January 15, 2009 / 5:23 PM / 10 years ago

For jet-setters, a new way to get a restful night

ARLANDA, Sweden (Reuters Life!) - Many people hate the idea of having to sleep on a plane. But Swedish entrepreneur Oscar Dios thinks they can be persuaded otherwise and he has created a new kind of hostel to prove it.

Local Manager Gisela Olsson poses in the cockpit suite during a media preview in the Jumbo Hostel at Arlanda Airport, Stockholm January 14, 2009. Jumbo Hostel is a Boeing 747-200 jumbo jet that has been converted into a 25 room hotel and cafe and the cockpit has been converted into a de luxe suite. REUTERS/Fredrik Sandberg/SCANPIX

Dios says it is the world’s first jumbo jet hostel, an actual jet-plane at Sweden’s main airport outside Stockholm which has been converted into a 25-room guesthouse that sleeps as many as 72 people.

“I learned about this plane that was standing abandoned at Arlanda airport and I’ve been trying the concept of hostels in many different houses and buildings,” he told Reuters. “I thought, ‘Why not a plane?’”

Jumbo Hostels opened for business on Thursday, giving customers the chance to check in and sleep in a room that can best be described as cozy.

“The most challenging part with this project is trying to build something inside a metal hull — it’s just really, really tight.”

The jet, which was originally produced for Singapore Airlines, was taken out of service in 2002. It is held on a concrete foundation with the landing gear secured in steel cradles.

One thing the hostel has going for it is price — a room starts at 350 Swedish crowns (about $41), which is a lot less than hotel rooms outside of major airports.

Another feature: customers can get married on the wing of the plane and reside in the plane’s more luxurious honeymoon suite situated in the cockpit.

Instead of walking down the aisle, lovebirds can take what Jumbo Hostels calls the “wing walk,” where they can be joined in bliss at the wing tip. The hostel has someone ready to perform the ceremony.

But in some respects, this hostel remains a plane — most clients have to share the jet’s nine bathrooms and staff only wear air steward and stewardess outfits. The only room that has its own bathroom is the honeymoon suite.

Writing by Adam Cox, editing by Paul Casciato

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