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Exclusive first look: Inching closer to launch, TWA Hotel unveils room design

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Exclusive first look: TWA Hotel unveils planned room design

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The TWA Hotel's rooms will feature floor-to-ceiling

The TWA Hotel’s rooms will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and views of either the airfield or the TWA Flight Center building.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
The entrance to hangar where the TWA Hotel unveiled

The entrance to hangar where the TWA Hotel unveiled a mock-up showing the new standard rooms for the JFK airport hotel that’s expected to open in 2019.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Adrianne Hick modeling a vintage 'jungle green' uniform

Adrianne Hick modeling a vintage ‘jungle green’ uniform by Dalton of America that was worn by flight attendants during winter seasons between October 1968 through 1971.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Adrianne Hick, modeling a vintage flight attendant

Adrianne Hick, modeling a vintage flight attendant uniform, leads the way into Room 528 — mock-up in a JFK airport hangar that showed what the standard rooms will look like at the anticipated new TWA Hotel.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
MCR CEO Tyler Morse shows off a mock-up plan for the

MCR CEO Tyler Morse shows off a mock-up plan for the standard rooms at the anticipated new TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK airport.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
This is what the bathrooms will look like in a standard

This is what the bathrooms will look like in a standard room at the new TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK Airport.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Guests staying at the new TWA Hotel at New York's JFK

Guests staying at the new TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK Airport will get TWA-themed toiletries.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Guests staying at the new TWA Hotel at New York's JFK

Guests staying at the new TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK Airport will get TWA-themed toiletries. “We encourage people to steal stuff,” said MCR CEO Tyler Morse, before adding: “Not a ton of stuff.”  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A mock-up in a hangar at JFK's Airport housed a realistic,

A mock-up in a hangar at JFK’s Airport housed a realistic, life-size representation of what the room areas will look like at the new TWA Hotel when it opens in 2019.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
TWA Hotel showed off this mini-bar area as part of

TWA Hotel showed off this mini-bar area as part of a reveal of what its standard rooms will look like at the hotel when it opens in 2019. The retro flight attendant uniforms will not be included.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A full-scale mock-up for the TWA Hotel shows what guests

A full-scale mock-up for the TWA Hotel shows what guests can expect in standard rooms once the property opens in 2019. The rooms will include mid-century furniture and rotary phones.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Standard rooms at the new TWA Hotel will feature refurbish

Standard rooms at the new TWA Hotel will feature refurbish rotary-dial phones and retro-style TWA-branded stationary.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
MCR CEO Tyler Morse shows off the blackout shades in

MCR CEO Tyler Morse shows off the blackout shades in the life-size mock-up of a typical standard room that will be featured in the new TWA Hotel.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Work desks in the standard rooms at the new TWA Hotel

Work desks in the standard rooms at the new TWA Hotel will be behind the beds, affording guests a view of either the airfield or the iconic TWA Flight Center terminal building.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
MCR CEO Tyler Morse shows off a life-size mock-up of

MCR CEO Tyler Morse shows off a life-size mock-up of a typical standard room that will be featured in the new TWA Hotel.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A vintage 1960s-era TWA pilot hat was among the props

A vintage 1960s-era TWA pilot hat was among the props brought out as the TWA Hotel unveiled the design for its standard rooms. The hotel is expected to open in 2019.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Beds at the TWA Hotel will be positioned so that guests

Beds at the TWA Hotel will be positioned so that guests can see out the window as they fall asleep or after they wake up.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Standard rooms at the new TWA Hotel will be cozy, but

Standard rooms at the new TWA Hotel will be cozy, but they’ll feature mid-century aesthetics and nods to its now-defunct namesake airline.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Work desks in the standard rooms at the new TWA Hotel

Work desks in the standard rooms at the new TWA Hotel will be behind the beds, affording guests a view of either the airfield or the iconic TWA Flight Center terminal building.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
MCR CEO Tyler Morse with various test items used in

Standing in a workshop room at a hanger at New York JFK, MCR CEO Tyler Morse shows off some of the numerous items being considered or tested for guest rooms.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
The TWA Hotel's rooms will feature floor-to-ceiling

The TWA Hotel’s rooms will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and views of either the airfield or the TWA Flight Center building.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
TWA-branded items -- like this water glass -- will

TWA-branded items — like this water glass — will be stocked in rooms for guests staying at the new TWA Hotel once it opens at New York’s JFK Airport in 2019.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Standing in a workshop room at a hanger at New YOrk

Standing in a workshop room at a hanger at New York JFK, MCR CEO Tyler Morse shows off some of the numerous pencil designs that were considered for guest rooms.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
It didn't look like much from the outside, but this

It didn’t look like much from the outside, but this mock-up created a life-size model showing a hallway and standard hotel room planned for the new TWA Hotel. Seen to the left is the desk used by Jack Frye, TWA’s president from the mid-1930s in to the 1940s.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
4/6/18 2:52:07 PM -- New York, NY -- ****EMBARGOED

The AirTrain passes in front of the old TWA Flight Center terminal, which will be the hotel’s lobby. The new hotel wings under construction on either side will house the property’s 512 guest rooms.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
MCR Tyler Morse leads a tour through the old TWA Flight

MCR Tyler Morse leads a tour through the old TWA Flight Center terminal building April 6, 2018. Now under reconstruction, the terminal will become part of a mammoth 200,000-square foot lobby that connects two wings of hotel rooms.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018. Now under reconstruction, the terminal will become a 200,000-square foot lobby for the new TWA Hotel.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018. Now under reconstruction, the terminal will become a 200,000-square foot lobby for the new TWA Hotel.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018. The terminal’s iconic Solari split-flap flight departure boards are being restored, though they will no longer show active flight information.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
MCR Tyler Morse leads a tour through the old TWA Flight

MCR Tyler Morse leads a tour through the old TWA Flight Center terminal building April 6, 2018. Now under reconstruction, the terminal will become part of a mammoth 200,000-square foot lobby that connects two wings of hotel rooms.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
MCR Tyler Morse leads a tour through the old TWA Flight

MCR Tyler Morse leads a tour through the old TWA Flight Center terminal building April 6, 2018. Now under reconstruction, the terminal will become part of a mammoth 200,000-square foot lobby that connects two wings of hotel rooms.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018, as it undergoes reconstruction. Lounge areas will be restored as part of the TWA Hotel’s 200,000-square foot lobby.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
The prominent central clock that became a signature

The prominent central clock that became a signature piece of the TWA Flight Center.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Aging signage from the old TWA Flight Center sits in

Aging signage from the old TWA Flight Center sits in the terminal building on April 6, 2018. The building is being repurposed as a 200,000-square foot lobby for the TWA Hotel that will open in 2019.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
4/6/18 11:30:24 AM -- New York, NY -- ****EMBARGOED

4/6/18 11:30:24 AM — New York, NY — ****EMBARGOED UNTIL 4/16/2108**** Looking over the old terminal building, now under reconstruction. It will be the hotel lobby. Tyler Morse CEO, MCR, pointing out the Pope’s Room, where Pope John Paul II rested on a NYC visit in 1979.USA TODAY is getting a sneak peak at what the rooms will look like at the anticipated new TWA Hotel at New York’s JFK airport. We’ll have access to a mock-up in a hangar showing the new rooms as well as to the old TWA Terminal, now in the process of being converted into the hotel. — Photo by Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY staff ORG XMIT: RD 137043 TWA Hotel sneak 04/06/2018 [Via MerlinFTP Drop]  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Seen here is one of the old TWA terminal's iconic flight

Seen here is one of the old TWA terminal’s iconic flight tubes. They’ll remain and will connect the TWA Hotel lobby to the guest-room wings, the JFK AirTrain and to Terminal 5 that’s used by JetBlue.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018, as it undergoes reconstruction. Lounge areas will be restored as part of the TWA Hotel’s 200,000-square foot lobby.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018. Now under reconstruction, the terminal will become a 200,000-square foot lobby for the new TWA Hotel.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018. Now under reconstruction, the terminal will become a 200,000-square foot lobby for the new TWA Hotel.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
The prominent central clock that became a signature

The prominent central clock that became a signature piece of the TWA Flight Center.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018. Now under reconstruction, the terminal will become a 200,000-square foot lobby for the new TWA Hotel.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018. Now under reconstruction, the terminal will become a 200,000-square foot lobby for the new TWA Hotel.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
MCR Tyler Morse leads a tour through the old TWA Flight

MCR Tyler Morse leads a tour through the old TWA Flight Center terminal building April 6, 2018. Now under reconstruction, the terminal will become part of a mammoth 200,000-square foot lobby that connects two wings of hotel rooms.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Tyler Morse CEO, MCR, pointing out the 'Pope’s Room,'

Tyler Morse CEO, MCR, pointing out the ‘Pope’s Room,’ where Pope John Paul II rested on a NYC visit in 1979.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A look out of the old TWA Flight Center on April 6,

A look out of the old TWA Flight Center on April 6, 2018, as it is being refurbished to become the TWA Hotel lobby. One wing of the new hotel visible through the terminals glass.  Robert Deutsch, USAT
One of two new wings flanking the old TWA Flight Center

One of two new wings flanking the old TWA Flight Center are seen rising from inside the terminal building on April 16, 2018. The new wings will house 512 guest rooms.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
Seen here is one of the old TWA terminal's iconic flight

Seen here is one of the old TWA terminal’s iconic flight tubes. They’ll remain and will connect the TWA Hotel lobby to the guest-room wings, the JFK AirTrain and to Terminal 5 that’s used by JetBlue.  Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018, as it undergoes reconstruction. Lounge areas will be restored as part of the TWA Hotel’s 200,000-square foot lobby.  Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018, as it undergoes reconstruction. It is being restored as part of the TWA Hotel’s 200,000-square foot lobby.  Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018, as it undergoes reconstruction. It is being restored as part of the TWA Hotel’s 200,000-square foot lobby.  Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building

A view inside the old TWA Flight Center terminal building on April 6, 2018, as it undergoes reconstruction. It is being restored as part of the TWA Hotel’s 200,000-square foot lobby.  Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
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The old TWA terminal’s iconic flight tubes will remain. They’ll connect the TWA Hotel lobby to the guest-room wings, the JFK AirTrain and to Terminal 5 that’s used by JetBlue.  Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
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Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
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The workshop room at a hanger at New York JFK, which houses some of the numerous amenities and fixtures that were considered for guest rooms.  Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
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The workshop room at a hanger at New York JFK, which houses some of the numerous amenities and fixtures that were considered for guest rooms.  Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
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The workshop room at a hanger at New York JFK, which houses some of the numerous amenities and fixtures that were considered for guest rooms.  Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
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Framed as art, these passes you used to show ‘occupied’ seats on TWA flights in the era before assigned seats were common, says MCR CEO Tyler Morse.  Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
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The desk used by Jack Frye, TWA’s president from the mid-1930s in to the 1940s, was donated to the TWA Hotel. It will be displayed on the grounds.  Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
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The old TWA Flight Center, which will become a 200,000-square foot lobby, takes center stage as two six-story room wings rise on either side of it as seen in this April 6, 2018, photo from New York’s JFK Airport.  Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY

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NEW YORK — Rotary dial phones. Iconic midcentury modern architecture. TaB sodas in the mini-bar.

If that sounds like it could be 1962, that’s by design. It’s all part of the DNA of the new TWA Hotel that’s set to open next year at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Anchored around the landmark TWA Flight Center that opened in 1962 as the jet age dawned, the airport property is one of the most-anticipated hotel openings of 2019.

It’s easy to see why.

The 512-room hotel will feature two new six-story towers that flank the old TWA terminal’s “head house,” an architectural masterpiece designed by Eero Saarinen. The terminal is in the process of being converted into a 200,000-square-foot lobby t the hotel claims will be the world’s largest.

The TWA Hotel will include six restaurants and eight bars. One of those, a cocktail bar, will be housed in a refurbished Lockheed “Constellation” aircraft that was a staple of the TWA fleet in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

“People appreciate differentiation these days,” says Tyler Morse, CEO of the MCR and Morse Development firms that are spearheading the redevelopment of the TWA site. “We’re kind of living in one giant Walgreen’s. It’s a very homogeneous world.”

The TWA Hotel, Morse says, will shake that up.

Already, enthusiasts — both aviation and architectural — have eagerly awaited each new detail to emerge about the iconic structure’s rebirth as a hotel.

“Our phones are ringing off the hook,” Morse says. “People are wildly excited about this project.

Veteran travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt is not surprised.

“I have not seen a new hotel attract the level of interest from travelers, aviation enthusiasts — even the hotel industry itself — as the TWA Hotel has,” says Hartevdelt, who worked for now-defunct TWA in the 1980s.

ARCHIVES: TWA lounge opens at One World Trade Center; airport hotel to follow (story continues below)

TWA lives on in new WTC lounge, upcoming hotel

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The TWA Lounge's reception desk modeled after Jet Age

The TWA Lounge’s reception desk modeled after Jet Age city center TWA ticket counters created by iconic mid-century industrial designer Raymond Loewy.  Emily Gilbert
The TWA lounge at 1WTC.

The TWA lounge at 1WTC.  Jesse David Harris
A sunken lounge carpeted in Chili Pepper Red, the signature

A sunken lounge carpeted in Chili Pepper Red, the signature color created by Saarinen for the TWA Flight Center, and the Custom Solari split-flap analog display.  Emily Gilbert
The sunken lounge carpeted in Chili Pepper Red, the

The sunken lounge carpeted in Chili Pepper Red, the signature color created by Saarinen for the TWA Flight Center. The custom Solari© split-flap analog display, manufactured in Udine, Italy, shows flight departures.  Emily Gilbert
The TWA lounge at 1WTC.

The TWA lounge at 1WTC.  Jesse David Harris
Upholstered banquettes and floors are installed with

Upholstered banquettes and floors are installed with approximately 396,900 penny tiles from the TWA Flight Center. The floor is installed Tiles sourced by Ann Sacks; banquettes in Maharam fabric.  Emily Gilbert
Ambassadors Lounge in TWA Lounge at 1WTC with vintage

Ambassadors Lounge in TWA Lounge at 1WTC with vintage Saarinen Tulip Chairs with original 1962 Knoll fabric seats, Saarinen Executive Side Chairs, Arm Chairs and marble Pedestal tables, all produced by Knoll.  Emily Gilbert
A flight hostess and pilot at the ticket counter front

A flight ‘hostess’ and pilot at the ticket counter front desk with airline beverage carts stocked with TaB, champagne and cocktails.  Emily Gilbert
A rotating collection of 51 original Jet Age David

A rotating collection of 51 original Jet Age David Klein prints commissioned by Howard Hughes are installed on the curved walls of the TWA lounge at 1WTC modeled after the curved architecture of the TWA Flight Center.  Emily Gilbert
The telescope in the TWA lounge on the 86th floor points

The telescope in the TWA lounge on the 86th floor points directly to the TWA Hotel at JFK International Airport.  Emily Gilbert
Ambassador Service dinnerware was used in First Class

Ambassador Service dinnerware was used in First Class on TWA Flights in the 1960s.  Jesse David Harris
Vintage rotary phone, martini glass and ash tray on

Vintage rotary phone, martini glass and ash tray on a mid-century modern table in the TWA lounge.  Emily Gilbert
MCR’s TWA Collection includes a library of historic

The TWA Collection at the lounge includes a library of historic design and branding books, vintage flight collateral, iconic TWA flight hostess uniforms and a scale model of Eero Saarinen’s Flight Center at TWA Airport.  Emily Gilbert
On display in the TWA lounge at 1WTC, “The Cutout,”

On display in the TWA lounge at 1WTC, “The Cutout,” a 1944 light blue gabardine TWA uniform by Hollywood fashion designer Howard Greer, featured triangular jacket flaps that could be unbuttoned to cover the TWA letters when flight hostesses wished to have a cigarette or cocktail off duty.  Emily Gilbert
On display in the TWA lounge at 1WTC is Pierre Balmain’s

On display in the TWA lounge at 1WTC is Pierre Balmain’s khaki ‘hostess’ uniform for TWA, worn in 1965. TWA was the first American airline to collaborate with an internationally celebrated fashion designer on its uniforms.  Emily Gilbert
MCR’s TWA collection includes decades of vintage TWA

MCR’s TWA collection includes decades of vintage TWA flight ‘hostess’ uniforms, including those designed by Balmain, Valentino and Ralph Lauren. Many uniforms were donated by the Clipped Wings, an organization of former TWA flight attendants.  Emily Gilbert
David Klein’s Fly TWA Florida and breakfast served

David Klein’s Fly TWA Florida and breakfast served on TWA Ambassador Service dinnerware.  Emily Gilbert
Model TWA Lockheed Constellations and David Klein’s

Model TWA Lockheed Constellations and David Klein’s Fly TWA Portugal in the TWA lounge at 1WTC.  Emily Gilbert
Union concrete worker pours concrete for the new TWA

Union concrete worker pours concrete for the new TWA Hotel.  MCR
MCR and Morse Development CEO Tyler Morse and VP Construction

MCR and Morse Development CEO Tyler Morse and VP Construction Jason Garone in the below-grade event center excavation at the TWA Hotel construction site, September 2017.  MCR
New York government officials including Governor Andrew

New York government officials including Governor Andrew Cuomo attended the TWA Hotel groundbreaking on Dec. 15, 2016.  Max Touhey
View of north hotel wing foundation.

View of north hotel wing foundation.  MCR

The TWA terminal was last used for flights in 2001 and has been empty since. The building has since been declared a New York City landmark and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Already, visitors are intrigued by a rooftop pool that will afford views of the airfield — not to mention the Constellation and the hotel-lobby conversion of the TWA Flight Center that’s now in progress.

The TWA Hotel will formally unveil the look and layout of its standard rooms on Tuesday. USA TODAY got a sneak peek ahead of the official public unveiling.

“We’re bringing back the magic of 1962,” Morse says, describing the property as an “experiential hotel.”

“Everything we’re doing is unique and bespoke,” Morse adds during a preview of the rooms at a JFK hangar where MCR has put together a “top-secret” full-scale mock-up of what will be a standard room at the hotel.

The standard rooms are on the small side, averaging 325 square feet. Forty-four of the hotel’s rooms will be larger suites, with the biggest topping out at around 1,200 square feet. All will include aesthetics that are sure to appeal to aviation and design buffs.

They’re fronted with floor-to-ceiling windows; most afford guests views of either flight activity on the airfield or a panorama of the TWA Flight Center itself.

“You can walk right up to the window and watch the planes take off and land,” Morse says of the airfield-facing rooms.

Even the hotel beds are positioned so that guest will fall asleep with a view out the window.

“When you wake up, you see the airfield,” Morse says, tipping his hat to aviation enthusiasts. “If you’re an ‘avgeek,’ this is pretty cool.”

