A Dream Ticket

Thomson’s 787 Dreamliner took to the skies on its inaugural passenger flight, and I was lucky enough to snag a ticket…

There aren’t many times when you can claim to have been the first at something. Especially since there’s bound to be someone out there who’s been there, done that. So when I received an invitation to be on the very first flight of Thomson’s 787 Dreamliner, there were actual squeals involved. I mean, it’s a historical moment… something to tell the grandkids one day (certainly beats the story of when I was North Herts’ back-stroke champion, which clearly no-one gives two hoots about). Are you sitting comfortably? Then here’s a sneak peek at my day on the Dreamliner…

We arrived at Manchester Airport to quite a welcome – film crew and everything. The coach ride up from Thomson HQ in Luton started at 6am (don’t feel too sorry for us, it was Arsenal’s mega-plush team bus), and I had an unfortunate imprint on my face from my 3-hour snooze, so suffice to say I scuttled out of the way whenever the cameras panned round. Thankfully other colleagues were happy to step in…

Sadly the weather in Manchester had no sense of occasion, and my first glimpse of our new super-plane was through a rain-splattered window. Not to be deterred by a bit of drizzle, the Dreamliner and its tail still managed a big smile. And we all followed suit. What can we say, we’re British.

Our mood was further boosted by this hearty spread…

Champagne at 10.30am. Well, you know what they say, somewhere in the world it’s cocktail hour.

Finally it was time to board. Fuelled by fizz and canapés – and the fact the rain had conceded – we were giddy with excitement stepping on to the newest addition to our fleet…

Once aboard ‘Living the Dream’ it was clear this was no ordinary plane. My photos truly don’t do it justice, as it felt so much roomier than any plane I’ve been on before. It was quite simply immense. Even at its lowest point it’s a mammoth 6-foot high. As for legroom, you’re swimming in the stuff… 33 or 34 inches in Economy Club and 38 inches in Premium Club (which is more than any other major UK airline, just FYI). More than enough to kick back and relax on route to your hols. And those leather seats were bliss…

Thankfully I fought the urge to nod off again, as I realised that a very special VIP was in the vicinity…

That’s right, it’s our all-round sound hound, Thomson the Dog.

I think he was pretty excited to see himself on the telly – he’s down-to-earth like that. And very well-trained. The crew only had to say “Sit” once…

We got a lovely welcome on our screens as we prepared for lift-off…

And after the quietest take-off ever – the Dreamliner makes 60 per cent less noise than standard planes during take-off, landing and in the air – we were off on a whistle-stop tour of the UK, up to Glasgow, down to Southampton, then back up to Gatwick. So jet-set.

For those sitting next to the windows (which are 30 per cent bigger than those on an average aeroplane), they had extra entertainment to play with – dimming their windows at the touch of a button. Blinds are so last season. With this new super-smart technology you can concentrate on the latest blockbuster without missing out on the sky-high view. Such a genius idea.

Next up, my favourite part. The light show. The Dreamliner features a high-spec mood lighting system that can mimic things like dawn and dusk, which helps get your body in tune with wherever you’re heading. To show off the whole spectrum of colours, we were treated to this…

Could your last plane do that? Nope. Didn’t think so.

After all that frivolity, it was time to sit back, relax and check out the inflight entertainment. So, I went for a spot of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?, an episode of my absolute favourite, Modern Family, and a play of Emeli Sandé’s album…

There was also a ton of the latest movies to choose from, so I opted for Silver Linings Playbook on the flight back up to Manchester. Amazing film. And how could I forget the food? I sampled Tapas (pictured) and Afternoon Tea boxes. Both delicious. Sadly, my fellow passengers either side thought the same, otherwise I would have happily finished theirs off too.

All too soon it was time to land in Manchester, after our short but sweet sojourn in the skies. Everyone, including me, was buzzing from the once-in-a-lifetime experience, and vowing to be back on board soon. Although, next time I get the feeling our destinations will include the likes of Mexico, Florida and Thailand, rather than dear old London Gatwick. Just a hunch.

