JAL 787 Dreamliner: An American Marvel: SAN-NRT

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This is JAL 787 Dreamliner Review SAN-NRT which is part of the Trip Report: The $77,000 Trip Heard Round the World which covers 5 Continents, 13 Countries, and 17 Cities.

Find the nerdy planning here. Find the picture preview here.


Those who say that America doesn’t manufacture anything anymore have not had the privilege of flying aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Plagued by issues before its launch, the Dreamliner got off to a shaky start. When it did go into service and I had an opportunity to fly it, the tricksters at Ethiopian Airline stuck me in a 777 moments before the 17 hour flight.

DSC00768
Bait and switch

So when the day came to go for a ride, in business class no less, I could hardly contain my excitement. I boarded the plane and started taking pics of everything for my own amusement instead of for a Trip Report I didn’t know I would eventually write. The first marvel was the windows that did not have a drawn down shade but dimmed automatically. The second was the mood lighting that nursed passengers into a state of relaxation instead of the sudden blinding light that suddenly switched on much like the dirty trick used by my mother to wake me up before school. Third was the toilets. Worries about having life and limb get sucked into the underbelly of the airplane were washed away. This toilet flushed normally. Finally and most importantly was the noise. There was no noise. It was quiet like a film set of an airplane. Sitting there in awe, I was ready to take off and enjoy the added bonus of flying business.

The Dreamliner
The Dreamliner
787! Finally
787! Finally

The Seating 

Japan Airlines had ordered this plane so quickly that it was outdated by the time it was delivered. The seats were angled-flat in a 2*2*2 configuration. Having yet to experience the luxury of lie-flat I paid it no mind.

The seating
The seating
Business traveler
Business traveler
IFE
IFE
JAL 787 Dreamliner Review SAN-NRT
Great plane, dated cabin

The Service 

The service was kind and warm. The flight attendants routinely came by and refreshed my Jack Daniels and made sure that I was comfortable.

The takeoff tradition
The takeoff tradition
Drink Champagne, not dirty martinis
Drink Champagne, not dirty martinis

The Food 

It has been claimed that food tastes better on the Dreamliner because of the way the cabin is pressurized. Whether this is true, I have no idea but the Japanese entrée certainly did not disappoint.

The drinks
The drinks
JAL 787 Dreamliner Review SAN-NRT
The menu
The menu
The menu
The dinner
The dinner
JAL 787
JAL 787

The Rest

With the quiet storm, the spacious seat, and the dimmed cabin, I slept like a baby, and not a complaining one.

Before dim
Before dim
JAL 787 Dreamliner Review SAN-NRT
Auto dim

Overall 

I have only flown the Dreamliner once and look forward to the opportunity of flying it again now that I’ve been indoctrinated into believing that it’s lie-flat or nothing, champagne over whiskey, and first over business.

Oh to go back to the humble days when I was just happy to get on a plane!

View from the Wing
View from the Wing

<==Back to San Diego LoungeOnto Conrad Tokyo==>

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. “Those who say that America doesn’t manufacture anything anymore have not had the privilege of flying aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.” Well America doesn’t manufacture all that much of the 787 – one of Boeing’s big “innovations” with this plane was to contract out much more of the manufacturing (especially to Japanese and Italian companies, if I’m not mistaken) than with its other planes. That’s also one of the primary reasons for the delays suffered by the Dreamliner program.

      • Of course everyone sources – the difference is that Boeing outsources much more of the manufacturing of the 787 than it ever did before. Not saying that’s good or bad, just pointing out that much of the manufacturing doesn’t actually happen in America as your opening sentence suggests. I also didn’t say it took away from the achievement – but the achievement is really more in the design (e.g. efficiency, higher humidity) than in the manufacturing process, which has been riddled with problems.

        • I said manufacturing. Maybe I should’ve said ‘engineering’ but the point is that it was refreshing to see American ingenuity in something we made (even if we didn’t make the parts). When’s the last time the US has had something that’s been a game changer? Certainly not in the auto industry where sourcing or no sourcing still results in junk.

        • A lot of the innovation still happens in America even if much of the manufacturing doesn’t. And American cars these days are better than you think – though in no small part because of engineering done by their European subsidiaries (most of the better U.S.-brand cars ride on platforms engineered in Europe).

        • My final point is this: The Dreamliner is a visual representation of what America can do. Call it manufacturing, engineering, or innovation, it’s an American plane produced by an American company.

  2. we took jl65 last month, cabin was warm and not comfortable, next flight jl707 was ok.
    seemed strange, as jl708 and jl66 were comfortable.

    also, note no showers in the jl lounge in term 2 nrt, use the qantas showers .

    all that taken into consideration, we have already booked ( aa miles) the same flights for next july

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