EL-AL
Topic Author
Posts: 1470
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 8:29 am

Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:00 pm

Hello,

I have a long personal history with El Al's B747s fleet. My very first flight abroad was on El Al B747 (-200), so as my first flight to Europe (4X-AXD), my first flight to the US (4X-AXH), my first business class long haul flight (4X-ELA) so as my first flight to Asia (4X-ELE). Throughout my teen years, I flew almost every year to my family in North America using El Al B747s (both -200 and -400). Back then, boarding in TLV was done using stairs only, hence I remember vividly how, as a child and teenager, I was amazed from the 747 size and beauty every time I boarded the jumbo.
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Time passed by, other twin engines started dominating the skies, consequently catching a flight on a 747 became gradually rare. El Al, my home airline, is due to retire the 747 for good on October 2019, after 48 years in service; there was no doubt in my mild that I must fly on the Queen of the skies under El Al one last time. The Queen's last routes were Bangkok and Barcelona. I was supposed to be in Budapest 3 weeks before the last 747 flight, and I decided to make a short hop to Barcelona to fly back to Israel on the jumbo, on the very last day of the Jewish year.

I arrived to BCN terminal 1 well 2.5 hours before the flight. The terminal was very busy, and it took around 25 minutes just to pass passport control. As the flight was operated in all economy, it was possible to buy main deck business class seat for a fee, as I did. With the 747 having lie-flat beds it was a good deal in my opinion (FCL and upper deck JCL were empty this flight). Busy morning in BCN terminal 1:
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To my surprise (and joy), we were bussed to remote stand what gave me the option to admire once again the 747 size:
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My ride was 4X-ELA, LY's first 744 built in 1994, one of couple jumbos left in the fleet. I flew it 3 times in the past. Doors L2 and L5 were open, I went up L5 as I never used this door before to board a 747:
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Entering the plane, I was greeted by the crew than I was hit by the nostalgia - thick seats, those small PTV screens (state of the art in 1994, size of smartphone today), main projectors - it was all going back to my childhood:
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My "regular" seat as a teenager - 27K:
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I walked upfront to my seat in main deck business class (mien was in the single JCL row behind first class):
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My row:
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I had to take a look at first class in the nose of the plane. It was El Al's pride for many years, and in spite of been out of date the magic of sitting in front of the pilots cannot be beaten:
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El Al first class, around since 1971, is sadly dismantled: On remaining 747 routes no first class seats are sold, and the 777 fleet planes are been refurbished that first class and current business class seats are replaced with new JCL seats, known from the 787.
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View from the open L2 door:
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After running up and down the plane, taking pictures and behaving like 10 years old flying for the first time, it was time to sit down for takeoff. My seat:
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My legroom:
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Wing view from my seat:
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Seat controls:
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To my surprise, all passengers were given amenity kit - very nice touch for all-eco flight:
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Safety card:
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It’s the last month that the B747 is shown on El Al's fleet page:
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View from my seat:
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And off we go:
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Visit to the loo - remember the days that one could actually turn around in the bathroom?
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My screen and controls - I well remember those controls from my previous flights:
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Electric socket:
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Inflight service was a warm sandwich (roast beef or vegetarian) and drinks. I had orange juice and red wine:
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After eating I was trying to get some rest, but I was too excited to fall asleep. Hence, after a short while I took another cabin tour:
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Wing view:
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On those long transatlantic flights, I remember standing in the very back of the plane, looking upfront and simply cannot understand how this thing, long like a street, can get up in the air:
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I can't praise the crew of this flight enough. They immediately understood that I am an aviation fan, they allowed me to take as much pictures as I wished, some talked to me about their own personal history with the 747 and their feelings about the retirement, they couldn't care about me walking in the aisles and even allowed me on the upper deck after landing. They were simply amazing.

It was short flight after all, and before landing I moved to 21A, first row in Economy cabin, to an empty seat to get good wing view for landing:
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Entering Israel:
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On the ground, after rare landing on runway 21:
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Taxing next to the decommissioned 4X-ELD:
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After landing, I asked if I could take quick look on the upper deck:
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And that was it, my 28th and last El Al 747 flight was over:
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Thank you for reading, comments and feedback are always welcome. Please take a look at my other trip reports:
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every day is a good day to fly
 
LY777
Posts: 2545
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:58 pm

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Thu Oct 03, 2019 8:32 pm

I truly enjoyed reading you!! Thank you!

I have good memories on LY 747s, especially on the 742s with the coloured side panels.
It was also sad to see their 757s leave the fleet a few years ago as I flew them often on the Paris/TLV route!

