I have never really been a particular ‘plane enthusiast’. As far as I am concerned, they get you from A to B and as long as once I reach my destination I am sat in the sun sipping cocktails, how I get there doesn’t really bother me. Therefore when I was recently invited on a press trip to take a flight to Palma on the Boeing #787 Dreamliner, I was interested to see what all the hype was about.
Thomson Airways were the first air carrier to fly the Dreamliner in the UK, something which they are particularly proud of and from Summer 2015 they will be flying to all their long destinations in the aircraft. Before we left I did some quick research of the Dreamliner and was interested to hear it boast claims of bigger seats, horizon views, more oxygen and better entertainment.
Indeed my initial impression on stepping on the ‘Angel of the Skies’ were that it was incredibly smart. The plane looked new, even the cabin crew looked more polished than on usual flights. We were seated in Premium Economy and the seats were big with extra legroom, and they were a lot comfier than on your typical budget short haul flights. As Palma is a short flight, I didn’t get much chance to try out the entertainment, but from what I saw it was impressive.
One big gimmick that I thoroughly enjoyed was the mood lighting. Thomson call this the ‘TUI Wave’ and I think it is a great way to get passengers in the mood for their holiday- it really was like an on board disco and I know that if I had been with my children they would have loved it. Other nice perks were Thomson’s night time service for the way home- real duvets, hot chocolate and a warm cookie. It’s these little extras that have Thomson fighting to become ‘the holiday airline’ for the future- something which I think they could succeed in.
Overall I really enjoyed my flight on the Dreamliner. I definitely could notice the reduced noise, the little extras were definitely a bonus and if I was flying long haul I would really appreciate the extra legroom and entertainment package. Plus the fact it is more environmentally friendly adds to the perks as well.
Thomson have lots of plans for the future, including zoned seating, with pods for families and couples, a beach bar for premium economy passengers and an iPad enabled crew. Other features in the pipeline are free drinks for all premium economy passengers, new routes to Costa Rica and the arrival of two more Dreamliners to join it’s fleet in the coming year.
We listened to a talk by David Burling, managing director of TUI UK who stated “Our overall goal is to make travel experiences special and, as the flight marks both the start and end of the holiday, we see it as an integral part of the whole holiday experience.”
When you put it like that it makes perfect sense.