It was inevitable! And I’m sick about it!
As much as I fly …
As often as I’ve been stranded at airports and forced to sleep at the gate …
As often as I’ve been forced to get up at 4:30 a.m. in a strange hotel to grab a cab to rush to the airport to get an early flight—only to have the flight delayed …
I should have been the one come up with this idea … me and a million other “frequent fliers” who have enough airport horror stories to write a book. I guess this is another perfect example of the knowing-doing gap. At the very least, a million of us KNOW the need for this creative innovation and yet none of us did anything to DO something about it.
However, someone did. Oscar Dios, longtime owner of a hostel and hotel in Uppsala, Sweden, saw a need and proceeded to fill it. In December of last year, ground was broken near the entrance to the Stockholm-Arlanda International Airport for a new Jumbo Hostel, housed in a genuine jumbo jet aircraft—a Boeing 747 to be exact!
This creative idea emerged as a near necessity considering that 17 to 18 million travelers pass through this airport every year. Couple that fact with a trend of late and delayed flights, increased passenger traffic, fuel price increases, and strikes, mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies. … all of which combine to add frustration to the stressed travelers hoping to reach their destination.
By the way, a hostel, as defined by HostelManagement.com, is a budget-oriented dormitory accommodation that accepts individual travelers for short-term stays, and that provides common areas and communal facilities.
This 747 is currently being converted into a 25-room hostel with 3 beds per room. The first phase of the conversion was the dismantling of the old interior, new paint and new decorations for the rooms. 450 seats were taken out and the plane was sanitized in its entirety. The plane has been placed on a concrete foundation with the landing gear secured in two steel cradles.
Each room features a flat-screen TV where you can, among other things, watch the times of departure for all flights. Everywhere in the jumbo jet you have wireless broadband Internet access for your convenience. The upper deck of this 747 has several more luxurious rooms with their own bathroom facility. For the ultimate in overnight luxury, you will even be able to spend the night in the cockpit, where you can enjoy a fantastic panoramic view of the live air traffic at the international airport.
As though all of that were not enough, how about an excursion area where visitors will be able to walk right out on the wing of the Jumbo jet? Not too many people can make claim to that unusual experience.
And should you get hungry, the 747 has its own café where you can buy breakfast, coffee and cookies and basic meals. You can also heat up food you may have brought along.
Can you imagine the peace of mind spending the night right there at the airport knowing that when you wake up in the morning you’re just a short stroll of your gate?
The Jumbo Hostel will open its doors for reservations in December and is guaranteed to be a unique and outstanding experience at a good price.
If this creative adventure proves successful, and there’s no reason to think it won’t, you can expect to see similar hostels popping up at every major airport in the U.S. before long. Convenience and comfort for fliers, strong competition to existing hotels, and profits for those undertaking the challenge of closing that knowing-doing gap.