By Joan Stewart
Most travellers book flights based on price, closest airport to their destination, flight schedule and baggage allowance, with few considering booking their ticket based on the type of aircraft being flown.
However, a recent flight from YVR to London Heathrow on Air Canada’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner has convinced me to include aircraft-type as part of my future flight booking consideration.
Since I have flown on this route several times over the past 25 years, disembarking from several different aircraft with mixed levels of comfort, I was initially skeptical that the Dreamliner would live up to its hype.
Not only did it live up to the hype, it provided a truly game-changing flight experience on this nine-hour, nonstop flight.
Hyperbole notwithstanding, following are some of the noticeable practical benefits of flying on the Dreamliner:
- Lower cabin pressure at a more natural level that allows for higher humidity levels. This helps to eradicate the negative effects of air pressure typically found on aircraft—runny nose, dry throat, swelling, headaches and other flu-like symptoms.
- Cleaner air circulating continuously through an advanced gaseous filtration system that removes odors, allergens, bacteria and viruses from the cabin.
- Windows that are 30 per cent larger, with electronic, self-dimming glass that allows the passenger to control the tint without having to pull down the blind.
- A quieter, smoother flight. The Dreamliner can fly much higher than older aircraft and the higher the altitude, the less turbulence. When turbulence was encountered on this flight, the result was a slight ripple rather than a bumpy experience.
- A more spacious interior cabin design featuring larger overhead bins and a higher ceiling that eliminates feelings of claustrophobia when standing.
- Washrooms with motion-activated taps and flush, a self-closing seat with tabs to make opening it easier.
In addition to passenger comfort, the Dreamliner is the world’s first major airliner to use composite materials in the construction of its airframe. This allows for significant fuel efficiencies, a more economical long flying range and an enhanced passenger experience with less impact on the environment.
Air Canada offers three cabins of service on its Dreamliner flights departing from YVR to London Heathrow, Zurich, Paris, Delhi and Melbourne.
For more information on flights, visit aircanada.com.