rootsair
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The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 9:19 pm

Backin 1994 I took UA from SJO to IAD via MEX. We were then to take a flight to CDG. What caught most my attention were the moble lounges; these big white machines that would take you from the gate to the airplane.

1) I wondered if these are still there IAD or have been replaced sinceits 11 years since I last went there

2 )Does any other airport have these mobile lounges?

3)Since when have they been around ?

Regards BM

http://www.airchive.com/airline%20pics/Dulles%20Compressed/Dulles%20mobile%20lounge.jpg

[Edited 2005-06-24 14:30:34]
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MYT332
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 9:36 pm

Well I was just talking about these weird looking things this weekend while I was in Paris. It turns out CDG also uses these lounges. Quite a shock to see them driving around since I've never even heard about them before let alone seen one.

Funny you should also mention IAD as I was talking to JGPH1A about the lounges and he told me IAD have them too. He then waffled on about his ancient trips on Connies accross the pond but that's for another thread.

Alex
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SafetyDude
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 9:45 pm

IAD still has them to bring passenger between terminals, and sometimes to/from planes.

JFK also has quite a few (most are parked near the stands at T4), although I think it has been years since they have been used (as evidence by their funky colors).

-Will
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AlitaliaMD11
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 9:49 pm

These mobile lounges are more commonly used today to transfer passengers from terminals to the planes.

For example at CDG, if your plane has been parked at a remote stand instead of useing stairs and a bus they just bring the mobile lounge right to the plane and you walk into it and then it takes you to the terminal.

It takes away the hassle of walking down the stairs and going into a bus.

At IAD I think they use them to transfer passengers from the check-in terminal to the different terminals.
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Espion007
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 9:54 pm

 crazy 

The IAD mobile lounges are horrible. Last time i was in one,it started filling with smoke as we pulled away from the gate! Im glad they are being replaced eventually,and for that walkway to concourse B
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ntspelich
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:00 pm

At BWI we have a few in case all of the gates are full, but I'm yet to see them be used.

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JBirdAV8r
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:04 pm

Quoting Espion007 (Reply 4):
The IAD mobile lounges are horrible. Last time i was in one,it started filling with smoke as we pulled away from the gate! Im glad they are being replaced eventually,and for that walkway to concourse B

I kind of like them--gives you a unique view of airport operations. Heck, I have three hours in IAD on Wednesday--might spend a good amount of time on them  Wink
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tothestars
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:13 pm

I used to work the TWA, IAD-CDG years ago and we allways boarded the entire 747 with the mobile lounges. It actually worked out really well. They would pull up to two or three doors and it was like...our guests are here.
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PanHAM
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:17 pm

Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 6):

I kind of like them--gives you a unique view of airport operations. Heck, I have three hours in IAD on Wednesday--might spend a good amount of time on them

You want to get off as quick as you can. These things are just horrible, clumsy to operate, taking too much time to get from the terminal to the plane, uncomfortable and simply too small to cater for today's demand. A relict from the 70s. Buses are much better but then you would have to change some of the terminal design. First airports to have them was IAD and YMX which have a very similar terminal layout.

If you look at a imetable from these days it notes that mobile lounge departure is 20 min before fligth departure.
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halls120
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:24 pm

Quoting Espion007 (Reply 4):
The IAD mobile lounges are horrible. Last time i was in one,it started filling with smoke as we pulled away from the gate! Im glad they are being replaced eventually,and for that walkway to concourse B

They are indeed horrible. However, relief is on the way. Next time you are at IAD, and have to go to Concourse C or D on one of those "lounges", you will get a good look at the construction of the new rail system adjacent to Concourse B.
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kyair
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:29 pm

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xpat
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:34 pm

The mobile lounges are still operable at IAD. As far as how long they've been there, I do remember throwing up in one  drool  waaaaay back in 1970! So they've been around for at least 35 years.
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atcrick
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:34 pm

I don't know if anybody has noticed, but there are actually two different types of these people eaters at IAD. One actually lowers when it leaves the terminal and raises back again at its next stop. The other is higher and doesnt raise or lower at the terminals. Really weird things. I wonder what they have worked out for the drivers because there was a big dispute years ago between the airport authority and the drivers union about IAD installing walkways or another form of transportation between terminals because the drivers would then be out of work.