We’d love to know, are you planning a trip on the Thomson 787 Dreamliner soon?

About the author

El Berwick
El Berwick is an events planner turned travel blogger. Her idea of a perfect holiday would be a few days visiting her favourite spots in NYC, followed by a road trip up the New England coast staying at quaint B&Bs, and ending up on the beaches of Nantucket. Failing that, she’d be happy with a long weekend watching the world sail by in Salcombe, Devon. Connect with El on Google +

105 replies to "“A Dream Ticket”"

  1. Steve says: 13/05/2014 at 20:56

    I’ve just paid £1100 to travel premium economy next Aug 15. I booked this because I am 6′ 5″ and the economy legroom seats had been booked up. I am now reading some negative reviews regarding PE seating with regards to the lack of space.
    Is it possible to pre-book front row seats before the 90 day period?

    I have also read that Thomson is changing the seating in PE on Dreamliners due to many complaints…Is this true?
    Hope you can assist ..Thanks

    • Amanda @Thomson says: 19/05/2014 at 05:12

      Hi Steve, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve read some negative reviews in regards to Premium seating. You’re only able to select your seats once your holiday is within 90 days of departure. I’d recommend that you log in as soon as it hits that date that you have more choice of seats. In regards to the seats being changed on the Dreamliner this isn’t something that we’re aware of, so I’m sorry for any conflicting information you’re receiving.

  2. Carol says: 08/05/2014 at 20:02

    I am trying to log onto the flightextras website to book seats but am having difficulty and would appreciate your advice on the format To use.The booking reference I have is 4 digits then / then 5 digits.

    • Amanda @Thomson says: 11/05/2014 at 05:03

      Hi Carol, I’m sorry to hear that you’re having some difficulties trying to book seats on Flight Extras. So that I can look at this a little further – Can you please send me your reference to cares@thomson.co.uk.

  3. Nadine says: 25/04/2014 at 12:06

    Hi would you be able to tell me if our flight TOM630 from BHX on 22nd June is going to be on the dream liner?
    many thanks

    • Christina @Thomson says: 26/04/2014 at 05:24

      Hi Nadine, If you let me know your booking reference, I can check your specific flight plan and advise you of your aircraft accordingly.

  4. Jodie Biggs says: 09/02/2014 at 13:29

    IS TOM0462 LGN/SSH on th dreamliner on 6th may? thanks, jodie

    • James @Thomson says: 10/02/2014 at 05:42

      Hi Jodie, I’m sure you’re looking forward to your holiday to Egypt! I’ve taken a look at the flight plans for your holiday and unfortunately we don’t have a 787 Dreamliner scheduled for this flight. We have a slightly smaller aircraft for this, a B757 (subject to change).

  5. Pat says: 13/12/2013 at 20:58

    Hi can you please tell me if the flight I have booked to go to Mexico on 13th Sept 2014 flight no, TOM32 departing from Gatwick and the rtn flight TOM 033 will be on the dreamliner. Thank You

    • Elaine @Thomson says: 14/12/2013 at 00:13

      Hi Pat, I’ve checked this for you and can see that this flight is scheduled to be on the Dreamliner. If you’ve got any further questions please let me know and I hope that you have a lovely holiday.

  6. Sharon says: 23/11/2013 at 21:40

    HI, we are looking to books seats on flight’s To Florida on the 7th Sep. 2014, flight No TOM 630 from Birmingham @10.30am can you please tell me if this flight and also the rtn flight TOM 631 on Sept. 21 from Sanford @17.05 pm will be on the dreamliner. Thank You

    • Amanda @Thomson says: 24/11/2013 at 06:30

      Hi Sharon, These flights are currently due to be on the Dreamliner.

