Friday, August 31, 2007


Dulles is Cool

Dulles (IAD to you frequent flyers and pilots) has a phenomenally cool terminal. It opened in 1962 and sees over 27 million passengers a year. There is a ton of construction now as they are building a train system to the two satellite terminals.

Here is a photo from the history page on the official Dulles webpage.

The structure was designed by architect Eero Saarinen, he of the TWA Terminal at JFK Airport (aka JFK) and the St. Louis "Gateway Arch" among many other things.

My mom loves Dulles too. She especially likes the The Mobile Lounges. You can click the link for more info but here is a great paragraph about these tres moderne beasts, also part of Saarinen's design:
This was the first US airport designed for jets and so there was no precedent for Saarinen to follow. One of the most distinctive features of the airport was the lack of any building extensions onto the airfield for aircraft loading. Instead passengers traveled from the terminal to their planes, which could be waiting over a mile away, on strange vehicles called Mobile Lounges and Plane-Mates. Saarinen viewed these mobile lounges as an extension of the airport. They were mobile buildings that served as transportation. Apparently when the lounges were first introduced they had a bar onboard and it was possible to drink cocktails while being transported to your plane!

Those were the days...Here's the visual (yanked it from that same site above):

I enjoy flying into and out of places that are visually stunning and have some history I don't expect.

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Hi Nini, Betsy here. I love Dulles too, I used to fly in and out of there a lot for work. The only thing I didn't like was that EVERY time I would go through security on my way home, I got pulled out of the line and had a "lady assist" pat me down, check the bottom of my (bare) feet, swab out my laptop bag AND purse and general treat my like a terrorist. And this happened, like, 5 times. Very odd.
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