Atc Rick
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Xkorpyoh
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Fri Jun 24, 2005 10:45 pm

i just flew into IAD a couple of weeks ago and it is really not userfriendly.
if you arrive at concourse D or C you need to go to the boarding area, wait with every other person that has just landed from different gates and sometimes you need to wait for the next one because the first fills up quickly.
the waiting, loading, driving through the tarmac (that was good), and off-loading is really a pain and takes about 15-25 minutes or so.
Once at the main terminal i saw the drawings for the new train being built to take you to the different concourses ... finally!!.

I think the main terminal is still amazing.A break trhough in innovative architecture in the 60's and the people movers where really something else back then when jet bridges didn't exist (right?!)....but times have changed.
 
tundra767
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 1:20 am

Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 6):
I kind of like them--gives you a unique view of airport operations. Heck, I have three hours in IAD on Wednesday--might spend a good amount of time on them

I love them. They are so cool. I love going to IAD to ride on these. THe ones in CDG are also great!
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 1:22 am

Quoting Espion007 (Reply 4):
The IAD mobile lounges are horrible. Last time i was in one,it started filling with smoke as we pulled away from the gate! Im glad they are being replaced eventually,and for that walkway to concourse B

No worries. They're going away. Soon hopefully.
 
fbgdavidson
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 2:03 am

The lounges are very annoying, I fly to and from IAD on BA so get the trip round to Concourse D, no walkway for me  Sad Last time we were sat for about 10-15mins waiting for a space between the traffic. The first time I went on one I thought it was quite novel but am thoroughly sick of them now when you have to sit around waiting for space. They also have a weird smell....

Quoting Atcrick (Reply 12):
I don't know if anybody has noticed, but there are actually two different types of these people eaters at IAD. One actually lowers when it leaves the terminal and raises back again at its next stop. The other is higher and doesnt raise or lower at the terminals.

I didn't realise there were two different types. I just thought they all had the ability to lower. I flew into in IAD on a 777 a couple of years ago and there were two lounges, I left out the one at the front of the aircraft and as it lowered you got to appreciate the size of the GE90s! I don't know care much for the technical side but they were impressive close up!
"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
 
BH
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 2:10 am

The planemates at BWI see regular action due to the A.T.I. DC-8 that comes in for A.M.C. Also they use it on the C-130's and other military aircraft that drop off and pickup.
 
1MillionFlyer
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 3:11 am

Quoting SafetyDude (Reply 2):
IAD still has them to bring passenger between terminals, and sometimes to/from planes

Thankfully the Terminal B walkway is open, I was flying to IAD every week for 10 months and I grew to hate those "mobile" lounges.
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gigneil
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 3:15 am

I must be the only person in the world that doesn't find the mobile lounges all that bad.

N
 
potomac
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 4:47 am

gigneil, i'm with you. sure, the eventual train service may make things faster (though i would venture to say not by all that much), but you cant beat the views across the field from those things.

but yes, the trips have been longer than normal due to the routes they have to take now to avoid construction zones. more ramp time for viewing as far as i'm concerned.
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:46 am

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 19):
I must be the only person in the world that doesn't find the mobile lounges all that bad.

They aren't bad but if your delayed it seems like they never have a spare to come get you out of the tin can.
 
planenutz
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:59 am

MEX has them as well to take passengers to the remote stands at the far end of the domestic terminal. I believe their being phased out though in favor of bus+stairs.

These vehicles are called "Aerobus" at CDG. I believe they're used only at T2 A, B, C, D. They attach to the terminal just before the jetways that lead to aircraft parked actually parked at the terminal. They have a route that they must follow to get you to the remote stands. It involves traveling alongside the terminal under the extended jetways and I swear there is less than two inches of clearance. One time I thought for sure one was going to ram into the jetway on its way underneath only to be relieved when it missed by what looked like a hair's width.
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N766UA
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 8:19 am

When my DH flight was delayed 8 hours, I think I speant a good hour or more riding those suckers around. What with the big honkin' appendages on the roof, though?
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CATAvNews
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 8:34 am

You know the two poles sticking out the top? They are there so that people don't drive them out of the airport. The poles are too tall to slip under the fence.
 
