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When this sweet mileage run popped up from either Chicago or New York I had a choice to make. Either make the drive or train trip to O’hare and fly all 737s and earn less points or fly out to JFK to earn many more points (the point of a mileage run anyway) and have a chance for one of my legs to include a 787 Dreamliner. The choice was a quick one.
Since I was going all the way to New York I decided to not just book one of these runs but two of them back to back resulting in 4 days of pretty much nonstop flying but a boatload of MQMs (elite points), thousands of dollars of MQD credit (percentage of distance vs price paid) as well as a bunch of SkyMiles. This would mean two of my eight flights would be on a Boeing Dreamliner and I was very pleasantly surprised to find the second turn for the run would be a newer 787-9 (more on that in a later post).
Delta chose to not go for the 787, and since I almost exclusively fly Delta, it has meant that I have had very few opportunities to spend time on Dreamliners. While the Delta A350 is a similar type technology I wanted to know if it really was “dreamy” if you will. Let me tell you I am impressed with the jet in a big way
The first thing that made me go “wow” was takeoff. I mean it felt like it JUMPED into the sky. Considering I have enjoyed thousands of takeoffs in my life to have an impact on me at all is a shocker. This was just the first of many impressive and less than impressive moments on this flight. Now on to the business cabin experience.
Considering how modern (compared to most jets) the 787-8 is the 2-2-2 business class configuration with not all seats with aisle access does date this jet. The 787-9 has 1-2-1 and is MUCH better.
Since I was flying with a frequent flyer buddy direct access was no big deal but rather close seating and having to bug the person next to me each time I needed to get up is not premium compared to most modern configurations.
Beyond the above is the strange angled setup of the seats. All of it is just a bit odd and a bit uncomfortable.
Having said all that if you are a couple traveling together the window and next are cozy and I do think you will like it despite the dated technology.
Lastly, the window shade control button is a bit tricky to get to due to the seat design and or placement as you can see. On to storage.
Delta chose on their A350 to have ZERO middle overhead storage in the middle of the cabin. While it does give an open feel it is not very convenient. On this Dreamliner row 1 middle gets no storage but from row 2 on you do (keep this in mind when you choose your seat).
This next shot says a lot. The IFE is quite good and large but fixed and at an angle. The foot well is tiny and tight. The wifi is NOT via Gogo so if you have a Gogo subscription – too bad for you (I love Delta is ALL Gogo on ALL jets that have wifi). The real star in the above photo is the windows. The fact that the FA s can control all the windows is very nice for cabin feel.
Seat controls are simple and straightforward. I had to work to find a really comfortable sitting position as my flight was a daytime flight.
While the IFE is touch screen it can be hard to reach for some. You have a remote close by your hip. You also have a real irritation next to your hip that is an odd place for magazines. They bothered me and I finally moved them. Be sure to check this spot for your phone or passport (I would never put mine here but…)
On the other side you have an armrest with a somewhat hidden feature.
It has a button on the front should you want to fold it down for additional space or when putting the seat in sleep mode.
Power (both standard and usb) as well as the headset plug is behind you and a bit awkward to get to. Once plugged in it is nice and out of the way.
You each get one overhead light and vent (many have 3 even with 2 seat setup). Also, if you zoom in, cleaning really seems to be lacking on this jet.
A thick blanket was provided with headset sealed inside. I did not use either as I bring my own quality (and yet reasonably priced) cordless bluetooth set.
Another irritation is the headphone plug. It is not a single, nor a “standard” dual, but one with a longer and shorter plug. Either way I had no issue getting stereo sound with my bluethooth transmitter plugged into one of the holes.
I am never a fan of a center split fold out tray table. Over time they always sag. This one had held up OK. On to dinner.
In addition to immigration forms small menus were handed out. Departing in the early evening the right side of the menu applied to me.
Delta really does a good job with their business class meals on both domestic and even more so on international flights. While I appreciate 3 course service, all of it was just so-so.
The fish was OK but the greens were horrible. The salad was honestly the best part of the meal provided. I think next time I fly this I will request a Kosher meal and see if that is a better alternative.
Dessert was a choice of an ice-cream OR a fruit tart. You can not choose both as catering is limited (you can ask if they have extras to get both).
Overall this was a nice flight and way better than the 737 alternative as you will see in that review for my return flight to JFK. I really am impressed with the 787 itself as a quiet and nice ride. The service from the FAs was good but not outstanding. The seat, while dated, was fine for a 5ish hour flight. The food was unremarkable as are most meals I have found on AeroMexico.
Have you had a chance to fly AeroMexico’s Dreamliner (either the 787-8 or the 787-9)? Was your experience better or worse than mine? – René