When the Boeing 747 first entered service in 1970, airlines used the upper deck in various ways. Pan Am used theirs for a dining room, while others like Qantas used theirs for a lounge. Air Canada, at one point, had a dance floor upstairs on their planes.
The Canadian airline clearly thought this would attract more passengers on their transatlantic services between Canada and Europe. It doesn’t appear to have lasted very long, so lets have a look at it.
Air Canada’s Dance Floor
In his book ‘Aviation Memories: A Love Affair with Flight’, Ross Smyth writes, “PR manager Terry Denny recalls that the marketing branch were about to promote it as the Mile High Club, not recognizing that this already had a risqué meaning. The dance floor was soon scrapped.”
The Toronto Star did an article on 31 October 2004 called ‘Last of the 747s’ and Rick Westhead wrote about it too, mentioning it was in place for about a year after the aircraft was introduced in 1971.
From the article is this quote. “It was all so gracious,” said Heather Tregaskes, a 54-year-old Air Canada flight attendant who worked in that lounge. “We even had a mirrored wall and a dance floor, and sometimes stewardesses would even dance with customers.”
The photo below was apparently published in May 1972 and while small, there is indeed a space to dance. You wouldn’t want to be jumping up and down though! Music was apparently played from 8-track tapes.
Russ Reynard commented on an Internet forum that, “It was definitely there and so were the Flight Attendants in the casual lounge dresses. I had nothing to do with putting the dance floor down or dressing the FAs but I flew on that airplane and I have a memory of having my mouth fall open when I climbed the stairs to be greeted by a lovely lady in a lounge dress. No piano but everything else was there.”
I can only imagine what it would have been like to experience something like that. Would I have used it? Of course, dancing in the sky would be a lot of fun, especially if the music was decent!
While Air Canada might not have had the dance floor for very long, it certainly seems to be unique. By the late 1970s, most airlines had converted the upstairs spaces to standard seating as financial considerations took over.
Sabena seems to have kept their lounges the longest, all the way through to the 1990s. After that, the era of luxury spaces upstairs for lounging was sadly gone forever.
Did you ever experience the dance floor on an Air Canada Boeing 747? Would you have used it if you were able to? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.