Qantas engineer Moreno Carnio and his recollections of the Captain Cook Lounge and it’s not surprising he can still remember the colour of the seat cushions.


© Image Qantas


When Qantas announced plans to expand the passenger lounge on our Airbus A380s as part of a major interior upgrade, they had a flash of déjà vu.

Some of their 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.


© Images Qantas

And relax: Thankfully a more subtle design for our refurnished lounges on the A380 as shown on the image to the right. 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.