After production delays of over two years, an analyst called the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the “delay-liner”. But aren’t production delays part and process of every new aircraft that is designed from scratch? It was the case with the Airbus A380 and even the Boeing 747. I believe it is important to look beyond the hue and cry about the delays and would like share my thoughts about the engineering and design marvel that the Boeing 787 is, and how it can be a brand differentiator for many airlines.
I was fortunate enough to be given a private tour of the Boeing 787 cabin, and I published the photos on SimpliFlying earlier. Now, I’m publishing the exclusive video tour of the cabin, which is housed in a life-sized mock-up of the plane at Boeing’s state-of-the-art Customer Experience Center. I was very impressed with this flying machine, and you’ll know why when you watch the video.
Here are three things I feel that will make the Boeing 787 experience very different for airlines, and passengers.
1. Boeing brings back the charm of flying
Did you know that the windows in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner are much larger than any planes flying today? Did you know that they have no window shades, and you control the % luminosity from a button below the window?
Colleen Rainbolt, from the Passenger Experience and Revenue dept told me that all of these features were designed so that people would enjoy flying again. Very simply, every kid has a dream to fly. But when we grow up and are faced with the reality of the unpleasant flying experience, we’re turned off. But by being able to see the sky at all times, as opposed to closing the window shades for a majority of flying time, I think it’s going to make a significant impact on the experience.
2. So spacious, the 787 doesn’t feel like a plane
If you watch me enter the plane below, you’ll realize the kind of space I’m talking about. I did not even feel this spaciousness in Emirates’ A380’s First Class, which I felt entering the Economy cabin of the 787. Boeing has removed the galley we all encounter upon entering a plane. And that create a lot of room!
Moreover, the blue lighting is such that it makes the plane ceiling feel very high and has a calming effect on the passenger
3. Everything is designed with the customer in mind
That is, the airline customer, and the traveling public. For the airlines, Boeing has instituted a lot of flexibility. For example, seats in the Economy cabin can be 6-abreast, 7-abreast, 8-abreast and even 9-abreast, depending on the airline’s priorities and the sector it is serving.
For the passenger, the stow bins are much larger, have ergonomic, easy to use latches and slide down. Even the toilet doors feel like those at home, rather than those that fold in.
See all of these features and more for yourself in the SimpliFlying-exclusive tour!
So, what do you think? Does the 787 have what it takes to be a successful differentiator for airlines? Would passengers flock to it? Would they pay a premium for it? Let’s discuss in the comments or over on Twitter (@simpliflying)
Special thanks to Colleen Rainbolt for leading this tour, to Miles Kotay for arranging this for me at a day’s notice and to Jon Ostrower, the Flightblogger, for helping another aviation freak find the right people in Boeing.