It is hard to believe that it has been over two weeks since I took a ride on All Nippon Airways (ANA) second Boeing 787 Dreamliner (JA802A). Since then I have finally been able to get my video done (which is shared in this story) and it has allowed me to think more about flying on the 787 Dreamliner. I also reached out to a few others who were able to take a flight that week and see what their thoughts are after having a bit of time to mentally digest.

When flying in the 787 I knew it was different. It took off very smoothly and it was quiet as I expected it would be. I didn’t fully appreciate how nice it was until my flight home. The day after the 787 excursion, I was on a ANA Boeing 777-300ER back to LA. The 777 is by no means a bad aircraft and it seemed amazing when I flew to Tokyo, but it seemed very different on the way home. This was the exact same plane that I flew from LAX to Tokyo just a few days earlier. On my 777  flight to Japan, the 777 seemed new, fresh and comfortable. But flying on it after the 787, it now seemed outdated, cramped and not nearly as nice.

To be fair, this 777 did not have ANA’s newest staggered business class product, but the current one is not horrid. I think my perception of my 777 flight to Japan versus going home was a real eye opener on how different the 787 is to the airline business. In the words of Reading Rainbow, “But you don’t have to take my word for it…”

Mount Fuji seen from ANA's second Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Mount Fuji seen from ANA's second Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Guy Norris, who writes for Aviation Week and is @AvWeekGuy on Twitter: What was your favorite part of the 787 flight?
Norris: The fact that despite I was with 240 of my newest, closest friends, the big windows and open architecture made the cabin feel larger than it actually was. The smoothness of the flight and the skyline of the windows gave the unusual sensation of almost flying in a dirigible – like a luxury airship. I didn’t expect that. Interestingly I found the light control on the window shade very useful for modulating light levels – like having sets of giant sunglasses with various tint levels.

Was it what you thought it would be?
It was just what I hoped – and expected.

Will it be difficult to fly on non-787 aircraft now?
It already is!

The view of the wing from the lavatory. Not too bad eh?

The view of the wing from the lavatory. Not too bad eh?

Chris Sloan who writes for Airways Magazine, runs and is President/Owner of 2c Media: What was your favorite part of the 787 flight?
Sloan: I was absolutely in awe of that raked wing. Watching all the control surfaces react to gusts and chop was mesmerizing to me. I think you commented in a post how it’s difficult to appreciate from in-cabin just how curved up the dihedral is. I agree. The in-flight entertainment of the wing could not be beat. The positive, upbeat, convivial atmosphere of passengers and crew in being a part of history was equally wonderful to the aircraft itself.

Was it what you thought it would be?
I wouldn’t say anything could be better. As I think many of us have remarked, had the flight been the longer-haul, we would have been able to discern the affects on the lower pressurization and higher humidity on our well-being. It was very difficult to tell after just a 4 1/2 hour flight. I also actually wished for turbulence just to feel more of the gust suppression system’s affect. It really couldn’t have been better, well maybe… just a bit if I were sitting in Business Class…but I’m not complaining!

Will it be difficult to fly on non-787 aircraft now?
I flew back on an ANA Boeing 777-300ER. The service and aircraft were superb, so I wasn’t feeling any pain, but perhaps the question should be ’œwill it be difficult to fly on a non-ANA, ordinary flight?’ Now if I am an airline, I would say I would want every aircraft in my medium haul fleet to be a 787 to start reaping those savings now.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me:
Flight Review: Frontier Airlines Q400 from Denver to Aspen
Andrew Boydston

Your first impressions are summed up into two words. Sublime, relating to your flight experience and Subliminal, affecting how you now compare all air travel. The 787 accomplished a “Sea Change” for the traveler and it will bode well for Boeing once the long distance routes are in play. The traveler will be ready to play upon arrival to their destination. After all, the journey taken is one half of the experience and the destination is the other half of the experience.

Nice job David. I especially was impressed with the lavatory tour, but seriously, it looks like the airplane is state of the art in almost all areas.

Sure David. Rub it in.

Just kidding, color me green with envy, I’ll probably never get to fly on one. Some of us rarely get to fly any more, even though the fires of our passion for aviation still burn strong.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s I practically lived in NWA 747-200s, dashing off to Asia on a regular basis. I knew their west coast 747 fleet by heart and was so nutso that I would change reservations based on the nose numbers of certain aircraft.

Now, I rarely get to fly. Logged all of four flight segments this year, three in AA MD80s and one in an AA 737.

Now, I avoid short leisure flights because I cannot stand the TSA-sponsored gate rapes. I’ll drive up to 12 hours to avoid TSA.

I only got my first 777 flight last year. EVA Air, (LAX-TPE) it was wonderful, even in cattle class.

I finally got a 747-combi flight last year, also on EVA (TPE-MNL and return)

I’ve never flown on an Airbii other than the 319/320 series.

I’ve never even seen an A380. Probably never will.

So keep your passion for aviation burning. You still view aviation with the wonder of a child — and this envious old man lives vicariously through you.

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