Rare 1958 Era TWA Plane To Be Used As Retro Hotel’s Cocktail Lounge

by SharonKurheg

If you’ve been paying attention to travel/points/miles/hotels/airlines/planes hobbyist news, you may have heard that the iconic 1962 TWA Flight Center at JFK airport is being restored and reimagined as a first-class hotel. It sounds awesome and Joe and I hope to be able to stay there once it’s open to the public.


Rendering of the TWA Hotel. Photo via TWA Hotel

One thing the hotel still needed was a cocktail lounge. And what better thing to use as a bar at a hotel at an airport?  A plane, of course!

But not just any plane…



Photo via TWA Hotel

The plane in question is a rare Lockheed L-1649A “Super Star” Constellation, built in 1958. One of a paltry 44 of such planes ever built, there are only four left in existence. After quite an interesting history in the aviation world, the plane, nicknamed “Connie,” had been sitting outside an airport in Maine for the past 30 or so years but Tyler Morse, CEO of the company that’s behind the TWA project, bought it about a year ago.

“The Constellation was designed by Howard Hughes – he owned TWA Airlines when the Eero Saarinen building (the TWA terminal) was built at JFK,” said Morse. “This aircraft was the aircraft around which the building was designed. It’s a huge part of the historic fabric of the TWA terminal at JFK, and having this aircraft be a cocktail lounge and be brought back to life at JFK is very historically accurate and really brings the project together and merges the vintage world and the contemporary world.”

When completed, the cocktail lounge will sit 110 and visitors will even be able to sit at the controls in the cockpit.


Left: Before (2016), Right: and after (2018) the restoration (photo via TWA Hotel)

“You’re going to feel like you walked into 1962 when flying was really special,” continued Morse. “We’re going to have the flight attendants with the pillbox hats on, the whole nine yards. You’re going to be able to sit in the cockpit, pull on the yoke, push the throttle, just like you did back in the day.”


Top: Before (2016), Bottom: and after (2018) the restoration (photo via TWA Hotel)

The plane was restored on site in Maine and then transported by truck to Queens, where it will be craned into place.

The TWA hotel and its TWA plane-turned-lounge are scheduled to open in March 2019.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary



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