Once again, thanks for sharing!
Flown:717,727,732,733,734,735,738,73H,742/744/748,752,753,762/2ER/763/3ER,772/77E/773/77W, 788, 789, DC8,DC10,E190,E195,MD83,MD88, L1011, A3B2,A319,A320-100/200,A321,A332/A333,A343,A388
 
beeweel15
Posts: 1017
Joined: Sun Nov 30, 2003 12:59 am

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:18 pm

I am surprised you got to take picture inside that aircraft. Did you have special permission from security
 
Max Q
Posts: 7847
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:46 am

Great report on the magnificent 747


Nice cabin with no nasty leather seats or claustrophobic ‘office cubicles’
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns are a malignant cancer that are destroying our society
 
LY777
Posts: 2545
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 6:58 pm

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Fri Oct 04, 2019 7:57 am

beeweel15 wrote:
I am surprised you got to take picture inside that aircraft. Did you have special permission from security


Taking pictures on El Al airplanes is allowed
Flown:717,727,732,733,734,735,738,73H,742/744/748,752,753,762/2ER/763/3ER,772/77E/773/77W, 788, 789, DC8,DC10,E190,E195,MD83,MD88, L1011, A3B2,A319,A320-100/200,A321,A332/A333,A343,A388
 
debonair
Posts: 3558
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2004 10:50 pm

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Fri Oct 04, 2019 10:25 am

On remaining 747 routes no first class seats are sold,


On a "regular" B747-400 flight, were the first class seats sold as BusinessClass?
The BusinessClass, especially the IFE, really looked outdated - no wonder so many Israeli choose LX, OS or other airlines over ElAl... Was the IFE/PTV still active, or does ElAl hand outs portable players on "regular" flights?
 
ConnectAir
Posts: 101
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:20 pm

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Fri Oct 04, 2019 2:46 pm

Nice trip report.
beeweel15 wrote:
I am surprised you got to take picture inside that aircraft. Did you have special permission from security

I've taken pictures both times I've flown on LY and have had no problems with security.
WN, LX, AZ, BA, LH, KL, DL, OK, S5, US, UA, VY, IB, AF, LY, F9, CO, YX x2, PD, AC, AA, OO, PT, QK

A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, A343, B712, B733, B737, B738, B753, B744, B764, B772, B789, CRJ9, DH8D, E145, E190
 
767747
Posts: 2211
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:27 pm

Love the photos from inside the 747. Looks like a good flight with ELAL. The cabin looks a bit dated for sure, but love the 1990 type look and feel!
I love to fly!
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1858
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:57 am

My first El Al flight was on a Boeing 720B in 1962 from London to New York. I just missed the Bristol Britania. And my Grandmother's first EL AL flight was to Nicosia on a Curtis in 1950. I remember in 1957 going to Vienna Airport when my grandmother took an EL AL Constellation.
 
DDR
Posts: 1648
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:09 pm

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Sun Oct 06, 2019 8:11 pm

Very nice trip report. Great pics. I think everyone will miss the Queen when she is gone from the skies.
 
EL-AL
Topic Author
Posts: 1470
Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2001 8:29 am

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Tue Oct 22, 2019 12:35 pm

LY777 wrote:
I truly enjoyed reading you!! Thank you!

I have good memories on LY 747s, especially on the 742s with the coloured side panels.
It was also sad to see their 757s leave the fleet a few years ago as I flew them often on the Paris/TLV route!

Once again, thanks for sharing!

Thx buddy, I am happy you liked it.

beeweel15 wrote:
I am surprised you got to take picture inside that aircraft. Did you have special permission from security

I never had any problems taking pictures in El Al airplanes, no permission needed.

Max Q wrote:
Great report on the magnificent 747
Nice cabin with no nasty leather seats or claustrophobic ‘office cubicles’

Thank you, this cabin has its magic but very outdated today.

debonair wrote:
On remaining 747 routes no first class seats are sold,


On a "regular" B747-400 flight, were the first class seats sold as BusinessClass?
The BusinessClass, especially the IFE, really looked outdated - no wonder so many Israeli choose LX, OS or other airlines over ElAl... Was the IFE/PTV still active, or does ElAl hand outs portable players on "regular" flights?

Hey, I don't know about the first class seats. Screens were working as usual.

767747 wrote:
Love the photos from inside the 747. Looks like a good flight with ELAL. The cabin looks a bit dated for sure, but love the 1990 type look and feel!

Thank you

DDR wrote:
Very nice trip report. Great pics. I think everyone will miss the Queen when she is gone from the skies.

Thank you buddy, I will miss the 747 for sure.
every day is a good day to fly
 
User avatar
TheZ
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:26 pm

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:43 pm

I really enjoyed reading this report, thanks for sharing. Long live the 747!
 
T4thH
Posts: 541
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2019 11:17 pm

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:59 pm

 
FlyingColours
Posts: 2328
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2003 3:13 am

Re: Down memory lane: farewell flight on El Al's 747 (JCL seat)

Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:29 pm

Wow that was a really good report with some awesome pictures, even the little details will be sorely missed so it's good to see those too :)

Phil
FlyingColours
Lifes a train racing towards you, now you can either run away or grab a chair & a beer and watch it come - Phil

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