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Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Sun Nov 05, 2017 9:28 pm

Farewell to The Queen
Flying United’s Last Boeing 747! (Part 1-Getting There)


INTRODUCTION-Where and Why:

How do you say farewell to a Queen? Well, when The Queen is a 200 ton piece of metal also known as the Boeing 747-400, you say farewell by experiencing her majesty one last time. Most people probably look at a 747 and see just another airplane, maybe with a funny hump at the front. For a lifelong aerophilie like myself, I look at the 747 and I see a lifetime of memories and experiences with wings and a tail. My family has been a United Airlines family for as long as I can remember. Our first time at 35,000 feet was on a United flight from Cleveland to Chicago in 1979 and while I can’t remember that flight, my mother says we put on quite the show. Through the years United has safely showed us all corners of the globe from the east coast of the US to the west coast, from Hawaii to Europe, Asia and the South Pacific and many of those flights were aboard The Queen. The versions varied from the -100 and -200 to the latest version United flew, the -400, but there was always something special and comforting about boarding a United 747. So, how do you say goodbye? Well, you plan about nine months in advance when you hear that your favorite airline is retiring your favorite airplane. Word in the blogosphere was that the last United 747 flight would be from Seoul Incheon to San Francisco on October 29th, so in February I booked a roundtrip from Chicago to Seoul via San Francisco leaving on October 25th, returning on October 29th.

If you want to read the full trip reports including videos and all of the pics (Part 1-Flying to Seoul, Part 2-Exploring Seoul, the DMZ and all Things K-Pop and Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight), links can be found here:

Part 1-Flying to Seoul:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-to-the-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-1-getting-there/

Part 2-Exploring Seoul, the DMZ and all things K-Pop:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-to-the-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-2-seoul/

Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/

If you just want the highlights, keep on scrolling!


Part 1-Flying to Seoul

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Our farewell to The Queen started with a very early wake up call and when I say early, I mean 3AM early! The one good thing about a 3AM wakeup call is the lack of traffic on the roads which meant the drive to O’Hare just flew by (pun totally intended there). By 4:17AM we were in a terminal 1 that was still waking up.


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True aerophiles always have to print a paper boarding pass so of course I had to print a paper boarding passes.


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The TSA check point was pretty deserted but that didn’t stop one of the TSA’s finest from bringing his nasty A-game. I can only imagine what a charmer he must be after working a few hours when the crowds are shoulder to shoulder. Anywho, I wasn’t going to let him muck up my mood, I was going to visit The Queen and there was no way I was going to let him get me riled up.


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Past TSA, it was time to head to The United Club for a quick snack and to send a few early morning emails.


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I decided to bring my mother and oldest daughter along for the ride because my mom is the original Queen in my life and she took my brother and I on our very first 747 flight (on United of course) over 35 years ago. My oldest daughter came along because she loves K-Pop and I figured where better to celebrate everything K-Pop than South Korea. Do not ask me how a black girl from the suburbs of Chicago got into K-Pop but she did, so pack your bags sweetie!


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I fired off a few emails while slamming back a few carbs, but to be fair, I did balance the carbs off with a little bit with the grapes.


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By the way, I am loving the new United Club motif with the pics of classic airliners.


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We left The United Club at T-minus 15 minutes before boarding. With the C-concourse Club being rehabbed, we had to journey from the B-concourse to gate C-11 where our flight was departing. We hopped into the very long group 1 boarding line, which at this point stretched waaaaay out into the main walkway, and right on time at 5:35AM boarding was called. Today we were flying N37420, a 2008 built Boeing 737-900 that served it’s early life with Continental Airlines.


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Well hello Bowling Alley, always nice to see you!


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I stretched out my legs enjoying the 38 inches of pitch while checking out MSNBC’s Morning Joe.


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We pushed back on time and made a bee line for the active runway. This blasted iPhone has trouble focusing when there is the combination of background darkness, motion and small bright lights, which meant that all of my taxi shots were blurry. With my Canon stored in the overhead, this was the best that I could get. Lets just call this takeoff shot Artsy.


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We were soon rocketing into the still dark skies above Chicago. While Chicago doesn’t have natural attributes like mountains or oceans (though we do have a nice lake), there is something beautiful about the flat landscape all lit up at night from above.


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After breaking through the cloud layer, the hints of a beautiful sunrise and a great new day ahead were visible. Sunrise at 35,000 feet is always one of the most sublime, centering times for me. From that perspective, the day just seems so full of potential! The flight attendant came by to take breakfast orders and with the ambient cabin noise all that I heard was “eggs and protein”. At the time that seemed like a good choice.


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First Class was full this morning and ORD-SFO is probably a Global Services heavy route so I wasn’t sure if I would get my first choice. When breakfast came the whole “eggs and protein” thing made a bit more sense and I knew why I did in fact get my first choice. Apparently this was a high protein breakfast with boiled eggs, nuts, salmon, fruit and yogurt. The breakfast was definitely a bit unusual but all I could think of when I looked at it was 16 hours in the air and how this was a receipe for horrible gas. Oh well, a brother has to eat, so gas would have to be in my future.


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As I chowed down the flight attendant came out of the kitchen like an angel with wings and glad tidings. Yes, he was bringing the warm sweet rolls and yes, I did partake.


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Once the breakfast dishes were cleared, I took one last shot of the slowly unfolding sunrise that slowly chases you whenever you fly west bound in the early morning. Now it was time to enjoy a quick nap that was only periodically disturbed when we hit a bit of chop or when announcements broke the otherwise ambient cabin calm.


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Overall I slept pretty well and only fully aroused as we began our initial descent through some pretty rough Northern California air. Landing at SFO from the east you fly over some pretty picturesque bodies of water.


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As we started our final descent I spied a Virgin American Airbus on a parallel landing. Got some pretty good air-to-air shots.


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Even with the iPhone and it’s sometimes mediocre zoom quality the pics were decent. Unfortunately the Airbus slowed down quite a bit so he fell behind pretty rapidly meaning no true parallel landing for me. Oh well, we all know Boeing belongs in front anyway! Just kidding Airbus fans, I’m an equal opportunity lover who just happens to have a soft spot for Boeing.


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We did in fact land a full 30 minutes ahead of schedule which at SFO almost always means going to the penalty box while waiting for another plane to push off of you gate. And to the penalty box we went, but today I was actually glad to be there. As we sat, engines idled, who taxied past me? Yes! The Queen herself with the special “747 Friendship” titles. The very Queen that would be taking us to Seoul in a couple of hours! In the immortal words of Beavis, or was it Butthead?; anyway, in the immortal words of Beavis or Butthead……”heeeey baby”. In a couple of hours I’m going to be inside of you. Oh boy, I hear the collective sighs, too far?


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The time in the penalty box wasn’t too long and within five minutes we were parking at gate 60. I couldnt get a really good shot at the gate in Chicago and the shot here at SFO wasn’t much better. None-the-less, here she stood. Thanks for the safe ride to the left coast!


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We headed to The United Club for another quick Carb loaded bite to eat, a little bit of wi-fi and the use of a clean bathroom. Remember the whole “protein and eggs” thing?, so did I!


