Jumbo’s Retired

By Posted on 38 Comments 3 min read

So, British Airways are retiring their fleet of Jumbo Jets officially known as the Boeing 747.

The End of an Era

Following the majority of airlines after the chaos caused by the Corona Virus, B.A. has made the decision to drop their hugely bloated four-engined monster for aircraft that are more economical and efficient. Hey, this almost sounds like a serious post. Apologies, I hope it doesn’t get any more serious from this point on.

I Don’t Like Flying

I haven’t flown on many jumbo jets, I don’t like flying, but I realise that if you want to get to somewhere that might be close to the other side of the world, then flying is probably the best way to get there. However, a lot of my early travel was around mainland Europe, so flying for me was usually onboard a Boeing 737, a two-engined jobby.

Off To New York

Back in 2005, I entered a competition to win flights to New York. It was one of those simple things whereby you send an email and they pick the winner at random. There was nothing clever or academic about it. You didn’t have to write a fantastic headline-grabbing quote that the company could use. No, just enter your email address and cross your fingers. Lo and behold, I won!

How Many Passengers?

I received my tickets together with dates of departure and return. Wifey and I set off for Heathrow airport in London for a 1:30 pm flight to JFK airport in New York. Booked in and luggage sent off to the handlers, we made our way to the waiting area to be called for the flight. Imagine my fear when the announcement came over the tannoy to board our waiting jumbo jet and what seemed like the entire population of a small town stood up! There’s no way all these people are on our flight, are they?

What a Monster

It turns out they were. I’d have expected this number of people to be boarding a cruise ship, not an aircraft. We had the last but two seats at the rear of the plane. The very last seats are reserved for cabin crew. Ok, the tickets were free so I can’t really complain, but once we were sat in those seats, there was no getting out of them for the entire seven and a half hour flight. There’s an almost ‘fairground attraction’ to take off sitting at the rear of this gigantic metal monster.

Take Off!!

As you roll down the runway and reach take-off speed, the sight of what looks like hundreds of rows of people in front of you all lifting into the air while you seemingly drag your bum along the ground for what feels like a lifetime until you join them in the sky. So scary, well, to me it is. How these monsters ever get off the ground is way beyond my comprehension. We’ve been back to New York on numerous occasions since, but flying in the Boeing 757. I always book seats away from the rear of the plane too.

The full story of B.A. retiring the Boeing 747 can be found here:

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38 Comments
  • SueW
    July 19, 2020

    Loved this story.

    The hourly bus that comes past the end of my lane runs between Harrogate and Bradford, it also calls at the airport, its number is 747!

    My late husband never minded sitting at the rear of the plane his reasons being You don’t find many planes reversing into mountains!

    • Trev
      July 19, 2020

      Thank you, Sue. Your husband certainly had a good point. I still can’t believe how the things get off the ground!

    • Sunshiny SA, Kavitha
      July 22, 2020

      Smart husband! 😊

  • Going Batty in Wales
    July 19, 2020

    I was pretty scared of flying until my late husband got his private pilots licence. I found that being able to see the ground all the time and helping with navigating felt OK. Ridiculous but that’s how it was. Now I am fine but I haven’t been on a plane for about 20 years, my passport has expired and I see no need to get another. Home bird me.

    • Trev
      July 19, 2020

      I’m in no rush to get back on a plane either. I just don’t feel comfortable flying. Thank you Going Batty 😊

      • Sunshiny SA, Kavitha
        July 22, 2020

        I dislike flying myself. En route from Cape Town, the air hostess pointed the emergency exit. I was like, “what, where, how?”
        No words came out though. As our journey ended and i prepared to leave, the male passenger next to me gently released my hand, a total stranger, he had had his hand on mine throughout.
        That’s me. Flying scares me. 😊

        • Trev
          July 22, 2020

          Haha, I’m a little like that whenever I fly. 🙂

  • Peter's pondering
    July 19, 2020

    I’ve never been on a 747 and, as we don’t intend to travel any distance in future, am unlikely to ever do so. I’ve actually flown on a greater number of variants of helicopter than I have aeroplanes!

    • Trev
      July 19, 2020

      Ooh, thanks Peter, but I do not like helicopters. You’re braver than I 😊

  • gulfcoastpoet@gmail.com
    July 19, 2020

    Trev, I found this post both informative and entertaining. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope all is well with you. Cheryl

    • Trev
      July 19, 2020

      Thank you, all good here hope you’re well too. 😊

  • Yetismith
    July 19, 2020

    I spent 38 years with BA, 30 at JFK and the rest in Seattle. I’ve seen VC10s, 707 Concorde (sob) and now 747s retire. It really feels like the end not just of an era but of everything for BA. They are in such a mess. Awful management and yet still they have been successful. IUt’s all about pleasing the stock holders:( Those seats at the back….bad news!