30 COOL AVIATION PICS: Retro airline logos, jumbo jets and test flights (story continues below)

30 cool aviation pics: Retro airline logos, jumbo jets & test flights

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The iconic red-lettered TWA logo stands atop the famous

The iconic red-lettered TWA logo stands atop the famous TWA Flight Center, now dormant, at New York JFK Airport on Jan. 16, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
The Museum of Flight Seattle's Boeing 727, the very

The Museum of Flight’s Boeing 727, the very first ever made, is prepared for a rare, final flight in Everett, Wash., on Jan. 30, 2016. The jet is expected to fly sometime in early March.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
An American Airlines Airbus A321 jet leaves Seattle's

An American Airlines Airbus A321 jet leaves Seattle’s Boeing Field in July of 2015 with a sports charter aboard.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Light creeps into the sky as NASA's DC-8 flying laboratory

Light creeps into the sky as NASA’s DC-8 flying laboratory cruises over western Washington State on Dec. 5, 2015.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
A Delta Air Lines Airbus A330 widebody jet takes off

A Delta Air Lines Airbus A330 widebody jet takes off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Dec. 26, 2015.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
A look back to American Airline's route map circa 1952,

A look back at American Airlines’ route map circa 1952, found in a Welcome Aboard pamphlet photographed in Seattle on Jan. 27, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 jet takes off from Seattle-Tacoma

An Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 jet takes off from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport under pink skies on Dec. 26, 2015.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
A brand-new Lion Air Boeing 737 performs a go-around

A brand-new Lion Air Boeing 737 performs a go-around pass over Paine Field, north of Seattle, on Jan. 9, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Three year old Julian returns from a holiday trip at

Three-year-old Julian returns from a holiday trip at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Jan. 3, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Smoke trails the main gear of a Delta Air Lines Boeing

Smoke trails the main gear of a Delta Air Lines Boeing 757 as it lands at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Dec. 31, 2015.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
An unpainted Boeing 737 bound for European low cost

An unpainted Boeing 737 bound for European low-cost carrier Ryanair takes off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., during a test flight on Jan. 9, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
One of New JFK's newest visitors, a Finnair Airbus

One of New York JFK’s newest visitors, a Finnair Airbus A350 jet, lands at the airport on Jan. 16, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Swiss Airlines' first Boeing 777 climbs into the Pacific

Swiss Airlines’ first Boeing 777 climbs into the Pacific Northwest dusk on Jan. 9, 2016 in Mukilteo, Wash.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
A small Cessna plane takes off from Snohomish County

A small Cessna plane takes off from Snohomish County Airport in Everett, Wash., in January of 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
An unpainted Boeing 737 bound for European low cost

An unpainted Boeing 737 bound for European low-cost carrier Ryanair takes off from Paine Field in Everett, Wash., during a test flight on Jan. 9, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Orange pastels light the early morning sky in New York

Orange pastels light the early morning sky in New York City as a Delta Connection Bombardier CRJ lands at JFK Airport on Jan. 16, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Completing a journey from South America, a LAN Boeing

Completing a journey from South America, a LAN Boeing 787-9 jet lands at New York JFK Airport on Jan. 16, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
jetBlue jets operate at New York JFK airport on January

JetBlue aircraft operate at New York JFK Airport on Jan. 16, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Alaska Airlines employees practice a dance before the

Alaska Airlines employees practice a dance before the company unveils its latest branding effort in Seattle on Jan. 25, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Alaska Airlines employees pose for a photo with the

Alaska Airlines employees pose for a photo with the company’s newest livery, unveiled in Seattle on Jan. 25, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
A colorfully painted Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 jet

A colorfully painted Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 jet lands at New York JFK Airport in January 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Boeing test pilot Craig Bomben greets employees and

Boeing test pilot Craig Bomben greets employees and media after completing the first Boeing 737 MAX flight in Seattle on Jan. 29, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
An Icelandair Cargo Boeing 757 jet lands at New York

An Icelandair Cargo Boeing 757 jet lands at New York JFK Airport in January 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
A passenger checks flight status board at New York

A passenger checks flight status boards at New York JFK’s Terminal 5 on Jan. 17, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Multiple jets traverse the taxiways and runways of

Multiple jets traverse the taxiways and runways of New York JFK Airport on Jan. 17, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Boeing's first 737 MAX takes to the sky for its maiden

Boeing’s first 737 MAX takes to the sky for its maiden flight under rainy skies in Renton, Wash., on Jan. 29, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
An Asiana Airlines Airbus A380 jet departs New York

An Asiana Airlines Airbus A380 jet departs New York JFK for Seoul on Jan. 17, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Alaska Airlines unveils its first livery update in

Alaska Airlines unveils its first livery update in 25 years at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Jan. 25, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
An unpainted Boeing 777 cargo jet takes off from Boeing

An unpainted Boeing 777 cargo jet takes off from Boeing Field in Seattle on Jan. 29, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY
Iconic Mt. Rainier provides a phenominal photo op from

Iconic Mount Rainier provides a phenomenal photo op from an American Airlines flight in August of 2015.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren for USA TODAY

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Morse also predicts the TWA Hotel will be one of the world’s quietest, thanks to a seven-pain curtain wall he says is among the thickest in the world.

“We’re at an airport. People expect it to be noisy, so we overcompensated,” he says.

The decor of the rooms, handled by architecture and interior design firm Stonehill Taylor, could be mistaken as a museum exhibit highlighting midcentury Americana, though there’ll be a separate aviation- and architecture-themed museum for that on site.

Guests will be able to make calls on vintage 1950s-era Western Electric 500 rotary-dial phones, with no charges for either local or long-distance numbers.

“We’re buying them on eBay,” Morse says, noting there aren’t many other places to track down working rotary phones these days. “They replace the guts of the phone,” swapping out the old analog technology for a modern connection.

No word yet on whether there’ll be instructions for guests too young to have ever encountered such a phone.

TODAY IN THE SKY: American completes ‘Heritage’ plane rollout with TWA, AirCal paint jobs (story continues below)

American Airlines honors past with ‘heritage plane’ paint schemes

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This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct TWA.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct TWA.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct TWA.  American Airlines
American paints a Boeing 737 (registration number N915NN)

American paints a Boeing 737 (registration number N915NN) in the colors of TWA as part of its series of ‘Heritage Planes.’  American Airlines
This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct AirCal.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct AirCal.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct AirCal.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct AirCal.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct Reno Air.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct Reno Air.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct Reno Air.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Boeing 737 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct Reno Air.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Airbus A319 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Airbus A319 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct Piedmont Airlines.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Airbus A319 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Airbus A319 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct Allegheny Airlines.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Airbus A319 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Airbus A319 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct PSA.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Airbus A319 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Airbus A319 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct America West.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Airbus A319 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Airbus A319 is painted in colors honoring now-defunct PSA.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Airbus A321 is a 'Heritage Plane'

This American Airlines Airbus A321 is a ‘Heritage Plane’ bearing the livery of US Airways.  American Airlines
This American Airlines Airbus A321 is painted in colors

This American Airlines Airbus A321 is painted in colors of merger partner US Airways  American Airlines

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Some of the phones rotary phones destined for guestrooms were visible in warehouse next to the hotel’s room mock-up at the JFK airport hangar.

