United Airlines Accelerates, Boeing 747-400 of United AirlinesUnited Airlines said on statement that accelerating the retirement of the Boeing 747 from its fleet. The original jumbo jet - flown commercially since 1970, loved by pilots and endearing recognizable to the public - will be removed from scheduled service by the end of 2018. As a result, the company said it will orders for 787 airplanes originally expected to be delivered in 2020 to deploy four 777 -300ER and five 787-9 aircraft to begin in 2017.
Following an industry trend among passenger airlines, United, the 747 will be replaced by newer, more cost effective, easier to maintain jets. In addition, it will destroy one of the few remaining links to a time when flying was still likely would have to go half the fun of the way.
Ironically, the 747 is more of a rarity for increasingly squeezed and put-upon travelers they remain a popular option for carriers transporting cargo. Gerry Laderman, senior vice president of finance and acting chief financial officer of United, said in a statement that to oust the new Boeing 777's and 787's on order 747 of the airline "more customer-pleasing" and will "provide a better overall experience for our customers. "
Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
Customer Experience? He's some guy. It's all load factors, revenue per available seat mile and cost per available seat mile. There has been a similar movement in the hotel industry at this time. Marriott and other chains play stripped down, more spartan accommodations, arguing that what Millennial customers want, rather than the costs and benefits to the innkeeper.
It plays like in the room desk and workspace is deemed unnecessary, baths are replaced are replaced by small showers and floor coverings through easy to clean laminate flooring. This may be fine for some visitors, especially if it keeps prices in check, but often comes as a shock to the seasoned travelers who count on more. The 747 was more in every respect.
Not for nothing that Air Force One has a 747 lately, but even that can not last. Congressional infighting has bogged replacement jets the order today. As tales of Pan Am's famous lush long way Clipper Class, set my earliest recollection impossible 747 from a high bar to clear for the tens of thousands of air miles I would travel later.
It was a 747 memory manufactured by Madison Avenue, a television commercial, and it's very powerful. American Airlines boasted in the early 1970s that the 60 seats in the 747 "Luxury Liners" with a coach, had replaced a bar in the air, complete with an electric piano.
We are talking about an inflight party, in economy class no less. Who knows what bacchanal waited in the first class? The scene in coach looked like something one thought on a cruise ship or a singles bar.
An excellent TV spot for the American 747 coach Lounge posted on YouTube, narrated by former NBC anchor Chet Huntley, shows a pre-Fonzie Henry Winkler offering a light to a female passenger, makeup compact she was the opening to have been mistaken for a cigarette case. By the time I actually aboard my first 747, there was still smoke in the air, but the piano and the party were long gone. The 60 seats and then some were back in place. Accountants, or maybe just won the reality of air travel.
Still there quite a bit of romance to the big old workhorse, especially on those few occasions I have played the mileage game to my way of working in one of the top deck chairs under the 747 distinctive "hump" and behind the cockpit of the plane above. That bump was the result of the positioning of the cockpit and high back slightly so that freight repetitions of the 747 can be equipped with a cargo door on his nose that opens up.
Some believe that the 747's lead designer, Joseph Sutter, was looking to emulate to the head of a bird with a slope of the bulge, making it both obvious and attractive to a number of natural, primal level. Personally, I am reminded of Nelson Algren's "Chicago: City on the Make," in which he says that the city "Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you can find good nicer lovelies, but never a lovely so real . "
A swan head is to consider more majestic than a broken nose, though. Anyway, it was very, seductive, beautiful and one of the great designs of the 20th century. It is now also becoming an endangered species. The 747 was this impossibly large, incredibly powerful thing that fast, high, flew smoothly and gracefully push despite all the forces against it, and you felt to be particularly onboard.