How to Fly the 787 Dreamliner In the US

The video shows Boeing pilots practicing for the upcoming Paris Air Show in what looks like an almost vertical take-off of the newest version of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Obviously there are no people on board and one can assume the plane is carrying very little fuel to perform that maneuver. I will admit I am a bit of an aviation geek. Ever since the 787 Dreamliner debuted in 2011 I’ve wanted to fly on one. What’s so great about Dreamliner? Here are my top reasons:

1. The Air Inside –  The cabin pressure is higher and the humidity is higher than other airplanes. Basically, passengers on board will feel like they are at an altitude of 6,000 feet, 2,000 feet lower than a standard flight. The changes will cut down on passenger fatigue, dry eyes, and headaches.

2. Larger Windows – The 787’s windows are 30% larger. Say goodbye to those plastic shades as well. The Dreamliner is the first commercial plane to have electronic dimmers at each seat. The flight attendants can also darken or lighten all the shades automatically, which works great for those red eye flights.

3. More Space – Better design with more overhead space as well storage space. Sadly seat space is still the same.

4. Fuel Efficiency – 20% more fuel efficient than similarly-sized aircraft, a change which allows airlines to save money and deploy the plane on longer routes.

5. Composite Materials – The Dreamliner is made of 50% composite materials, carbon fiber-reinforced polymers that are both lighter and more durable than traditional aluminum. This allows the plane to fly longer with less fuel.

787 Thrifty Traveler

787 American Interior

Back in 2013, I was scheduled to fly the 787 from Chicago to Warsaw, Poland on LOT Polish Airlines, but the plane was grounded due to battery issues at that time. Sadly since then I haven’t had another chance to try out the 787. I typically fly Southwest and Delta domestically, neither of which fly the Dreamliner. Internationally, I typically fly American due to the cheap point redemptions for European trips, and American doesn’t fly the Dreamliner to Europe just yet. Right now a majority of US originating 787 flights fly to China or Japan. Don’t be discouraged, here are the short-haul routes that American and United fly the 787 Dreamliner in the US.

American: 

  • ORD – DFW and DFW – ORD 1x/daily
787 Thrifty Traveler

Sample Flight Chicago to Dallas

United:

  • IAH-DEN and DEN-IAH 1x/daily
  • IAH-SFO 1x/daily
  • SFO-IAH 7x/week
787 Thrifty Traveler

Sample Flight Houston to Denver

I am hoping to ride on American’s new route from Chicago to Dallas in the near future. There have been flight deals on this route for under $100 round-trip so keep an eye out! American also has a great looking business class, which can be pricey, or you can redeem points at around 50k AAdvantage miles roundtrip. If you’re on a budget and want to fly to Europe on the 787, Norwegian airlines is a great pick.  Norwegian frequently comes up in our Flight Deals section, as they have rock-bottom prices for flights from the west and east coast to Europe. Almost all of Norwegian’s fleet of planes are the new 787. You’ve got lots of great options so get out there and let me know how it is!

787 Thrifty Traveler

787 Business Class on American

 

Boeing also created a very cool tool to track all the Dreamliners currently in-flight: Dreamliner Tracker 

Have you flown on the Dreamliner? Tell us about your experience below!

 

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