Boeing's best bedroom: the luxury loft of a private jumbo 747-8

By John Walton, September 5 2012
Boeing's best bedroom: the luxury loft of a private jumbo 747-8

Want to really pimp out your private jet?

Forget about leather seats, gold fittings and pool tables. If you're splashing out the cash for Boeing's latest 747-8 jetliner (and we're talking $350 million for the base model), why not add a loft space with room for eight private sleeping berths plus a changing room where your guests can comfortably slip into their PJs?

Welcome to the upstairs 'Aeroloft' of the world's first privately-owned 747-8, rumoured to be bound for the government of Qatar.

This cosy crib is situated towards the rear of the 747's upper deck, well behind the area that you'd typically fit out with meeting rooms, a private cinema or ten-pin bowling lane.

On a conventional Boeing 747-8 this windowless area is set aside for the crew to rest or sleep between shifts.

Join us on an invitation-only tour of Cathay Pacific's Boeing 777 crew rest area or upstairs in the crew loft on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner if you're curious to see what's going on above your head during the flight.

This custom conversion by Aeroloft (no, not the Russian airline Aeroflot -- but don't worry, we made that mistake too when we first saw the name) dresses up this somewhat spartan space into airy, convenient private cabins with 6'6" (198cm) beds.

Eight fortunate VIPs or pampered crew can look forward to enjoying some proper sleep as the 747-8 Intercontinental whisks them around the globe.

Here's a video from Aeroloft developers Greenpoint Technologies that walks through through the design.

And while you're giving your new 747-8 that multi-million dollar make-over, why not put an elevator into the belly of the blinged-out beast?

Greenpoint touts its 747-8 Aerolift as "a secure, ground-to-main deck lift for up to four passengers or a wheelchair passenger and attendant."

Boeing currently has orders for nine private 747-8s, and there's talk that three more will end up as replacements for Air Force One in 2017.

But there's no reason why the principle of the Aeroloft shouldn't be applied to the business class cabins of the future.

It's no wilder an idea than the ideas that come out every year, including the fantastic innovations at this year's Crystal Cabin Awards, the showcase for plane interiors manufacturers' next great ideas. 

Instead of an ornate stairway, airlines could something more functional splitting off into two sections of hallway.

They could install double-level beds for maximum occupancy: one just above floor level and one higher up, with a step or ladder to get up there.

Comfortable reclining seats, made for seating comfort rather than needing to convert into a bed, could be arranged downstairs, or even in the stretched upper deck cabin, while beds upstairs would be actual beds in a quiet area dedicated to sleeping.

You'd work, dine and chat with your fellow travellers downstairs, and then when it came time for bed you'd head upstairs into the bed loft area.

Elsewhere on the Jumbo Business Jet...

You may not be good enough mates with the Qatari royal family for them to invite you on their brand new personal jumbo jet, but Australian Business Traveller sat down with the Lufthansa Technik engineers who'll be outfitting the 747-8 with its plush interiors to figure out what's going on inside the big jet.

Find out what else is on board in our photo tour of the cabin proposals for the Jumbo Business Jet!

More great and gawk-worthy AusBT photo tours

For the latest news for business travellers and frequent flyers, follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.


15 Apr 2011

Total posts 582

I thought that there were issues with emergency exits which meant that the concept had to be dropped for commercial carriers?

But this would be very awesome. Screw fully flat business class - I'd happily sit in an economy seat if I could put the savings towards heading upstairs to a proper bed for 8-10 hours of a flight to the US.

03 Jan 2011

Total posts 667

I don't see that this is any more problematic in terms of exit than needing to run down the stairs of a 747. (Upper deck slides are not always available, nor are they always a good idea since you're more likely to do yourself an injury given the extra height.)

I can't foresee unsurmountable problems with getting them certified, especially if they're unoccupied during takeoff and landing...

27 Jul 2011

Total posts 42

Nice, but I don't see the point of this nor the 747-8 when you can get a full double deck on the A380.

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