Inside, while you can see some of the arch of the fuselage when you look up in the isles, we missed the (optional) dramatic open entrance shown in some early Boeing interior mock-up shots. There are the trademark oversized windows though, and the nifty button to automatically self-dim. Overhead luggage compartments are huge, which will no doubt make the hassle for space a bit less tricky. Mood lighting, in-seat power, and the latest Thales in-flight entertainment system are also all here.
This version of the 787 has three cabin classes: Club World (Business), World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy), and World Traveller (Economy). Future orders of the stretch 787-9 and 787-10 are likely to feature British Airways’ First Class as well.
Outfitted with the latest version of the British Airways lie-flat seat, the Dreamliner has exactly the same configuration as on the upper deck of the A380, with 2-3-2 across. A total of 35 seats is split over two sections, one of three rows and one of just two rows.
In terms of seat preference, we’d go for either a window seat or one of the cocoon middle seats (all of which face backward). Being in the last row of either section means you won’t have to step over someone if they are fully reclined, so this is truly an advantage.
World Traveller Plus
Like on the A380, we think World Traveller Plusdepending on the difference in cost with World Travellercan be a strong proposition. Only 25 seats in total are split over four rows of seat pairs along the windows, with three rows of three seats each in the middle.
Unless you’re traveling in a group of three, we advise you to pick a window pair in almost any scenario. While overall British Airways does treat the cabin as an Economy ‘Plus’ rather than Business ‘Minus’ product, recent upgrades have included more extensive meal service with main courses from the Club menu. Combined with the new seats, it gives just a bit more space and comfort than normal Economy, but happily without the Business price tag.
World Traveller Plus
Lastly, World Traveller comes in a 3-3-3 configuration for a total of 154 seats. We would have preferred 2-4-2 across, like Japan’s ANA or South America’s LAN, but alas. First rows of each section come with the advantage of some additional legroom, but there are downsides, like having the TV screens in the armrests, being a bassinet location, and proximity to the washrooms.
British Airways will begin flying the Dreamliner between London-Heathrow and Toronto from September 1, and London-Heathrow and Newark-Liberty from October 1, replacing some of its oldest Boeing 767s ploughing these routes. For Toronto, BA93 & BA92 are the first flight numbers to look out for, with BA187 & BA 186 to and from Newark. Fares from both cities start in the range of just over US$900 in World Traveller, US$1,800 in World Traveller Plus, and US$3,800 in Club World if you look to travel during the months of September and October.
We attended the A380 and 787 debuts as a guest of British Airways, but all photos and opinions are completely our own.
[Photos: JasonD for Jaunted, Seat plan c/o British Airways]