United Is Phasing Out the Boeing 747 — Here's How You Can Buy a Piece of History
The days of the Boeing 747 are numbered — but some travelers can take home a piece of this historic airplane.
Known lovingly as the “Queen of the Skies,” and widely acknowledged as the world’s first “jumbo jet,” the aging model is being phased out by many airlines. United Airlines is the most recent carrier to transition to other models, with their 747 fleet making a last international journey on October 29, and a final 1970s-themed domestic flight on November 7.
To celebrate the retirement of this world-changing airplane — which set the standard for size and passenger volume for decades — the airline is hosting an online auction exclusively for members of its MileagePlus rewards program.
To send the 747 off in style, frequent fliers can use their miles to buy fixtures, furniture, electronics and more from the United fleet. The airline has nine remaining 747 aircraft.
The auction kicked off with a number of fixed-price items; livery panels (priced at 80,000 miles) and iconic airplane windows (50,000 miles) — both from a plane that flew almost 100,000 hours over 26 years — have already sold out. 747 fans in need of new living-room furniture can still purchase a double- or triple-passenger row seat (275,000 and 250,000 miles, respectively) — though no guarantees about how comfortable they will be.
As part of the countdown to the last 747 flight on November 7, “bid-now” items will be rolled out over the next few weeks. Those include various measurement devices, like an airspeed indicator, cut-outs from the plane’s aluminum body, and more.
According to the website, profits from the auction will be donated to Air Camp, a STEM program that works with elementary and middle school children to teach leadership and academics through aviation education.