In lieu of the weekly publication of, “The Hub,” I thought I’d share something neat with you this morning:
Each October, United Airlines hosts a Family Day and Fleet Week celebration at San Francisco Int’l airport, hosted by the SFO Maintenance Base.
This year, the 12th Annual United Airlines Family Day has been scheduled for Sunday, October 8, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. It is an event that is not open to the public, but rather only to employees, retirees, and their family members and friends. It features aircraft and shop tours, exhibits and displays, a car tour, plane pull contest and other goodies.
2017 will be a special one as the event intends to do a farewell tribute to the Boeing 747-400, which will fly its final international flight at the end of the month (UA 892 from Seoul to SFO on 10/29) and its final domestic flight roughly a week later (UA 747 from SFO to Honolulu on November 7).
Here is a flyer for the event, listed on United’s retiree page:
Who Can Attend?
As this is not an event open to the public, generally, you can only go as a guest of a United employee (presumably). However, it appears that this year, United partnered with our friends at The Points Guy, and invited 50 readers (plus their guests) to the event. Purportedly, two 747-400s will be on display, along with the 777-300ER.
In order to be selected, the readers had to submit a retirement letter to the 747, either as a form of text or a tweet and send it to The Points Guy via Twitter with the hashtag, #TPG747. They also had to be MileagePlus members and have an active Twitter account. The selection criteria would be determined by a team at TPG and subject to their contest policies.
I have no relation to The Points Guy and did not at the time of submitting an entry. So for me, this would be a crap shoot.
That said, I wanted to go because I love covering airline media events, meeting with other #AvGeeks, and most of all, celebrating the 747. My second international flight ever was on a 747-400, and it transported me to the first foreign country I have ever visited. I even remember the date, route and flight number: Lufthansa 760 from Frankfurt to Delhi, on December 14, 1993.
Since then, I have flown on the 747 a total of 18 times. One time on a 747-8I, twice on a 747-300, and once on a 747-100/200 series. The rest have all been on 747-400 variants, which is by far my favorite of the family, on the following carriers:
- Lufthansa (by far the most, between Frankfurt and Delhi on LH 760/761)
- KLM (which was actually a COMBI flight, and we were was diverted to Milwaukee en-route from Amsterdam to Chicago O’Hare)
- British Airways from London Heathrow to Johannesburg, which I got to fly in the Upper Deck
- Air India from Chicago to London Heathrow and London Heathrow to Delhi, in multiple cabin classes
How I Snagged a Spot
So, I decided to write my letter in the form of a song. I figured I should do something to differentiate myself.
I think Taylor Swift has some good songs. I am not a die-hard fan by any means, and frankly, I think her off-stage personally is rather annoying and people talk about it way too much.
I actually started to like her songs back in 2008 when she first came out with, “Our Song,” because I grew up in Texas and I’m a country boy. There has been a lot more cheese pop that she’s come out with since then. But there are also some songs that are catchy! I like these ones:
- “Blank Space”
- “Shake It Off”
- “I knew you were trouble”
- “Love Story”
But, my favorite of all is “22.”
It’s kind of a silly song, to be honest. And, usually, the more dumb-down the lyrics, the more I like it.
So, I’m not ashamed to admit that I wrote my “retirement letter” to the tune of “22” by T-Swift. Here is the song, in case you need to bop your head to the jam while trying to make some semblance of the (lack of) lyrical talent.
“It feels like a perfect night…to dress up like #AvGeeks,
And take pictures on stairwells, uh uh, uh uh.
It feels like a perfect night…for double-deckers,
To fall in love with four holes, uh oh, uh oh.
I’m happy, free, confused and nerdy at the same time,
It’s miserable and magical ten-abreast!
Tonight’s the night when we forget about the pax-ex, it’s time, uh oh…
I don’t know about you, but I’d like to say adieu!
Every little thing will be alright if, we get to rendezvous!
[United] don’t know about me, but I still look up to you!
Every little thing will be alright if, we keep pretending like you’re…brand new!
uh uh ah ah ah, brand new!
It seems like one of those nights…We tour the big Queen…
and end up geeking, cause she’s antique-ing!!
You look like bad news, I gotta thank you, for what we’ve been through! Yeah!”
So I Was Selected…
Last week, I got a notice from TPG on Twitter:
So, thanks Tay-Tay. I’m off to SFO this weekend!
Be sure to follow me on Twitter @rohanaanand and instagram to check out my trip!
Looking forward to seeing everyone there!