The Boeing Customer Experience Center, located just outside of Seattle, about a 15 minute drive from the airport, is the show room for prospective clients interested in purchasing a new Boeing aircraft. This facility is not open to the public, so outside of a private tour or event, you won’t ever get to see this facility.
I had a chance to visit the Boeing Customer Experience Center thanks to participating in Aviation Geek Fest 2015, which was organized by the great folks at Airline Reporter.
The facility is located in an office park, and if you don’t have the address, you won’t know where it is. The outside is fairly “plain” and is not as flashy as I thought it would be – perhaps Boeing blends it in to the surrounding buildings on purpose.
Think of the BEC as the car dealer showroom where you’d go to buy a car – except, the folks coming here are spending millions on a plane. Inside, you’ll find mockups of their most popular aircraft – the 747, and 787, 737, as well as a flight simulator, and new studio designed in “convincing” prospective buyers to buy Boeing. Heck, “if its not Boeing, I’m not going…”
Inside is a reception desk and open lobby.
We gathered as a group, giving some general housekeeping instructions, and then sent on our way into each of the mock-ups, which are to-scale versions of the planes themselves, equipped with working seats and overhead bins.
The newest of Boeing’s aircraft, this was by far the most popular mock-up, and inside was a Business Class herringbone seating, as well as economy, and an “economy plus.”
The “flagship” of the Boeing line is the 747, which included both a mock-up of the main deck as well as the upper deck, complete with a staircase. You’ll notice an executive style seating up top. The Boeing executive touring us through the plane noted that they try to feature a variety of seating layouts that way clients get a realistic idea of how they can configure their prospective plane. On this aircraft, it featured an executive seating compartment, First Class, Business Class, an extra-legroom economy and traditional economy. Notice the mood lighting throughout, which is of the new Boeing Sky interior.
Flight Simulator and Technology Center
In this area, there was a flight simulator (from what I was told, simply for the enjoyment of the buyers), as well as a technology center where clients are able to experience statistics and airplane models and configurations on large touch screen televisions. This area was still under construction, but is being developed by Boeing as another means to sell their quality airplanes with airlines or businesses.
If you have the chance to visit this facility, do it. It’s not open to the public, so you’ll need to get in on a VIP tour, or attend Aviation Geek Fest, but it’s worth signing up just to see this stunning facility. Take plenty of pictures, because unlike other Boeing facilities, this building is open to full photography.
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