Delta Airlines is retiring their 747-400s

For all the AVGeeks out there, this one is for you!

Hello everyone! Today, I’m going to talk about Delta’s FINAL flight, which will be a roundtrip international flight from KDTW to RKSI and back(Detroit Wayne to Seoul and back). I am also lucky enough to be on both of these flights, outbound to Seoul on the 17th and return to Detroit on the 19th (Edited for Delta’s flight date change).

Delta’s 747 in the skies

Basics about Delta’s 747-400s
Cruising Speed - 564 mph or 908 km/h
Wingspan - 213 ft 0 in or 64.92 m
Range - 7,365 miles or 11,853 km
Tail Height - 62 ft 6.5 in or 19.06 m
Engines - Pratt & Whitney PW4056
Length - 231 ft 10 in or 70.66 m

A little snippet from Delta News:
Delta employees, customers and aviation enthusiasts have been eagerly flying the airline’s remaining Boeing 747-400s since Delta said in 2014 that it would retire the Queen of the Skies at the end of 2017.

There will soon be more chances to see and perhaps take part in some of the last Delta 747 flights – the last to be flown by any U.S. passenger airline. Here are seven things to know about Delta’s big goodbye to the 747:

Delta is operating the Boeing 747-400 on daily scheduled service between its Detroit hub and its partner hub at Seoul-Incheon.
Here are the final regularly scheduled flights of the Delta 747:
Final U.S. departure: Flight 159 at Detroit to Seoul-Incheon at 12:31 p.m. on Dec. 17
Final Asia Pacific arrival: Flight 159 at Seoul-Incheon from Detroit at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 18
Final Asia Pacific departure: Flight 158 at Seoul-Incheon to Detroit at 11:15 a.m. on Dec. 19
Final U.S. arrival: Flight 158 at Detroit from Seoul-Incheon at 10:14 a.m. on Dec. 19
Delta will take the 747 on an employee farewell tour from Detroit to Seattle on Dec. 18, Seattle to Atlanta on Dec. 19 and Atlanta to Minneapolis-St. Paul on Dec. 20.
Customers can bid for a spot on these farewell flights via SkyMiles Experiences using their miles.
Employees and retirees will have an opportunity to participate in one of these flights at a significantly discounted rate, with all proceeds going to the Airloom Project, an organization that supports the 747 Experience exhibit at the Delta Flight Museum.
The 747 will fly a handful of sports team and ad-hoc charter flights through Dec. 31.
Delta will fly its final 747 to its retirement place in Arizona in early January. This ferry flight will not be open to passengers.

Other U.S airlines have recently been rolling back the usage of their 747s, already most in retirement. As the final U.S passenger flights for the iconic 747, dubbed the “Jumbo Jet”, dawn upon us, let’s take a look at what other airlines have been doing with their 747s.
American Airlines:
American Airlines briefly flew 747-200s in the 1980s for cargo missions and then retired those, switching to DC-10Fs.
United Airlines:

United 747 on retiring day

United was one of the biggest 744 users of the world until it scaled back it’s fleet in the early 1990s into the 2000s. United’s CEO, Oscar Munoz, sat in on the flight from the top deck and remarked the aircraft. “It’s a grand finale, no question,” United CEO Oscar Munoz said from the jet’s upper deck just before takeoff. “It’s a fitting send-off in the most dignified way for the ‘Queen of the Skies.” They celebrated their retirement in style, giving aviation geeks and the company’s employees an amazing show, with special food and retro-fitting the exterior of the aircraft.

And now, we come to Delta Airlines, the final American passenger carrier to own and retire a 747. Their KDTW-RKSI leg will be replaced by the A350-900, a newcomer with a new cabin layout. However, the 747 will always hold a special place in everyone’s heart. So, in memory of the 747, Ciao to the “Jumbo Jet” and thank you so much for an amazing 48 years of being in the air!


Ugh why, she’s such a beauty, no words to describe her. When United retired their last 74, i had tears, now this is the last from all of US…
It’s a shame the 748i didn’t do so well…
I’ll be tracking this big girl during her final flights… :’(


Hmmmm, this is sad. I never got nor will get the chance to fly in the 747-400 which is really depressing.


Yet another airline is reiterateing a 747 😔😔


You mean retiring right? It’d be awesome if airlines reiterated the 747.


Don’t worry, I have tissues for everyone if they need them!


I’m glad I got to fly on one of these birds before retirement. At the rate the 747 is being retired, I might not get to fly on another one!

I think the average flyer will be looking forward to that while some avgeeks will be sobbing about the Queen of the Skies leaving.


Yes can you send me those tissues…I’d like em delivered to my home in a 747-400.


This is so sad…why Delta why? So you are only staying in Korea for 2 days? Why is that?

I want to be on both 747 flights! It was 12,000 for one seat which was INSANE but anything for the retirement of 747s in the U.S!


$12,000? Maybe you mean ₽?

Rich kid flying Deltajoke

In all seriousness, you are very lucky. Make sure to take pics! Have a blast! :)


I will, thank you so much! I remember when I was only 17 years old I flew on an Air India 747 from Delhi to Newark (They didn’t fly to SFO at the time), and I was in complete awe. I have so many memories on that aircraft, and now 26 years after I first flew on that aircraft I won’t get many chances to fly it. I understand many of the people on this forum don’t have old memories on this aircraft.

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Interesting! 26 years ago? Wow!

Even more now, $4,000 difference!


Makes sense, now that we know you are in Delta One…

WHAT?! That’s insane! I can’t belive that.

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I love the old Delta One the new one on the A350 is gonna be a lot different, I’ll miss the old one

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While I’ve been on a lot of 747s, never Delta’s…but either way, it hurts my heart to see it go. Not only was it the first airplane I was ever on (11 months old), but also the first airplane I remember being on (4 yrs old)…it definitely earned that special spot in my heart … :(

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