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After a brief respite from the bustling terminal (though to be honest the United Club is usually pretty bustling as well), we headed over to gate 99 in the International terminal.


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Apparently gates 98 and 99 have almost no view of the aircraft parked at them. How could you hide this beauty behind walls United?!


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As the Tokyo Haneda flight started boarding next door at gate 98, boarding for UA893 to Seoul Incheon was called right on-time. It was time to fly and more importantly, it was time to visit The Queen for the next to last time.


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I’m always happy to board a 747, but I’m even more so when I get to board through the first boarding gate. That’s right, I was flying on the upper deck of this beauty today! Before heading up there however, I did have to make a quick stop in Economy to drop off my mother and daughter. Now, wait a minute, I can hear all of your judgmental comments, but to be fair I booked my ticket almost ten months ago and I only decided to bring my mother and daughter two weeks ago by which time there were no upgrades available. So you guys can stop judging me and this guy can just take his judging eyes off of me as well! I. Have. No. Shame! Okay, bye y’all!


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One quick pic of the massive wing on the port side of the aircraft. Okay, now it really was time for “bye y’all!”


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Soon I was climbing the stairway to heaven aboard N121UA, a 1999 built Boeing 747-400 that spent her entire almost 19 year flying career plying the Friendly Skies. I was excited to be flying on the upper deck since this was actually my first upper deck 747 flight in over 50 747 flights!


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The atmosphere on board was pretty festive and I would guess that at least half of the people on the upper deck were fellow aerophilies who also came to bid farewell to The Queen. Some folks were milling about taking pics while others made cockpit visits. I chatted with a flight attendant who said she was asked by a colleague to switch to this Incheon flight at the last minute, an opportunity that she gladly jumped at.


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I came to seat 12K, the first row of the upper deck, to find a commemorative “Celebrating the 747” amenity kit. Cool!


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Pre-departure beverages were served along with two chocolates that probably had way more calories than I needed to eat. None the less I ate them while I…


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checked out the Polaris Business Class menu. Yes, my stomach knows no boundaries!


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Cheers indeed!


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The menu looked descent, only thing left was to check out the execution.


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I don’t drink but for those of you that do.


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I woke the in-flight entertainment system up so that I could tune in to my favorite channel, the moving map. TV awake, I reviewed the United 747 safety card for one of the last times. I don’t know how three of those fell into my bag on the flight home, I swear!


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I enjoyed the view from up top while watching the next generation of airliners move about the airfield. I’m going to miss the 747 but I’m sure you and I will fall in love over the decades as well.


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There was something kind of poingnent about watching this new United Boeing 777-300 from the upper deck of the plane that it is replacing. It wasn’t a face off, it was just more of a silent nod to the past and acceptance of the future.


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As we pushed off of the gate I explored the side bins unique to the upper decks of the 747 and the A380 thanks to the curvature of the fuselage.


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There were more storage bins than you could shake a stick at which is good because the overheads were actually pretty small.


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I warmed up the in-flight entertainment system and put up my legs but all I really wanted to do was gaze out of the windows enjoying the sites at an SFO that was hopping by now with heavies and non-heavies alike starting or finishing their journeys.


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Another nod to an aviation chapter soon to end. Soon Virgin America will be no more as it disappears into the Alaska Airlines brand.


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We had a pretty short taxi to the active runway and in a classic SFO shot, we lined up on runway. Without holding at the thresh-hold, those beautiful Pratt & Whitney’s came to life.


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As we started our 53 second take-off roll it really struck me how much I’m going to miss the unique hum of those engines while gazing at the unique profile of that 747-400 wing and winglet. We zipped past a Virgin Airbus that held short as we crossed paths almost as if to pay it’s respects to The Queen, though it may have just been to avoid a collision.


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We passed a bunch of United heavies just as we began to rotate and…


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with style and grace, The Queen effortlessly slipped the surly bonds as we glided over a beautifully clear San Francisco morning. More UA heavies chilling under that California sunshine.


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Given the full load of passengers and fuel our climb out was slow which was all right by me!


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Classic SFO departure shot, The Golden Gate Bridge.


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Soon we were crossing the coastline starting our 11 hour 34 minutes trek over the 5,651 miles between SFO and Seoul Incheon. The one drawback to being in the first row of the upper deck is how difficult it is to get a good wing shot. Don’t cry for me though, I was just fine.


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The beverage service started along with the warmed nuts. Forgot to get a shot of the nuts be we all know what mixed nuts look like. What I did catch however was a shot of the dish-ware and how it all bears the United globe branding.


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Now The Queen is still a regal lady but sometimes she shows her age bit and today was one of those days. As soon as the purser said they would need to re-boot the entertainment system I knew there would be trouble. Sure enough three re-boots later the entertainment system was dead. At least the in-flight map still worked, so things could have been worse and if you downloaded the United app, the streaming entertainment and wifi were still working. So really, only the premium cabins were affected.


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Next up was the appetizer or starter course. The salad was huge and pretty darn good. It had pumpkin seeds, oranges and baby spinach. The chilled shrimp was also flavorful and you don’t even have to ask about the garlic bread and pretzel roll!


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My entrée (main) was a bok choi chicken which wasn’t my first choice, but I’m actually glad I had it. The portion was just right and the chicken itself was moist and flavorful. Here it is un-masked.


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Next up was the desert cart and lets just say….


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with a little prompting from the cheerful flight attendant, I tried a little of everything. They are still serving the sundaes in the paper cups but the appearance didn’t affect the taste. Sometimes a simple caramel sundae just hits the spot. The petit deserts were also quite good. There was a mini-Apple pie which was warmed, and two types of cheese cake (I think).


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Sufficiently stuffed and with no in-flight entertainment and a cabin darkened by closed shades, there was nothing to do but sleep (or work but what can I say, I choose sleep). United’s pre-Polaris Business class seat is definitely a step behind the current competition, hence the new Polaris seating, but the flat beds are still quite comfortable and conducive to getting descent rest and so I did.


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I woke up about half way to Seoul and decided to stretch my legs on the lower deck.


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There were snack carts set up in Business Class on both decks which lead me to do something I really didn’t need to do….eat more desert.


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I checked out the galley in Business Class on the main deck and…..


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got that iconic wing shot that will soon be a thing of the past in the Friendly Skies.


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I went back to Coach to check on mi familia and thankfully Mr. 20D had his judgey eyes on his laptop!


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I kept checking the United Wifi page and at just under three hours out, we were clipping along at just over 500mph.


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I climbed The Stairway to Heaven and busted out the laptop and got some writing done until the cabin lights came back on. Hot towels and beverages soon followed.


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Dr. I always preaches hydration on long flights so water it was for me.


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This idea of the second meal on daytime trans-Pacific flights being breakfast I believe is a vestige from Continental and it honestly doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. It’s late night at the point of origin and afternoon at the destination so why the heck are we eating breakfast?! Anywho, breakfast it was. I opted for the Western option which consisted of fruit, breakfast breads, chicken sausage, potatoes and yogurt.


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Landing cards were distributed and….


