Given that the future of the aerospace giant rests largely on the success of the much-delayed 787, it would be nice if the aircraft is all that it's cracked up to be - a plane that offers better cabin climate, less airsickness, reduced jet lag, and fewer headaches. The WSJ's Scott McCartney recently took an 11½-hour flight from Tokyo to Frankfurt on the Dreamliner on, and he found a lot of impressive features. "But make no mistake," he writes, "it's still an airplane."
"To me, it didn't feel like a revolution. It felt like a natural evolution. It was different but it wasn't hugely different," said Michael Grepo, a computer-systems expert for the U.S. government who took a long weekend last month to fly the new 787. He said he didn't feel as short of breath as he does on other aircraft, and he didn't have to hold his nose and blow to clear his ears as often. Orange light on the cabin ceiling before landing simulated sunrise and was calming, Mr. Grepo said. It seemed to make a difference psychologically.
I flew from Tokyo to Frankfurt on Feb. 3 and could feel the Dreamliner differences. My contact lenses didn't dry out as much as they usually do on long flights; same for my nose. I only slept an hour, partly because a nearby infant wailed several times during the night, even though the Dreamliner is supposed to lessen air-pressure pain in babies. Still, I wasn't dragging as much as I usually am after sleepless overnight trips. Small details do make a difference. The plane comes standard with individual air vents over passengers, something that is rarely found on wide-body jets. That gives each passenger more control of air flow and temperature. And the large 787 window offered a beautiful panoramic view of Tokyo on departure.
All Nippon Airways has a promotional video on the 787, although keep in mind that airlines can configure the interiors however they choose.