Here is another update on United’s 787. Yesterday (May 18, 2013) I received a notice from United that they have information on the reintroduction of their 787 Dreamliners. They now say they will begin flying tomorrow (May 20th) on Domestic routes and begin flying Internationally on June 10th on United’s new Denver to Tokyo route. I am ticketed on two flights in early June between LAX to IAH on the 787 and will have a review of it shortly thereafter (http://patstravelreviews.com/united-airline-787-dreamliner-businessfirst-review/).
Click the link below to read more from United on the 787.
This is an update (May 4, 2013) to the prior article below on United’s 787 Dreamliner;
Finally the 787 Dreamliner has fixed it’s battery issue and has been cleared by the FAA to begin passenger service again. Ethiopian Airlines was the first airline to start flying the Dreamliner again on April 27th. Other airlines (LOT, JAL, ANA, UAL, to name a few) are to start flying the 787 immediately, soon, or later this month. United Airlines is scheduled to start domestic service May 31, 2013 and is still planning their inaugural international flight from Denver to Tokyo’s Narita (NRT) on June 10th. United’s web site has very little updated news about their 787’s. As of now they will fly their domestic schedule through their hub in Houston (IAH). So starting May 31st you can start to fly the 787 on flights from IAH to DEN, LAX, and ORD, and can actually book these flights now. Hopefully since they are waiting so long to reintroduce them, they will actually fly on flights they are scheduled to fly (was an issue before they were grounded). But I will try to book a ticket from ORD to LAX thru IAH on 787’s on both legs so I have a better chance of actually flying on it.
United Airlines received their first 787 Dreamliner two weeks ago. It is now undergoing tests and will hopefully be in service sometime this fall. It will initially be used for domestic flights but will primarily be used on international flights. United will start flying from Denver to Tokyo using the 787 in the Spring of 2013. I also heard they may use it on a Houston to Lagos flight. They are hopeful to take delivery of five additional 787’s by the end of this year.
The interesting thing is even though United and Continental are one company now. These deliveries are from a Continental order and the configurations are Continental’s. There is Economy Plus seating on this aircraft. But there is no First Class nor United’s new Business Class seats. Rather Continental’s BusinessFirst seats. United’s 787 can carry 219 passengers. 36 in BusinessFirst (Continental’s latest version of that seat. With lie-flat beds and TV screens mounted on seat area in front) 72 in Economy Plus, and 111 in regular economy (both 3x3x3 seating and also have TV screens in the seat if front of them). I like the layout of United’s BusinessFirst more than United’s Business Class seats. There are no center seats in BusinessFirst. Configured 2x2x2, whereas United’s Business Class on the 777 and lower level of the 747 is 2x4x2 (767 and upper deck of 747 2x2x2 and 2×2). But the seat pitch on United’s BusinessFirst on the 787 is 68 inches (9′ less than United’s Business Class, but still plenty of room) and I am not sure how the entertainment system stacks up to United’s new Business Class seats or even in Economy. I am on a flight from London in a few months with BusinessFirst so I will know more then. I do find it strange that with this new airplane United wouldn’t up their Premium product. The other interesting thing is United’s 787’s will have a slightly different paint scheme then the rest of their fleet. The colors are all the same, but In a nod to Boeing’s original paint scheme on the 787 Dreamliner, United will also have a swooshing gold line down the side of the fuselage.
Either way I am looking forward to flying on this new aircraft. JAL will start new service from San Diego to Tokyo on December 2nd of this year using the 787. I tried to convince my wife I needed to be on this flight for professional research (she wasn’t buying it). But it is apparent that this plane is a game changer and will allow service from places that couldn’t imagine it in the past!!
Here is youtube video of it leaving the hanger; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXKsldvgHZE