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Last AF B747 PAX flight

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Last AF B747 PAX flight

Old 11th Jan 2016, 19:43
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Last AF B747 PAX flight

Final Air France 747 pax flight AF439 touched down earlier today @ CDG after flying from MEX marking the end of passenger flights with the model at AF.
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Old 11th Jan 2016, 19:57
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Four years behind ...

Four years after Singapore Airlines
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Old 11th Jan 2016, 20:02
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And about ten years ahead of BA
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Old 11th Jan 2016, 22:37
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Originally Posted by oldchina
Four years after Singapore Airlines
AF clearly found a use for them for four years longer than SIA.

And about ten years ahead of BA
Quite possibly, given BA are updating the cabins on 15 or so airframes.

And possibly up to 15 or 20 years ahead of Lufthansa, Air China and Korean with their 748s. Probably also at least 5-6 years ahead of Qantas and KLM.

With crude oil at 12-year lows and with well-maintained airframes with updated cabins, who cares?
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Old 11th Jan 2016, 23:09
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In the 1980s I became a regular (or should that be frequent?) traveller in B747s.
Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan - SIA, BA, and, probably, CAL and SAS.

Worst experience was when the Hong Kong computer system broke down and we all had to have our seat allocations boarding passes issued manually -it took hours.
Best was an underoccupied SIA flight where I was able to lie across the centre row of seat and get a proper sleep.

SIA service was far and away above the rest - the cabin crew made me feel honoured and respected.
On one BA flight the hostie refused to move her cart into a space so that I could use the gangway - I was only business class, but I got the impression that she considered herself more important than the passengers.
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Old 11th Jan 2016, 23:17
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I spent many, many nights on board 747s, probably every variant ever built. Remember an AF mixed (pax and freight) from Rio back to Paris during carnival - the cabin crew were all dressed up and in appropriate masquerade! And dancing!

And of course my first ever cockpit visit, LH 747 JFK-FRA in the 70s. Sunrise over the Atlantic - I'll never forget that moment, still gives me goose bumps.

The Big Bird always got me where I had to go and home again. Sad to see her fade away....
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Old 12th Jan 2016, 05:25
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In 1983, my son, who was six at the time, had lived in three countries and had traveled around the globe at least twice, always in 747s.

That year, at Changi, he went on a 737 for the first time. As we walked through the door, he looked around and said "Dad, where's the spiral staircase?"

Always enjoyed my flights on 747s, particularly in upper-deck business class.
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Old 12th Jan 2016, 06:38
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A touch of nostalgia for me, remembering a round-the-world trip in AF First in 1997 - CDG - NRT - PPT - LAX - CDG. All night flights, snoozing comfortably in lay flat seats even then. (And all paid for, both of us, with AF miles - they had wonderful deals in August, when business in France grinds to a halt - a couple of years later we flew Concorde CDG-JFK-CDG on the same deal).
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Old 12th Jan 2016, 09:37
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Upper deck BA jumbo...Club seats may be old, food may be crap, service can be good or bad depending on the day...but still one of the nicest places to be in the air.
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Old 12th Jan 2016, 11:50
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Not Missed or Perhaps Just a Little

I heard about this; have/had zero desire to ride the last one. Nope.
In the very early 70s - guessing late 1971 or so?) I rode an AF B742 from CDG to Chicago, via Montreal. Good seat, ho-hum service and AF did their very best to send my bags to Tokyo. (This was long before I learned to fly, but lesson-learned.)
For the return trip a few weeks later, reversing the same route, I wore a crisp uniform and sent some impressive credentials to the flight deck via the purser; May I visit? The Capt. was about to send me back to my seat, but I was bold. "If I keep my mouth shut, may I remain in this jump seat, Sir, until we arrive?" After glances all around the three-man crew, I remained butt-parked in the jump seat behind his and until we were gated and shutdown. The experience sold be on flying, I've never looked back and more than a bit obviously, that kind of experience cannot repeat itself in this century. If there was a downside to the entire experience it may have been missing my "AF Coach Breakfast," as we were getting closer to CDG. Even in 1971, when interline competition was still based on such simple things as Food and Service, AF flunked. (After a modest 0630 French airport snack, I finished my trip a few hours later.) Despite some very nice paychecks, nothing will ever match that that return trip or the Capt.s' courtesy. If anyone wonders, I spoke not a word unless first spoken to. He was a seriously nice fellow, perhaps recognized a newbie in his cockpit, and allowed me to remain. Wow!
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Old 12th Jan 2016, 12:19
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I must agree, upstairs in BA Club was/is the best place to be. Back in the days when they operated to Perth, flown Club from Perth to London many times, and it was the best place in the sky.
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Old 12th Jan 2016, 12:38
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The Chief Executive of Cathay Pacific's number plate used to be "CX 747", which was appropriate because that aircraft made a good regional airline into a world class airline. With a bit of help from the RB211 and the great Stewart John.
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Old 12th Jan 2016, 12:54
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upstairs in BA Club was/is the best place to be.
Personally I prefer in the nose in First. Only a wardrobe in front of you, no galley noise and a nice quiet cabin.

