Australia’s Qantas celebrated their centenary in 2020, which has to be some of the worst luck ever. For the occasion, they created a special safety video showcasing their history, and one of the sets they created for it was a replica of their original Boeing 747B upper deck lounge.
With admirable attention to detail, the whole space was recreated for the shoot. Happily they have decided to donate the set to the Qantas Founders Outback Museum, which will be sure to enthrall generations of aviation history buffs for years to come.
The Captain Cook Lounge
Captain James Cook was a British explorer who is credited for being the first European to discover the eastern coastline of Australia, back in 1770. Qantas decided on a nautical theme for their first class lounges upstairs on their new jumbo jets and hence the Captain Cook lounge was born.
Decked out in trendy orange, purple and blue, and with nautical accents such as a globe, ships wheel and a picture of the man himself, it must have been a great place to congregate during flight. With a cocktail bar upstairs, I can imagine it being popular.
My mother flew Qantas in 1974 from Sydney to Nadi in Fiji and during the flight her and her friend were invited up by a flight attendant. She was travelling economy class, but knowing her personality, I am not at all surprised someone took a shine to her and took them up there.
The lounge is built to scale, and original panels were sourced from an old Qantas 747-200 retired in the Mojave Desert. From 1979, Qantas introduced business class and the lounges were eventually replaced by seats, a fate for all the original lounges on planes that had them.
It’s really cool to see how the rich and famous once travelled the skies. With the set now on long term loan to the Qantas Founders Outback Museum in Longreach, many people will have the opportunity to see it in the flesh.
As much as period photos give you a sense for something, you can’t really beat the experience in person. I’m pleased that Qantas decided to spend the money on this Captain Cook lounge replica.
Did you ever fly on board a Qantas 747 and experience this lounge in the 1970s? What was that like? What do you think of the replica? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
Featured image by Eduard Marmet on Airliners.net via Wikimedia Commons.