Cathay Retiring 747s This Week & My Last Minute First Class Booking to Say Goodbye!

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Cathay Pacific Final 747 Flight
Photo by Leon Brocard

Cathay Pacific Final 747 Flight

For aviation geeks, the end of an era is coming up this week. Just as we have seen with countless other airlines, Cathay Pacific is finally retiring the last of their passenger 747 jumbojets.

They have been ramping down operations with these jets for several years and currently the only route operating the 747 is Tokyo Haneda to Hong Kong. That will end on October 1 when the last of these beasts carries passengers for Cathay. In preparation for this end, Cathay made a goodbye video in tribute to the plane.

Saying Goodbye in Person

I have flown on a Cathay Pacific 747 only once. It was on the Hong Kong to Tokyo route and I purposely chose to fly upstairs in business class even though there was first class space available.  (I have flown CX F on a 777 twice.) Flying on the upper deck was an amazing experience and one I will always remember. But, I sort of want to fly downstairs too.

As I wrote about the other day, my dad and I are headed to Tokyo and then Hong Kong after that. What could be a better way to say goodbye to the 747 than being on one of its last flights? And we are! I have been watching availability like a hawk and yesterday space opened up for two first class seats on one of the last flights. (The very last flight is sold out in premium cabins.)

Booking the Tickets

Cathay Pacific Final 747 Flight
Photo by Bill Larkins

In my opinion, Alaska Airlines still has an amazing award chart for Cathay Pacific. When I saw the space open up, I considered booking with BA Avios or American AAdvantage miles since each program charges 40K miles one way, but then I remembered there is a much better deal. Alaska Airlines only charges 27,500 miles one-way for the $4K+ flight! I called and booked immediately.

Conclusion

I am admittedly not a hardcore aviation geek, but something about the 747 has always enchanted me. To say I am excited about this flight would be an understatement. Not only do I get to share another world class First Class product with my dad (although I have heard this old bird is getting a little worn), but we get to share in some history as well.

What are your fondest memories of the 747? Are you sad to see yet another airline retire “The Queen of the Skies”? Let us know in the comments!


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9 COMMENTS

  1. My first memory of flying was on a 747. I was 6 and so excited that I was fit to burst. I just couldn’t sleep. The Pan Am stewardess (as they were called at the time) saw my energy and asked if I would like to tour the airplane. Of course I said yes. It all seemed like some giant mysterious, glamourous world. We actually went upstairs where there was a party going on with someone playing a baby grand piano. I even got to meet the pilot. A memory I’ll always cherish. It left me with a soft spot for both Pan Am and the 747.

  2. My 747 experience is Japan Airlines, 747-100 and -200, Vancouver – Tokyo, Cathay-400, Manila – Hong Kong, and China Airlines -400, Vancouver – Taipei.

  3. I’ll never forget my first experience on CX’s upper deck. No pod, not even a fully flat seat, but it was like another world. As is the case with all things in life, age yields to progress.

  4. Hilarious.. you wasted points ,money and time to fly on a Cathay Pacific 747.. lol

    Eva Air Still flies 747 with better service in business and economy than Cathay Pacific. Also Eva Air offers 4 times more points to any Star Alliance loyalty memberships like United and Aeroplan.

    • Wow you left two comments? Is Eva paying you are something? Comparing economy on Eva to first class on Cathay? Come on now. By the way, last time I checked Eva also doesn’t fly direct from Tokyo to Hong Kong either. So I should fly economy and connect in Taipei instead of flying first and going direct?

  5. you can fly upper deck with better recline seat pitch on a economy on Eva Airlines 747 and 40%- 60% less than Cathay . The food and service as been awarded the best Asian Airline for 6 years in a row to Eva. First Class on Cathay is very plain and does not offer the luxurious compartment cabin style has other International Airlines overseas. So i dont understand the hype that you blog about Cathay

    • What hype? They are retiring the plane and I am flying it. I have flown EVA and it is alright. I think Cathay actually has the most comfortable first class seats and their new First Class refresh is quite luxurious. To each his own I guess.

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