AADC10
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 8:39 am

There are two types of mobile lounges at IAD. The one in the photograph is an older one that was designed to meet aircraft directly. It has lifts that can raise the car to the floor level of the aircraft. There used to be a version that met the plane and used a scissor lift. I have not seen one there recently.

The mobile lounges for transporting passengers between terminals are of fixed height, do not have the "sail towers" to cover the lift system, are double ended (can be driven from and meet the terminal from either end) and have bigger windows. Occasionally they use the "plane mate" type between terminals but they have less capacity.

In the pre-deregulation era it was convenient to take the short walk from ticketing/check-in to the mobile lounge gate and ride to the plane. As transportation to the remote terminals, they are a pain in the ass. For a low volume O&D airport the mobile lounges worked fine but the ATL layout is state-of-the-art for large modern hubs.

I may be confused but think I recall seeing mobile lounges in Montreal. Maybe it was another Canadian airport.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 10:37 am

Quoting RootsAir (Thread starter):
3)Since when have they been around ?

Regards BM

IAD was designed specifically around the concept of mobile "lounges." Back in 1962, when IAD opened, the airport and those lounges were then considered cutting edge state of the art! As a matter of fact, I'm old enough to remember black and white films that boast that this is the future of airports! In beautiful black and white with an announcer with one of those over the top 1950's style baritone booming voices. Of course, back in those days, bigger, farther and remote frontiers were considered better. This being the height of conquering farm/rural areas and paving them over in the name of progress, tract house suburbs, shopping centers and spread out airports for the jet age!
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b2/800px-Mobile_lounge_at_Dulles_Airport.jpg
http://www.ocp.tudelft.nl/mt/journee/Files/Memories/1962-01.jpg
putting their noses to the grindstone 1962 style
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nrtfan
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 10:55 am

An underground is in construction at IAD to replace the mobile lounges. Due to be completed in 2011 I believe. I agree that for busy travellers, they aren't the most expedient option, but most A.Netters love them, because it's just a great visual tour of the apron. Going out for a UX hop to EWR, we cruised by by every beauty in the place: United and KLM 747s, Saudi Arabian 777, lots of 767s. Also saw the Korean 747 on a beautiful liftoff from 19R. What could be better?

Plus they have a sort of outdated charm, in my opinon. I say enjoy them while they're still around.

Ken

Incidentally, with storms at EWR, we parked at the hold point on 1R for 2 hours, in a hot little ERJ, then returend to the gate. Total delay 5 hours. THe one upshot was watching beauty after beauty come right over us making adjustments in the gusty wind. Sadly, I didn't have my camera.
 
bluemeatball
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:06 am

The old Atlanta airport terminal also had mobile lounges in the Eastern concourse area. Once clearing security, one took a right turn and there were two concourses. One you rode an escalator to the next level where there was a large gate lounge with three or four "gates" having elevator doors to which the mobile lounges attached to. The lounges I remember had door at both ends and could rise/lower depending upon the aircraft. I rode one that docked at a 727. I liked the old airport for it allowed for all types of boarding.
 
ACAfan
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:21 am

JED also has the mobile lounges. The Saudia terminal is very compact and uses them exclusively. The difference is that the windows on the mobile lounges are blackened out so you can't see the airfield.

DOH uses buses. Anyone know how airports like DOH with no jetways and no mobile lounges handle disabled passengers?
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hiflyer
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:53 am

Zippyjet has it right...Dulles was designed around the mobile lounges and the original mobile lounges were designed for narrowbody aircraft only. Driven from either end and custom built in an old barn by the airport during construction of the field. One end was designed to mate to the terminal while the other end had extendable covered walkways to the aircraft door. For smaller aircraft they had a set of internal steps that would drop down to ramp level. Dulles was designed so that no one would walk more than 100 feet from front door to aircraft seat routinely....shopping and bar hopping not included. The lounges were the boarding area...flight departure time was time of last lounge leaving the terminal...and flight arrival was the lounge coming in...generally 15 minutes from actual aircraft blox. A 707 would require 3 lounges...2 for coach and 1 for First and last minute Y on departure. Red carpet....black leather seats and chrome fixtures arranged in a living room style with those big picture windows....an evening ride to your flight with the sunset over the mountains was quite a sight.

