Airways, which is adding its 13th US 747 route in April. Curious about BA's on-board experience? Check out this upper-deck business class review and this economy review.
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