O.K., a show of hands: who’s flown on the 787 Dreamliner? Some of you must have been among the 200 frequent flyers and industry shakers who plumbed the zeitgeist of UA #1807, a recent publicity charter celebrating the first of some 49 Dreamliners that United Airlines have ordered.
The first 787 rolled out from Boeing’s new manufacturing facility in North Charleston, S.C., this past autumn and went to Air India, who are taking 27. All the available information, the numbers and research and chatter, tell us this is a sweet aircraft.
The new Dreamliner has generated plenty of discussion on FT. And now comes Stephanie Rosenbloom taking the plastic off the furniture and offering a readable review of UA’s 787 in the weekend NYT. The piece is based on that #1807 charter from San Francisco to Houston to Chicago, where the only complaint was the slow movement of the drink cart.
Here’s a summary of the dead sure stuff in the 787 that Boeing has done to pump up the jam. The toilets are classier with touch-less controls (!), the overhead bins are big, the windows are bigger (you can look out even if you’re not next to the window), window shades have been replaced by tints that block sunlight but allow you to see out, the cabin is quieter and has fresher, more humid air than its 767 counterpart. Even the air pressure in the cabin has been increased to simulate a lower cabin altitude. There are USB power outlets under the seats and iPad-like accessible entertainment behind the seats. The ceiling changes moods with hues, from fuchsia sunsets to honey-colored dawns.
UA is using a 3-3-3 seat configuration on the wide-body, long-haul, twin-engine midsize aircraft. Here’s a simulation flight from Boeing.