    • Trev
      July 19, 2020

      Thank you Yeti. It is the end of an era, but as you say, they seem to carry on without any real problems that we can see as the general public. 😊

  • susiesopinions
    July 19, 2020

    I went back to England 25 times in 24 years, with my Mum passing. For the past 11 years I can’t go because of Len’s ill heath. I would give anything to fly back to see my family.

    • Trev
      July 19, 2020

      Hopefully one day, you’ll be able to, Susie. Thank you 😊

  • Invisibly Me
    July 19, 2020

    Wow, that was a good win, Trev! Don’t think I’ve ever won one of those enter-email-and-wait-for-an-influx-of-spam competitions, despite entering heaps of them. It’s so strange to think the 747 will be no more. I remember back when I worked for an aviation in the repairs department that I lot of the work I organised was for the 47 fleet, and the 37s too of course. This pandemic is hitting a lot of industries hard and it’s like we’re having to say goodbye to so much that we thought would just be around forever. xx

    • Trev
      July 19, 2020

      Thank you, Caz. Yes, it is probably by far the biggest prize win I ever had. It is sad to see things go, I suppose we’ll all have a new normal one day 😊

  • gold mixer tap
    July 20, 2020

    I found something new on this website, some of my opinions agree with that, I just want to ask for one brief opinion or tips on the article or a few sentences above and I’m sure you are more skilled in making concise conclusions and concise for that.. I found good posts here. I like your post. So perfect!

  • bekitschig
    July 20, 2020

    Ha ha, your first world problem had me in stitches Trev! I do miss flying heaps but I am always a bit scared of the plane food 😉

  • inese
    July 20, 2020

    Thank you for the story. It is my favorite kind of story because I don’t like flying too. I have been on board of an airplane that got into serious difficulties mid flight; that had to abort the takeoff because one of the door was open; that had to abort landing; that got in such a bad turbulence the cabin crew started to pray; that was one of only two air crafts dared to land in Dublin during the storm Emma in 2018. I have had my share 🙂 God spared me from flying on a jumbo though…

    • Trev
      July 20, 2020

      Wow, I would never get in an aircraft again if that happened to me. That is frightening. Glad you managed to get your feet back safely on the ground. Thank you Inese. 🙂

  • 11th House
    July 20, 2020

    I’ve only ever flown once or twice, didn’t really like though. I felt uncomfortable throughout

    • Trev
      July 20, 2020

      I know the feeling well. I am rigid throughout a flight. Thank you. 🙂

  • luisa zambrotta
    July 21, 2020

    Interesting post.
    I didn’t know British Airways are retiring their Boeing 747.

    • Trev
      July 21, 2020

      Yes, Luisa, they’re blaming the Corona Virus for the downturn in business. I don’t think many airlines use them now. Thank you, Luisa.😊

  • musing75
    July 27, 2020

    I even got to sit in the upper deck of a BA jumbo once – but only because they had re-ordered the plane and put 1st class somewhere else. The excitement of being up there lasted for almost 5 minutes, whilst the flight still took the full 7 hours :-/

    • Trev
      July 28, 2020

      Haha, excellent! Thank you 😊

  • Good article. Thanks for sharing nice information.. I agree with the article and a few sentences here, you compose the sentence well, I understand what you mean, this will build an opinion in me because in this article reminds me of something in the past in my life.

  • Paulie
    July 29, 2020

    Great story.
    Many, many years ago we flew to Rome on a Pan American 747. It was that plane’s inaugural year. The flight out was fine but the flight back, not so much. The reading lights on the entire aircraft malfunctioned and they kept blinking on and off through the duration of the flight.
    I’ve never been afraid to fly but now that we have the spectre of COVID as a passenger it’s going to be quite some time before I get on a plane again. We’re supposed to go to Italy and when we do we’re going to dig very deep into the retirement fund and fly first class for some semblance of social distancing.
    It’s all a moot point now because we Americans are persona non grata in Europe until we can regain our sanity and get our act together.

    • Trev
      July 29, 2020

      Thank you, Paulie. It’s a strange world we’re living in at the moment. Let’s hope we can get back to normal before too long and you can enjoy a safe vacation in Italy. Stay safe and thank you again. 😊

  • Amanda Ricks
    July 31, 2020

    I’ve travelled to many places on a 747 so I’m a bit nostalgic hearing that they’re being retired

    • Trev
      July 31, 2020

      Yes, the end of an era. 😊

  • gull såpepumpe
    August 8, 2020

    After I read this article, I got an idea that I could use for my next step. a few sentences are clearly illustrated here. thank you for writing this article. I got a lot of experience from here.. thanks, very good

    • Trev
      August 8, 2020

      Thank you, gull. ☺️

  • blackbird212012
    August 9, 2020

    Thanks for the many visits.

    • Trev
      August 9, 2020

      You’re very welcome 😊

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