The 787 allows passengers to choose different from five different levels.
Reuters reported yesterday that passengers have complained about the windows not darkening enough on the 787 and that All Nippon Airways (ANA) is working with Boeing to install sunshades on their 787 Dreamliners. It appears that both of these statements are false.
One of the well touted benefits (by me and many others) of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are the dimmable windows. Instead of your classic shade that can be pulled down over the window, the 787 allows passengers to still be connected to the flying experience, while reducing the natural light that enters the cabin.
About a week ago, ANA released a survey showing that about 88% of passengers reported that the windows dimmability was better than they expected or fully met expectations. It seems that there might have been some confusion that passengers complained about the window and the other 12% did not like them. Nao Gunji, ANA spokes person told AirlineReprter.com that they have not received any direct complaints on the darkness levels of the 787’s windows and they are not wanting shades. “We are definitely not looking to install sunshades,” Gunji explained over the phone.
One of the lavatories has a window shade in ANA’s 787 Dreamliner. Photo by Nicholas Smith / AirlineReporter.com.
Although ANA is not looking at a sunshade option, it appears it could be possible. ANA already has one window in each 787 Dreamliner with a sunshade — in their lavatory — and it also has the dimming function. Could Boeing be working with other airlines to install sunshades on the 787?
“We are always looking at ways to improve our products but don’t discuss specific efforts in development,” Scott S. Lefeber, with Boeing 787 Communications explained via email. “Additionally, the response of our customers and the flying public to the larger, dimmable windows on the 787 has been very favorable. As always, Boeing works with its customers on an ongoing basis to understand new requirements and offer solutions.”
I have had the opportunity to be on the 787 quite a few times and flew on it for a 90 minute flight. Although I have not been in it with all the windows dimmed and the lights off, I have been in it with the lights on while the windows were dim. It might not have been as dark as your standard long-haul cabin for sleeping, but it was surely dark enough to get sleep and it seems this whole situation is more about mis-communication than it is about people being unhappy about the windows.
ANA reached out and explained that they previously worked with Boeing, well before delivery, on issues of the 787’s window dimming level. The airline felt that the windows did not darken enough, so an extra film was placed between the three layers of glass. It was, “Something ANA engineers and Boeing decided together in order to provide the best cabin experience to our passengers,” Gunji explained.
Delta aircraft lined up at Atlanta. You know where your bag is?
Delta Air Lines has been making the headlines this last week for kicked off passengers, bomb threats, and job cuts. That is part of the “fun” with being the world’s largest airline — something interesting is always happening. All those stories have been well-covered by other media outlets and I think one story that has fallen between the cracks: luggage tracking.
Having your luggage get lost while traveling is annoying — very annoying. Delta has started a new tracking system to help reduce lost luggage and allows passengers to follow along.
Once a passenger checks in their bag and they are scanned, they can start to follow its process to the bag carousel at their destination.
Delta is the first major airline to try such a new feature and so far they are hearing good things.” Customers have been asking for something like this and we’re pleased to get it up and running,” Delta spokesman Morgan Durrant explained to AirlineReporter.com. “The performance has been solid and initial customer feedback is positive.”
Currently this new feature is not integrated into Delta’s smart phone apps, but passengers are able to access it via Delta’s website on any internet-capable devices. So this means that when you board your flight, you might see that your bag did not make it. Although it will cause some disappointment during your flight, Delta flight attendants have gone through briefings on the new system and can better assist customers. This will save you time not having to wait at baggage claim for all the bags to come off before you realize yours didn’t make it. Then having to wait in line to let Delta staff know you do not have your bag.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “the rate of mishandled baggage was 3.59 reports filed per 1,000 passengers in February, an improvement of 8.7% from the prior year’s rate of 3.93 per 1,000 passengers.” Delta is ranked 5th out the airlines tracked by the Transportation Department.
Two will enter, one will leave. Some will have Wi-Fi.
United has announced today that Continental intends to add Wi-Fi to 200 of their Boeing 737 and 757 aircraft. It is not officially, official that this will happen, but I would imagine it will go through.
If you get confused on who and what United and Continental Airlines are right now, you are not alone. Although they will be merging, they are still two separate airlines. This gets more confusing since they have started to re-paint planes and doing joint announcements.
Add to the confusion that currently, United flies fourteen aircraft with Wi-Fi already on their Premium Service (PS). 13 of those aircraft are using Go-Go Inflight Wi-Fi and one is using Row 44. The Continental aircraft will be using LiveTV’s ViaSat-1 satellite internet. Those are a lot of different providers and I would imagine as the merger settles down, the new United will be looking at which service package they would want to provide to the entire fleet. Since the new United has so many international destinations, it makes sense for them to look at using a satellite provider like Row44 or LiveTV.
Becoming the world’s largest airline is not easy. There are a lot of things that still need to be dealt with to make sure the new United has a consistent brand.Time is of the essence since the new United doesn’t want to alienate loyal customers for both airlines during the transition.