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the crew began to prepare the cabin for landing as we started our initial descent. Definitely going to miss the view of the clouds from the upper deck of a United 747. Descent continued and we soon broke through the cloud layer to find an overcast South Korea.

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We were soon seconds away from a smooth touch down at Seoul’s Incheon airport and


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after a quick taxi, we parked surrounded by fellow Star Alliance tails.


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Debarkation was quick and….


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I soon bade farewell to The Queen. Thankfully South Korean Immigration move quickly and…


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soon we were in the Arrival’s hall. Seoul Incheon had a nice, modern feel and nothing says Welcome to Korea quite like a sign saying,well, “Welcome to Korea!”


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Doing this long weekend on the cheap meant that we would be taking the AREX express train from the airport to Seoul Station.


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At 21,000 Korean Won (about $19US) for three tickets, the tickets were a great deal especially because….


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the trains were clean, quick and even had free wifi.


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From Seoul Station, the Millenium Hilton had a free hourly shuttle and after a ten minute ride we were checking in to our room for much needed showers and rest. Welcome to Seoul!


If you want to read the full trip reports including videos and all of the pics (Part 1-Flying to Seoul, Part 2-Exploring Seoul, the DMZ and all Things K-Pop and Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight), links can be found here:

Part 1-Flying to Seoul:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-to-the-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-1-getting-there/

Part 2-Exploring Seoul, the DMZ and all things K-Pop:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-to-the-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-2-seoul/

Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/

If just the highlights are good enough, keep on scrolling below for parts 2 and 3.

Farewell to The Queen
Flying United’s Last Boeing 747! (Part 2-Seoul)



If just the highlights are good enough, keep on scrolling below for parts 2 and 3.


Day 1-The DMZ:

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Up and out bright and early, today we were heading the the DMZ (Demilitarized Zone). People are not allowed to visit the DMZ unaccompanied since it is still considered an active war zone so we opted for a tour with Viator which included an early morning hotel pickup.


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The 35 mile journey took about an hour and a half with a few other hotel stops. While there are visitors at every turn, there are frequent reminders that the DMZ is in fact a well monitored war zone.


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This scene at Imjingak is probably one of the most well photographed and most poignant scenes at the DMZ. This brightly colored ribbons contain prayers for peace and for families separated by the DMZ.


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Mangbaedan Memorial Alter is a location where defected North Koreans come to perform ancestral rites by bowing toward their home country every New Years Day and Chuseok. Chuseok is a major Korean festival.


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Kijong-dong is said to be a propaganda village because South Koreans say it has tall buildings without elevators, lights that cycle on and off at set times and no people walking the streets. Kaesong was the site of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a joint South and North Korean project that was conceived of as a way to bring the two Korea’s together. When tensions started to rise again, the complex was closed in 2016. No trip to the DMZ is complete without experiencing two things, the Dora observatory and The Third Tunnel at the Dorasan observatory. This observation deck at the Dora observatory allows you to literally look into the North Korean town of Kijong-dong, which is said to be little more than a Propaganda Village, and the city of Kaesong on a clear day.


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Like I said, the DMZ is an active war zone and there are South Korean soldiers at every turn. This was a graduating class from Army Officer Candidate School. All South Korean men are required to give 21-24 months of military service, with the time commitment dependent upon the branch of service. Men serving in the Army and Marines serve 21 months, those in the Navy serve 23 months and those in the Air Force serve 24 month. Women are not required to serve but they can enlist voluntarily if they desire.


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After more than 67 years of war, we can all hope that one day the two Koreas will in fact be reunited. Okay, I had to throw of proof of life pic in there. We were really here.


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Dorsan Station, the last stop on a train line that used to connect North Korea and South Korea, was our next stop. For some time during the operation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, trains operated on this line between South and North Korea until North Korea closed the link in 2008. These days there is a single DMZ tour train that utilizes the station, linking central Seoul with the Dorsan station.


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Maybe one day we will all be able to actually hop on a train to Pyongyang from this station.


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Remember when I said that no trip to the DMZ is complete without a visit to the so called Third Tunnel of Aggression? Well, this is The Third Tunnel of Aggression. Since 1974 the government of South Korea has discovered four tunnels that the North Korean’s dug under the DMZ to reach South Korea undetected. As you might have guessed from the name, The Third Tunnel was the third of the four tunnels that the government of South Korea discovered. Unfortunately no cameras, phones or recording devices of any type are allowed in The Third Infiltration Tunnel. But take my word for it, the tunnels are not recommended for the claustrophobic and the trip down and especially back up is not recommended for folks with heart problems or poor stamina.


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I really wanted to try to get my phone into that tunnel, after all these guys weren’t going to tell. But with multiple warnings to leave all devices in the lockers provided at the point before you enter, the metal detectors and the fact that this is still an active war zone and I thought better of that desire.


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I don’t know who captured these pics but here you can see just how tight the tunnel is. And anyone over five feet tall will have to spend most of his or her time ducking to avoid massive head trauma. On my first visit to the tunnel a few years ago I wondered why they gave everyone a helmet upon entry. Hearing the sounds of helmets colliding with the ceiling every few seconds and the reason quickly became clear.


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And this is why I say the trip down and more specifically up is not for the faint of heart. This is not a camera trick, this is how steep and long the ramp is.


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The Third Infiltration Tunnel was a great and sweaty way to end out day at the DMZ and we all jumped on the bus and headed back to central Seoul.


Day 2-Exploring Seoul’s K-Pop Culture:


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Even if you don’t know K-Pop, and by the way I don’t know K-Pop, you have to know Gangnam Style. That catchy if not irritating 2012 song by South Korea’s Psy.


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So, what better place to start our K-Pop adventure than the Gangnam district of Seoul and the Gangnam information center? Visitors have the option of either bussing it or walking it. We choose the later.


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This sign outside of the visitors center sported the names of some of K-Pop’s biggest names. Here you can see my daughter who insisted on wearing these boots despite our walking plans for day. She acknowledged that they were impractical but she just had to look the part for the stroll down K-Pop Star Road. Spoiler alert, the boots came off about halfway through the day.


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Gangnam is one of Seoul’s most trendy and up and coming neighborhoods. Gangnam is also where the so called K-Pop Star Road starts. K-Pop Star Road is known for it’s themed bears which sport the names and logos of the most famous K-Pop bands. This is the BTS bear.


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So, we hit K-Pop Star Road which if nothing else was quite brightly colored.


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There was no mistaking what road you were on or neighborhood you were in with all kinds of brightly colored reminders including these signs and roads with their eye catching marker paths. There were bears a plenty along K-Pop Star Road as you can see looking down the street.


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We made a quick stop for a bite to eat at SUM Cafe. SUM cafe is located in the SM Entertainment building. SM Entertainment is one of South Korea’s largest entertainment companies, operating a record label, talent agency, music production company, event management and concert production company, and music publishing house.


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Having walked the full length of K-Pop Star Road, it was now time to head over to the bustling Namdaemun outdoor market.


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Stylenanda was out first stop in Namdaemun. Now I’m not a huge fan of shopping and I’m definitely not a huge fan of stores frequented by tween and teen girls but this store was actually kind of interesting. First off, the building is an eye catching pink on the outside but the inside is modeled after a hotel.


