a plane flying in the sky

You don’t need to be a plane geek to recognize the Boeing 747, fondly known as the Queen of The Skies.

The unique “bubble” and four engines made it a global icon, greater than the likes of the Beckham’s, but as the world of aviation moves toward more environmentally friendly, fuel efficient planes, days in the skies for the good ole’ Queen are sadly numbered.

In fact, all of British Airways 747’s were retired earlier this year, and Virgin just flew its last 747 flight from Manchester in the week. Times are changing.

But a Queen deserves a fitting send off, and somehow, Virgin has miraculously managed to offer a safe and thrilling way to send the plane off in style, with priceless moments anyone flying on the plane would’ve likely missed over its last 50+ years of commercial service.

a large airplane flying in the sky

Virgin Atlantic 747 Farewell Event

On Saturday, December 12th, Virgin Atlantic is selling tickets in support of charity for an epic one off to say goodbye to the Boeing 747 at Heathrow Airport. Just how epic?

How does a photo of you in an actual 747 engine, a 3 course meal served in Upper Class, and champagne in the bubble sound? Plus, there will be speeches from the first female pilot to fly the 747, and a variety of other treats.

Virgin Atlantic says all guests will…

  • Sip champagne on the aircraft’s upper deck, fondly known as ‘the bubble.’
  • Savour a luxurious, three course a-la-carte meal, inspired by Virgin Atlantic’s on-board cuisine, from the comfort of their own Upper Class suite.
  • Hear first-hand what life was like at the controls of the queen of the skies from the airline’s pilots, including Yvonne Kershaw, the first female pilot to Captain the 747.
  • Take a hidden tour to the parts of the aircraft the public don’t usually see.  Visit where the cabin crew and pilots sleep, delve into in aircraft’s underbelly, explore the cargo hold and take a seat in the cockpit. 
  • Have a photo taken in one of the aircraft’s iconic red engines, as a memento from the day.

Health and safety is Virgin Atlantic’s absolute priority, so due to Covid restrictions and to allow for social distancing, only a limited number of tickets are available for purchase. 

These will be allocated on a first come first serve basis at from 9am on Monday 7th December. Each ticket is priced at £50 with all donations going to the Trussell Trust.  The Trussell Trust support a network of food banks and provide emergency food and support and campaign for change to end the need for food banks in the UK. Virgin Atlantic

Getting A Ticket

If this sounds like a dream, you’ll want to be on your game at 9AM GMT next Monday, the 7th of December. Tickets will be available here. Tickets are first come first serve, and obviously you’ll need to get to the base at Heathrow on your own.

For anyone who’s been desperate for an opportunity to say a proper goodbye, or anyone who felt deprived of one earlier in the year, this is an incredible opportunity to get closer to this piece of aviation history than anyone ever could on any commercial flight. Come for the photos, stay for the food, leave with a buzz. Roger that!

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Darn, was hoping it was the Friday – if I’m lucky enough to grab a place though I’ll have to change my plans for that day – sure it will be worth it though 🙂

      1. I managed the 747 flight deck during a transatlantic crossing (way before 911 of course!) but definitely curious to see other areas as well 🙂

  2. Virgin always seems to be thinking one step ahead of BA, a relatively simple thing to do and they will get plenty of free press out of it as well as helping a charity.
    I wonder if the tickets are sold in pair, so only 25 chances?
    Either way they will be in hot demand, ill be trying for at least one ticket (along with a million others im guessing).. good luck to all!

  3. Our 1st ever flight on a 747 was due to go in March of this year but cancelled due to covid then moved to Sept which was cancelled n now the 747s have gone from Manchester. Would be a great opportunity for my husband to experience the 747 experience please xx

  4. Well that sold out all three slots within about 2 minutes! I was on there bang on 0900 – all three time slots were showing available. Immediately selected 1 person for the 0830 slot – then watched the progress bar for about 2 minutes and it finally came back and said sold out! Checked the main page again and all three slots had sold out 🙁

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