Browsing Tag: Dreamliner

Our United 787-9 being made ready for the inaugural long-haul LAX-SIN flight.

Our United 787-9 being made ready for the inaugural long-haul LAX-SIN flight

Superlatives abounded on this, the inaugural non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Singapore. It’s billed as the third-longest direct flight in the world and the longest to originate from the United States.

There was even a ribbon-cutting ceremony - the presence of a trade delegation highlighted the fact that economic ties are strong between Singapore and the U.S.

There was even a ribbon-cutting ceremony – the presence of a trade delegation highlighted the fact that economic ties are strong between Singapore and the U.S.

The flight takes 17 hours, five minutes to cover the 8,772 miles between Los Angeles and Singapore. Favorable headwinds shaved an hour off our flight time, but, still. It’s an awfully long time to be in the air.

AF 787-9 Dreamliner - Photo: Alastair Long | AirlineReporter

AF 787-9 Dreamliner – Photo: Alastair Long | AirlineReporter

As far as airline journalism gigs go, I hoped that this would be a beauty. And it did not disappoint. I missed an opportunity to visit the Air France (AF) CDG hub experience in November 2015 due to a lost passport. However, AF gave me a second, even juicier, bite of the cerise with an invitation to try its business class product on board the airline’s recently arrived Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. We would fly out from London Heathrow (LHR) to Paris Charles de Gaulle (CDG) on 23 March 2017. You’d perhaps be forgiven for raising an eyebrow seeing a long-haul bird deployed for a painfully short 45-minute hop over La Manche.

Looking great, even under a stormy sky ’“ Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

Looking great, even under a stormy sky ’“ Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

Everyone remembers their first time. Their first time getting upgraded on an international flight, that is. For some people, it’s a splurge with miles. For others, it’s the result of hard-won top-tier airline status. Or a cash upgrade offer at check-in that is too good to be true. But no matter how it happens, your first time flying in first or business class is the highlight of any AvGeek’s flying career.

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of my first long-haul upgrade ’“ in a shiny new Dreamliner, no less. And yes, it was everything I wanted it to be and more. But the circumstances were a little unusual, because my upgrade wasn’t thanks to miles, or cash. I was upgraded because of a typhoon in the western Pacific.

This is NOT the ideal weather for flying ’“ Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

This is NOT the ideal weather forecast for flying ’“ Photo: Manu Venkat | AirlineReporter

Wait … what? Well read on for the backstory, plus plenty of photos and thoughts about my experience in United’s BusinessFirst 787 cabin. And once you’re done reading, share your own stories about your first times getting bumped up.