Last week, I flew the new Boeing 787 (or Dreamliner) from London to New York (Newark) for a bachelor party (or in British English for a stag do). I was excited to try out the new amenities that have been promised on this plane. Boarding at Heathrow was efficient, in spite of it being from a bus gate, and once on board I took the opportunity to snap these photos for you guys. The plane is pretty similar to any new, modern wide body. The layout is the same, the seats are identical, the in flight entertainment is the same. However, there were a few key differences that I did notice throughout the flight. Mood lighting is prevalent throughout the cabin, and it adjusts minutely throughout the flight depending upon meal service and the time at your destination. The windows are HUGE. They are much longer than normal airplane windows, so much so that you I joked you could almost fit a 747 in one (and did in a picture above :). The windows also do not have window shades, but have electronic dimming that works really well. You push a button and can adjust the amount of light you want streaming through the window, or black out your window totally for extra sleep. The toilets are interesting as well- they have doors that snap open and shut, as well as a motion sensor toilets and sink. Most importantly, the plane can fly higher and a bit faster than a 777. We were delayed 20 minutes leaving Heathrow due to too much departure traffic, but in the captains own words, “we anticipate still arriving in Newark ahead of schedule, as we can fly faster and higher than normal on this aircraft.” We did fly over the Atlantic at 43,000 feet instead of the usual 35,000- 39,000 feet to make up for time.
One thing I did not notice was the cabin air filtration. Supposedly, the cabin is more comfortable due to being pressurized to a lower altitude. I did not quite notice that, but what I did notice was how empty the plane was. Every person in coach got their own row on a early Friday evening departure to NYC. So while British Airways almost operates a shuttle service between the NY airports and London and makes a killing in the process, having a brand new plane almost empty certainly is not good for loads or yields.
Overall, the new Dreamliner or 787 is a mix between how airplanes will look, feel, and fly in the future and a standard long haul plane already in service. If you can, I would recommend a trip on it, but aside from flying higher and faster, expect incremental distinctions between a 777 and not a revolutionary flying experience.
(MORE PICTURES BELOW)