Browsing Tag: 787-9 Dreamliner

A United 787-9 touching down – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

A United 787-9 touching down – Photo: Bernie Leighton | AirlineReporter

United’s daily service from Los Angeles (LAX) to Melbourne (MEL), Australia is the world’s longest Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight. The long flight (UA98 is scheduled for 15 hours, 50 minutes) allowed me to not only put the 787-9 to the test, but also United’s Economy Plus product.

Flights from LAX to Melbourne take off in the late evening and arrive in the early morning, so the outbound flight is quite easy to sleep on, assuming you aren’t contemplating the remoteness of the vast Pacific Ocean. The routing typically takes the aircraft out on runway 25R, and after an eternity over open water, high above Kiribati, American Samoa, and Fiji, before crossing the Tasman Sea, leaving less than an hour of flying time over land.

Economy Plus on the United 787

Economy Plus on the United 787

As you enjoy your breakfast, you can gaze out on a sunrise over the Australian Alps and observe the Dreamliner’s wings, which are nearly free of fuel, in their most upward-bent shape. I was excited for the flight, but not sure if United could come through during such a long trip.

Our Plane

A brand new 787-9, my ride to Santiago, Chile – Photo: Ben Granucci | AirlineReporter

I recently made a trip to Santiago to cover the opening of LAN’s new VIP Lounge. I was pretty excited since this gave me a few firsts. This was the first time that I was invited to do an international trip as media and my first time in South America. This was also going to be my first trip on a 787 of any variant. While the Santiago to JFK route was normally flown by a 787-8 at that time, the night before my flight I discovered that a brand new 787-9 had been swapped in. I was beyond excited!

The bulkhead row of seats on LAN's 787-9 - Photo: Ben Granucci | AirlineReporter

The bulkhead row of seats on LAN’s 787-9 – Photo: Ben Granucci | AirlineReporter

Although I would say that I had a better than average international economy experience, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t encounter some challenges. Some were things that happen just because the complexities of running an airline, but others I think could be updated to improve the overall economy passenger experience.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner -- flight test airplane ZB001 -- completes its validation flight Friday, July 11, ahead of the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow, outside London. Photo: Boeing

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner – flight test airplane ZB001 – completes its validation flight July 11th, ahead of the 2014 Farnborough International Airshow outside London – Photo: Boeing

You are probably aware that the Farnborough Airshow is going on this week. It is a time where airline manufacturers compete for orders, but also a chance to show off a little aviation porn with flying during the airshow. Typically you get to see these large aircraft flown agressively, not like you see them in the “real world.”

We just wanted to share some of the photos of the first Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (ZB001) taking flight over Farnborough – enjoy!

ZB001 takes off from Farnborough - Photo: Boeing

ZB001 takes off from Farnborough – Photo: Boeing