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Each floor has a different hotel theme, this floor is modeled after the hotel laundry and dry cleaner. All display clothing was for sale.


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This floor was modeled after a hotel entry level and checkin desk.


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While this floor was designed to look like a hallway full of guest rooms.


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And what hotel would be complete without a bed? If you sleep in this bed you better not toss or turn!


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Back out on the streets of the market there were food vendors everywhere and while I don’t do street food, especially abroad, some of it actually looked pretty good.


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Okay, I’m also not a fan of inside food when it takes place in a Cat Cafe. Who the heck thought it would be a good idea to have a cafe where diners are surrounded by scores of cats. Nothing say appetizing like the smells of cat spray and dirty litter boxes!


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The weather was great and the shopping was good but soon the crowds were getting thicker and it was time for us to take our leave. As we made our way through the packed streets of Seoul back to our hotel I marveled at this capitol city of more than 10,000,000 and the country as a whole. South Korea is country that while technically still at war has moved effortlessly into the new millinieum and it’s capital city Seoul is a bustling metropolis that really has something for everyone. We had an action packed 72 hours in Seoul but it was now time to head back to the hotel to get a good night’s sleep and get ready for the main event, the flight home. Tomorrow we would actually be doing what we came for, saying farewell to The Queen of the Skies.


If you want to read the full trip reports including videos and all of the pics (Part 1-Flying to Seoul, Part 2-Exploring Seoul, the DMZ and all Things K-Pop and Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight), links can be found here:

Part 1-Flying to Seoul:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-to-the-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-1-getting-there/

Part 2-Exploring Seoul, the DMZ and all things K-Pop:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-to-the-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-2-seoul/

Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/

If the highlights are enough, keep scrolling for Part 3 below.

Farewell to The Queen
Flying United’s Last Boeing 747 (Part 3-The Farewell!!!)



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The morning of October 29th started bright and early with a beautiful view of Mount Namsan and it’s striking fall foliage. Flight UA892 was scheduled to depart Incheon airport at 4:55pm, but hoping that United would have some sort of celebration of the last regularly scheduled 747 departure, I was planning to get to the airport nice and early. A quick buffet breakfast in the Executive Lounge (yes I skipped the gym, don’t judge!), and we were on our way downstairs to checkout and catch the KAL Limousine bus to the airport.


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It was a beautiful fall day in Seoul with temperatures in the mid-60’s (Fahrenheit). Apparently it was the type of day that just made you want to pull your lover closer and steal a kiss. After about five minutes of watching these two lock lips, the KAL bus pulled up. As we attempted to board, the driver, in somewhat broken English, stepped down and made a X with his arms while he said the word “full”. Apparently the bus still makes every stop even if it is full and while the next bus would be along in 15 minutes there was no guarantee that this or any of the subsequent buses would have room for us. So we decided to go to plan B and catch the free airport shuttle bus back to Seoul Station to take the AREX Express train to the airport.


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The noon shuttle had us at Seoul Station in plenty of time to catch the 12:35 train and by 12:36 we were on our way to Incheon Airport. Like the trip into the city, the trains were comfortable and the free wifi was a nice bonus.


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As we neared the airport, my excitement was building. Now, I wouldn’t be a true aerophile or AvGeek if I didn’t have some sort of United 747 paraphernalia on or with me so that day I was rocking a t-shirt with a 747 in the battleship gray livery. I’m more partial to the Saul Bass livery that harkens back to my childhood but anything saying United 747 would do. Do I look excited?


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A 12:35pm train meant that we were at the airport by 1:15pm and while I had checked in online the night before, you know that I had to go to the check-in counters to get a keepsake paper boarding pass. Despite long general lines, the Premiere line moved quickly and with short subsequent wait for security and immigration, we were quickly approaching gate 111 where I saw this commemorative banner being put up.


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True enough this was the last United 747 flight departing from Korea, but this flight was much more. UA892 was United’s last regularly scheduled 747 flight and really United’s last 747 flight. No sour grapes here, but I really don’t consider the one time party flight from SFO-Honolulu as the last flight. I see it as more of a commemorative gimmick, but something that would be fun to do none-the-less. Anyway, I felt like the banner that was being placed over the doors to gate 111 was getting warmer, denoting this flight as “United Airlines Boeing 747-400 Farewell Service Last International Flight” and I was glad to see that United was acknowledging this flight for the true milestone that it was.


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With an hour or so before N121UA, the inbound aircraft from San Francisco, was scheduled to land, I decided to walk the terminal and do some plane spotting. Being a person of color with an Arabic name, I’m not always super comfortable taking tons of tarmac pics in an airport, but there we so many fellow aerophiles in the boarding area and terminal also taking pics that I actually felt pretty comfortable that day. The star of this pic is the Jin Air Boing 737-800, I love it’s lime/neon green livery. Jin Air is a South Korean LCC that has a fleet of 737-800’s and 777-200’s flying throughout Asia as well as Cairns in Australia and Honolulu in the US state of Hawaii.


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It was nice to spot this KE Boeing 747-8i. While the 747-400 fleet around the world rapidly dwindles, it’s nice to know that The Queen will soldier on for decades to come with the 747-8i.


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Being so focused on the heavies in the distance, this Eastar Jet almost snuck past me. Eastar Jet is another South Korean LCC and it flies a fleet of Boeing 737-700, -800 and -900 aircraft domestically and throughout Asia.


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While the Airbus A380 doesn’t look as hideous as it did to me when it was first unveiled, it just doesn’t have the graceful curves and appearance on the 747. Having said that, it is a pleasure to see any heavy and I have to admit that the A380 did win me over from a passenger’s perspective when I first flew on it with SQ from London to Singapore many years ago. Perspective really is a funny thing. From this vantage point, the A380 tail doesn’t look all that large and it definitely doesn’t look 48 feet tall. I’m an inch shy of 6 feet tall which means you could stack another 7 me’s on top of me and you wouldn’t quite be as tall as that tail.


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Am I the only one who doesn’t understand why the Osaka based Japanese LCC Peach has a fleet of Airbus 320’s that are pink and purple? Things that make you go hummm?


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This KLM Boeing 747-400 taxied by on it’s way to gate 109. That meant that two 747-400’s would be side by side once N121UA arrived.


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As this OZ A380 lumbered past, the excitement was building at gate 111 as more and more people arrived. Folks were talking pictures next to and under the signs and banners and many of my fellow aerophiles were tracking N121UA as UA893 from SFO as it was nearing it’s arrival.


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I started to scope out the activity on the runway where landings were taking place and caught this Cargo Lux Boeing 747-8i on final approach. Nice to see ya my friend, always glad to see a 747 in action.


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By now the activity at gate 111 was at a fever pitch as we all tracked N121UA which was now on it’s final approach. Most of us made our way to the end of the terminal where a wall of windows provided a direct view of the runway where landings were taking place.


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And here are some of my fellow aerophiles awaiting the arrival of our Queen.


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Spotting that unmistakeable silhouette was easy even at that distance. N121UA was on short finals


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C’mon baby….


