The special charter flight by Japan's All Nippon Airways (ANA) from Tokyo to Hong Kong comes after years of delays as Boeing engineers dealt with glitches and parts delays, leaving some 16 billion US dollars worth of inventory at Boeing's plants.
Enthusiasm among the Japanese for Boeing has been undimmed by the delays for the Dreamliner.
"I want to try flying on it as it uses alot of Japanese technology as well. I've heard that it's a pretty revolutionary plane and so I really wanted to try it," said Naonobu Fujita as he lined up to board.
Others who got the chance to fly on the carbon-fibre plane took a day off from work to come.
"I won the contest and so decided to take a one-day holiday with my mother. As this is the first time in the world, I decided to take off from work and come," said Takuya Miura who won an ANA sponsored contest to get a free seat on the flight.
The 100 seats available to paying passengers on the flight sold out as soon as they went on sale, with 25,505 people scrambling online for the scarce tickets. A pair of tickets that ANA offered on the Yahoo auction site for charity sold for 890,000 yen.
Though Boeing's newest plane is being pitted against Airbus's A380 jumbo jet, the two could attract different markets. While the Airbus A380 is designed for longer trips with more passengers, the smaller Dreamliner is outfitted for large capacities for short distances.