At the time, with the 787 untried and untested by regular commercial service, the press and guests would have eagerly hopped on for a flight. The feeling is much the same now, despite this week's battery problems and emergency landing. Having just come off a 10-hour 787 flight ourselves last week, we'd have absolutely no hesitation in jumping on another. Okay, that's not truewe'd have one hesitation, and that's whether or not we'd actually end up with the 787, as evidenced by our struggle to fly the United Dreamliner.
A colleague even followed up a United cross-country flight last week with this remark to us: "So I saw that intro video United has on their seatback TVs, touting the Dreamliner. All I could think after it was, why am I on this stinking plane and not that one?"
ANA and Japan Airlines have grounded their small fleets of 787s for further inspections, while the other airlines operating Dreamliners (United, Air India, LAN, LOT, Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways) continue regular operations; LOT even went ahead with today's inaugural of long-haul 787 service between Warsaw and Chicago.
An informal poll taken last night on Twitter and Facebook by @AirlineReporter returned with the result that other journalists, frequent flyers and aviation geeks are still fully confident in the plane and would fly it without hesitation. This is echoed by The Telegraph UK's aviation writer and veteran of two 787 inaugurals, Peter Hughes, who puts his own positivity into excellent perspective: "But the key question is would I fly on the 787 again? Undoubtedly, yes. The most serious of the 787’s problems seem to have been component failures, unrelated to the most radical aspects of the aircraft’s design."
We're not saying to throw all caution to the wind and book as many of your upcoming flights on Dreamliners as possible, though we're also not not saying that. What we are saying is that the 787 still has the support of some of whom know her bestnamely those journalists, frequent flyers and aviation geeks who obsess over every detail, whereas the freaking out is coming from afternoon news anchors and the couple sitting next to us at lunch, who this week jabber about the Dreamliner in the same disappointed tone as last week they did over the news of Kim Kardashian's pregnancy with Kanye West's baby.
If you've read this far down, then let us conclude by offering up some enthralling further reading:
· "Fresh Jet Glitches Bedevil Boeing" by Jon Ostrower at Wall Street Journal
· "The Boeing 787 Dreamliner The Good, The Bad and The Ugly" by Brandon Farris at AirlineReporter.com
· "Will the Dreamliner ever live up to its name?" by Peter Hughes at The Telegraph UK
· "Boeing's Troubled 787" infographic at CNBC
...and some exclusive photo galleries of our own:
· Inside the factory where the 787 is made
· All around the exterior of a new 787
· The interior of an ANA 787 just like the one that emergency landed
· Boeing Dreamliner Gallery (aka where you go if you're an airline looking to buy some jets)