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come to papa.


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There ya go, just glide on in here.


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And just like that, N121UA made her final international landing. This beauty has probably seen every continent, save Antarctica, and she just touched down on foreign soil for the very last time.


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At this point I rushed back to the gate where the ground crew was bustling to get everything ready for the taxing jumbo. I know what you are thinking, this guy doesn’t look like he’s bustling but trust me, they were bustling.


If you want to read the full trip report including my video of N121UA taxing to the gate, click here:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/[/url]


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Soon after landing, N121UA was gracefully making her way to gate 111 where an excited crowd was now assembled including the crew for our flight and other UA officials. I have always loved just starring at the 747 in action. Starring at N121UA as it approached and knowing that this was probably the last time that I would see a 747 in United colors, made the moment sad but it was still a moment that I also wanted to savor.


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I would have loved it if UA painted N121UA in the Saul Bass livery but that would understandably have been way too expensive to just give us aerophiles a thrill. None-the-less I was still happy that they choose to put a retro Stars and Bars inspired title on the front. By far, the hump is my favorite part of the 747, it’s what makes the 747 special.


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When you walked up to the window of your gate and saw that distinctive hump and that graceful silhouette, you would just fill with excitement and today was no exception. The excitement was there X 10, even if it was mixed with a bit of sorrow.


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By now all of the folks that were at the end of the terminal with me taking pics of her landing were lined up with the rest of the people at gate 111 just watching and documenting her arrival. How many times have we all watched a United 747 pulling up to the gate?


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I’ve seen this site while waiting for flights to LA, San Francisco, Honolulu, Frankfurt,…


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Sydney, Tokyo and Seoul and now….


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this would be my last time seeing this view.


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And just like that, she was docked at gate 111 and the preparations were being made for her fairly quick turn around.


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I have to admit that when the 747-400 first hit the scene, I wasn’t a huge fan of the winglets. I actually hated winglets on any airplane but now the winglets are just iconic and while the gentle swoop of the 747-8i wing in slick, the winglets will definitely be missed when the very last 747-400 flies off into the sunset.


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Now it was time to join all the folks who were taking pics in front of the sign and under the banner. Yup, I was there! I wonder if anyone would have noticed if I just jammed this into my carry-on luggage? What do you think?


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More proof, see, I really was there!


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Guess who I saw milling about with all of the other passengers and crew? Here’s a hint, he is a famous aviation photographer and blogger and he let me check out his Saul Bass and Battleship gray United 747-400 paintings.


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Yup, I met Sam Chui. I’m not usually the kind of guy who asks to take pics with folks but today I had to make an exception because I really love his work and he couldn’t have been nicer!


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As the time to boarding drew nearer, the crews took pictures in front of the signs and banners and they seemed to be having as much fun as we were. I think everyone wanted these last moments before boarding the final flight to last just a little bit longer, but times marches on and soon it was time for UA892, United’s final regularly scheduled Boeing 747 flight to board.


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Flying home to the USA usually means a secondary security check at the gate and today was no exception. My daughter got the dreaded SSSS on her boarding pass so we had to hold short for a few minutes while she joined the line of the SSSSpecially chosen few. Secondary check checked off, it was time to board N121UA and my very last United Boeing 747.

If you want to read the full trip report including my boarding video, click here:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/[/url]


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We were greeted by a pleasant crew member at the L2 door which was only a few steps away from my seat, 19A. If you have to sit in Economy (or in this case Economy Plus), row 19 is the row to have. Bulkhead with nice legroom and a descent view. I came to fine a blue envelope placed on top of the pillow and blanket.


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While the cabin was relatively empty I decided to just walk around and just take in the sites and sounds of a United 747 cabin for the last time. There were tulip wearing UA fans everywhere.


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The cabin of a 747 has a few distinctive features including the overhead bins and the flat ceilings. The 3-4-3 arrangement used to be pretty unique to the 747 as well, but unfortunately more and more Boeing 777’s now have a tight 3-4-3 arrangement.


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Now, I have a thing for doors, don’t ask me why, I just do. Now the rear door of the 747 has a unique shape because of the curvature of the cabin as it nears the end of the aircraft. Seeing it instantly brings to mind many flights from Chicago to London sitting at the back of a BA 747-100by the lavs playing cards with my friends.


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UA892 was a flight like no other that I have been on and let’s just say that I definitely was not the only aviation enthusiast on board and I wasn’t the only person just walking the aisles experiencing the plane for the last time.


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As the cabin became more crowded I decided to head back to 19A and settle in for the 10 hour flight back to San Francisco. I always thumb to the back of the in-flight magazine to check out the fleet page and today I knew this would be the last time that I would see a 747 at the top of that page.


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My daughter had a great time K-popping it up in South Korea but she just didn’t appreciate the historic significance of this flight no matter how many times my mother and I tried to explain it to her. I think she got a kick out of seeing her dad geek out though. Oh well, the threesome was buckled up and ready for that last takeoff.


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I opened the envelope and found this really cool card. I really appreciate the fact that United did make the big deal out of this last flight that it was.


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United was getting warmer with the banner over the gate and I think they got red hot with this card. I really did see this as the farewell flight for the 747-400 and I thought this card was a fitting tribute to this beautiful bird and this historic flight. 1970-2017, 47 years of service with United Airlines.


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
As we boarded the plane, we were all given this small magazine “Saying Goodbye to the Queen of the Skies”. It detailed the history of the 747 and particularly the history of the 747 with United. These keepsakes were definitely going into my aviation keepsake chest.


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I remember when I was a child how huge the wing of the 747 looked from the cabin. From either side, this view never gets old! Long live the 747!


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
For once I din’t feel odd taking pictures of what many see as routine parts of flight and there was no way that I was not going to document my last United 747 safety video. No one will argue that this bird is regal, but at times she can also be a bit temperamental. A non-functioning main cabin screen meant that after a few attempts to reset it, we got an…..


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
old fashioned live safety briefing. Remember this was a cabin full of nostalgic areophiles so applause erupted when the video was abandoned for this manual safety briefing which made the cabin crew and many of the passengers laugh.


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
Take it away ladies, rock those flotation devices!


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We passed this Asiana whale jet before reaching the thresh-hold of the active runway. As we sat for a moment, the cabin was quiet as everyone waited to hear that familiar Pratt Whitney whine for one last time. As those four engines came to life most of us were glued to our windows trying to take in and savor the sights, sounds and experience.


If you want to read the full trip report including my take-off video, click here:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/[/url]


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
With a gentle bump, The Queen took to the skies one last time, climbing over South Korea as dusk fell.


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
We made a 270 degree turn and soon Incheon airport came into view in front of our port wing. N121UA bade Seoul and the entire Untied network a fond farewell. Tomorrow, the future of UA at Seoul would begin in the form of Boeing 787-9 operations on the SFO-Seoul route.


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As soon as the seatbelt sign was released I was joined by other aerophiles exploring the cabin of this beauty for. While I’m no fan of sitting in the rear of the aircraft, this is an iconic 747 wing view that only those in the rear get to enjoy.


