I was thinking about an old advertisement I saw from the early 1970s touting Delta’s then-new (and short-lived) 747 service. Since I was a small child 747s have always been my favorite plane – their unusual shape, upstairs/downstairs configuration, and long-distance ability represented all that flight had to offer. You could sit in this incredibly designed airplane and go anywhere in the world you wanted. What more could a 10 year old need?
The young’uns out there likely have no recollection that 747s used to ply the domestic skies fairly regularly. In the mid-1980s I flew Continental and People Express 747s from New York to Los Angeles. Pan Am, Northwest and United were all flying 747s domestically at that time as well (American and Eastern also operated them for short periods.)
Using those aircraft on domestic flights today makes little-to-no economic sense. It probably made little-to-no economic sense on many of the flights it served back then (Pan Am was flying 747s between New York and Miami for a bit). But the most ridiculous were flown by Delta, which offered these 5 routes on 747s:
Dallas – Atlanta
Chicago – Miami
Detroit – Miami
Detroit – Altanta
Miami – Atlanta
Those were good times. Detroit – Miami on a 747. Har.
(Also funny is that ad I linked to suggesting that first class felt like being on a private jet – albeit a private jet with, uh, 400 seats).