The 7 Best Boeing 787 Buttons

Posted by at 10:00

KLM’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been flying for over a year now—a shiny, new aircraft brimming with the latest technology. I was offered a peek inside and—being the curious person I am—I tried everything I was allowed to get my hands on. So, what’s new? Which buttons are the handiest to know about? Which features make for a more pleasant trip?

1. The IFE console

Let me start with an exception—the “button” (as it were) that controls the entertainment. It’s not really a button at all, but a complete console, the sort you find on gaming computers. This makes it very easy to scroll through all the films, games, and music. Or, if you prefer, you can push right on the touchscreen. Feel like talking to someone? Using your entertainment system, you can set up a chat with other passengers who have logged into Seat Chat. So, you can send a message that reads, “Hey, 21-B, where are you headed?”


2. The air valve

The cockpit is equipped with a switch that regulates airflow. Of course, passengers don’t have access to that, but the airflow in the 787 is an enormous asset. The aircraft hull is outfitted with an air intake which, rather like a fish’s gill, can open to let air in. This source of fresh air is external and does not run through the engines (as on other aircraft).


3. The espresso machine button

In the galley situated right behind World Business Class, I have discovered the key to the brown-gold elixir: the espresso machine—complete with milk-foamer—so I can have an espresso macchiato at the flip of a switch. If you’re flying in World Business Class, I’d certainly recommend that you ask the cabin crew to make you a lovely cup of UTZ-certified sustainable coffee.


4. Lighting

There is also a touchscreen with about ten different light programmes. The cabin crew choose the ambient lighting to suit the moment. When you first board the aircraft, the lighting will be bright and cool. During takeoff, it takes on a warmer tinge. During your meal, it transitions into a warm yellow—dinner by candlelight, as it were. When sleeping time is over, a four-minute soft-pink programme mimics the dawn to help you wake up. It’s remarkable to see just how you can create a different mood with lighting. I think these are the best buttons in the entire aircraft.


5. The baggage bin button

This is a sliding button that can move in two directions. It allows you to open the bin by moving up or down. The bin opens slowly to reveal an extremely spacious baggage bin. Very inventive and extremely user friendly.


6. The window dimmer

I just love this one! I think I pushed it about thirty times. The button is round and has five lights on the side. So each passenger can determine just how much light they want. When you push on the button, it activates an electronic gel that darkens the window. There are five settings (besides full light) from light twilight to full night-time.


You have to be a patient though — the window needs a little time to reach the desired setting. So don’t keep jamming the button again and again ;). By the way, did you know that the Dreamliner’s windows are about 30% larger than in other aircraft?

7. The seat button

This one is going to make you happy. The seats in World Business Class are flatbeds that let you stretch out fully. With a push of the button, your seat turns into a bed. You can stretch out your legs under seat in front of you. That makes any long trip a lot more pleasant. It’s pretty good in Economy Class as well. There, the seats can lean back 40% farther than in other aircraft. So you can really relax during your trip.


I’m curious—have you already flown on the Dreamliner? If so, which button did you think was absolutely indispensable?

Sounds familiar?

It’s quite possible you’ve heard or read this before. We’ve posted this blog in December 2015. So this actually is a repost. But let’s be honest: these cool buttons are still pretty impressive, right?

31 Responses to The 7 Best Boeing 787 Buttons

  1. Bram

    Hi there,
    Can you pls translate item number 5 for our English guests? :-)

  2. Marcel

    Will find out tomorrow, booked on the Abu Dhabi flight, looking forward to the KLM Dreamliner experience!

  3. FlorinU

    Loved the post, very gadgety buttons, indeed :)
    Could you, please, put button #5 in english also ?

    Thanks !!!

  4. l.Duijndam

    idee om een oefengelegenheid te creëren zodat men tijdens een vlucht niet hoeft uit te proberen en het pas snapt als de vlucht voorbij is.?

  5. Martin Dorgan

    Highly recommend Dreamliner .. The air quality is really good.

