Are we allowed to be sad about frivolous things? Amid far worse news comes a twinge: British Airways will retire its fleet of 747s, effective now. The upper deck of a 747 is, or was, a cozy way of life that has vanished, along with much else.
The 50-year-old Boeing 747 launched mass global travel — and was the last plane to escape with glamor before air travel became the equivalent of the Bolt Bus.
The plane, with its fat front bubble, looks like a child’s drawing of a friendly, smiling aircraft. Friendly, but mammoth: If your flying initiation was on domestic 737s, looking at the 747 is like taking in a multistory building: How will it get up there?
My first trip on a 747, 21 years ago, was in the vast “world-traveler” economy-class downstairs cabin, and it was good fun. This is where you’re supposed to say there isn’t much difference between economy and business. Business is just more legroom, and who cares? You’re flying to the same place.
Sorry, no — there is no flying experience like the upper deck of a 747.
Photo by Ryan Fletcher/iStock