Arriving into Los Angeles airport just the other day, I was gazing out my window and I suddenly saw something that took my breath away. It wasn’t a brand-new 787 or the A380. It was the Queen of the skies it was the plain and simple gracefulness of the 747 by Air France.
This plane is beautiful. And I think everyone who follows aviation has a dream to fly this ship, but they better hurry as many airlines are retiring this iconic plane. Cathay Pacific for instance just retired their 747-400 on the SFO to HKG route. And that’s a real shame because there is no flying experience like being on board a 747; sitting in the nose of this aircraft, the excitement of roaring up the runway, the feeling of lift into the sky and the inflight stability of it are all legendary. And every flight conjures all kinds of memories.
From the Pan Am days with a lounge upstairs to the old trolley service that used to take hours in First Class with everything from canapés, soup, salad, fillet mignon, cheese, dessert and much more. Pan Am used this aircraft on their round the world flight which was truly decadent. People would go to airports just to watch this plane take off and land.
The Concord is the only aircraft that had anything on the 747 but it didn’t have the luxury of space or comfort like the 747. The Concord had very small seats as it was all about speed, whereas the 747 was and always will be all about luxury.
The 747-400 is the most prolific 747 type. It first entered service with Northwest Airlines in 1989 and was the fourth iteration of Boeing’s popular jumbo, featuring a more advanced flight deck, a lighter build and a much longer range.
Today it still is a dream to fly, sitting up front feels like a private aircraft, so too does the upstairs cabin. Cathay Pacific still has one of the stronger holds on this aircraft, as does British Airways and Lufthansa. Thai still has many while Singapore Airlines has already retired it from their fleet. Air France still uses a few of them as does Korean Air.
Many Asian carriers like Cathy Pacific will use their 747 on short haul flights. They actually offer a full international service on the short flight from Hong Kong to Bangkok. That’s unique and a nice way to splurge.
Boeing has introduced an updated version the 747. The 747-800 The 747-8 is the largest 747 version and the largest commercial aircraft built in the United States. It carries on the 747 tradition. Lufthansa has begun investing in this plane and I hope it catches on.
So check out seatguru.com and trust me, try the 747 if you ever have the chance. You’ll love it.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living New meaning to the Beatle’s Song I’ll Follow the Sun with this primer on when to book the best getaway well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.