The Model 40A was used by airlines to carry mail for the US Post Office in the 1920s, replacing converted military de Havillands that had carried mail since 1918. Twenty-four of the Model 40A mail planes were ready to fly July 1, 1927, for their first day of airmail service between San Francisco and Chicago — a trip that took roughly 22 hours and involved five different airplanes.
It should be enough to say that the new airplane's tremendous innovation of an air-cooled engine sufficiently reduced the weight of the airplane to make it the top choice for mail delivery. Additionally, the Model 40A, under the umbrella of the Boeing Air Transport Company, became one of the United State's first passenger airliners. In a small compartment alongside the mail bags, the Model 40A could carry two passengers. The first passenger was Jane Eads, a reporter for the Chicago Herald-Examiner, who wrote a note on a photo of the occasion: "Here's to Boeing Air Transportation on my arrival at San Francisco, July 2, 1927, as the first passenger to travel on the transcontinental service."
Today, in the tradition of the route-opening Model 40A, the 787 Dreamliner serves more than 430 routes, with 100 of those being new nonstop markets. Since the 787's entry to service in 2011, more than 83 million passengers have flown on the airplane, traveling to their chosen destinations with unparalleled convenience.