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Old 27th September 2016, 08:58 PM   #1
yflyer
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Default Three Dreamliners: NH/AI/UA 787's in Economy to HND, MAA/BOM and SFO

I have always had a keen interest in the Boeing 787. Apart from cutting edge carbon fiber technology, the aircraft has many features to make travel more pleasant, like the lower cabin pressure, and large, electronically dimmed windows. It is capable of amazing feats of endurance: the 789 can fly from SFO to SIN non-stop.

I have flown several 787's in the past. In fact, the first TR I ever posted on SQTalk featured the JAL 787.

Since then, I have also flown on BA's 787 and also did a short hop on QR.

But there are now so many other 787 operators -- the vast majority of which have configured their Y cabin in 9-abreast 3-3-3 layout, unlike JAL, who have configured their Dreamliner Y-cabins 2-4-2. I previously had wonderful experiences in JAL’s 2-4-2 economy cabin (Including this one on JL001), but I had yet to try the now de facto standard 9-abreast 787 Y cabin on a long flight.

What is the long haul experience like in these cabins? Does the new Dreamliner offer a new level of comfort for economy travellers, over current equipment like the 77W or A380? Or does the 3-3-3 layout snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by putting the squeeze on pax?

It never rains but it pours. I recently got to check out the ANA 789 to Haneda, and then Air India’s 788 to Chennai, as well as from Mumbai to Singapore. The highlight of this series of flights was the opportunity to fly UA's 789 service on the longest route in United's network, SIN-SFO-SIN.

All flights in economy, and all flown in the space of 4 weeks.

How did the 787 hard and soft products on these three very different airlines compare?

On long trips like these, one also has to eat as well. Some coverage of interesting meals I had along the way...

Interested? Read on!

Last edited by yflyer; 23rd December 2016 at 05:51 AM..
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Old 27th September 2016, 08:58 PM   #2
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The trip began on an ANA red-eye to Haneda. Today’s flight was operated by JA877A, a brand new, 6 month old, 789…



This was a 3-class aircraft, with Business, Premium Economy and Economy cabins.

Business class was a staggered 1-2-1 format…in reality a 2-4-2 configuration with alternating staggered seats.



The seats themselves looked quite comfortable…



…and went fully flat.



This layout gives every J passenger direct aisle access, even if the seats themselves aren’t very wide.

Last edited by yflyer; 28th September 2016 at 04:20 PM..
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Old 27th September 2016, 08:59 PM   #3
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Next, the PEY cabin, configured 2-3-2.



The aisles in the PEY cabin seem wider than the J cabin, on account of the 7 abreast layout...



This looks like a very appealing PEY product, especially considering Y is 9-abreast...


Last edited by yflyer; 28th September 2016 at 12:54 AM..
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Old 27th September 2016, 08:59 PM   #4
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The Y cabin, configured 3-3-3. This is the first emex row…



Seat pitch in Y was good.





Slim armrests that go all the way up.



Paddle shaped footrests. Not all pax like these, but I love footrests in Y – I find the help me get into a comfortable sleeping position.




Electronically dimmable window shades…



Foldable tray table…



…with an interesting hole cut out for beverages. I prefer SQ’s foldout cup holder, which can be used when the tray table is stowed.



A/C power in Y…



Recline is decent…the seat pivots and the seat base moves forward slightly as it reclines.



Overall cabin ambience is bright and pleasing, although the 777 (and A380) cabin still feels far more spacious and open.

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Old 27th September 2016, 09:00 PM   #5
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Every passenger has a fabric pillow and a blanket.



Proper headphones, although sound quality was only just acceptable.



Full touchscreen high definition AVOD.



USB port for charging your devices, and a standard 3.5” headphone miniplug on the left.



A wide range of movie, TV and audio selections, including live TV, although the range of selections isn’t as wide as SQ.





Picture quality was great. A responsive system.



Audio quality was good as well, as long as you used your own headphones.



Moving map display with many options…



Time-based wifi…always good to have time-based (not data usage based) internet, although I did not try it on this red-eye flight.


Last edited by yflyer; 27th September 2016 at 09:08 PM..
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Old 27th September 2016, 09:01 PM   #6
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The menu…



Beverages…



Some additional F&B options for PEY passengers…



Just examples of the meals served…you were offered the actual options on a separate laminated menu card later…



As this was a red-eye, the main meal service was breakfast to be served prior to arrival.

