My father worked for American Airlines in Cleveland when the first AA 747s went into service. We flew out to LaGuardia in New York to board one of the first cross-country flights. I was taken out of grade school for the family event of a lifetime.
We were seated near the rear in a center section, and from the time of takeoff we were wowed by the luxury of the flying living room. A five-course meal served on real china with real silverware. We flew into the sunset and enjoyed a large-screen movie, followed by an exploratory tour of the cabin and upstairs piano bar. I was amazed at the quality sound of the piano and the talent of the pianist. I also loved the spiral staircase. It was an amazing flight.
As an official airline brat, I was raised in and on the Boeing 707 and 727, but when I hired on with Allegheny Airlines, I had the honor of both working and flying on the 727 and 737 family of aircraft. Again, as an adult, I was amazed by the 747s as I flew out of London Heathrow during their 1981 air traffic controller strike. After an eight-hour ground delay, the military tower control allowed us to take off at a maximum ascent ... SPIRAL up several thousand feet before leaving the airspace directly ABOVE London Heathrow. We were a full boat but climbed up like an empty ferry and even made up time to Toronto on the jump over the pond. What an amazing aircraft!