Monday, December 03, 2012
The 787 Dreamliner
This weekend I went to Dubai with a friend of mine and I was pretty excited because we would be flying on Qatar Airways latest plane, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. It's going to be used on the Doha-London in a couple of weeks but ways is testing the plane out by using it on the Doha-Dubai route.
Took a peek at the business class area and it looked really nice, with big screens for the entertainment system, but I was in economy. So how was it?
Seat size: didn't notice any difference, about the same size as their other planes. Everyone seemed to be expecting that the seats would be bigger -- not sure why, a newer plane doesn't mean they are going to put in bigger seats.
Entertainment system: I think the screen is slightly bigger than on their other planes. One cool feature is that you have a choice of either using the touchscreen or using the small controller. The small controller is also operated by touchscreen so I found it easier to use the larger screen as the buttons were bigger. As per Qatar Airways’ newer planes the entertainment system worked while the plane was on the runway, so you could start using it as soon as you got to your seat.
Windows: the windows are bigger and no longer have shades! Instead you use a button under the window to adjust the level of tinting, allowing you to darken the window. Unfortunately I was sitting in the middle section but it was pretty cool to see (my friend took a picture so once I get a copy of it I'll post it). The safety video did not announce anything about making sure your window wasn't tinted during takeoff or landing so I assume there is some “master switch” the crew can use to make sure the windows aren’t darkened.
Engine noise: hard to compare since it's been a while between flights but I believe it was a bit quieter.
Air pressure: neither my friend nor I felt any difference in air pressure or ‘popping’ of the ears, which was pretty impressive.
Air humidity: I've heard that the humidity level in a 787 can be set higher than in other planes so the air is not as dry. Unfortunately the flight was only 45 minutes so I couldn't really gauge how dry the air was. I didn't notice the air being exceptionally dry though.
Other: there was no foot rest that you could bring down to rest your feet on. Not sure why.
All in all I thought was quite pleasant. If the air humidity really is higher it would make for a more pleasant trip on those longer flights, like to London.