First – some numbers. 2h15m until we land. 8,700 miles behind us and far less ahead. We left at 11pm in order to hit a landing window in Singapore of 8am. Yesterday’s sunset in San Francisco was 4:53pm. That’s a lot of dark.
We’ve been following the night for nearly 15 hours. The cabin is a dim hue of sleepy blue and for the most part we have slept and watched movies and eaten. Michael’s window is calibrated to night.
The Dreamliner has incredible overhead cabin lighting that provides mood lighting, helps alleviate jet-lag, and is literally calms the soul. The technology is similar to the dynamic light coloring by Phillips Hue Lightstrips. I’ve written a number of articles on how scientists are beginning to link interior lighting to sleep issues, illness… even Alzheimers (I know–what isn’t linked to Alzheimers today, right?) Still, Michael is over there sleeping like a lamb, nestled up to his window that makes it appear to still be dark outside when in fact we’ve (finally) hit sunrise.
The windows are a huge 19 inches tall, 65% larger than standard airplane windows so the view is better (unless your trip is at night). These tricked out windows also dim internally.
The dimming effect is the result of an electrified gel sandwiched between two thin pieces of glass. As the electric current increases, the gel darkens and as it drops, the gel lightens. The system is brilliant in its simplicity. Best of all, there is full light control… no unwanted light peering around a plastic cover taunting you, disrupting that very valuable REM.
The windows are individually controlled or the flight staff can gradually wake us up through light by adjusting the windows for the entire plane. This is a big deal in its affect on minimizing jet lag. Having flown on these before, I believe it’s nearly miraculous. Last I travelled to Southeast Asia I came of the plane feeling amazingly great.
The flight has been generally smooth and we’re riding the jet stream to an early arrival which is delightful. Michael is fast asleep and I’ve slept well and enough.
Those things we endure to get to where we’re going
I’ve never been a fan of crowds so traveling in a herd reminds me of this oh so quickly. In fact I’m not a fan of the general public. Too many uncovered coughs and I’ve personally cleaned up after the “man” in front of me twice in the restroom. Yuk. The flight staff on UA flight “number 1” literally was extremely helpful, kind and most delightful. Props to them.
So excited… we’re now less than 2 hours until arrival. It won’t be long and we’ll be checking into our haunted hotel… or at least that’s the promise.
Inching closer and closer to the target.