  6. Karen

    Sounds Amazing. Definitely would be my Dream.Flight

  7. Amelia

    I really like the Dreamliner! Second fave aircraft after the A380 ;) the spacious legroom is another selling point for me too

  8. Norm Alguy

    5. The overhead locker button

    This is a sliding button that opens towards two sides. You can either move it up or down with the same effect: slowly the lid will move down, revealing a large overhead locker. Very inventive and user-friendly!

  9. Bea

    If you say under 2) that the air is ‘extra fresh’ on this aircraft, does that mean it is not fresh on other aircraft, and if so what is the difference in its composition in that case? Is there something more or less in it?

    • Mark

      The source of air in many other airliners is through the engines. This means the air you breathe in an aircraft has been inside the planes engine and contains trace amounts of partially burnt diesel, oils and querosene along with other impurities but in any major big city you are similarly exposed to that.

      • David

        Not true! The air that is provided to the cabin is taken from a compressor stage in the engine–well upstream of the combustor stage. There are no traces of combustion gases or byproducts in the air supply system.

  10. John

    I’m curious about the extra fresh air. How will the air quality be different. What exactly will be filtered out that will make the air extra fresh?

  11. Dipak shah


  12. chris

    So if you’re in coach you can’t have espresso?

  13. Adriana

    what about number 5??

  14. Pat Elliott

    Seats are 432mm wide in economy and 457mm wide in premium. I am medium build 1727mm tall with 508mm across shoulders, this results in a very uncomfortable trip, especially long haul. I am literally rubbing shoulders with my fellow passengers.

  15. Félix Maltchinski

    Unfortunetly no 787 planned on Amsterdam-Montreal route for 2016.

  16. Eric

    Great plane, for sure! I seriously enjoyed my flight! The Business Class sets a new standard, the seat is extremely comfortable. Only minor detail is that the light switch is very close to the arm/wrist. Especially while eating light went on and off because I was leaning on the button (in business class) In noticed this happened to other passengers during my flight as well.

  17. Paul Roozen

    Great….next time when I fly Guayaquil to Amsterdam 12 Hours !!!

  18. Jim

    What is like for the economy class passenger behind the one that just put his seat back 40% farther than other aircraft?

  19. Mike

    Flew out to Cuba on the dream-liner last year, Personally I found the Airbus A330 much more comfortable

  20. Luc

    Why buy a US aircraft when being an EU airline?

    • VM1989

      Why buy an EU aircraft when being a US airline?

  21. Ron

    Nice plane. And I am so happy that the first class seats can used for a flatbed. Unfortunety I can’t afford the money for first class. But it wil not say that I am not happy to fly with this plane… What is special for the Economy class??

  22. Suryani

    Was on ROYAL JORDANIAN DREAMLINER two days ago . Awesome aircraft and I liked the window mood light button most !

  23. Alice

    I nearly got to fly one of these to China last month, but sadly ended up an a 777 instead. The 777 isn’t bad, more legspace than an A380, but I’m still looking forward to my first 787.

  24. Jonathan

    Lots of fun gadgets wa great entertainment system but there’s no getting around how uncomfortable the economy seats are. Changed planes from Etihad to KLM’s Dreamliner at Abu Dhabi a few months ago. At first I was excited. Cool new plane! Then I realized how uncomfortable I was. The seats were hard and extremely narrow with much less legroom than Etihad. This was the night portion of the flight but I didn’t sleep a wink, despite the Melatonin. I live in Holland. If this is what’s to come, it does not bode well.

  25. Bernie

    Loved traveling on this plane from Amsterdam to Calgary. Overhead bins were very spacious and accommodated everyone’s carry ons. Entertainment system was great. Seats even I. Economy were very comfortable.

  26. Alec

    Flew Dreamliner Business Class to Costa Rica with your code share partner Aeromexico. The lie-flat button for the seat is best – I slept for 7 hours :-)

  27. Jaap van Luijk

    The best plane ever when are flying the 787 to Nairobi please the 747 is so tired

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *