I’ve mentioned before that it’s a toss-up for me as to whether the Boeing 747 or Douglas DC-10 is my all-time favorite airplane, and here is another variation of the 747 for this installment of Vintage Airline Seat Maps. Called the “SP” for Special Performance, it is basically a shorter version based on the 747-100 and allowed for longer flight ranges with a reduced capacity. Sadly, I never flew on any of the SPs and I doubt I will given the only airline still flying them is Iran Air.
American bought two 747SPs from TWA in the late 1980s for their Dallas to Tokyo-Narita nonstop flights, and configured them to cater to the large amount of high-yield First and Business Class traffic frequently seen at that time on the Tokyo routes. This map doesn’t provide pitch info (the distance between seats), so the First Class section to me looks like it would be a little tight if the person in front of you were reclined fully flat in those sleeper seats. American operated these until about 1992, so it’s fascinating to see that a U.S. carrier still allocated sacred cabin space to a stand-up bar. I don’t think I’d like the upper deck on this bird given it’s small size, so you’d likely find me in 6A or 6J in First; an aisle in Business such as 19D or 19G; and if I were relegated to coach I’d hope for the exit row aisles in row 30.
Where would you sit?