Other items in the warehouse included everything from art to glassware to robes and slippers. All were tested for both usability and their aesthetic fit into the rooms’ overall aesthetic.

Among the items in the testing warehouse: dozens of pencils, which Morse suggests are more complicated to choose than one might think.

“What size font” for the TWA Hotel branding? “Do you die the eraser TWA red” or leave it uncolored? And what about the metal bracket holding the eraser? “We chose silver shiny,” Morse says, holding up an example.

Airport as a destination?

Airport hotels are rarely regarded as destinations in themselves, left to the province of stranded travelers or those overnighting ahead of a 6 a.m. flight.

But Morse thinks the TWA Hotel — about 15 miles from Manhattan — can pull it off.

Though a number of other hotels line JFK’s periphery, the TWA Hotel will be the only one on the airport’s actual grounds. But Morse believes the lure of the property will go beyond.

“Thirty percent of our business will be events, celebrations and corporate meetings,” he says, adding that the hotel anticipates hosting 100 weddings and 50 bar mitzvahs each year.

Harteveldt thinks the TWA Hotel might actually be able to extend its reach beyond that of a typical airport hotel, but “a lot will depend on their execution.”

“There will be a lot of people interested in trying it,” he adds. “The question is, ‘will they be successful enough to get repeat business?’ They have to treat it as a destination hotel … as a true first-class, four-star or better hotel.”

Morse also struck that theme during the room preview.

“We don’t want to open so wildly hot and then die,” he said, noting the importance of offering a solid product over the long haul. “I don’t like cool hotels, because — by definition — cool is ephemeral. What is cool today is not cool tomorrow. What we want to do is a good product and a terrific experience.”

“We don’t want to be a flash in the pan,” Morse adds.

ALSO ONLINE: A look at some of US Airways’ airplane liveries from the past 35 years

A look at some of US Airways’ airplane liveries from the past 35 years

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A file photo of a USAir Boeing 727 at Washington's

A file photo of a USAir Boeing 727 at Washington’s National Airport in 1995.  USA TODAY file photo
US Airways planes at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on

US Airways planes at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on July 25, 2007.  Ross D. Franklin, AP
With the Capitol in the backgroud, a US Airways plane

With the Capitol in the backgroud, a US Airways plane lands at Washington’s Reagan National Airport on Aug. 12, 2002.  Associated Press
A USAir Boeing 737 circa 1988.

A USAir Boeing 737 circa 1988.  ‘Aero Icarus’ via Flickr
The tails of a US Airways plane is seen in Chicago

The tails of a US Airways plane is seen in Chicago in July 2001. In the background is the tail of Northwest Airlines, a brand that disappeared in 2008 after merging with Delta.  Tim Boyle, Getty Images
This photo provided by Harrisburg (Pa.) International

This photo provided by Harrisburg (Pa.) International Airport shows a ticket cover and letter from US Air on its first day of flying under that new name in 1979.  Harrisburg (Pa.) International Airport
A USAir Boening 737 jetliner taxis at Washington National

A USAir Boening 737 jetliner taxis at Washington National Airport on Sept. 9, 1994.  Associated Press
A USAir Express Beech 1900-C at Pittsburgh on May 8,

A USAir Express Beech 1900-C at Pittsburgh on May 8, 1995.  Eileen Blass, USA TODAY
Metrojet, a short-lived low-fare 'carrier within a

Metrojet, a short-lived low-fare ‘carrier within a carrier,’ was one of US Airways’ attempts to fight off Southwest’s encroachment into the Northeast. It didn’t work.  ‘Andrew Thomas’ via Flickr
US Airways and America West jets in Phoenix on May

US Airways and America West jets in Phoenix on May 19, 2005. America West acquired US Airways that year but took US Airways more-recognizable name.  Matt York, AP
Fifth-grade students deplane a USAir Express flight

Fifth-grade students deplane a USAir Express flight at Bishop International Airport in Flint, Mich., in 1996.  Associated Press
A USAir Jetstream 31 at Pittsburgh on May 8, 1995.

A USAir Jetstream 31 at Pittsburgh on May 8, 1995.  Eileen Blass, USA TODAY
USAir CEO Stephen Wolf stands behind a model of a jet

USAir CEO Stephen Wolf stands behind a model of a jet showing the then-new US Airways name and logo at a news conference in New York on Oct. 12, 1996.  Ed Bailey, Associated Press
A US Air British Aerospace BAE 146 circa 1989.

A US Air British Aerospace BAE 146 circa 1989.  ‘SDASM Archives’ via Flickr
A undated file picture shows a US Airways A330-300

A undated file picture shows a US Airways A330-300 flying over Toulouse in southern France.  AFP/Getty Images
A USAir Boeing 737 circa 1990.

A USAir Boeing 737 circa 1990.  ‘Aero Icarus’ via Flickr
The tail of US Airways' Pittsburgh Steelers-themed

The tail of US Airways’ Pittsburgh Steelers-themed Airbus A319 jet as seen at its official unveiling at Pittsburgh International Airport on Sept. 12, 2007.  By Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
In this April 8, 2010 file photo, a US Airways plane

In this April 8, 2010 file photo, a US Airways plane takes off from Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix.  Cheryl Evans, The Arizona Republic
A USAir Express "Dash 8" at Pittsburgh on May 8, 1995.

A USAir Express “Dash 8” at Pittsburgh on May 8, 1995.  Eileen Blass, USA TODAY
A USAir jet takes off from Washington National Airport

A USAir jet takes off from Washington National Airport on Sept. 9, 1994.  Associated Press
A USAir Boeing 737-300 landing at Pittsburgh on May

A USAir Boeing 737-300 landing at Pittsburgh on May 8, 1995.  Eileen Blass, USA TODAY
A US Airways flight prepares to depart from Pittsburgh

A US Airways flight prepares to depart from Pittsburgh International Airport on Sept. 13, 2004.  Gene J. Puskar, AP
A USAir MD-80 at Pittsburgh on May 8, 1995.

A USAir MD-80 at Pittsburgh on May 8, 1995.  Eileen Blass, USA TODAY
US Airways planes in Phoenix in 2014.

US Airways planes in Phoenix in 2014.  Nick Oza/The Republic
A USAir DC-9 at Pittsburgh in 1995.

A USAir DC-9 at Pittsburgh in 1995.  Eileen Blass, USA TODAY
A USAir Boeing 737 seen in 1995.

