On October 8, Hong Kong-based carrier Cathay Pacific bid farewell to its last Boeing 747 with a fly-by of the city. According to Hong Kong Free Press, about 300 airline staff were onboard and each made a donation of HK$747 ($96 US) to take the last ride, which was seen flying just 2,000 feet above the city.
The 747 was my favorite plane for decades, just like it was for many other aviation enthusiasts. In fact, it’s been nicknamed the “queen of the skies.” It was launched in 1970 and dominated international air travel and cargo services for decades. My first ride on a United 747 was from Los Angeles to Hong Kong and I will never forget that ride. First of all, it was my first time traveling overseas, first time in business class and first time landing at the old Kai Tak Airport (it closed in 1998) in Hong Kong (where planes were literally just yards away from people’s balconies and steep mountains). It was surreal. Unfortunately, I wasn’t on Cathay, as my already amazing experience would’ve even been that much better; not many airlines can compete with Cathay’s service and food.
Fortunately, I’ve flown Cathay a number of times since then, but sadly I won’t be on their 747 again.
Related: Memories fly aboard Cathay Pacific’s last 747 flight
Unfortunately, my first ride on a 747 was not as much fun as yours probably was. I flew it 45 years ago on my way to Vietnam (not for a vacation). My most recent one was SFO-HKG a couple of weeks ago on United. It felt like it had more space than any of the new planes being put into service without having to “upgrade” to “comfort class” I will miss that. Goodbye, sweet lady.