I would have to admit that to say that having to take 4 days off leave for this trip was not worth it would be an utter lie. This was probably one of the most amazing trips of my life. I managed to add a whole heap of firsts to my log book for this trip:
* First Flight on a 787
* First Flight on a 777-200LR
* First Flight on Qatar Airways
* First time to Houston Intercontinental (IAH)
* First time to Doha (DOH)
* First time to Boeing Field (BFI)
* First time in the Middle East
* First ever Delivery Flight
Some of these things I doubt I will ever be able to do again. I mean how often will I get access like this as well. In the time I was away I flew a total of 17328 miles spent over 31 hours in the air and that was only 3 flights. Normally that kind of distance would be spent on a whole heap of flights maybe 6 or 7. But not this time around.
I don’t really know how to top this trip though. Sure I have had some epic trips in the past, and I still have some things to tick off of my bucket list (Around the world in first class I think is the next big one) but all the sacrifices I am going to have to make now that I am back (not that this trip cost me much, but more the fact that my waist line took a bit of a hammering, but I expected that) were worth it. Experiencing new cultures, new foods, new scenes all in a matter of a few days, it is a travelers dream.
Being able to get on a delivery flight was a dream; it is one of those experiences the Aviation Geeks like me just drool over. An inaugural is one thing, but a delivery (or ferry flight whatever you want to call it) is a true privilege. Experiencing the brand new products, new service, all on a brand new aircraft being delivered half way across the world, getting to meet some media in the process, learn from them and being treated like legitimate media was an honor and something I will cherish.
All those things touted by the 787 program by Boeing, the bigger windows, the better cabin pressure and humidity thanks to the composites used. It is all true. I really did feel much better after the landing in Doha than coming back from Doha on the 777. Don’t get me wrong the 777 service and crew were fantastic as well, but I just didn’t physically feel the same and I had been in the air pretty much with a similar time frame/day. I had never really believed it before, but now I do. If I had the choice of a 787 vs. any other aircraft, then yes I would take it without a second thought.
In the future I hope that I get more of these opportunities as I move forward with the sideline stuff. I really have to thank David at AirlineReporter for the opportunity to go, because if it wasn’t for him not being able to, I definitely would never have had the chance to go. Also thanks go to Qatar Airways and their social media/media team. They planned and arranged all of this and for that I am truly thankful. All the hard work they would have had to of gone to for this trip and to invite a lowly blogger along (although I have been promoted to “Lead Correspondent” now) deserves the biggest praise I can give. So with that, I say thank you and next time if I can fly Qatar Airways, I won’t give it a second thought.