(Images: Stefan Sjögren, cc-sa-3.0; jingdianjiaju1 (inset), cc-sa-3.0)
In these times of escalating travel costs, an economy seat on a Boeing 747 is going to set you back a few quid. But ironically, an entire bed on this retired Jumbo is ideally suited for budget travellers and aviation enthusiasts alike. Known as the Jumbo Hostel, the decommissioned 747-200 boasts 27 bedrooms equipped with wireless internet and flatscreen TVs. With the exception of Air Force One, it’s arguably the most comfortable 200 series 747 in the world.
(Image: Lioba Schneider, reproduced under the Free Art License)
Located at the entrance to Stockholm-Arlanda Airport in Sweden, the Jumbo Hostel offers 24 hour service and features a cafe where guests and non-guests can enjoy breakfast – served on airline trays, of course. For a little extra exclusivity, guests can book the “Cockpit Suite”, a twin bedroom located on the flight deck with ensuite bathroom and even the remains of the 747’s flight controls.
(Images: jingdianjiaju1, cc-sa-3.0)
This Jumbo Jet was originally built for Singapore Airlines in 1976 before serving with Pan Am. The plane’s final operator, Swedish airline Transjet, collapsed in 2002. Authorities consented to the 747’s conversion to a hostel in 2007, and work began ripping out the original 450-seat interior and installing 70 beds in 27 bedrooms, while adhering to modern building regulations and energy standards. The hostel opened in 2008.
(Image: Brorsson, cc-sa-3.0)
At the Jumbo Hostel, guests can monitor flight information from the comfort of their own rooms, while the terminal buildings are just five minutes away. This Jumbo, which featured in our companion site’s article about creatively recycled and DIY 747s, is one of the lucky older model versions to have escaped the scrap heap, and stands resplendent in a fresh new livery today.?