Airports Offering Mock Airplane Cabins

A few months back we shared the story of the mock airplane cabin installed at Minneapolis International Airport (MSP) designed to give flyers with a wide range of special needs an opportunity to become familiar with a realistic aircraft cabin. 

The 33-foot-long cabin was once used to train Delta’s in-flight teams in Atlanta and includes a (nonworking) lavatory and 42 standard coach seats from a retired Boeing 737.

Delta shipped the cabin in pieces to the Minneapolis airport, where it was reassembled in an unused retail space. Airport carpenters added cutouts so that every row has a window, and local youth artists painted the cabin and the surrounding walls with blue skies and landscape to make it sensory-friendly. 

Kansas City International Airport (MCI) Has a Mock Cabin Too

When it opens to the public on February 28, the new terminal at Kansas City International Airport (MCI) will also have a mock airplane cabin. Like the one at MSP, this one is designed to help ease the fears and anxieties of first-time fliers, children, and those with special needs. That includes those with sensory issues, autism spectrum disorders, auditory and visual disabilities, and more.

Called the Kansas City Air Travel Experience and located just past security in the Concourse A Concessions Atrium, this mock airplane cabin is part of a decommissioned Airbus A321 and includes seats, windows, overhead bins, and other true-to-life aircraft parts. 

“Passengers” who book a mock airplane flight go through all the steps of a real flight. That includes checking in at a kiosk that is like one being used at the airport and receiving a boarding pass to show at the ‘gate.’

They then enter a ‘jet bridge’ with floor-to-ceiling wall graphics that mimic the glass jetways of the new terminal.

Once on the mock plane, passengers have a 15-minute ‘flight’ experience that covers boarding, the safety demonstration, taxi and takeoff, cruising, landing, and deplaning.

To make it feel as real as possible, a video simulation created by Kansas City-based Dimensional Innovations plays outside the cabin windows while ambient audio plays inside the cabin.

Here’s a video that shows what the experience is like.

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