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Saying goodbye to the Queen: our tour of Virgin’s last Boeing 747 (Part 2)

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This is Part 2 of our press preview of Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 747 retirement event yesterday. Part 1 is here.

Crossing under the aircraft, we moved to the opposite wing where one engine was unfurled for engineering work:

Virgin Atlantic 747 GE CF6 engine

Which exposed the complex piping of the turbofan:

Virgin Atlantic 747 turbofan

We also took a peek into the forward cargo hold:

Virgin Atlantic 747 cargo hold

Virgin has flown over 3,500 dedicated cargo flights since the pandemic started, transporting essentials such as PPE. With lots of routes suspended worldwide many airlines are now flying cargo-only flights and are even putting cargo into the cabin.

Back on board, we took a look at the flight deck, which is situated in the nose on the upper deck of the aircraft:

Virgin Atlantic 747 cockpit

Before I got carried away and reversed Pretty Woman out of the hangar, I opened the flight deck’s emergency escape hatch:

Virgin Atlantic 747 escape hatch

What an amazing view!

Virgin Atlantic 747 Vaga girl

After our tour of the aircraft we sat down for a three course meal in the exclusive 14-seat Upper Class cabin in the nose:

Virgin Atlantic 747 Upper Class cabin

The champagne was free-flowing….

Virgin Atlantic 747 champagne

I had the mozzarella and tomato salad:

Virgin Atlantic 747 starter

The Dingley Dell pork belly:

Virgin Atlantic 747 main

…and a cheese selection to finish.

Virgin Atlantic 747 cheese board

It was a wonderful reminder of long-haul travel and a taster – I hope – of what 2021 has in store for us. Touch wood ….

Conclusion

The 747 has played an iconic role in aviation since its debut in 1970. In the last 50 years it has flown passengers from virtually every corner of the earth – and made a lot of memories in the process.

The retirement of Virgin’s 747s is the bittersweet end of an era. On the one hand, these aircraft are iconic with their unique profile.

On the other hand, they are gas guzzlers, and newer aircraft are both more efficient and more enjoyable with quieter cabins and higher cabin pressurisation to reduce jet lag.

It will be sad to see the 747s go – but at least they’re leaving in style.


How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards

How to earn Virgin Points from UK credit cards (October 2021)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Virgin Points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses.

You can choose from two official Virgin Atlantic credit cards (apply here, one has a bonus of 15,000 points):

Virgin Rewards credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward Mastercard

The UK’s most generous free Visa or Mastercard at 0.75 points / £1 Read our full review

Virgin Rewards Plus credit card

Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard

15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending Read our full review

You can also earn Virgin Points from various American Express cards – and these have sign-up bonuses too.

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold is FREE for a year and comes with 30,000 Membership Rewards points, which convert into 30,000 Virgin Points:

Nectar American Express

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

Until 2nd November 2021, there is a special offer on The Platinum Card from American Express.

You will receive a sign-up bonus of 60,000 Amex points which converts into 60,000 Virgin Points.

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Virgin Points

(Want to earn more Virgin Points?  Click here to see our recent articles on Virgin Atlantic and Flying Club and click here for our home page with the latest news on earning and spending other airline and hotel points.)

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