Cathay Pacific's 747-400 will operate flights between San Francisco and Hong Kong through the end of August 2014, at which time it will be used exclusively on regional flights within Asia.
We had an opportunity to check out the plane up close at a farewell event in San Francisco this week.
You can still fly long-haul on Cathay's 747 for a few more weeks, on flight 870 to San Francisco and flight 872 to Hong Kong.
Boeing's 747-400 includes four engines from any of three manufacturers. Cathay Pacific opted for the Rolls-Royce RB211, each capable of 59,500 pounds of thrust.
Cathay Pacific's upper deck is reserved for Business Class. There's only one seat on each side of the plane, giving all passengers a window and direct access to the aisle as well.
Cathay Pacific flight attendants pose for pictures at the 747's farewell event on August 13th, 2014.
The Cathay Pacific flight attendants on the right were dressed in the airline's 1980s-era uniforms.
Boeing's 747-400, the Queen of the Skies, can travel more than 8,000 miles without refueling, enabling non-stop flights between San Francisco and Hong Kong.
Unlike on the monstrous Airbus A380, which has the flight deck below, the 747-400's cockpit is on the quiet upper deck, with passenger seating (First Class on Cathay Pacific) located in the plane's nose.
Cathay Pacific invited frequent flyers and staff to join journalists at the airline's 747 farewell event.
Tom Owen, Cathay Pacific's senior vice president for the Americas, snaps a photo of a friend posing with airline employees.
Guests had unusual access at the 747's farewell, getting up close and personal with the plane from the apron at SFO, also known as the "tarmac" or "ramp."
The 747-400 consists of three decks, with the lower deck reserved for equipment and cargo. Most passengers are seated on the main deck, while the upper deck in the airplane's hump houses Business Class and the cockpit.
Gate Gourmet, the airline's contracted caterer at SFO, loads meals for the flight back to Hong Kong.
At more than 14 hours from gate to gate, Cathay Pacific's flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong requires a redundant crew, typically with two captains and first officers. One pair takes a break in the crew rest area as the other works in the cockpit.
<p>A First Class seat, as seen in a Boeing 777-300ER, the aircraft Cathay Pacific has been using to replace the 747-400 on long-haul routes.</p> <p>[Photo credit: Cathay Pacific]</p>
<p>First Class seats are arranged in a 1-1 configuration in the 747s nose, with four rows (and a third seat in the fourth row), for nine seats in total. The 777 has three fewer seats, with two rows in a 1-1-1 configuration.</p> <p>[Photo credit: Cathay Pacific]</p>
<p>Business Class on the 747 is arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration on the main deck and a 1-1 configuration on the exclusive upper deck. All seats are 1-2-1 on the 777-300ER, which has just one deck.</p> <p>[Photo credit: Cathay Pacific]</p>
<p>Some airlines squeeze eight Business Class seats into each row -- Cathay's 1-2-1 configuration allows for quite a bit of extra room.</p> <p>[Photo credit: Cathay Pacific]</p>
<p>Business Class seats lie completely flat on both the 747 and 777, enabling passengers to get a full night's sleep on trans-Pacific flights.</p> <p>[Photo credit: Cathay Pacific]</p>
<p>The airline's Premium Economy cabin seats are similar to what you'd find in a domestic airplane's first class, with extra recline and leg rests. Seats are arranged in a 2-4-2 configuration on both the 747 and 777-300ER.</p> <p>[Photo credit: Cathay Pacific]</p>
<p>Premium Economy seats on both planes include seat-back displays with on-demand movies and TV shows, along with armrests and small drink tables separating each seat.</p> <p>[Photo credit: Cathay Pacific]</p>
<p>Premium Economy seats also include charging ports and gadget storage below each display.</p> <p>[Photo credit: Cathay Pacific]</p>
<p>Cathay Pacific's Economy seats are in a 3-4-3 configuration on the 747-400 and 3-3-3 on the slighter narrower 777, located at the back of each plane.</p> <p>[Photo credit: Cathay Pacific]</p>
<p>Economy passengers have 9-inch TVs with on-demand content on both the 747 and 777-300ER.</p> <p>[Photo credit: Cathay Pacific]</p>