At the beginning of October the lovely people at Thomson Airways asked if I’d like to take a shiny 787 Dreamliner flight to Palma, Majorca for lunch. Guess what? I said yes!
I arrived at Gatwick airport early on Wednesday morning and met up with the blogging crew; Katie, Xanthe, Poppy, Alison and Joelle. It wasn’t long before we were whisked away to the plane – ‘Angel of the Sky’.
As you can see, it was rainy and very dull so although a little nervous, I was pleased to be leaving the gloomy weather behind.
Things to keep in mind for those of us who are nervous of flying (thanks to Captain John Murphy):
- Remember, you’re not alone
As I took my first steps onto the Dreamliner I could tell that this plane was different. The friendly cabin crew greeted us with warm smiles and showed us to our Premium Club seats (ooo fancy). The first thing I noticed was that the plane felt much brighter and more spacious than others I’d been on. I later found out that the windows are 30% bigger than on normal planes and that even at it’s lowest height, the Dreamliner is over 6-foot high. I also liked that you could dim the windows as you please, helpful if you fancy a snooze.
We explored the plane a little, experimented with the television set and quickly settled down into our big comfy seats (more leg room in Premium Club and Economy Club) when we spotted the basket of pastries heading our way.
We heard from a host of Thomson directors; David Burling, MD of TUI UK&I, Captain John Murphy, MD of Thomson Airways and Carl Gissing, Director of Customer Service, Thomson Airways. Captain John Murphy actually flew us out to Palma but was free to chat with us on the return journey. They all had a lot of interesting things to say about the Dreamliner and the future plans of Thomson, I’m truly impressed by what’s to come.
A few perks and future plans
In-flight entertainment is updated on a monthly basis
Free drinks in Economy Club on long-haul flights (soft, alcoholic and hot)
The 787 Dreamliner flys higher than other planes – 43,000 feet
Special seating for families (4 – 6 people) – think train style on the 737 Max
- The Dreamliner can fly 8,000 miles without stopping
We were treated to a rather delicious breakfast, just look at it! Thomson will be offering themed food for each destination to ensure your holiday really does start from your flight. Such fun!
The cabin crew have a space to relax take a nap on long-haul flights. I thought their sleeping quarters was really quite cosy.
What’s so special about the 787 Dreamliner?
More leg room
- Stronger, lighter and more aerodynamic.
I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to chat to lots of the Thomson staff. One thing that really shone through from everyone was their love and passion for the company. A lot of people I spoke to had been with the company for over 10 years. I think that’s really good going for these days and shows that Thomson have something good going on to keep their staff so loyal.
Isn’t that a beautiful view?
I loved having the chance to go in the cockpit and chat with with Captain John Murphy, MD of Thomson Airways.
Captain John Murphy and Joelle.
I must admit that before this trip I had no opinion of the Thomson. I didn’t dislike it, I simply knew very little about it and as some of you may know, I’m a Virgin geek and it’s generally my go to airline. However, after hearing all the fantastic plans, experiencing the 787 Dreamliner service and realising how loyal and passionate the Thomson staff are I have fully changed my mind. I will be sure to recommend it to friends, especially those with kids as well as taking advantage myself. Actually, as soon as work allows I plan to take a trip to Costa Rica (as recommended by Captain John). This trip will be available from November 2015 which gives me enough time to save up for something really special.
We had a smooth landing in Palma and were whisked off to Ca n’eduardo which is situated just by the fishing port. We were met with more friendly faces, glasses of bubbles and the most delicious nibbles I’ve had in quite some time.
There was plenty of time to chat to the holiday reps and hear how iPads have revolutionised the way they work. It might sound very trivial at first but being able to make requests, book excursions and connect the cabin crew to the holiday advisors will make communication much easier and ensure your holiday is as you wish.
Shall we focus on the food for a moment? I promise it’s worth it. I was presented with the most fantastic steak I’ve ever seen. A hunky chunk of meat along with a big mushroom and some colourful peppers. The table was covered with bowls of chips, hasselback potatoes and vegetables. A sneaky waiter walked around and topped up wine glasses without people noticing, quite the skill.
As if we hadn’t been spoiled enough, along came the desserts. The big chocolate thing in the middle tasted like giant marshmallow tea cake.
I then headed off for a little walk around the harbour with Joelle, Katie and Alison. Palma really is very pretty and hopefully I’ll get the chance to spend more time there in the future and visit the cathedral. All of a sudden it was time to leave.
We took in the last of the sunshine and and bumbled onto the coach.
On our return journey we were treated to our favourite drink (a G&T for me), I’d forgotten that we’d even ordered it at lunch. I must point out that I normally close my eyes real tight on take off and pretend I’m elsewhere. This time, I looked out of the window and watched as beautiful Palma disappeared from view. That’s the first time I’ve ever done that. I felt in safe hands, very comfortable and much more at ease than usual.
On a return journey you usually want nothing more than a long nap and some good food. Thomson are taking this one step further and from Feb 2015 they will be offering duvets, pillows and cookies. I should probably explain that a little more. We were handed thick cosy duvets which were big enough to fully wrap around your body. Not long after came a mug of hot chocolate complete with marshmallows and sprinkles and of course, a warm cookie. This was the the first time I’d taken a little nap on a plane in years and I even wished that we were on a longer flight. I think this is fantastic idea and ideal for long-haul flights.
Thomson, thank you so much for a comfortable and relaxing flight on the 787 Dreamliner and for treating me to lunch in Palma. I will be most definitely be flying with you again and hope to visit Palma in the near future.