WEIRD WEDNESDAY: Making Flight Delays More Tolerable (At Least In Sweden)

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Airport hotels are a common sight, and a welcome one to tired travelers looking for a convenient place to hang their hats for a night. But airplane hotels are a whole other story, and that’s what is located just outside Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, Sweden.

In operation since last month, “Jumbo Hostel” is contained in a circa 1976 Boeing 748-200 plane. The new lodging facility is owned by Scandinavian businessman Oscar Diös, who has previous hospitality experience as owner and operator of hostel Uppsala Vandrarhem och Hotell in Uppsala, Sweden.

The Boeing 737-200 was last flown in 2002.

The Boeing 748-200 was last flown in 2002.

Jumbo Hostel was designed to offer an affordable and memorable stay for travelers staying over at the airport, or for anyone intrigued by the unusual accommodations. There are 25 rooms, with at most three beds in each. In all, the hostel offers 85 beds, with a mix of shared dorm type rooms (currently about $45USD/night), shared two bed rooms (about $150USD/night), and a private suite in the former cockpit (approximately $170USD/night).

Each room occupies about 64 square feet and heights measure close to 10′ from floor to ceiling. All rooms have a flat screen TV where guests can also watch flight departure times. There is also access to wireless broadband throughout. All rooms offer a shared shower and toilet in the corridor, except for the cockpit suite which contains its own shower and toilet.

Jumbo Hostel also has a cafe where guests can buy breakfast and basic meals as well as heat up their own food.

This cutaway shows a typical guest quarter, along with common space.

This cutaway shows a typical guest quarter, along with common space.

In December 2007, Sigtuna authorities granted a building permit for establishing Jumbo Hostel at the entrance to Arlanda airport. In January 2008, the aircraft was moved to a construction site parking where the first phase of the conversion involved dismantling of the old interior, new paint and new decorations for the rooms. 450 seats are taken out, and the plane sanitized in its entirety. The Jumbo Hostel Web site notes that the facility is built “like any house,” subjected to the same demands on climate control and isolation. It adheres to all common energy standards. Heating is achieved with an air-air inverter.

In summer 2008 the plane was towed to its intended site at the entrance to Arlanda where it was placed on a concrete foundation with the landing gear secured in two steel cradles.

(Photo courtesy of Jumbo Hostel; Illustration by Monsén arkitektur)

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