A USAir Boeing 737 seen in 1995.  H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY
A USAir Express Dash 8 near Washington National Airport

A USAir Express Dash 7 near Washington National Airport in 1995.  H. Darr Beiser, USA TODAY
In this July 22, 2008, file photo, a US Airways Express

In this July 22, 2008, file photo, a US Airways Express plane passes behind a JetBlue plane at Boston’s Logan Airport.  Lisa Poole, AP
In this file photo from Oct. 29, 2010, a US Airways

In this file photo from Oct. 29, 2010, a US Airways Express flight approaches Philadelphia International Airport.  Matt Rourke, AP
A US Airways aircraft painted in the colors of the

A US Airways aircraft painted in the colors of the Arizona Cardinals NFL team is seen in Phoenix on Oct. 7, 2011. The plane is one of several that the airline painted in the colors of pro football teams.  Tom Tingle, The Arizona Republic
The tail of US Airways' Pittsburgh Steelers-themed

The tail of US Airways’ Pittsburgh Steelers-themed Airbus A319 jet as seen at its official unveiling at Pittsburgh International Airport on Sept. 12, 2007.  Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY
An undated file photo of a US Airways Express plane

An undated file photo of a US Airways Express plane operated by regional carrier Republic.  Republic Airways
A vintage USAir shot from American Airlines' archives.

A vintage USAir shot from American Airlines’ archives.  American Airlines
A vintage USAir Express shot from American Airlines'

A vintage USAir Express shot from American Airlines’ archives.  American Airlines
A vintage USAir shot from American Airlines' archives.

A vintage USAir shot from American Airlines’ archives.  American Airlines
A vintage USAir Express shot from American Airlines'

A vintage USAir Express shot from American Airlines’ archives.  American Airlines

ALSO ONLINE: A look at Delta and Northwest Boeing 747s through the years (More: Delta and the Boeing 747: A brief history)

A look at Delta and Northwest Boeing 747s through the years

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An undated photo from the 1970s showing a Delta Air

An undated photo from the 1970s showing a Delta Air Lines Boeing 747.  Delta Air Lines
An undated photo of a Northwest Orient Boeing 747-200

An undated photo of a Northwest Orient Boeing 747-200 in flight over Asia.  Delta Flight Museum
Delta Mechanic and Boeing 747 tire in a photo from

Delta Mechanic and Boeing 747 tire in a photo from 1972.  Delta Air Lines
A Delta Boeing 747 is seen in Atlanta in a photo that

A Delta Boeing 747 is seen in Atlanta in a photo that Delta dates to 1970.  Delta Air Lines
Delta and Northwest aircraft tails. The 2008 merger

Delta and Northwest aircraft tails. The 2008 merger brought 747s back into Delta’s fleet for the first time since the 1970s.  Delta Air Lines
Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-400, Ship 6301. The aircraft

Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-400, Ship 6301. The aircraft was the first “400” variant of the 747 to be delivered to an airline. It began flying for Northwest in 1989 and made its last flight in 2015, operating as Delta flight from Honolulu to Atlanta.  Boeing via Delta Air Lines
An undated photo of a Northwest Orient Boeing 747.

An undated photo of a Northwest Orient Boeing 747.  Delta Flight Museum
A Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-200 freighter pictured

A Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-200 freighter pictured in 1991.  Delta Flight Museum
Georgia Gov. Lester G. Maddox speaks at a dedication

Georgia Gov. Lester G. Maddox speaks at a dedication ceremony of Delta’s first Boeing 747 in 1970.  Delta Air Lines
A Delta Boeing 747 (right) is seen in Atlanta in this

A Delta Boeing 747 (right) is seen in Atlanta in this photo from 1972.  Delta Air Lines
Delta's first Boeing 747 - dubbed 'Georgia Belle'

Delta’s first Boeing 747 – dubbed ‘Georgia Belle’ – went into service in 1970 with one daily round-trip on an Atlanta-Dallas-Los Angeles routing.  Delta Air Lines
A Delta Boeing 747 ad from 1970.

A Delta Boeing 747 ad from 1970.  Delta Air Lines
A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 flight crew is seen in

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 flight crew is seen in the cockpit in a photo from 1973.  Delta Air Lines
The 'Penthouse cabin' of Delta's Boeing 747 is seen

The ‘Penthouse cabin’ of Delta’s Boeing 747 is seen in an undated promotional photo from the 1970s. Delta offered the “world’s first flying penthouse apartment” located above the First Class cabin and adjacent to the First Class lounge. Seats for six passengers sold as a unit and were staffed by a flight attendant.  Delta Air Lines
This undated Delta Boeing 747 photos is from the 1970s.

This undated Delta Boeing 747 photos is from the 1970s. The 747 was the first Delta plane with a personal audio system, offering seven “Deltasonic” channels playing the Beatles, Bert Bacharach and Beethoven.  Delta Air Lines
An undated photo from the 1970s showing the interior

An undated photo from the 1970s showing the interior of a Delta Air Lines Boeing 747. The 747 was the first Delta plane with overhead bins for carry-on bags instead of open racks.  Delta Air Lines
Delivery of Delta's first Boeing 747 in 1970.

Delivery of Delta’s first Boeing 747 in 1970.  Delta Air Lines
Delta touts its Boeing 747s in this undated advertisement

Delta touts its Boeing 747s in this undated advertisement from the 1970s.  Delta Air Lines
'Ship 6305' was the first Northwest 747-400 to be repainted

‘Ship 6305’ was the first Northwest 747-400 to be repainted in the Delta livery.  Delta Air Lines
Northwest rolled out this 'First to Fly' postcard 1989

Northwest rolled out this ‘First to Fly’ postcard 1989 as it became the first airline to fly the ‘-400’ variant of the Boeing 747.  Delta Air Lines
This undated photo shows a Northwest Boeing 747-400

This undated photo shows a Northwest Boeing 747-400 cargo jets.  Delta Air Lines
This undated photo shows a Northwest Boeing 747-400

This undated photo shows a Northwest Boeing 747-400 cargo jets, likely from 1989 or the early 1990s.  Delta Air Lines
The first Boeing 747-400 ever built - Ship 6301 - retired

The first Boeing 747-400 ever built – Ship 6301 – retired from service on Sept. 9, 2015, after logging more than 61 million miles. This March 2017 showed its debut at the Delta Flight Museum, where it’s now part of the ‘747 Experience.’  Delta Air Lines
Ship 6301, the first Boeing 747-400 built, taxis into

Ship 6301, the first Boeing 747-400 built, taxis into position at the Delta Flight Museum in March 2017.  Delta Air Lines
Former and current Delta CEOs, Ed Bastian (curent,

