I love flying British Airways. Stepping aboard a British Airways plane means I’m headed somewhere exciting and being a certified anglophile, that is, a lover of all things British, British Airways helps to transport me to that land I love.
But you know what I love even more than boarding a British Airways plane? Boarding a brand-new, state-of-the-art, luxury British Airways aircraft. And that’s just what I got to do last month when I traveled from Toronto to London (and back!) on the newest member of the British Airways fleet, the Boeing-787 Dreamliner.
Unfortunately, the Boeing Dreamliner has been plagued with problems since it was first introduced two years ago. From overheated batteries to loose body panels coming loose mid-flight, many of these new aircraft have been grounded. But when they are given the green light to go, the new plane is a real treat for passengers. Here are six things to love about flying British Airways’ new 787 Dreamliner.
1 That new plane smell
Well, the plane doesn’t actually have that smell of newness like cars do but there’s something really pleasant about boarding an aircraft that’s new, clean and modern in design. The seats have traded in their traditional bulk for a slimmer, more streamlined design and there’s an airy tranquility to the look of the interiors that passengers are sure to notice and appreciate.
2 Larger windows
How exciting can windows be? You’d be surprised. The windows on this plane are 60% larger than the average airplane window, making them the largest windows of any commercial airliner. Trust me – this is a feature you’ll appreciate as your soar above the London Eye. Bigger windows mean better views. Every passenger has a view of the horizon from his or her seat but the best part is the dimming feature. Instead of a shade, the electronic window dimmers provide five graduated shades of blue to block out the light while still allowing you to see outside. Very cool!
3 Club World comfort
I was fortunate enough to fly in Club World, British Airways’ business class. Flying doesn’t get more luxurious than this. The aircraft holds 214 passengers: 35 in Club World, 25 in World Traveler Plus (economy plus) and 154 in World Traveler (economy). All three cabins have seen improvements over planes of yore, most notably the high-quality seat fabric and the larger overhead bin space. But if you’re lucky enough to fly in Club World, you’ll enjoy even more great features like the wide, full-flat beds and the large entertainment screens. But for me, it’s the little things that excite me most. A small thing like a coat hook makes your seat feel like your own little apartment. The power ports and USB sockets mean you can charge up all your devices so your phone isn’t dead as a doornail when you land. But my favourite part about my Club World seat? The cubby storage for items that I didn’t want to put all the way in the overhead bin. This little drawer was perfect for my iPad, Kobo, phone, chargers, socks, scarf, hand lotion and snacks. Speaking of snacks, if you’re traveling in Club World, you needn’t bother bringing any. The Club Kitchen has a snack bar that’s open throughout the flight, with an extensive assortment of options. I’m a snack expert. I know.
4 Reduced jet lag
The new 787s aren’t just about looks. These planes feature state-of-the-art technology that’s meant to improve the overall flying experience. In addition to being lightweight (which should reduce fuel costs by up to 20%), the planes have improved air quality to help passengers breathe better and arrive at their destination feeling refreshed, not exhausted. According to The Telegraph, “on its new Dreamliner, Boeing is to pump fresh cabin air from a separate source (away from the engines) for the first time since the fifties. This had previously been deemed too expensive.”
5 Improved in-flight entertainment system
My husband loves to work on the plane. Not me! I love to watch movies. The 787 features the new Thales entertainment system and dishes up 700+ hours of movies, TV and music. I was impressed with the film selection of new releases and had plenty of options to choose from. Unfortunately, I chose wrong. The Hangover III is a grave disappointment (why am I surprised?!) The entertainment system also offers a selection of interactive games and travelers can chat and play games with others on the plane using their in-seat system.
6 Sweet(er) dreams
There’s something about being on a plane that lulls me to sleep. But so many people say that they just can’t sleep on planes. The 787 aims to change that. With soft mood lighting timed to various parts of the journey (takeoff, meal time, sleepy time and landing) as well as cabins that are quieter overall, passengers should be able to enjoy some shut-eye and arrive at their destination feeling rested. I sure did.
If you have the chance to fly the new British Airways 787 Dreamliner, do. You’ll appreciate the new planes and all the features designed to improve your flying experience. While the Dreamliner is currently flying London-Toronto and London-Newark, new routes will open up as the company plans to add 24 new Dreamliner 787s to its fleet over the course of the next four years.
Have you flown on a Boeing-787 yet? What was your experience like?