New long-haul routes from Dublin always get me excited, especially when they’re direct to the Caribbean. I joined the Thomson Airways 787 Dreamliner in Dublin for the first time and took a seat on board its inaugural Irish flight. I’m no aviation geek, so other than saying it’s “really big”, I’m not that well equipped to fill you in on the techie stuff, but I can report a few nifty features that will help make a ten-hour flight a lot more enjoyable. Navigating Dublin airport, which was both departure and arrival city, with a boarding card with destination ‘Fictitious’ was a bit of a weird one, but after some brekkie I made my way to the gate.
Obviously first, I needed to pose in the cockpit. The captain assured me (and Instagram stories) he wouldn’t be performing a vertical take-off, but you can watch the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in action at the Paris air show here. Some snazzy features the new aircraft boasts are a 60% reduction in noise, it’s actually pretty quiet up in the sky, like a fancy car that purrs. The seats are wider and there’s more legroom, plus the windows are bigger too allowing more light in. Speaking of windows, you won’t even need to add a filter to your obligatory sky picture for Insta, the old plastic shutters are gone – replaced with hi-tech dimmer buttons to adapt the colour and light coming through…like a photography filter or gel. The lucky window seat passengers can adjust to their heart’s content, but they’re also controlled by the crew.
There’s a lower cabin pressure too, which basically means your body can absorb more oxygen, as if you were flying at a lower altitude, therefore reducing the effects of flying. If you still don’t believe my jet lag theory (here), then this might be of interest to you, especially flying long-haul… or mess around with the window dimmers to simulate sunrise or sunset as you travel through different time zones. There are wider aisles, higher ceilings and just a general feeling of more space, even in the toilets! There are USB ports to charge your devices and the seat back screens have been brought right through to the 21st century. No more tilting, squinting and adjusting the brightness to make out the shadows on the screen.
TUI operate flights from Dublin on the Dreamliner during the summer to Montego Bay, Jamaica and Cancun, Mexico. There are some flight-only options or 14-night all-inclusive packages to some really amazing hotels and resorts. You can upgrade to Premium Club (up the front!) from €259pp which gives you extra baggage allowance, priority access to check-in and fast track security, airport lounge access, bubbles before take off, more space with bigger seats that recline further and Rituals amenity kit.
Naturally, we celebrated the affair with margaritas, fajitas, piñatas and men singing (very well) and playing guitar and double bass to our (dodgy) requests.