Former and current Delta CEOs, Ed Bastian (curent, right) and Richard Anderson hold up copies of the Atlanta newspaper the day after the Delta-Northwest merger was announced in 2005. The merger, completed in 2008, brought 747s back into Delta’s fleet.  Delta Air Lines
Delta promotional material highlighting an employee-focused

Delta promotional material highlighting an employee-focused Boeing 747 farewell tour in late 2017.  Delta Air Lines
This 2012 photo of 'Delta One' business-class seats

This 2012 photo of ‘Delta One’ business-class seats were among the last interior updates to Delta’s Boeing 747s.  Delta Air Lines
This 2012 photo of 'Delta One' business-class seats

This 2012 photo of ‘Delta One’ business-class seats were among the last interior updates to Delta’s Boeing 747s.  Delta Air Lines
Northwest was the launch customer of the '-400' variant

Northwest was the launch customer of the ‘-400’ variant of the Boeing 747. That first model of the jet, delivered in 1989, is seen here in an undated photo.  Delta Air Lines
This file photo from Jan. 21, 2010, shows fliers walking

This file photo from Jan. 21, 2010, shows fliers walking past a Delta Airlines 747 aircraft at the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.  Paul Sancya, AP
A frontend-loader operator drives between piles of

A frontend-loader operator drives between piles of snow as a Northwest Airlines 747 taxis amid a snowstorm at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Jan. 4, 1999.  Richard Sheinwald, Associated Press
A Delta Air Lines 747-400 airplane sits at Seattle-Tacoma

A Delta Air Lines 747-400 airplane sits at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on Oct. 8, 2012.  Ted S. Warren, AP
Northwest Airlines launches this 'WorldPlane' Boeing

Northwest Airlines launches this ‘WorldPlane’ Boeing 747-400 paint scheme artwork created by children from the U.S. and Asia. The picture is from Minneapolis/St. Paul from 1997.  Jim Mone, Associated Press
Northwest Airlines launches this 'WorldPlane' Boeing

Northwest Airlines launches this ‘WorldPlane’ Boeing 747-400 paint scheme artwork created by children from the U.S. and Asia. The picture is from Minneapolis/St. Paul from 1997.  Jim Mone, Associated Press
Sarah Maesch, 11, of Clarkston, Mich., signs a reproduction

Sarah Maesch, 11, of Clarkston, Mich., signs a reproduction of her artwork on the fuselage of a Northwest Airlines Boeing 747 at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport on May 13, 1997. Maesch was one of 18 children from around the world whose artwork appears on the plane.  Tom Pidgeon, Associated Press
A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 lands within view of an

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 lands within view of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737 at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in June 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, special to USA TODAY
Northwest's first Boeing 747-400 revenue passenger

Northwest’s first Boeing 747-400 revenue passenger cuts a ribbon at the gate in Minneapolis/St. Paul on Feb. 9, 1989, with station manager Arlie Johnson.  Northwest Airlines via Delta
Drink service on a Northwest Orient Boeing 747 circa

Drink service on a Northwest Orient Boeing 747 circa 1970.  Delta Flight Museum
A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-400 is seen in flight

A Delta Air Lines Boeing 747-400 is seen in flight in June 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, special to USA TODAY
Locals snap photos as Delta Air Lines moves the first

Locals snap photos as Delta Air Lines moves the first Boeing 747-400, now retired, to its new home at the company’s museum in Atlanta on April 30, 2016.  Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, special to USA TODAY
Delta employees fashioned Hawaii-style lei for one

Delta employees fashioned Hawaii-style lei for one of Delta’s last-ever domestic 747 revenue flight, which flew from Honolulu to Los Angeles to Detroit in September 2018.  Delta Air Lines
One of Delta's last-ever regularly scheduled domestic

One of Delta’s last-ever regularly scheduled domestic flights on the 747 arrives in Los Angeles in September 2017 as part of a run from Honolulu to Los Angeles to Detroit.  Delta Air Lines
A Northwest Orient Boeing 747 circa 1970.

A Northwest Orient Boeing 747 circa 1970.  Delta Flight Museum
One of Delta's last-ever regularly scheduled domestic

One of Delta’s last-ever regularly scheduled domestic flights on the 747 arrives in Los Angeles in September 2017 as part of a run from Honolulu to Los Angeles to Detroit.  Delta Air Lines
A historical shot of a Northwest Orient Boeing 747.

A historical shot of a Northwest Orient Boeing 747.  Delta Flight Museum
A historical shot of a Northwest Orient Boeing 747.

A historical shot of a Northwest Orient Boeing 747.  Delta Flight Museum
A Northwest Orient postcard from 1985 featuring a Boeing

A Northwest Orient postcard from 1985 featuring a Boeing 747.  Delta Flight Museum
Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-400, N661US, Ship 6301

Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-400, N661US, Ship 6301 is seen at Minneapolis/St. Paul on May 1, 1990.  Delta Flight Museum (Mike Cleary of Eagan, Minn.)
A specially painted Northwest Airlines Boeing 747 is

A specially painted Northwest Airlines Boeing 747 is seen in route to Asia in 1997.  Delta Flight Museum
A Northwest Orient Boeing 747 ad from 1970.

A Northwest Orient Boeing 747 ad from 1970.  Delta Flight Museum
The first-class lounge on a Northwest Orient Boeing

The first-class lounge on a Northwest Orient Boeing 747 circa 1970.  Delta Flight Museum
The bar on a Northwest Orient Boeing 747 circa 1970.

The bar on a Northwest Orient Boeing 747 circa 1970.  Delta Flight Museum
Two engines of a Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 are seen

Two engines of a Delta Air Lines Boeing 747 are seen circa 1971.  Delta Air Lines
A Northwest Airlines Boeing 747 freighter in 2009.