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As we flew east into the rapidly setting sun, we were treated to spectacular views!


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As everyone got settled in for the nighttime trans-Pacific crossing, I decided to get up and explore one last time before the dinner service started. Not so sure this guy wanted to be in the picture he just walked into.


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I wanted to capture all the obvious memories like the distinctive silhouette, the winglets and the cabin but I also wanted to memorialize all those little details that I would otherwise likely forget with time. I remember when the 747-400 was the modern, new kid on the UA block and now so many features like the amenities cabinet and toilet look so antiquated.


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The bathroom was clean, though less than an hour into the flight I expect that it should be. The bathroom was spartan and a bit devoid of amenities other than the bare minimum.


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As I exited one of the mid cabin lavs I had to get a quick shot of the L3 door. Hey, I told you I had a door thing okay!


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As I settled back into my seat I caught a view that I don’t remember ever seeing in hundreds of night flights. I saw a complete row of lighted windows reflecting on the #2 engine. I think that was an indication of how special this flight was, apparently even though night had fallen, nobody wanted to close their shades.


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The cabin crew were phenomenal, especially the purser who stated that she herself was an “AvGeek” and they were all remarkably patient and understanding of the excited passengers milling about the cabin. The purser requested that we draw our window shades “once we were (are) done enjoying the view outside of the window”. Once night had completely fallen and there was nothing but darkness to see, I decided to draw my shades as sunrise would occur within hours. I’m sure I’m not the only person who is going to miss seeing a 747 at the bottom of a UA flight status page. We pushed off of the gate on time and we were scheduled to arrive 10 minutes ahead of schedule.


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Soon dinner was served, and while I appreciate that UA has stepped up the quality of it’s meal service in all cabins, I feel like the portions could be better on these longhaul flights. The options were the standard chicken or beef though with a bit of a twist. I choose the Kung Pow chicken which although a bit spicy was pretty good. The chicken was accompanied by fried rice, a salad that I believe was a shredded potato salad and a dinner roll. The salad was odd in appearance but was also pretty good.


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Meals completed, the cabin crew offered ice cream (strawberry cheesecake tonight) and a bottle of water. The ice cream was hard as a rock but with a bit of time and perseverance, I was able to solider through.


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A couple of hours into our Pacific crossing and it was time to explore the cabin one last time before catching a few ZZZ’s. Most folks were also settling in but there was still a significant number of people like me milling about the cabin just exploring.


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Slap my hand but since I was in the bulkhead I had a view of Polaris Business, so I snapped a few shots. To be honest, the crew didn’t really enforce the stay in your cabin policy because they knew they had a bunch of aerophiles who just wanted to experience this bird once last time. I never got up to Global First but I have a feeling they may have enforced the policy at that thresh hold.


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I wanted to get a front-to-back pic of the entire Economy cabin but it was clear that this just wasn’t going to happen that night. I was able to get a pretty good back-to-front shot of the Economy cabin though and as I stood there I just marveled at how massive the cabin was.


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
Before I knew it I awoke to find the sun high in the sky and the flight tracker revealing that we had a bit more than 2 hours before landing. With my increasing age and the decreasing seat width and pitch on most carriers Coach cabins, I was surprised how well I slept. I had to get up and explore the cabin one last time before the breakfast service started. Yup, it’s my door thing again.


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
I wonder how many crew members have used this jump seat by the L5 door through the decades.


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
This air-phone is a total flash back. I remember when these bad boys were cutting edge, now, not so much.


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
The L5 door one more time and then it was back to my seat for the breakfast service.


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
Unfortunately there was only one choice for breakfast and it was a breakfast sandwich with Canadian bacon. Being Muslim I don’t eat pork but I rarely order a special meal because I can’t remember an international flight with only one meal choice and through the years United has been good about having non-Pork breakfast meats. Not today unfortunately, so I just took an orange juice and snacked on some cookies that I had in my carry-on bag.


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As we drew closer to SFO I wanted to take in the always beautiful views from 35,000 feet made all the more beautiful by this sleek 747-400 wing and winglet.


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Multiple windows per seat is usually a luxury reserved for First or Business class passengers but with great legroom in the row 19 bulkhead, I had 2 1/2 windows all to myself. The last window was kind of in a no mans land. More mine when the seat was reclined, more 20A’s when my seat was upright.


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Okay, I know that I said my pre-breakfast roaming was my last time but as I saw more and more passengers from the back exploring up front, I decided what the heck! Here I spied Sam Chui spying the view from Polaris Business Class.


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I asked a passing cabin crew member if my mother and I could sneak into Business class to take a quick shot on the stairs and he kindly obliged. Another crew member took my camera and offered to take our pic together on the iconic stairs and so here we are!


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Okay, one last shot of the cabin in daylight and….


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30 minutes out and we were beginning a slow descent out of 39,000 feet for SFO.


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We were flying along at a nice clip, 577mph and it was a brisk -62 degrees outside at just under 37,000 feet.


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As we continued out slow descent, the cabin again buzzed with excitement. Soon the green of California could be seen peeking through holes in the clouds as…


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the pitch and hum of the engines changed.


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As we continued out descent, one of the crew members came through the cabin and distributed wings and a card with a picture of the 747-400 on the front and 747 stats on the back.


If you want to read the full trip report including external and internal landing videos, click here:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/[/url]


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After a few more turns over northern California, we established short finals for SFO. The excitement was palpable though it was mixed with a bit of sadness. N121UA and the entire UA 747 fleet had plied the world’s airways for decades and now the last regularly scheduled 747 flight for United was in it’s last minutes.
All too soon we made a grease smooth landing at SFO to a burst of applause and with that 47 years of United Boeing 747 service was officially in the history books.


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Now SFO would not be SFO if we didn’t have to wait for our gate to become available and not even the last arrival of The Queen could not change that fact. So we held short for a while waiting for an SQ A350 to vacate out gate. While waiting, the purser gave her fond farewell to The Queen over the PA system followed by the captain who invite all to hail The Queen. The captain then explained that we would be getting a water canon salute as we pulled into the gate. I could spy the fire trucks waiting for us in the distance but for some reason as we approached the gate they didn’t move and the salute didn’t materialize. My guess is that they really had no room to maneuver as the SQ A350 was still sitting on one side of the alley and N121UA had pulled in on the other side. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts. As the seat belt sign was extinguished, everyone slowly gathered their belongings and made their way off of the United jumbo. I think each and every one of us probably walked a little slower and took one last look at this beautiful piece of machinery as we crossed the thresh hold into the gate. I personally wanted to thank her for brining my family and I safely to and from Seoul over the last few days and for safely taking millions of families over millions of miles for the last two decades. We will all miss the United 747 but she can now go to a rest well earned.


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We cleared immigrations quickly and after re-clearing security, we made our way over to gate 87 for our flight to sweet home Chicago. United has a nice tribute to the history of “Flying the Main Line” and after having just been a part of UA history it somehow felt appropriate.


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Walking down the hallway was literally like taking a walk down memory lane from the DC-3 and DC-6 to…


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to the DC-8 right on up to…


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the one and only 747, both in the classic Saul Bass livery with the one and only UA tulip and the ex-Continental livery.


