SAN FRANCISCO - The biggest, not-so-secret tourist attraction at SFO today is a United Airlines Boeing 747, tail number 8418. Tuesday, it makes history while simultaneously ending a chapter of it, all in one flight.
At roughly 11 a.m., 8418 makes one last flight from San Francisco to Honolulu, a farewell trip commemorating the first 747 trip, as United phases out this type of aircraft.
UAL will outfit the crew in 70's uniforms and bring back 70's style service before sending this particular plane, which has flown since 1999, to 'mothballs' in the desert, and all that implies.
The event has attracted aviation geeks from around the world. They have booked seats to Honolulu, and expect one heck of a party.
"How long do you expect to be in Honolulu?" I asked Kevan Yalowitz, who flew in from Washington, DC.
"Maybe five hours. I'll take the redeye back."
He's attached, not only to the 747 family, but this plane in particular. In 2013, during a flight from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia, he proposed to his wife on 8418. "I haven't been able to catch a ride on this particular plane, since," he told us.
Meantime, in San Francisco, Vincent Forni spent the morning in a Goodwill store, looking for 1970's era clothing.
He intends to wear them on the flight.
"When were you born?" I asked.
"1986," Vince said.
"So how would you know what to wear?"
"I'll go for anything that doesn't match."
Why would he want to go on this trip? The staircase to an upper deck. The spaciousness.
"I never flew in the 1970's and want to see what it was like."
So will we. ABC7 has bought us a couple of seats on the flight. We'll be tagging along.
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