As some of you may know, United has just taken delivery of their first batch of Boeing 787 Dreamliners. United Airlines will be the first United States carrier to operate the type. When United first announced their intentions to order the state-of-the-art aircraft I figured one would be forced to buy an expensive ticket on a long haul international route in order to try out the type. Lucky for the cheap & poor aviation enthusiasts, including myself, United will operate the type on several domestic routes between its hubs.
United’s domestic 787 routes will all be based out of its Houston Bush hub (KIAH). The good part is that every one of United’s domestic hubs will see the Dreamliner at some point. This includes San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Newark, Cleveland, Washington-Dulles, and Denver. I was surprised at how complex, specific, and confusing the planned domestic schedule is for the 787 (See Below). It seems that United’s main goal really was for its entire hub network to see the type. Domestic services begin on November 4th and continue until the end of March on some routes.
Here is the official schedule, as posted on the United Airlines website:
You may have noticed there is no planned end date for the Houston-Denver-Houston service. I am guessing that this has something to do with United’s planned Denver – Tokyo service utilizing the 787. They will probably operate Houston-Denver-Tokyo-Denver-Houston. For those that travel between Denver and Houston, you may just be getting a permanent 787 domestic route!
I highly recommend trying out this amazing piece of equipment before it is solely used on international routes. This will definitely be the most affordable time to try it out. I was able to find a ticket from Atlanta to Houston and then on to Los Angeles (on the 787) for just $150 with taxes on December 8th. There was plenty of availability throughout the month. As I said before, many people can try the 787 on trips they already planned on taking, just by adding an extra connection in Houston. Also, it only takes 12,500 frequent flier miles for a one way domestic ticket. There is also plenty of availability for reward tickets on these routes.
I’ll be sure to share my thoughts on United’s 787 once I get to experience it firsthand in December.