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And of course we can’t forget the next generation aircraft, the 777 and 787.
Walking down this hallway really gives you a sense of United’s rich and long history.


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As we made our way to gate 87 we had a perfect view of N121UA as she sat at the international terminal among her stablemates for the last time. For your average traveler she probably looked like any other plane preparing to make another journey to some far corner of the earth.


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As I sat in the gate area looking out at the 757-300 that would be flying us home, I saw N121UA being towed away to await her final flight to Victorville.


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I got one last closeup as she slowly rolled into the sunset. Farewell to The Queen.


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
Soon boarding was called for flight UA698, the 1:58pm departure which was being operated by N75858 at 2004 build 757-300 that initially flew for Continental Airlines. Though my upgrade didn’t clear I had a pretty nice consolation prize in the form of seat 7A, the port side bulkhead seat with literally unlimited legroom.


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
As boarding continued and passengers got settled in, I chit chatted with one of the flight attendants who noticed my shirt, about our flight in from Seoul and the history of the 747 with United. Boarding was completed early and about five minutes ahead of scheduled we pushed off of gate 87. I wonder if you need a license to drive one of those things?


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After a relatively short taxi we were powering down the runway and into a relatively clear sky above northern California and Oakland International airport.


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
As we reached cruising altitude, the cabin crew sprung into action starting the in-flight service which on domestic flights amounts to little more than beverages and a very light snack.


*****Sorry, picture uploaded sideways. Please checkout the trip report if you want to see the picture in it's correct orientation.*****
Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/
I was pretty tired by now but I think a combination of adrenaline and jet lag made it difficult to sleep. I didn’t swipe my card to pay for the Direct TV but that didn’t stop me from watching the screen of my neighbors that did ��


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There is absolutely no color manipulation of this picture. I have no idea why this body of water is so purple and I would never want to swim in it or eat from it, but from this vantage point it’s quite nice to look at.


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As we flew east the sun quickly began to set. If I find myself on a million more flights, this sight will never get old. There is truly nothing like life at 35,000 feet!


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Soon we were on descent for Chicago O’Hare and I saw the view that always lets me know that I am home, one of the most beautiful skylines in the world!
Within minutes we were on short finals and within minutes we touched down. As the plane slowly taxied to gate C21 I remembered all of the times I saw a United 747 here at O’Hare and in my mind I once more bade The Queen a fond farewell!


If you want to read the full trip reports including videos and all of the pics (Part 1-Flying to Seoul, Part 2-Exploring Seoul, the DMZ and all Things K-Pop and Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight), links can be found here:

Part 1-Flying to Seoul:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-to-the-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-1-getting-there/

Part 2-Exploring Seoul, the DMZ and all things K-Pop:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-to-the-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-2-seoul/

Part 3-Flying Home, The Farewell Flight:
http://www.twindoctorstv.com/farewell-queen-flying-uniteds-last-boeing-747-part-3-farewell/

If just the highlights are good enough, keep on scrolling below for parts 2 and 3.

BTW, if you want to check out some of our other trip reports, here are the links:

Latvia Part 1-The Flights to Latvia:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/latvia-getting-there/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/latvia-getting-there/[/url]

Latvia Part 2-A Two Headed Dog, Rapid Detox and a Polar Plunge:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/latvia-part-2-experiencing-latvia/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/latvia-part-2-experiencing-latvia/[/url]

San Diego Comic Con Part 1-Flying There:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/san-diego-comic-con-2017-freaks-geeks-part-1-getting-there/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/san-diego-comic-con-2017-freaks-geeks-part-1-getting-there/[/url]

San Diego Comic Con Part 2-The Con!:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/san-diego-comic-con-2017-part-2-con/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/san-diego-comic-con-2017-part-2-con/[/url]

San Diego Comic Con Part 3-Flying Home:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/san-diego-comic-con-2017-freaks-geeks-part-3/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/san-diego-comic-con-2017-freaks-geeks-part-3/[/url]

Hajj, My Journey of Forgiveness, Redemption and Rebirth Part 1-Flying to Saudi Arabia:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/hajj-my-journey-of-forgiveness-redemption-and-rebirth-aprt-1/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/hajj-my-journey-of-forgiveness-redemption-and-rebirth-aprt-1/[/url]

Hajj, My Journey of Forgiveness, Redemption and Rebirth Part 2- Exploring Medinah:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/hajj-journey-forgiveness-redemption-rebirth-part-2-medinah/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/hajj-journey-forgiveness-redemption-rebirth-part-2-medinah/[/url]

Hajj, My Journey of Forgiveness, Redemption and Rebirth Part 3-The Hajj:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/hajj-journey-forgiveness-rebirth-redemption-part-3-hajj/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/hajj-journey-forgiveness-rebirth-redemption-part-3-hajj/[/url]

Hajj, My Journey of Forgiveness, Redemption and Rebirth Part 4-Flying Home:
[url="http://www.twindoctorstv.com/hajj-journey-forgiveness-redemption-rebirth-part-4-heading-home/"]http://www.twindoctorstv.com/hajj-journey-forgiveness-redemption-rebirth-part-4-heading-home/[/url]
 
jeffrey1970
Posts: 1407
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2001 1:41 am

Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Mon Nov 06, 2017 1:31 am

I love your trip reports. I think you are just as good as Sam. Is your daughter a budding avgeek? What is your favorite UA livery? I like the one they have now. I also liked both versions they had of the tulip. My favorite was the one that was before the original tulip. I thought the grey livery was awful.
God bless through Jesus, Jeff
 
atsiang
Posts: 85
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:40 pm

Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Mon Nov 06, 2017 4:33 am

Wow, very very well done trip report! Felt like I was on the trip!
 
N751PR
Posts: 1215
Joined: Thu May 09, 2002 6:06 am

Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:13 am

Thanks for sharing! I was in 59D (I'm the guy with headphones and reading in the cabin daylight shot) and couldn't help but smile whenever I saw your battleship grey 747 shirt on that flight! Was admittedly low-key this time around as I couldn't keep up with the energy that the rest of you had for this eventful flight!

P.S. is it possible if I can repost that picture in Instagram? Will make sure to link to your TR! :D
"Ladies and Gentlemen it's happy hour. You will get two approaches for the price of one."
 
belfordrocks
Posts: 74
Joined: Sat Nov 10, 2007 2:43 am

Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Mon Nov 06, 2017 3:39 pm

Sorry for being OT: but I loved you guys on the Amazing Race! Eliminated far too early :( but at least you guys got to enjoy Bora Bora!

Of course I will miss the UA 747-400 as well... sadly never got to fly them on SYD-LAX before they switched over to the 777/787 :(
A340-500 Queen of the Skies
 
wingman
Posts: 3238
Joined: Thu May 27, 1999 4:25 am

Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Mon Nov 06, 2017 5:36 pm

What a trip report, one of the best ever. You got a lot of Seoul.
 
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KLMatSJC
Posts: 182
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Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:19 pm

belfordrocks wrote:
Sorry for being OT: but I loved you guys on the Amazing Race! Eliminated far too early :( but at least you guys got to enjoy Bora Bora!