A Northwest Airlines Boeing 747 freighter in 2009.  Delta Flight Museum
Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-222B (N646NW) at Amarillo,

Northwest Airlines Boeing 747-222B (N646NW) at Amarillo, Texas, in 2001.  Delta Flight Museum
An undated photo showing a night view of a Northwest

An undated photo showing a night view of a Northwest Orient Boeing 747-200 with ground support equipment.  Delta Flight Museum

MORE: A look at United Airlines’ Boeing 747 over the years

A look at United Airlines’ Boeing 747 over the years

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A United Airlines Boeing 747-400 in an undated handout

A United Airlines Boeing 747-400 in an undated handout photo.  Courtesy United Airlines
A United Airlines Boeing 747 flies over San Francisco

A United Airlines Boeing 747 flies over San Francisco in this photo from the 1980s.  SFO Museum Aviation Museum and Library
United Airlines' Olympic-marked Boeing 747-400 in an

United Airlines’ Olympic-marked Boeing 747-400 in an undated photo.  Courtesy United Airlines
United Airlines' first Boeing 747, a -100 model, during

United Airlines’ first Boeing 747, a -100 model, during an un-dated photo flight.  Courtesy United Airlines
On board United Airlines' lounge-style upper deck on

On board United Airlines’ lounge-style upper deck on a Boeing 747-100, circa 1972.  Courtesy United Airlines
On board United Airlines' lounge-style upper deck on

On board United Airlines’ lounge-style upper deck on a Boeing 747-100, circa 1972.  Courtesy United Airlines
A United Airlines Boeing 747-400 sporting the company's

A United Airlines Boeing 747-400 sporting the company’s post-merger livery with Continental Airlines during an un-dated photo flight.  Courtesy United Airlines
Black and white photograph depicting low aerial view

Black and white photograph depicting low aerial view of United Air Lines Boeing 747 on taxiway at San Francisco International Airport (SFO); Terminal Building and Pier C visible in background.  SFO Museum Aviation Museum and Library
A United AIrlines Boeing 747-400 sports the company's

A United AIrlines Boeing 747-400 sports the company’s Battleship Grey livery during an un-dated photo flight.  Courtesy United Airlines
The Boeing 747 is christened in 1970.

The Boeing 747 is christened in 1970.  Courtesy United Airlines
Passengers enjoy a lounge aboard the main deck of a

Passengers enjoy a lounge aboard the main deck of a United Airlines Boeing 747 in 1970.  Courtesy United Airlines
Flight attendants prepare meals in the lower level

Flight attendants prepare meals in the lower level galley aboard a United Airlines Boeing 747-100 in 1970.  Courtesy United Airlines
A flight attendants prepares a meal in the lower level

A flight attendants prepares a meal in the lower level galley aboard a United Airlines Boeing 747-100 in 1970.  Courtesy United Airlines
Photo shows rear section of United Airlines Boeing

Photo shows rear section of United Airlines Boeing 747 and Condor Air Lines Boeing 747s in background at San Francisco International Airport circa 1992.  SFO Museum Aviation Museum and Library
A United Airlines Boeing 747, aircraft registration

A United Airlines Boeing 747, aircraft registration number N4703U, is seen at San Francisco International Airport, circa 1977.  SFO Museum Aviation Museum and Library
Stewardesses, as they were called then, prepare meals

Stewardesses, as they were called then, prepare meals in the lower level galley aboard a United Airlines Boeing 747-100 in 1970.  Courtesy United Airlines
Passengers enjoy United's then first-class service

Passengers enjoy United’s then first-class service aboard a Boeing 747-100, circa 1970. The classic spiral staircase, common in the 747 classics, is seen in the top right.  Courtesy United Airlines
On board United Airlines' lounge-style upper deck on

On board United Airlines’ lounge-style upper deck on a Boeing 747-100, circa 1970.  Courtesy United Airlines
On board United Airlines' lounge-style upper deck on

On board United Airlines’ lounge-style upper deck on a Boeing 747-100, circa 1970.  Courtesy United Airlines
A United AIrlines Boeing 747 Friend Ship ad from 1970.

A United AIrlines Boeing 747 Friend Ship ad from 1970.  Courtesy United Airlines
A United AIrlines Boeing 747 Friend Ship ad from 1970.

A United AIrlines Boeing 747 Friend Ship ad from 1970.  Courtesy United Airlines
A United AIrlines Boeing 747 Friend Ship ad from 1970.

A United AIrlines Boeing 747 Friend Ship ad from 1970.  Courtesy United Airlines
United Air Lines receives its first Boeing 747 in a

United Air Lines receives its first Boeing 747 in a delivery ceremony on June 30, 1970.  Courtesy United Airlines
United Airlines Boeing 747 at takeoff, San Francisco

United Airlines Boeing 747 at takeoff, San Francisco International Airport, circa 1977.  SFO Museum Aviation Museum and Library
United shows off its flagship lounge services, contrasting

United shows off its flagship lounge services, contrasting the Boeing 377 Stratocruiser lower deck lounge circa 1947, left, and the new Boeing 747-100 Friend Ship upper deck lounge in 1970, right.  Courtesy United Airlines
United Airlines' first Boeing 747, a -100 model, during

United Airlines’ first Boeing 747, a -100 model, during an un-dated photo flight.  Courtesy United Airlines
The front page of Continental Airlines 1969 corporate

The front page of Continental Airlines 1969 corporate report, showing a Boeing 747-100 flying over Waikiki Beach in Hawaii.  Courtesy United Airlines
A United Airlines Boeing 747 in an undated photo.

A United Airlines Boeing 747 in an undated photo.  Courtesy United Airlines
A United AIrlines Boeing 747-400 sporting the Saul

A United AIrlines Boeing 747-400 sporting the Saul Bass livery, seen on an un-dated photo flight.  Courtesy United Airlines
A United AIr Lines Shield Magazine cover from August

A United AIr Lines Shield Magazine cover from August 1970, with a flight attendant standing in the engine.  Courtesy United Airlines
From July 1970, a United Airlines Shield Magazine cover

From July 1970, a United Airlines Shield Magazine cover introducing the Boeing 747.  Courtesy United Airlines
Black and white photograph depicting “before-and-after”

Black and white photograph depicting “before-and-after” images of United Airlines Boeing 747 in new paint livery scheme, maintenance center at San Francisco International Airport (SFO); aircraft registration number N4718U.  SFO Museum Aviation Museum and Library
A United Airlines Boeing 747 takes off from San Francisco

A United Airlines Boeing 747 takes off from San Francisco International Airport in this circa 1998 photo.  United Airlines Boeing 747 at takeoff, San Francisco International Airport
A profile view of a UnitedAirlines Boeing 747 at San

A profile view of a UnitedAirlines Boeing 747 at San Francisco International Airport in September 1975.  SFO Museum Aviation Museum and Library
A lapel pin issued by United Airlines in the 1990s.

A lapel pin issued by United Airlines in the 1990s.  SFO Museum Aviation Museum and Library
A United Airlines Boeing 747 is seen in the background

A United Airlines Boeing 747 is seen in the background in this photo from 1970.  SFO Museum Aviation Museum and Library
This photograph shows an aerial view of United Airlines

This photograph shows an aerial view of United Airlines maintenance center at San Francisco International Airport. The facility played a crucial role for United’s 747 fleet over the years.  SFO Museum Aviation Museum and Library

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