July 06, 2022
The Tiger Lounge on the 747

Over its 52 wonderful years, the Jumbo’s crazy and not-so-crazy ideas have turned heads and sparked imaginations.

Even before it rolled out in September 1968 airline interior designers were scratching their heads on how to use the enormous space that the 747 provided.

For this giant was more than twice the size of the Boeing 707 it would replace.

READ: Boeing’s supersized factory the world’s largest building 

Lounges, piano bars, cocktail bars, and downstairs galleys were all introduced. American Airlines kicked things off with this bar situated at the back of the economy section.


Continental Airlines, now part of United, also had an economy lounge (below).


And not to be left out Trans World Airlines also had an economy (coach) lounge (below).


Qantas used the upper deck as its First Class Captain Cook lounge us under.


To get to the upper deck there was a spiral staircase.


In economy, passengers luxuriated in a 2-4-3 interior with seats set 36 inches apart – this really was the spacious age.


While all those concepts made it onto the 747 – at least for a while there are many that did not and were too off the wall for airline executives.

The 747 downstairs Tiger Lounge made for great photos – but was never taken up.

Downstairs Tiger Lounge on the Boeing 747. Boeing Historical Archives

Not content with one try,  Boeing rolled out the downstairs “Austin Powers Lounge” under the floor some 20 years before Austin Powers was made famous by Mike Myers in 1997.

The “Austin Powers” lounge 20 years before Austin Powers was made famous. Boeing Historical Archives

Boeing also looked at putting windows in the roof of its 747-8I series in an effort to make it more appealing.

Windows in the roof of a 747
Boeing proposed windows in the roof of its 747-8.

Also, a business class club made it into the roof of the 747-8I as well as sleeping cabins – but only in mock-up form.

Business Class Lounge in the roof of a 747
Business Class Lounge in the roof of the 747 – but only in mockup form.




  1. Iran Air was the co-launch customer with Pan Am for the 747-SP. They actually ordered a Golden Samovar to be installed in the upper deck of those SP's! Boeing, accepted the challenge from their valuable customer and the fastest growing international airline at the time. At a handsome price of $2 Million each (in 1973 Dollars) the electronic Samovar was designed and STC'd by Boeing! However, the system had to be deactivated for Takeoff and Landings and in turbulence. The upper deck was not occupied by paying passengers and only used as a "Persian Tea House" for the 1st Class customers. After the seven course meals were served (including Beluga Caviar and Dom Prion Champagne) in the lower deck 1st Class Cabin, the Captain would invite the VIP passengers to come to the upper deck where the female Flight Attendants dressed in 18th. Century colorful Persian dresses, would serve them hot Persian Tea, after dinner liquor and pastries. I flew those SP's for Iran Air between THR and JFK and points in Europe from 1976 to shortly before the Revolution. There are pictures of the aforementioned Upper Deck on the internet and I have a few. Unfortunately there were no provisions for me to upload those. Captain Ross Aimer UAL Ret CEO, Aero Consulting Experts, Los Angeles