During the years that Jo has worked in the travel industry, she has been granted numerous special offers and discounts. These have included car hire, flight tickets, train tickets and hotel stays. And a hotel discount was exactly what we exploited last night when the family went to Arlanda for a one night mini-break in an old Boeing 747 that has been converted into a hostel.
We opted for the luxurious cockpit suite and adjoining first-class cabin. The cockpit itself was only just large enough to house a king-sized bed and small TV screen. The living quarters held eight original airplane seats lined up on either side of the cabin, with a couple of temporary beds slotted in where there was space. A reasonably large TV was placed at one end of the room, though curiously it ended up being at a 90 degree angle to the seats, making it uncomfortable to watch.
The en suite bathroom was rather difficult to navigate. The natural curvature of the outer wall likened it to an obstacle course. You had to duck to get through the door, then you were faced with either leaning to the right or backwards in order to have a wee. To take a shower with the shower head still in its fitting required pushing yourself against the inner wall to get a decent amount of water streamed onto your body.
The architecture of our living room gave me the feeling of spending an evening with a technologically advanced Bilbo Baggins. And, because of my fear of flying, it must have been the first time I have entered an airplane (sober) without feeling anxious.
It turned out not to be such a cheap holiday after all. Despite our room costing a third of the normal price, I had neglected to take into account the eight hundred crowns it cost for Arlanda Express tickets that took us there and back to Stockholm.
It seems like I have painted a negative picture of our night away from home. If the truth be told, we enjoyed ourselves immensely. It was a unique experience, made all the more memorable because of its quirks and the oddities that come with converting a plane into a hotel.