Boeing 787 Dreamliner Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Virtual Tour

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7.) What is the Dreamliner like inside?

DSC_0751Each airline configures its Dreamliners somewhat differently.  Most have two cabins, business class and economy.  LOT Polish Airlines’ Dreamliners are unique in that they have three separate classes, having added a premium-economy cabin.  Some airlines have different configurations for Dreamliners that are used solely on domestic flights.

The configuration of the long-haul Dreamliner’s business class cabin varies by airline.  For example, ANA Business Staggered seating has seats in an alternating 1-2-1 and 1-1-1 configuration.  All seats have direct-aisle access.  LOT’s business-class seats are in a more conventional 2-2-2 configuration, but the seats themselves, at 23″, are wider than what is found in other 787 business-class cabins (for example, United’s are 22” and ANA’s are 21”).  LOT’s seat pitch is 78” versus United’s 60” and ANA’s 62”.  All airlines have installed true 180° lie-flat seats in their long-haul Dreamliners business-class cabins.

Lighting is fully adjustable. In addition to an overhead light, there is a small LED reading lamp.DSC_0771-ED  Some airlines have footwell lighting as well.  ANA has a do-not-disturb light at each seat that is passenger controlled.  Each business-class seat also has a USB port that can be used to charge a smartphone and a power outlet (which accepts U.S. and European plugs) to power a laptop.

Each seat has a video display (size varies based on airline) controlled by a remote that has a small keyboard to facilitate use.  The system offers passengers a variety of movies, news programs, music tracks, games, and videos.  Passengers may also watch the moving map, which provides a variety of views (more on that below).

LOT’s premium economy cabin is completely separate from coach and has 21 seats arranged in a 2-3-2 layout.  (United also has a premium-economy cabin but uses standard economy seats.) Each seat is 19.5” wide and has a pitch of 38” with a recline of 132º. Each seat also has its own power outlet and USB port.DSC_0683

Configuration of the main cabin varies greatly by airline.  While ANA has configured its long-haul main cabin in a 2-4-2 configuration, LOT and United have opted for a 3-3-3 configuration which puts one extra seat in each row.  United’s main cabin seats are 17.3” wide versus ANA’s 18.6” width.  Seat pitch is more or less universally 32” in the main cabin.  Each passenger typically has a seatback video screen and controller but amenities such as a USB port or power outlet vary by airline.

The pivoting overhead bins are very easy to open and move to make it easier to place one’s bags inside.  It is possible to move items in and out of a bin without stepping into the aisle. When open, the bins are a bit low so head-bumping remains a possibility.

DSC_0641The lavatories are innovative as well. The toilet has a touchless flush sensor and the faucets are sensor equipped as well.  They are also quieter.  ANA and JAL have opted to install Toto Washlet technology toilets in the business-class lavs of their airplanes

In business-class cabins, all passengers have an individual USB port, an electrical outlet that supports U.S. and European plugs and voltage, and an individual seatback monitor with a miniature keyboard and controller available to them although the specifics (such as monitor size) vary by airline.

In the main cabin, passengers have access to a USB port and/or power outlet but the configuration differs by airline and some passengers may have to share.

Most airlines offer infotainment systems that serve up news, music, games, and movies.  In most cases, passengers can send messages to other seats (one can also block messages) but there is no guarantee of a reply since there is no incoming message notification. Moving maps typically offer a variety of views including total route, autozoom, and high-resolution, an autoplay function, and flight information is displayed at the bottom of the screen when viewing other areas of the system.  The system reports on heading, tail winds, head winds, and distances between cities, among other interesting details.

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