And yes..a local DC announcer made all the announcements on tape that were keyed with a number code.

Widebodies and magnatometers killed the concept....mags more than anything else. Hubs would have killed it also but no one was hubbing IAD in the 60's and very early 70's.
 
pensacolaguy
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 4:55 pm

Quoting Xkorpyoh (Reply 13):
Once at the main terminal i saw the drawings for the new train being built to take you to the different concourses ... finally!!.

For those interested pictures/drawings and more information, on the Autotrain at IAD..Here is the link:
http://www.metwashairports.com/d2/projects/autotrain.htm
 
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RayChuang
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sat Jun 25, 2005 10:33 pm

I think if they can design the mobile lounges to handle modern widebody jets and make them fuelled by clean-burning natural gas they could still have considerable use at airports.

For example, the use of modern mobile lounges could drastically cut the cost of upgrading LAX's International Terminal area. This means instead of having to build out the concourses to get extra jet parking gates just to accommodate today's widebody jets, you can set up a large area of remote stands and have all passengers shuttled back and forth from the main terminal with mobile lounges. It would certainly make it vastly easier to support the A380-800, since remote stands would have less issues with the 80 x 80 meter parking space; assuming you load 90 passengers per mobile lounge using two mobile lounges could unload the entire airplane in around three round trips!  bigthumbsup 
 
1MillionFlyer
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sun Jun 26, 2005 4:46 am

Quoting NRTfan (Reply 27):
An underground is in construction at IAD to replace the mobile lounges. Due to be completed in 2011 I believe. I agree that for busy travellers, they aren't the most expedient option, but most A.Netters love them, because it's just a great visual tour of the apron. Going out for a UX hop to EWR, we cruised by by every beauty in the place: United and KLM 747s, Saudi Arabian 777, lots of 767s. Also saw the Korean 747 on a beautiful liftoff from 19R. What could be better?

the underground walkway from the Main Terminal to the A/B concourses is already open which is great if you are flying CO/NW/DL/B6/US/AF/DH/Virgin/SAS and SO
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gigneil
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sun Jun 26, 2005 6:03 am

Quoting CATAvNews (Reply 24):
You know the two poles sticking out the top? They are there so that people don't drive them out of the airport. The poles are too tall to slip under the fence.

You couldn't possibly be serious.

N
 
Mir
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:54 am

Quoting SafetyDude (Reply 2):
JFK also has quite a few (most are parked near the stands at T4), although I think it has been years since they have been used (as evidence by their funky colors).

I deplaned using a mobile lounge at JFK once that I can remember, but that was a long time ago (it was a Swissair flight). Definitely 1997 or later though.

-Mir
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ETStar
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sun Jun 26, 2005 8:55 am

The people movers are great at IAD, especially if you have time to kill. Slow, but alright. Certain airlines, like Saudia and Ethiopian, park at remote stands and pax are taken to them and raised to meet the aircraft door. You show your boarding pass at the T gates (I think that's right), may be subjected to the search right there, and walk onto the mover. It is great, if you ask me, especially since not all pax get on at the same time (distributed among multiple movers) so it makes for relaxed boarding. I find that, however, with all those seats, it kinda feels cramped. They are a little rough when moving, but still fun.

Quoting ACAfan (Reply 29):

JED also has the mobile lounges. The Saudia terminal is very compact and uses them exclusively. The difference is that the windows on the mobile lounges are blackened out so you can't see the airfield.

Yes, I remember the ones at JED too, although not the blackened windows. I remember the gate area as being a huge hall, which I did not like that much.
 
tymnbalewne
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Sun Jun 26, 2005 10:07 am

Just a bit of trivia...
The IAD mobile lounges are (well, were when I worked there) identified by US state names.

The pic in the original post is of IDaho.