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Old 12th Jan 2016, 13:24
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Sorry, but upstairs when it was a 1st Class lounge as originally intended was the place to be.
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Old 12th Jan 2016, 13:46
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Thumbs up

Upstairs - Gives the feeling of something special. You can turn left or right on most others, but upstairs, that's where WE go, not you.
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Old 12th Jan 2016, 14:48
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747 is a great airplane......

I agree Taildragger67

And possibly up to 15 or 20 years ahead of Lufthansa, Air China and Korean with their 748s.
Before I retired I got the fly the 748 PAX and freighter, it's fantastic. I think the heavy hitters in the freight business will always fly the 747, you just can't beat it.
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Old 12th Jan 2016, 19:53
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Air France retrospective "747 Forever -- 40 years of romance", Episode 1:

(additional episodes via YouTube link above)
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Old 12th Jan 2016, 20:30
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I was lucky enough to travel on the jump seat on a number of 747 international flights in and out of LHR when working as a contractor to BA pre-9/11.

It was the best seat in the house bar none [and I say that having experienced most of the others including right down the back too!].

My favourite overnight trip was one coming home from Nairobi.

The older Captain was regaling us with jokes and clips from newspapers that he kept producing from his flight bag and we were, admittedly, being a bit rowdy when a young stewardess appeared on the flight deck.

"Captain", she said, "some of the passengers are complaining about the noise. They're saying they'd either like to hear the jokes in full or can you please shut up?"

"Sorry", replied the Captain, "we'll quieten down."

Then, pointing at me, he asked her "Go on, show him what you've got - after all the rest of us have seen it in the hotel pool".

With barely a moment's pause the extremely attractive young lady started undoing her blouse!

I freely admit that at that moment all sorts of very odd thoughts went whizzing through my mind and the sweat immediately starting running down my back at the thought of possibly being extraordinarily embarrassed by some unknown initiation I might be about to experience.

Luckily for me, two or three buttons sufficed and, pulling down the waistband of her skirt, the aforementioned young lady exposed what was, back then, a great rarity - a gold navel ring!

Trying to recover my composure I said the first thing that came into my mind: "Golly, I bet that made your eyes water".

With not a flicker she replied: "Not half as much as the other two", and proceeded to unbutton her blouse all the way up to reveal a very pretty, front loading, white bra containing a bounteous pair of boobs.

During the conversation we'd been joined by the second First Officer crewing on this trip. He was standing behind the stewardess and was now craning his neck to look over her shoulder [great view of the Grand Canyon I suspect!] whilst the Captain and the other First Officer were very obviously taken by surprise at this turn of events and had turned round as far as they could in their seats to take in the sights coming into view.

Indeed I formed the opinion that if the ground proximity warning or the fire alarms had gone off they just might have been ignored!

The stewardess started to undo the bra clip and the crash recorders would now be logging very, VERY heavy breathing after all, I think we had all heard about nipple piercing back then but probably never ever seen it . . .

However, turning the tables on us, she quickly let go of the fastener and her hands flew to each ear to waggle her two ear studs!

"Now, boys," she said as she did up her blouse, "BE QUIET!"

And we were!
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Old 12th Jan 2016, 20:53
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Wardair 747 upstairs.

For us paupers, the first-come-first-serve upper deck coach seats on the Wardair 747's were fantastic in the 80's. For the same price as the poor bu**er in the middle seat back of the bus on row 60, one had the opportunity to climb the spiral staircase and enjoy the lounge bar atmosphere of the 'upper' floor with about 20 other pax that showed up 3-4 hours early to be assigned upstairs seats. This combined with bone china, edible food, and a champagne welcome before the doors closed. Ah, the good ol' days when cattle class wasn't really that bad.

I had the misfortune to sample the new high-density seating (3-4-3) on an AC 777-300 LHR-YYZ over Xmas, a horrific experience. My knees are still in recovery. When I tell tales of the Wardair days, the young ones don't believe me that a 'charter' op would offer that kind of service and comfort. Congrats to the AC execs, their seats and service is now on-par with the lowest discount carriers. Shame it has to be that way to compete these days. Or does it?
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Old 13th Jan 2016, 11:16
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It looks like after 40 years of operation they finally even decided to wash their 747 at AirFrance
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