      • Sharon says: 24/11/2013 at 11:05

        Thank you

  7. Clive says: 17/11/2013 at 09:26

    Hi Looks a great plane, however we never got to experiance it as ours TOM318 never took off from Gatwick on the 2/9/13 a generator fault 9 hour delay.The Captain and engineer told over 250 people we don’t know enough about this plane we think we have fixed the problem!!!
    No they hadn’t and now The Great Thomson’s are saying this is nou our fault????
    Thanks Thomson’s Great customer service

    • Elaine @Thomson says: 17/11/2013 at 16:30

      Hi Clive, Thanks for your message, we’re sorry to hear that you’re unhappy with our response to your flight delay claim. Our After Travel team have investigated your claim thoroughly and on review of the evidence, believe no compensation is due for this delay. We can appreciate this isn’t the answer you were hoping for and apologise for any disappointment caused. If you remain unhappy with this outcome, then you’ll need to take the advice given from our After Travel team on how to now pursue this further.

      • Clive says: 30/11/2013 at 13:00

        Thanks however your after sales travel team did not give me any advice on how to pursue this further. All they said was we would not reply to any of my emails or letters. I have taken independent advice and my claim is currently with the CAA.
        After years of using Thomsons you treat your loyal customers like this. “Great Customer Service”
        What about my claim for my extra leg room seats?
        What about my claim for the champagne and chocolates?

      • Elaine @Thomson says: 30/11/2013 at 16:51

        Hi Clive, I’ve forwarded your query about your seats and champagne over to our After Travel Team and asked them to contact you directly.

  8. Fran says: 15/10/2013 at 15:23

    Oops! Also meant to say left or right side 2 seats together.

    • Clive says: 04/12/2013 at 19:40

      Hi Fran, Have you read today’s Daily Mail “Wednesday december 4th”
      “Thomson Holidays” The company’s refusal to pay out compensation to passengers whose flight is delayed has catapulted the travel firm on to our list this year. “Wooden Spoon Awards 2013″
      It has tried to worm its way out of paying for late flights by exploiting “extraordinary circumstances” such as technical faults – and seems to have ignored rulings from the regulator.
      This unfair behavior has left families – already angry at suffering delays in the first place – battling it in the courts.

      • Clive says: 04/01/2014 at 13:43

        Hi Fran, Thanks for contacting your After Travel team. They did contact me offering part cheque and part voucher as compensation, I requested full compensation for the price of the extra legg room seats and the champagne and chocolates in the form of a cheque. they have never replied? I have tried to contect them but they will not reply to any emails?
        Thanks for trying it’s a shame that other people within thomson’s are not as customer focused as you.

  9. Fran says: 15/10/2013 at 15:21

    Hi Leanne

    Thanks for your help.

    Our booking ref is:
    Flight details:

    • Leanne @Thomson says: 16/10/2013 at 06:30

      Hi Fran, I’ve checked this for you, and the flight plan isn’t open yet. You’ll need to login to our Flight Extras page – https://flightextras.thomson.co.uk, 90 days before your inbound flight to select your seats.

  10. Fran says: 15/10/2013 at 12:57

    We’re travelling to Thailand in Premium in January. Do we get fast track security access?

    • Samantha @Thomson says: 15/10/2013 at 13:08

      Hi Fran, Fast track security for Premium Club passengers is available at Gatwick, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and East Midlands. I’m assuming your flight is departing from Gatwick, so you’ll have this included :) .

      • Fran says: 15/10/2013 at 14:18

        Yes it is from Gatwick. Will we have some paperwork to confirm this?

        Would love to have front seats in the cabin. Sent a request for this as my hubby is 6 1 but never received a reply. Any suggestions

      • Leanne @Thomson says: 15/10/2013 at 14:56

        Hi Fran, To use the fast-track security facility, you just need your confirmation. This will let security staff know that you’re travelling Premium Class with Thomson Airways. If you can send me your booking reference, then I’ll be happy to look into your seating options for you.

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