Journal: The Airport Mobile Lounge Is A Throwback To Jet Age Design

The Airport Mobile Lounge Is A Throwback To Jet Age Design

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
October 15, 2015
8 comments

You’re looking at the last link between a Jet Age traveler and her jet airliner, en route to parts unknown. When Washington began to plan the impressive Dulles International Airport—the world’s first so-designed to accommodate jumbo jets—the facility’s architects and designers came up with this most impressive machine, a “lounge-taxi for the jet age”.

Known as the Mobile Lounge or, in recent years, the “Plane Mate”, the idea is simple: travellers walk onto an elevated bus that drives around and deposits them onto their aircraft. No fuss, no muss, no narrow walkways or awkward jetways. Even NASA had one.

Dulles’ adoption of the vehicles was thanks to Eero Saarinen, a Finnish architect who is now credited as one of the masters of his time. Helped by an animated film done by Charles and Ray Eames, the Mobile Lounge concept is explained in great detail above.…with, of course, the promise of reducing the amount of walking a traveler would need to do.

Have you taken the Mobile Lounge? Why hasn’t it taken off beyond only a few international airports?

Image sources: justacarguy.blogspot.comoldcaradvertising.comvintageadbrowser.comquora.com

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Christopher Dubea
Christopher Dubea

I ride in them fairly frequently. The curiosity factor has long since worn off.

There are two versions, 1 is fixed height and one raises. If I’m not mistaken the fixed height one is used for in-country flights and the other for international.

Also one of them can be piloted from both ends while the other has only one drivers cab. Don’t recall which is which. Like I said the curiosity factor has long since worn off.

Honestly I hate them as they are typically stuffed to the gills with passengers who aren’t in the mood to be courteous.

Triplepac
Triplepac

Good lord, I’m Jurassic… I actually flew the 727 at 4:25. The only problem; 727 weren’t introduced until 1964.

Ray Beltran
Ray Beltran

Hard to believe now the lack of respect people have for themselves. Ever one of the men deplaning are in suits and ties…

Triplepac
Triplepac

I still enjoy dressing nicely. It stands out among the “Johnson” T-Shirts.;)

Triplepac
Triplepac

While they are generally hated now (in IAD), the old Frontier used them in a different way for planes on the ramp waiting for a gate. It actually worked pretty well. As for IAD, they’re a bad band-aid for an outdated layout and hated especially by crews. I think with some remodeling, Eero Saarinen’s work can be made suitable for today. I’m really happy the JFK TWA terminal will survive as a hotel. I remember being based there and going to the very retro (dated?) employee cafeteria. The previous generation of Control Towers were designed by I.M. PEI. I think… Read more »

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Amen ! ….. on all counts … especially the architecture commentary ..

geelongvic
geelongvic

Hard to believe now that back in the 1960’s that Chrysler was the prime contractor for the Saturn 1b 1.5 million lb thrust eight engine clustered booster which was used for flight validation of the Apollo capsule with its final stage/service module.

Chrysler’s gas turbine engineering fed directly into the use of that power source for the Abrams Main Battle tank.

Sic transit gloria.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

In answer to your questions ; 1) Yes I have 2) For a multitude of reasons [ including cost ] many of which make little or no sense .. other than the excessive cost of purchase , maintenance and repair … not to mention One Size does not Fit All .. aircraft that is .. but yeah .. the ‘ Cool ‘ factor of them is undeniable regardless 😉 That Chrysler poster though . Talk about being reminded of the heights Chrysler had attained back in the day versus the Financial Abyss Chrysler and now FCA is and has been… Read more »