United flies Boeing's 'Queen of the Skies' into retirement
The final farewell flight of United Airlines' 747, the plane knows as "the Queen of the Skies," from San Francisco to Honolulu sold out in two hours! United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz however, saved a few seats.
He gave away one of those in a surprise phone call to Wilda: “It just so happens that I do happen to know a few people around here,” Munoz said, “and would love to, if you're able, have you join us.” Wilda responded with and excited; “Oh! Oh Mr. Munoz, really?”
Really! Wilda trained the flight attendants for the first 747 flight in 1970 and she got a seat on this farewell flight.
“It's an extraordinary opportunity, it's a gift, it really is,” Wilda said.
The Boeing Co. first rolled out the 747, with its unmistakable hump, in 1968.
Boeing called its 50,000 employees who worked on this project, “The Incredibles.”
They made aviation history building the 747, the largest civilian airplane in the world, in less than 16 months.
And now the original prototype is on display at the Museum of Flight, where spokesman Ted Huetter explained the significance of the aircraft.
“This really changed the way commercial air travel progressed, probably more than any other airplane in history. The Boeing Co. more less set the bar on the 747. and if this did not work out the way it did, we probably wouldn't have Boeing," he said.
Buying a seat on the 747 more than 30 years ago, signaled a grand trip. So now, United retires its last 747 with an equally special trip. The crew dressed in that 1970 uniform and offered passengers a retro menu, complete with Mai Tai cocktails and kalua pork wontons, grilled Mahi Mahi and signature Sunday service for dessert!
Delta, the only other passenger airline still flying the Queen of the Skies, retires its fleet by the end of the year. The Boeing 747 remains in use, in the cargo industry.