Would bigger windows, funky lighting and the promise of reduced jet lag convince you to pay more for your long-haul flight? That’s what tour operator Thomson is hoping with its new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
If you choose to fly to Mexico or Florida with Thomson next year, you might have the chance to test out the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Around half of Thomson’s flights in 2013 will use this swanky aircraft. But if you want to step aboard what is billed as the future of flying, it’ll cost you an extra £20.
You may be wondering what you get for an extra tenner each way. Well, I hopped on board a Dreamliner when it called into Heathrow the other week, and I certainly noticed a difference, even though we never left the ground.
Living the Dreamliner
There are bigger windows – about three times bigger than on the average plane. And the windows don’t have shutters – you simply press a button to make the glass darker or lighter.
You’ll also find larger luggage bins – about a third larger than on the average jet. There’s new cabin lighting with orange and lavender hues to mimic sunrise and sunset, helping passengers’ body clocks adjust to new time zones, while reducing the effects of jet lag.
These features looked like a good step forward to me, although whether the window controls can withstand the repeated fiddling from curious kids still remains to be seen.
But the big developments come in when the plane leaves the ground. Changes to the way the cabin is pressurised will add more oxygen to the air, meaning passengers will be less likely to feel air-sick. Oh, and don’t forget extra filters in the cabin to make the air cleaner and, apparently, less smelly.
Fly with peace of mind
If you’re concerned about the impact your flight has on the environment, you’ll be pleased to hear that the plane burns less fuel than the average comparable aircraft, producing 20% less CO2.
A number of noise-reducing improvements have also been made, such as the plane being built out of lightweight composite materials, which should make it quieter both inside and out.
Personally, I’d happily pay £20 extra to have a go on the new Dreamliner when it’s in the air. For me, playing with the windows and feeling like I was part of something new would be well worth it. But when every penny counts, would you cough up to live the Dreamliner dream or keep that £20 for a good meal once you’ve arrived at your destination?