On departure, pax were provided this snack pack…



…which contained potato chips, a pastry and a bottle of water…



There was a full drink service…as usual I ordered a G&T, which was mixed in the galley and served with a lemon slice…



Cabin ambience…

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Old 27th September 2016, 09:01 PM   #7
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As you would expect on this very new aircraft, the bathroom was pristine…





This ANA aircraft had one bathroom feature that I have never encountered before though…the airborne equivalent of a TOTO Washlet!



Emirates may offer showers to first class pax on the A380, but ANA now has the opportunity to advertise inflight showers for Y pax too, if only for a certain part of the anatomy…
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Old 27th September 2016, 09:02 PM   #8
yflyer
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Some of the views available on the moving map display…





Our routing today took us to the east of Taiwan…



A very full flight today…



It was now time to sleep. Or at least try to. I pride myself on being able to sleep in most Y cabins. On this flight, though, I found it harder than usual. The difference between 8-abreast and 9-abreast configurations on the 787 is measured in just centimetres, but it was enough to make it noticeably harder for me to find a comfortable sleeping position. I twisted, squirmed and shifted in my seat. Far more than usual. Eventually I dozed off, but I am certain that I slept a lot less than I typically do on red-eyes.

Last edited by yflyer; 28th September 2016 at 01:13 AM..
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Old 27th September 2016, 09:03 PM   #9
yflyer
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The lights came on a couple of hours prior to landing, and paper towelettes were distributed…



I much prefer SQ’s cloth towels…



This was followed by a full breakfast service, graciously served by ANA’s unfailingly polite and very well groomed cabin crew…



Two choices for breakfast…



The tray…



…and with covers off…this was the rice porridge…



Each tray comes with soba noodles…



Rice porridge with salmon flakes…



You get a roll and butter only if you opt for the western selection…



The western selection…



Overall, a good breakfast, well prepared and presented.

Last edited by yflyer; 28th September 2016 at 04:22 PM..
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Old 27th September 2016, 09:03 PM   #10
yflyer
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Dawn broke as we approached Tokyo Haneda…



We finally had the opportunity to try out the electronic window shades…





Good views of Tokyo, and the Tokyo Skytree, on approach…





The 787 lands with the same smoothness as triple seven…



At the gate…



Overall a good flight. This was also my first flight on ANA, and I was impressed. The cabin service, catering, seat and IFE were all very good, with one caveat: I am still not a fan of a 9-abreast Y configuration on the 787. It was tolerable on this flight, but I missed the added seat and cabin width of a 9-abreast 777.

But this was just the first sector…an initial impression. Many more sectors to go.

To be continued!

Last edited by yflyer; 28th September 2016 at 01:14 AM..
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Old 27th September 2016, 09:37 PM   #11
Mlee888
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Great trip report so far.

I just came off an ANA J class staggered seating and found the seats to be not wide enough. Long enough to sleep but not wide enough to rest properly.

How did you find the entertainment?
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Old 1st October 2016, 05:56 PM   #12
yflyer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mlee888 View Post
Great trip report so far.

I just came off an ANA J class staggered seating and found the seats to be not wide enough. Long enough to sleep but not wide enough to rest properly.

How did you find the entertainment?
Thanks, Mlee888!

The ANA J config on the 787 did look to be a fairly dense configuration, even compared to BA's 787 J, which has a staggered backwards/forwards 2-3-2.

The IFE was fine. Video and audio quality were good, although the selection was not particularly broad.
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Old 1st October 2016, 06:00 PM   #13
yflyer
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Continuing with the TR...

I spent a week in Tokyo on a combined work and leisure trip.

This was another of those rare trips when Mrs yflyer tagged along, which meant two things: one, I found the leisure part of the trip even more exhausting than the work part, and two, I ate and saw a lot more in Tokyo and its environs than I normally would have if I had been travelling alone...
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Old 1st October 2016, 06:09 PM   #14
yflyer
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As on the last trip, I booked a room at the Westin Tokyo, near Yebisu Garden Place.



This hotel has grown on me since the last time I have stayed there.



While I am not a big fan of the traditional dark wood furniture and decor, I appreciate the large size of the rooms, the convenient location close to Shibuya, and the wide range of eating and shopping outlets close by. It is now my preferred hotel when I visit Tokyo.

The fact that since my last stay I had been bumped up to SPG Platinum also helped. On this occasion, I was given a large room on the same floor as the Executive Lounge.





The room had great views of the city and Tokyo Tower.





I had a choice of welcome gift...either SPG points or Japanese whisky...I chose the whisky...which turned out to be a single shot of Yamazaki 12 year, served with Suntory soda water and two large round ice balls in airtight glass jars. Amazing attention to detail...

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Old 1st October 2016, 06:11 PM   #15
yflyer
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Large bathroom...



...with separate shower...



...and Washlet...

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