When we recently announced plans to expand the passenger lounge on our Airbus A380s as part of a major interior upgrade, we had a flash of déjà vu.
Some of our first 747s (delivered in the 1970s and long since retired) had a very groovy upper deck featuring the Captain Cook lounge.
Located behind the cockpit in the distinctive bump of the Jumbo, the lounge had seating for 15 passengers, a stand-up bar and décor that should have come with a volume control.
Images of James Cook, replica lanterns and even rope was used to give the impression passengers were seated inside a replica sailing ship rather than a brand new widebody jet.
The nautical theme blended (or clashed, depending on your taste) with the bright and lurid colours which were popular in the seventies.
While the passengers thought it was outta sight, it wasn’t really great use of space. So, in the aftermath of the oil crisis of the 1970s, airlines around the world replaced these lounge areas with regular rows of seats.
We asked Qantas engineer Moreno Carnio for his recollections of the Captain Cook Lounge and it’s not surprising he can still remember the colour of the seat cushions.
Watch him below.