To learn a bit more, check out my story on AOL Travel News.
An American Airlines MD-80.
I love the self-service kiosks at airports. I was one of the first people to use them when they came out and I am still a huge fan today.
One of the most annoying issues is printing out my boarding pass and then waiting for someone to come over and give me my bag-tag. Sometimes I can end up waiting longer for my tag than I took actually checking in. American Airlines is trying to change the game by allowing passengers to print off their own bag tags.
Already at 35 airports around the world, passengers can print off their own luggage tag, but that hasn’t been the case in the US. American is giving this a six month test in Austin, TX to see how it goes. Your ID still needs to be checked, and an agent needs to watch the conveyor belt to make sure only authorized bags make their way on board, but this should be able to speed up the check-in process.
Some passengers and airline employees are not happy. Passengers feel this is a step backward with customer service and employees are afraid about keeping their job. I think it boils down to the cost of a ticket. Airlines need to get creative to be competitive and if this is a way to speed things up and save a few dollars on a ticket, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it being used more in the future. Delta and Alaska Airlines have already shown some interest and I imagine that others are keeping a close eye on how this goes.
What do you think? Is this the future or a lame-duck idea?
To learn more about this program, check out the story I posted on AOL Travel News.
Image: John Rogers
This wonderful meal is what people in economy would get in the "good 'ol days," now you can still find it in first class. Yes, that is a real glass I was able to use in a recent flight in Delta first class.
Ah flying is not what it used to be right? Remember when you were treated like royalty, didn’t have to pay extra fees, seats were bigger and you got a real meal? Where did those days go? Well those days are not entirely gone. You can still find all that still up in the front of the plane…in first class.
Most people like to blame the airline for all these changes. They will accuse the airlines for cramming in as many seats as possible, taking away the free food and adding a bunch of fees all in the name of profit. But while airlines were doing all these things, the price of tickets have greatly dropped and safety has increased.
Recently I had the opportunity to fly first class on Delta Air Lines from Seattle to Atlanta and I forgot how nice it can be. I love flying, even in economy with my peanuts, but you can’t beat the experience flying in the front of the plane.
Although domestic first class seats are better than domestic economy seats, neither of them compare international first class seats. But again, you are going to pay (a lot) to get a first class seat on an international flight (we are talking up to $25,000.00). No matter where you are flying first class, it provides you with two things you won’t find in the back of the bus: space and service.
The benefits of flying first class starts at the airport. If you didn’t check-in online, most airlines will have a special first class line, which is quicker. Then, many airports have a quick security line allowing you to fly through all the fun TSA security. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has this option, but I forgot about this perk and was stuck waiting 25 minutes to get through security (even though there was only a line of 10 people — figure that one out). Once you make it through security, depending on the airline and airport, you will have access to the airlines lounge. Again, I missed this benefit at Seattle.
One benefit I did not miss out on was boarding first. While everyone else stands around the gate waiting to board, Delta has the Sky Priority lane, guaranteeing you won’t have any problems finding room for your carry-on bags. Right after I boarded, I was asked if I want something to drink. Feel like an adult beverage? Enjoy… it is on the house. Since my flight left at 7am, I opted to not enjoy an alcoholic beverage and stuck to just juice (my flight home was a different story). The drinks, by the way, are served in real glasses.
After take off, the flight attendants came around to me and my first class buddies and handed out a hot towel. You won’t see that in economy…you can’t even pay for that back there.
Then comes the meal. A real meal. We are talking omlet, ham, potatoes, fruit and a bagel (see photo on the blog). I got mighty full after all that, I don’t think I have ever gotten full from even the meals you can buy in the back of the plane. After the meal was completed, it was not that long before a basket of snacks was offered. I wasn’t hungry yet, but I stored up, since it was a five hour flight.
During the flight, I had a lot of options to keep distracted on Delta’s in-flight entertainment. The system is not any different from the system in the back of the plane, but everything is free. I got through two movies, even though I wasn’t fully paying attention since I was on my laptop and on the GoGo In-Flight Wi-Fi. Unfortunatly the internet is not free in first class (I wonder if that will ever change), but it only cost $12.95 for the five hour flight. Since I had an extra 10″ of seat pitch than the folks in the back, it was easy to have my laptop open, watching my movies and still have room to breath.
The part of flying I do not like is the waiting to get off. I am sort of impatient and sitting there waiting for people to get their stuff and off the plane is just annoying. Well, sitting up front you don’t have to deal with that. Once the door is open, you are off and on your way.
With most airlines, sitting up front gets you VIP service, just like the way it used to be. However, it also costs the way it used to be as well. With all the additional fees and in-flight add-ons, flying first class has never been a better value. If you check bags, eat on the plane or watch movies, getting them all for free in first class can be a good value. Next time you want to experience flying like it used to be, make sure to get that first class ticket! If you haven’t been able to fly first class before, you might want to try it out sometime. Many airlines offer a cheap upgrade at the airport option, since it really does give a whole new experience to flying.