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AA's Inaugural 787 Dreamliner Flight

AA's Inaugural 787 Dreamliner Flight
American Airlines First Class Dallas-Chicago
May 2015

 

American Airlines debuts its new 787 Dreamliner tomorrow and I was fortunate to book a First Class on the inaugural DFW-ORD flight.  This is my 2nd AA inaugural flight as I was on last year's inaugural JFK-LAX A321 flight.  But first to get to DFW to position for tomorrow's 7:10A departure.  With ridiculous one way DEN-DFW prices, I used Avios on the convenient 5:45P DEN departure.  Good thing I left home early as both Long Term, Short Term and Valet lots were showing FULL.  Yikes.  After a loop around the terminal, and seeing some empty spaces in the Long Term lot, I decided to enter the supposedly FULL Long term lot.   Found lots of spaces and got my exercise today walking a mile to the terminal.  PreCheck worked great with only a few other passengers.   After 30 minutes in the Admirals Club, off to Gate 49 for the short flight to DFW.

Denver-Dallas
American 1491
737-800
5:45P-8:40P
May 6, 2015
Refreshments
 
As usual, not a hint of a Pre departure beverage today despite plenty of time at the gate in DEN. Once in the air, 2 FAs rolled the cart down the aisle for drinks, nuts in ramekin and then later snack service. Choice of either cheese and fruit plate or antipasto. Nice improvement over the snack basket, especially on a short announced 1:22 flight time. 
 

We arrived at C32 and I took the covenient SkyTrain to Terminal D and my home for the night, the Grand Hyatt.  Terminal D is also home to the American Express Centurion Lounge... and free food and drink. ;)   I'm thinking that I am getting money's worth for my annual $450 Platinum card fee.  

Delicious chicken enchilada casserole with short rib tacos. 

From the Centurion Lounge, it was a short 5 minute walk to the Grand Hyatt, just outside security.   My comfortable and spacious room for tonight.

How cool to get room 747!

With views of the airport.

With a 7:10A departure from Gate D25, it was an early wake up call at the Grand Hyatt to shower and head downstairs to check out the pre-game action.

Wow, 70 pax on the Upgrade List this morning.   It actually wound up being 81, with not a single one clearing. 

Up to the D Admirals Club to do a little work and snap a pic of our Dreamliner.

Meanwhile back at the gate. T-75 and the place is packed.

More pics from the Gate.

A few speeches from some low level suits.

Dallas-Chicago
American 2320
787-800 Dreamliner
7:10A-9:35A
May 7, 2015
First Class
 

Time to board navigating thru the gate lice.

And on board with that new plane smell.

One of the pilots handing out commemorative "coins".

And the seat itself. Meh, more or less like the A321 First seats but not as comfy or as roomy.  Very tight on the shoulders at least in the forward facing seats.

Today's swag.

 

To the cockpit.

The 2L galley.

The mini J cabin.

And back in Coach.  
Apparently Gary didn't have enough miles for an F seat today. 

Getting ready to push.

With everyone taking pics today. 

Lots of news coverage including a chopper overhead.

Capt made his pre flight announcement and I swear he said "... some weather over Oklahoma, so we'll be skirting around that sh*t." No, he didn't just say that, did he??

First impression of rotation is that the plane seems remarkable quiet, at least on take-off.

Very cool cabin lighting once in the air.

And the very cool wing.

Wifi was totally useless. Even took a half hour just to get this.  
$12 for 2 hours?? LOL. Good one. Sure, let's go for 4 hours on DFW-ORD for $17 or maybe $19 for the duration of the flight. 
I actually tried. It took 20 minutes to get to the credit card page and then the sucker simply timed out.  
Unfortunately, since this is an international plane, it is crappy Panasonic T-Mobile satellite-based and not Gogo.

 

For breakfast, I had pre-ordered the Quiche Florentine. No linens this morning.

In general, a fun party atmosphere throughout the flight although a little annoying at times with the entire plane exploring the F cabin.

But the most annoying of all was the obnoxious loud mouth DYKWIA POS in 5D.  Yeah, that's you.  Pic taken 10 minutes after "seat belts" announcement and 3 minutes after final approach announcement.

Mercifully, this was only a 2 hour flight.  FAs did a great job considering the chaotic nature of an inaugural flight.  
Lead and F FA had the best line of day and the most laughs when on landing at ORD, she announced "... It has been our pleasure serving you today..."  

And on the ground in ORD, we pull into Siberia aka Gate L10.

After an hour in the Admirals Club, I headed back to L10 for the return flight.   Our Dreamliner from the H/K Admirals Club

Hey, only 45 people on this Upgrade List. 

Dallas-Chicago
American 2320
787-800 Dreamliner
7:10A-9:35A
May 7, 2015
First Class 
 

On the return, I was fortunate to switch to a 2L, a backward facing window seat and discovered that this is a far better seat than any of the forward facing seats.  In my opinion, there is substantially more room in the rear facing window seats. Forward facing seats have a seat wall that makes shoulder width very narrow and confining. Rear facing seats do not have the wall and let you comfortably relax towards the window giving it a much more spacious feel. Add in the fact that the view is much better in the closer to the window rear facing seats and I would always select a rear facing window seat on future flights. IMO, seats 2A, 2L, 4A and 4L are far superior to any other seats in the forward cabin.

The only downside to the rear facing seat is the complete lack of privacy, as you are staring right at the pax in 2H.  
OMG, the obnoxious DYKWIA from the morning is on the return flight.  Mercifully, he is on the other aisle.  Mouth open, gums flapping.  Yeah, there's a shocker.
 

With rear facing seats, you can also hang your jacket inside the "suite" instead of outside on the forward facing seats.

And much closer to the window for great views.

Forgot to check out the lav on the inbound.  Indeed, a full length mirror.

Time to push back.  

Everyone taking pics today.

And CFD getting ready for the water show.

And the water salute.

Much better views of the take-off from the rear facing 2L.

And the usual cool lights.  This was a much more pleasant flight as there was very little sightseeing from rest of the plane.

Yeah, time for a drink.

OMG, a linen to (sort of) cover the tray table.  OK, I guess it works on 738s and MD80's.  At least Parker seems to have gotten the message that premium don't appreciate the hatchet job they did to catering when they took over.

Choice of some type of ravioli or chicken salad.   

Yikes with the apples.  Apparently, catering got a great deal on cheap, crappy Granny Smith apples.

And in another change, real chicken is back instead of the fused, synthetic crap that they've been serving since last September.

Uh, I don't think so.

Absent the apples and with a little prep work, it was actually pretty good.

As was the chocolate cheesecake.

All in all, an entertaining day flying the inaugural 787 flights.  Nice new plane but at the end of the day, it's still American and it's still Business Class.  None of the the 5 star airlines are going to worrry about losing premium passengers here.  

After 45 minutes in the A19 Admirals Club, it was back home on my most favorite of all AA planes, the comfy old MD-80.  

DFW-DEN
American 1583
MD-80
4:55P-6:10P
May 7, 2015
Refreshments

Great FA offered full bar PDB. Unlike the lazy FAs on yesterday's DEN-DFW, she served drinks, nuts and then later snack service efficiently all from the galley and without any help. And made multiple rounds to insure glasses were full the entire flight. Same snack choice of either cheese and fruit plate or antipasto. Tried the cheese plate which was quite substantial. There was a third wedge underneath. Though I'm always a little leery about any cheese that has green in it.