When George Lucas created the “Star Wars” movie in 1977, he probably had no idea how it would impact the film industry. The film might have had hiccups during its production, but the moment it was released, it became the highest-grossing film; it has since been pushed to #5 but remains a fan favorite. Therefore, when the final episode of the “Star Wars” trilogy was announced, it was no surprise that most brands wanted to partner with LucasFilm to make it a premiere worth remembering. Coca-Cola Zero Sugar promoted the film with “Full Force Zero Sugar,” while Samsung released a campaign video featuring a dog that resembled Chewbacca. United Airlines also did its part to promote the movie by introducing a “Star Wars” plane, and here is all you need to know about flying on it.
The Plane Causes Fans to Go into a Frenzy
In April 2019, United Airlines tweeted that they were introducing their newest member of the intergalactic fleet. The airline urged fans to retweet the message for a chance to win a couple of tickets during the premiere. The tweet was posted during the week of the “Star Wars” Celebration, and fans could hardly wait for a chance to board the plane. Some even asked if it would sound like TIE Fighter aircraft when flying, and United Airlines responded the plane would not be as cool as the Millennium Falcon, but it would come close. CNet wrote that United Airlines had announced it would introduce a special Star-Wars themed plane to promote the release of the movie. The airline revealed that the plane chosen was one of its 737-800, the only aircraft joining the fleet. It featured lots of “Stars Wars” imagery, but Mark Hamill, who plays Luke in the film, said he could not see any resemblance to “Star Wars.” However, that was his opinion because The Washington Post detailed what you would expect upon booking your flight on the United Airlines Star Wars plane. According to the article, the first indication that you are flying on the themed aircraft is the movie's title written on the plane's exterior. Other indications are the red and blue lightsabers on each side of the tail and lots of stars on a dark backdrop. The two alliances are further depicted by the airline's name written in red and blue, representing the evil and good sides of the Force, respectively.
Inside the Airplane
As Vaughn College informs us, the inside of the plane facilitates flying like a Jedi as the plane offers a galactic experience. Once you have taken in the beautiful Star Wars imagery of the plane’s exterior, you are welcomed aboard with the movie’s soundtrack playing in the background. You also see a plaque that reads: “No matter where your travel takes you today – may the Force be with you.” Passengers receive an amenity kit featuring a toothbrush, tissues, earplugs, and skincare products. Before you find your seat, you will also notice the headrests; one side is in red bearing allegiance to the First Order. The other side is in blue, the ideal place for anyone who supports the Resistance faction.
However, it is important to note that you do not get the privilege of picking which side you will sit on. The airline’s spokeswoman explained that usually, flying on the Star Wars-themed plane is a surprise to many passengers. They will find out as the plane shows up at the airport, so you will end up getting the seat you had booked. Nevertheless, some beat the system and picked the seats they wanted on the “Star Wars” plane. All you need to know is the aircraft's tail number, and the airline revealed there would be only one plane getting the “Star Wars” theme - the N36272.
If you have a United Airlines app, you can check the flights for the current day and the next two days. Consequently, you have information to know where the plane will be heading, and you can book your preferred seat. Unfortunately, it is still a gamble because airlines have the right to swap aircraft at their discretion, and your tracking efforts will go to waste. The United Airlines Star Wars plane had been scheduled to fly until the end of 2020 when the Skywalker paint job would be removed, but it appears that the airline changed its mind. According to a tweet made by Clint Henderson and published by The Points Guy, Henderson said he got to fly on the B737 on May 24, 2021.
Is the United Airlines Star Wars Plan Still Available?
It appears unclear if United Airlines still has the Star Wars-themed plane. Since June 2021, there have been no posts regarding its being spotted, or a passenger flaunting the rare experience. If the airline retired the plane, United Airlines would not be the first to do so. According to FlightRadar24, LATAM Airline’s group had the world’s tallest stormtrooper painted on the tail of 777-300 ER PT-MUA, but the airline stored it in February 2021. Virgin Atlantic was not left behind in promoting the film. It had a Millennium Falcon painted on each side of the 747-400 G-VLIP, but it retired the aircraft in December 2020.
The only aircraft with Star Wars liveries seems to be ANA. It was the first to paint an aircraft with the livery. The 777-300ER JA789A was the second of ANA’s aircraft to be painted, and it bears a BB-8 Livery. It has 250 seats and can fly a range of 14,900 km, full load. ANA’s website published the aircraft’s scheduled flights are from October 31, 2021, to March 26, 2022. ANA, however, warned that the flights are subject to change without notice because of restricted operations caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, even if you do not get to fly on a United Airlines Star Wars plane, you still have the option of booking a flight with ANA.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn