Dreamliner or nightmare waiting to happen?

I’m beginning to think I might become – to borrow a Marine Corps recruitment phrase – “one of the few, the proud” to have flown on Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.

If the plane keeps having many more problems, air carriers just might ground the bird for keeps.

Another Dreamliner flight was delayed in Tokyo because of problems with the power that runs the air conditioning on the aircraft.

http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/27/travel/boeing-787-dreamliner-air-con-fault/index.html?hpt=hp_bn10

It was the fourth incident in 10 days. Well, I’m telling you that the plane has experienced even more trouble than that.

On June 7, I was set to board a United Airlines Dreamliner at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. All the passengers were seated, the pilot came on to announce our impending departure – only to come back on later and tell us we had to get off the plane because of “mechanical issues.”

In other words, the plane wouldn’t start.

I gathered my gear, got off the bird and trudged down the concourse to another gate where – to my surprise – another Dreamliner awaited. We boarded the plane and the pilot informed us over the intercom that the aircraft was fit to travel and was “ready to go. No problems.”

We took off and the flight to Denver was smooth and glass.

I’ll say this about the Dreamliner: It’s a very nice aircraft on which to sit for a couple of hours, even in Economy Class. It’s spacious, with plenty of leg room. It’s quiet. The in-flight amenities – such as the video selections – are appealing.

I just worry that the shiny new aircraft is going to keep breaking down.

To borrow another phrase from a former U.S. president: I feel the latest passengers’ pain.

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