You think an engine might explode and engulf the entire cabin in flames. You can envision the captains cursing in panic as they realize the controls are broken. You’re almost certain now that these are your final moments.
But just then, the the nose pitches upwards, the wheels rocket over that final bump, and a synchronized sigh is the final sign that you’ve defied gravity once again.
Flying never gets old. I love the lift off and the landing. I scarf down airplane food with a passion no matter how sweaty and bland it is. I always enjoy the in flight movie even if it’s Spy Kids 2. I simply love planes, flying, and breaking glorious wind after arriving in a foreign land.
So when I heard about 787 Boeing Dreamliner back in 2009, I couldn’t wait to experience one for myself. The big windows, the bigger seats and the new overall design was more exciting to me than Jack fruit, sugar cane juice, coconut ice cream, pork on a stick, and full moon parties combined. Lucky for me, my favorite airline, Norwegian Air, had just purchased 14 new Dreamliners, and that meant I would actually get to fly in one on my next flight from New York to Stockholm.
The Day Of Departure
Despite having checked their website to make sure the plane was on time, I arrived at JFK to discover that not only was the plane delayed, but it was delayed by 8 hours! Instead of leaving at 10 pm, we would now have to hang around the airport until 6am. I kind of couldn’t believe it, and ended up going back home and rescheduling the flight.
Although I love Norwegian Air for it’s prices and Dreamliners, their flights are often delayed. So be sure to check, double check, and call before heading to the airport.
4 days later and I finally got to board my first 787. From the outside, it looked no different from any other Boeing plane. But from the moment I entered the cabin I was blown away by the amount of head room. There was at least an extra foot as I walked down the aisle. More, the luggage compartments were so compact that I didn’t need to hunch over as I found my seat by the window. Finally, the tranquil blue led lighting invoked impressions of a much bigger space.
The Window Seat
If you’re taking a Dreamliner, definitely ask for a window seat. The seats were wider and had significantly more leg room. They were so nice that at times I thought I was in business or first class. But by far the best part about the Dreamliner is the new window. The window is 30% larger and you can definitely tell. It’s also fitted with smart glass that allows you to tint the window by 5 shades. Although Norwegian charges extra to choose a seat, I always end up getting one by simply asking politely at the check in counter.
I had read that the plane would be 60% quieter but didn’t really believe it until we took off. It was quiet enough that I actually refrained from letting them rip for fear my neighbor might hear it. More, due to the humid and more natural air system, I was afraid he might also smell it properly as well. Needless to say, I kept clenched. Fortunately, it wasn’t too big a problem since I was considerably less gassy due to the increased cabin pressure.
Although the Dreamliner is be no means revolutionary, it’s still pretty darn nice. It makes long haul flights like Oakland to Oslo or Stockholm to Bangkok remarkably more comfortable and enjoyable. Now that I’ve flown in one, normal planes feel like flying porter potties. As Boeing doesn’t say but should, “Once you dream line, nothing else is as fine.”