Wow I have been reading your TRs for so long and I've watched almost every season of the Amazing Race and I didn't notice this. That is so cool. It has always been my dream to run the race!
A318/19/20/21 A332/3 A343/5 A388 B712 B722 B732/3/4/7/8/9/9ER B744/4M B752/3 B762ER/3/3ER/4ER B77E/L/W B788 CRJ2/7/9 Q400 EMB-120 ERJ-140/145XR/175 DC-10-10 MD-82/83/88/90

Long Live the Tulip and the Cactus
 
irelayer
Posts: 1055
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:34 pm

Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Mon Nov 06, 2017 9:14 pm

Well done sir! Thanks for posting this. I love that you took your mom and daughter.

I never got to fly upper deck 744, but I will probably make a special trip on LH for this.

I did get to fly this thing twice recently (SFO-PEK and SFO-NRT) and there is something truly magical about those creaks and groans from that beast when it's taxiing...and such smooth landings too. Thanks for enabling me to be a part of this.

-IR
 
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twindocstravel
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:46 am

Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:42 am

jeffrey1970 wrote:
I love your trip reports. I think you are just as good as Sam. Is your daughter a budding avgeek? What is your favorite UA livery? I like the one they have now. I also liked both versions they had of the tulip. My favorite was the one that was before the original tulip. I thought the grey livery was awful.

-Thanks for the kind words and thanks for taking the time to read! I wish my daughter was a budding AvGeek. Of my five, only my 3 1/2 year old is an AvGeek. She gets excited everyday when we drive past O'Hare on the way to school and when I came home once with United Polaris PJs we had to go an Amazon right away to buy her airplane PJs.

My favorite version was the Saul Bass tulip and I agree, the battleship grey just looked washed out to me.


atsiang wrote:
Wow, very very well done trip report! Felt like I was on the trip!


Thanks so much!
 
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twindocstravel
Topic Author
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:46 am

Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:44 am

N751PR wrote:
Thanks for sharing! I was in 59D (I'm the guy with headphones and reading in the cabin daylight shot) and couldn't help but smile whenever I saw your battleship grey 747 shirt on that flight! Was admittedly low-key this time around as I couldn't keep up with the energy that the rest of you had for this eventful flight!

P.S. is it possible if I can repost that picture in Instagram? Will make sure to link to your TR! :D


LOL, yeah that T-shirt was a last minute idea. It was the only one I could find on eBay or Amazon that would deliver before I left. Did you do a turn and burn or were you in Seoul for a few days?

Sure, feel free to repost pic!
 
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twindocstravel
Topic Author
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Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:49 am

belfordrocks wrote:
Sorry for being OT: but I loved you guys on the Amazing Race! Eliminated far too early :( but at least you guys got to enjoy Bora Bora!

Of course I will miss the UA 747-400 as well... sadly never got to fly them on SYD-LAX before they switched over to the 777/787 :(


LOL, The Amazing Race was one of the best times of my life and one of the worst. Crazy as it sounds I still dream about being on the show and being eliminated sometimes. What really sucked (and they did;t show it) was Jamil and I knew we were weak swimmers so we asked the guy driving the boat to take us to the other challenge but he didn't understand us so we were stuck. Anywho, wasn't meant to be.

I have always loved the 747 but for a few years I would avoid UA 747's like the plague if I was flying Coach. It wasn't until a few years ago that I stopped avoiding them because I knew their time was probably coming to an end. I will really miss it, there is nothing like a 747!


KLMatSJC wrote:
belfordrocks wrote:
Sorry for being OT: but I loved you guys on the Amazing Race! Eliminated far too early :( but at least you guys got to enjoy Bora Bora!


Wow I have been reading your TRs for so long and I've watched almost every season of the Amazing Race and I didn't notice this. That is so cool. It has always been my dream to run the race!


Yeah, only two episodes so we were easy to miss LOL. You should go for it when they have open auditions, you never know.
 
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twindocstravel
Topic Author
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Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Tue Nov 07, 2017 5:52 am

wingman wrote:
What a trip report, one of the best ever. You got a lot of Seoul.


Thanks! You can just call me Seoul Man!!


irelayer wrote:
Well done sir! Thanks for posting this. I love that you took your mom and daughter.

I never got to fly upper deck 744, but I will probably make a special trip on LH for this.

I did get to fly this thing twice recently (SFO-PEK and SFO-NRT) and there is something truly magical about those creaks and groans from that beast when it's taxiing...and such smooth landings too. Thanks for enabling me to be a part of this.

-IR


Thanks for taking the time to read it! My daughter is such a K-pop fan I felt like she would never speak to me again if I didn't take her. In all of my 747 trips, this was my first time on the UD. Now that UA no longer has the 747, I will probably go out of my way to catch as many LH 747's as I can, especially the 744 before she is gone.
 
jasoncrh
Posts: 456
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:29 pm

Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Thu Nov 09, 2017 4:18 pm

Great report. I love the pictures from all the flights and from Korea. I was there a few years ago and loved it too.
One thing that drove me crazy - to pluralize almost anything, no apostrophes are needed. None. None at all. so when you say the two Korea's, that's incorrect. North Korean's, that's incorrect. Doing that makes Korea posessive. To pluralize most things, just add an s. Done. That's it. Some words need es. But to pluralize Korea, or Korean, just add S. That's it.
 
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twindocstravel
Topic Author
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:46 am

Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:46 am

jasoncrh wrote:
Great report. I love the pictures from all the flights and from Korea. I was there a few years ago and loved it too.
One thing that drove me crazy - to pluralize almost anything, no apostrophes are needed. None. None at all. so when you say the two Korea's, that's incorrect. North Korean's, that's incorrect. Doing that makes Korea posessive. To pluralize most things, just add an s. Done. That's it. Some words need es. But to pluralize Korea, or Korean, just add S. That's it.


Thanks for taking the time to read! Yeah, my wife is the family grammarian so I will have to defer editing to her.
 
F9Animal
Posts: 3905
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:01 pm

Wow!! This is by far one of the best Trip Reports I have had the pleasure of reading!! You have a great gift of writing!! I mean, it actually brought me or made me feel like I was right there with ya. The DMZ looks like a for sure bucket list for me one day. I had the opportunity to fly on the 747 you were on when I worked for UA. In fact, it was my first ride on a 747. Nothing beats first class on it. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing your other Trip Reports.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Thu Nov 16, 2017 1:38 pm

That was a really great TR...thank you for sharing this with us. You're a lucky guy to have been able to be apart of that history. It's great you were able to take your family — that surely made it a little bit more special.

I'm glad to see United put in so much effort to give the 747 a proper send-off. It would have been an injustice otherwise. I'll always look back fondly on my multiple UA 747 rides, including a few up front and upstairs. Nothing else will ever be quite the same.

On an unrelated note, I'm impressed with the new UA Club at ORD. I hadn't seen pictures since the remodel, and that really does look good. This TR really shows the past and future of United.
 
evank516
Posts: 339
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:15 am

Re: Farewell to The Queen-Flying United's Last Boeing 747!

Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:32 pm

Absolutely fantastic TR!

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