Travel Blog + Dining Blog + Frequent Flyer Tips Blog

Justin Does…The Dreamliner!

I recently had TWO opportunities to check out Boeing‘s newest airplane, the 787 Dreamliner. The Dreamliner is the latest airplane introduced by the Boeing company and is touted as the airplane to revolutionize commercial air travel. The Dreamliner is also the same airplane that was grounded worldwide for three months earlier this year because of concerns with overheating lithium-ion batteries. The Dreamliner was grounded in January 2013 and most airlines began to fly them again by June 2013.

UA Dreamliner Logo

Around the time the Dreamliner was announced to take to the skies, I was planning a trip to Vail Valley in Colorado for the 4th of July holiday and stumbled across an opportunity to fly the Dreamliner. I reached out to my Facebook fans for help:

JustinDoes...May 9 Facebook

Thanks to y’all, I was convinced to go ahead and book the one-way ticket on United Airlines from Austin to Houston, then Houston to Denver, and finally from Denver to Eagle/Vail. I booked my ticket and patiently waited for departure.

Side Note: I was so excited to finally fly the Dreamliner that I checked my reservation at least daily, okay, actually sometimes several times each day to make sure that there wasn’t a schedule change or equipment swap.

Side Note Number Two: Each time I checked my itinerary, I also rechecked my seat assignments and compared them to the seat map at seatguru.com to ensure I was in the best seat.

About a week before I was scheduled to fly the Dreamliner, I received an invitation to attend a special event in Austin. Both United Airlines and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (ABIA) were hosting a special viewing and tour of the United 787. I am so glad I was able to attend!

If you follow me on instagram, you’ve already seen some of the pictures from the tour (and if you don’t follow me on instagram, you should!):

Smiling Dreamliner

Someone is smiling.

787 BusinessFirst Cabin

The BusinessFirst Cabin.

JustinDoes...CoPilot

I almost took her out for a spin.

Standing in front of the Dreamliner engine

My wingspan is only 6’2″.

Dreamliner Tail

This shot is just to prove that this wasn’t just a Dream(liner).

After the tour, I was so excited to finally take an actual flight. The Dreamliner is simply an amazing aircraft and I believe it will certainly change the future of air travel. For example, the windows are massive (the biggest of any commercial passenger plane) and higher up compared to the seat (read: no more crouching down to look out the window). In addition, the windows don’t have shades, rather, they have a button that dims from fully transparent to a dark opaque.

Dreamliner Windows w/Grandma

I found grandma on the internet…and on a Dreamliner! Look at the size of those…WINDOWS!


For more information about what makes this airplane pretty sweet, check out an interactive tour on United’s website.

As for my actual flight, it was pretty incredible. Granted, I was sitting in a BusinessFirst pod, but overall, the entire flight was great.

Each seat has on-demand entertainment. I began watching a movie during the boarding process and was able to finish it halfway through the flight. After which, I switched over and watched a couple TV shows.

EconomyScreen

So much to watch, so little time!

Another passenger comfort is the larger bathrooms (with mood lighting)! I didn’t have to crouch to fit in the bathroom (I’m 6’2″), nor did I bump my shoulders turning around.

787 bathroom

The mood lighting in here really puts you in the mood!
Photo courtesy of cnet.

I’m not sure if it was just good weather, but the flight had very little turbulence. Special sensors throughout the Dreamliner pinpoint upcoming turbulence giving the aircraft more time to compensate for it and create a smoother ride for passengers.

Finally, the entire flight was fairly quiet. The Dreamliner has a number of enhancements to provide for a quieter cabin. My favorite are the noise-reducing chevrons on the engine case:

787chevrons

Love the chevrons on the engine case!

Sadly I was only in-flight on the Dreamliner for a short two and a half hours. I really didn’t want the flight to end! What was even worse was that my third flight of the day was on this:
UA Q400

From the Dreamliner to a prop plane.

Take home point: If you have any chance to fly the 787 – DO IT.

Did you enjoy this post or learn something new? Please like this blog on Facebook (fb.com/JustinDoesBlog) or follow me on Twitter (@JustinDoesBlog). And please, share with your friends!

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