C.
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FutureFO
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Tue Jun 28, 2005 8:33 am

The ones with the shark fins are PlaneMates and the ones with the flat roofs are Mobile Lounges. Planemates were designed and used for the remote parking that alot of the airlines utilize at IAD. The Mobile Lounges are set up for Inter Terminal transportation. But they are still being used after the trains are put in because of a Federal contract that was setup many years ago. Also the Lounges and Mates were rebuilt by the Chrysler Corp many years ago.


Sean from MCO and MKE
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boeingatl
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:44 am

I always got a kick out of them at IAD, don't get there very often. Reminds me of "Jetsons" meets "Hummer"

Never seemed like a very efficient way of moving pax from terminal to terminal.
boeingATL
 
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zippyjet
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Tue Jun 28, 2005 9:59 am

Quoting FutureFO (Reply 38):
The ones with the shark fins are PlaneMates and the ones with the flat roofs are Mobile Lounges. Planemates were designed and used for the remote parking that alot of the airlines utilize at IAD. The Mobile Lounges are set up for Inter Terminal transportation.

Amazing how we have different descriptions for the things out the top of the plane mate. I always thought of them as boat smoke stacks or camel humps. The Planemates look less complicated and cheaper than the IAD mobile lounges. Back in summer 2002 at BWI it was a busy Friday morning from hell and the security lines to pier D stretched back to the Maryland Delaware line. So, we got the MAA to help us out by having our passengers schlep on over to International concourse E where they were screened for security then put on planemates and carted to our awaiting Boeing 717's. Many airports have a few boat looking Planemates in the wings. These ugly cute thingys come in handy during protracted airport construction projects.

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 34):
Quoting CATAvNews (Reply 24):
You know the two poles sticking out the top? They are there so that people don't drive them out of the airport. The poles are too tall to slip under the fence.

You couldn't possibly be serious.

N

Here in Baltimore, I'm waiting for some stupid criminal to rip one of these babys off and cruise down the streets of "BMore." Here in Maryland, we have creative but stupid lawbreakers. Several years ago in the affluent planned communitty of Columbia an obese 40 something guy was running around on the preplanned trails just wearing a diaper and flashing his cajones for the local teens.
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tymnbalewne
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:12 am

Quoting BoeingATL (Reply 39):
The ones with the shark fins are PlaneMates and the ones with the flat roofs are Mobile Lounges.

I had the opportunity to ride on a planemate with HRH the Prince Philip, (Queen Elizabeth II's husband). He remarked that some of the lounges seemed to have "chimneys".

I just smiled politely and nodded.

C.
Dewmanair...begins with Dew
 
Kempa
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Tue Jun 28, 2005 10:56 pm

The ones with fins can be raised and lowered. They are lowered to drive, and can be driven only from one end - the one far from the doors. The fins house the equipment that raises and lowers them. They have four rows of seats, two against the windows and to back-to-back in the center between the fins. They are very clumsy to board because knowing passengers crowd the doors.

The ones without fins are much more spacious because they don't have the fins and the seats in the middle, just the ones against the windows. There is a driver seat at both ends, making it easier to maneuver. Also, the passengers go to the far end when they board, because they know that the far end door is the door to deboard the lounge.

Kempa
 
cgnnrw
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RE: The IAD Mobile Lounges!

Wed Jun 29, 2005 1:32 am

Quoting Gigneil (Reply 19):
I must be the only person in the world that doesn't find the mobile lounges all that bad.

I also think the mobile lounges are sort of funky...In the mid-90s I flew in and out of IAD quite frequently and always got a kick out of the reactions first time visitors to the US had when they boarded. I never had the impression it took longer to de-board either. I flew KLM when they served IAD with 747s and there was one lounge used soley for business passengers, two at the back and on mid-plane and everything went quite quickly. I was never pressed for time when I had to transfer terminals so I can't really say I had any problems getting around the field. They did offer a great view of the tarmac though didn't they?

Another US airport that used them was PHL. I remember arriving on a NW DC10 from AMS and we parked at a remote stand and were taken to the terminal on mobile lounges. They were painted a really weird blue-greenish color, reminded me of a nurses office in elementary school. I'm not sure if PHL still uses them since the new Terminal West was completed two years ago.
A330 man.