In-flight gyms and discos in airlines’ bizarre plans We Never Got To Try…
Anyone for a jumbo disco – or a gym session to work off that in-flight meal?
They were just some of the crazy – and not so crazy ideas – that aircraft manufactures have come up with over the years to sell the virtues of their new jumbo designs which promised room to move.
While some, like the disco were discounted with a smile, others, like a downstairs lounge were tried by one airline.
McDonnell Douglas, now part of Boeing has to take the prize for the most bizarre suggestions, which made it into mock-up form.
It touted the disco for its DC-10 in 1970, and followed that up with a gym for its proposed super jumbo in MD-12 in 1991.
Interestingly, the then Korean Air president dismissed the gym and said on his airline’s aircraft there would be a mahjong parlor instead.
The manufacturer also touted a business office on its MD-12.
However, the four-engine MD-12 never made it past mock-up stage.
McDonnell Douglas also proposed a downstairs passengers deck on its three-engine MD-11 called the Panorama deck would have afforded a great view of the countryside below.
However, the costs of strengthening the fuselage in case of a wheels up landing killed off the idea.
Boeing is also guilty of some crazy ideas.
The 747 downstairs Tiger Lounge made for great photos – but was never taken up.
Not content with one try, Boeing rolled out the downstairs “Austin Powers lounge” under the floor some 20 years before Austin Powers was made famous by Mike Myers in 1997.
Boeing also looked at putting windows in the roof of its 747-8I series in an effort to make it more appealing.
A business class club made it into the roof of the 747-8I as well as sleeping cabins – but they only reached the mock up stage.
Only the Airbus concepts of a large bar and showers for the A380 have made it into reality.
Emirates, the champion of the A380 with 100 in service has a sensational bar in the upper rear cabin for premium passengers along with showers for first class at the front of the place.
One Airbus concept that didn’t get past the mock-up stage was the duty-free shop.
The challenge for airlines is that the demand for lower and lower fares means that space is at a premium – and you have to be paying premium fares to enjoy it.