A Ride On The American Airlines 787 Inaugural DFW-ORD

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been a field day for aviation geeks like me.  There hasn’t been anything like it before, and we’re unlikely to see innovation of this magnitude in aviation for quite some time.  That’s why I found myself in Dallas this morning with a 5am wake-up call.  American Airlines, my favorite airline, debuted the 787 Dreamliner today on a domestic flight from DFW to Chicago-O’Hare.

I’ve already flown the 787 a number of times.

I was lucky enough to win a free seat in business class on the inaugural Japan Airlines flight from Boston to Tokyo.

I flew it on one of the StarMegaDO flights.

And, I flew the British Airways version back from Europe on our recent summer trip to Italy.

American Airlines had a big ceremony at the gate, complete with photo opportunities and speeches, along with a few bagels and refreshments.

787 Inaugural

And, while American Airlines exceeds the standards set by United Airlines in many areas, this flight mimicked United in one regard. Shortly before boarding, there were 81 people on the upgrade list for the flight! Though there was no chance for an upgrade, I was pretty pumped to be second on the list, trumping Gary Leff’s position of 36th.

787 Inaugural787 Inaugural

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I had heard there were over 70 people from FlyerTalk and Milepoint on the flight, and I had at least a dozen people onboard that I knew personally, so it was good to connect with old friends.

We all received an inaugural gift bag when boarding, which included some popcorn, a portable battery and, most importantly, a pretty cool coin commemorating the event.

787 Inaugural

787 Inaugural

I was commenting to my seatmate, Mommy Points, that even though I’ve been on a handful of MegaDO flights, this was the first time I ever ended up on a paid flight where there were literally dozens of people I know. Things very quickly turned into a cocktail party in the sky, with conversations popping up everywhere.

787 Inaugural

787 Inaugural

787 Inaugural

The inflight product in coach was actually quite good. The plane is configured 3-3-3, so that means you can’t escape having a middle seat. But, I was seated in Main Cabin Extra and was quite comfortable. I had plenty of the legroom and phenomenal recline on my seat.

Other than the fact that it was a regular armrest, I found the seat quality to be comparable or better to the premium economy seat I had on the British Airways 787 from Austin to Heathrow a couple of months ago. The Panasonic internet was nowhere near up to the task of serving everyone who wanted to get online.  The screen resolution on the in-flight entertainment was very good, though the screens don’t tilt when the seat in front of you reclines.

787 Inaugural

787 Inaugural

 

787 Inaugural

I don’t imagine I’ll be hopping on any more inaugural flights anytime soon, and this was one of only two I’ve ever been on that I can recall. It was only a few hour delay for me getting home from a business trip versus a normal itinerary, so definitely worth the time, if only to catch up with a bunch of friends as crazy as me.

787 Inaugural

787 Inaugural


The post A Ride On The American Airlines 787 Inaugural DFW-ORD was published first on Pizza In Motion.

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6 Comments

  1. I was hoping you would write a post about this flight. It looks like people had a great time. I wish I could have flown with everyone!

  2. A few things:

    1) 81 people on the upgrade list is WIN.

    2) Ed > Gary

    3) I am laughing at what the 10-15% of the people on the plane who were just regular travelers (who didnt know what flight they had gotten on) were thinking. They must have been so confused for a little bit. And then, during the flight, when you aviation geeks started horsing around (as inevitably MUST have occurred), they must have been even more… entertained.

    4) I’ve heard one bad review of the business class seat – apparently too narrow for today’s larger-shouldered passenger?

    1. 1. That’s a heck of a lot of EXPs. 😀

      2. 😀

      3. I can only imagine what a “normal” person thought on this flight. Since I never ran into any of them, I’ll have to take other’s words for it.

      4. As you know, I’m not a large-shouldered passenger. I plan to write up the business class seat and crew rest area as a separate post.

  3. Thanks for sharing.
    Comparable to BA Premium Economy or better? On ye ol crAAck pipe again are we? 😉 BAs seat config is 2-3-2 and 38 pitch with footrest, separate cabin and 3 course meal served on real plates and real glasses. AA is just regular economy with slightly better pitch. When the hangover settles, only 28 seats in biz is going to make upgrades extremely difficult. ORD-NRT gets 50% less premium seats with he downgrade from the triple

    1. If you review the post, you’ll see I’m just discussing the seat, not meals, etc. How many meals I get served on a redeye flight when I want to sleep won’t make the seat more comfortable.
      Calling that little strip of metal that hangs two inches off the floor on BA a footrest is an insult to the English language. That was the most useless feature on an airline seat I’ve ever seen. The recline on the AA seat was similar to the BA seat for me, though only for a 2-hour flight.
      My one experience in BA Premium Economy was the worst night of sleep I’ve ever had on a redeye. I found it virtually impossible to sleep in the seat and my back was very sore the following day. I had to get up and walk around a number of times in the flight. No matter how many seats they have in Club World versus AA in their Business Class cabin, it’s not going to magically make the World Traveller Plus seat more comfortable. Nor is the presence of a foot rest that only sits a couple of inches off the ground.

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